Governor Signs $4.9 Billion Operating Budget Bills Into Law
July 01, 2017
In passing its budget this year, the legislature set permanent fund dividends at $1,100 for each eligible Alaskan—and chose to pay for the $2.5 billion deficit entirely from savings. That leaves only $2 billion in the state’s main savings account—which pays for response to emergencies, like earthquakes, fires, and floods.
“I thank members of the legislature for coming together to avert a shutdown of government services,” Governor Walker said. “However, the job is not complete. Without a complete fiscal plan in place, uncertainty looms over our economy. It’s time to fix this problem for good to ensure a stable foundation for generations to come. A compromise fiscal plan can be achieved in the coming weeks—if the legislature is willing to engage.”
Two days before the legislature passed the budget, Standard & Poor’s warned that the State of Alaska would get another credit downgrade if it continued to fund government services from savings and without a fiscal plan that includes revenue.
“Significant cuts have been made since 2015,” said Office of Management and Budget Director Pat Pitney. “It’s imperative members of the legislature come together to pass the necessary revenue components.”
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Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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