He also said that, not counting the permanent fund, the state has enough money to safeguard itself through the next 10 years if it exercises spending restraint.
The governor has laid out an agenda he's defined as fiscally responsible, which includes holding down the growth of state budgets.
"I held it to just over 2 percent when they asked for a 10 percent increase," Parnell said.
Parnell proposes spending $100 million per year over five years to improve crumbling state buildings, including those in the university system.
"Here's my new (question) of you legislators: I'm asking you to approve this funding, the deferred maintenance part of the capital budget, by March 1 so work can commence and Alaskans can go to work on these hammer-ready projects this summer," he said.
On the topic of tax credits for oil companies, the governor emphasized that he would only support them when justified.
"Companies must invest here in Alaska, create Alaskan jobs, and drill more wells before qualifying for these new tax benefits. I don't support giving tax breaks without an Alaska work commitment," Parnell said.
Afterward, House and Senate leaders shared their reaction to the speech.
"(I) particularly liked the extremely strong beginning talking about the federal takeover of Alaska in many ways, of trying to control us. It really made a very clear case that we have the right, we should be controlling our own destiny," said Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak.
"A little bit of the whining about the feds, I would rather have seen a bigger picture of what we can do instead of complaining about what the feds are doing. We always have that problem and we know that's there," said Rep. David Guttenberg, D-Fairbanks.
The 30-minute address held few, if any, surprises.
As for the gas line, Parnell said this has been a year of firsts, including the first detailed cost estimates and our proximity to an open season just months away.
He said at this rate companies could be building a gas line four to five years from now.
Contact Ted Land at firstname.lastname@example.org