Alaska Gov. Bill Walker signed the state operating budget Friday without vetoing any of it.
The portion of the budget directly controlled by the Legislature includes $4.9 billion.
The budget includes $760 million for Permanent Fund dividends, which will be $1,100. The budget decreases funding for government agencies by $145.7 million. It increases funding for state retirement payments and debt service.
Walker thanked the Legislature for avoiding a government shutdown.
But he said the job is not complete.
The budget closed a $2.5 billion gap between what the government spends and what it gets in taxes, fees and oil royalties. It used state savings from the Constitutional Budget Reserve to close the gap.
There isn’t enough money in this reserve to cover a similar gap in next year’s budget.
- More than 5,000 people may come to the Fairbanks area over the next four years as part of the move to base two squadrons of F-35 fighters at Eielson Air Force Base. The latest estimate announced Monday is well above the previous estimate of 3,500. The bigger population increase is expected to place a greater burden on local services.
- Blue king crabs around the Pribilof Islands are getting their first major assessment in more than 30 years.
- A new court case argues that the way in which state juries are selected in Alaska discriminates against rural, Native communities. The case could significantly impact the Delta’s court system if it’s successful.