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.
- In his State of the University address Tuesday, University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen stressed the need for an increase in state funding after four years of cuts. Gov. Bill Walker’s proposed budget would flat fund the university at $317 million.
- Murkowski isn't done with ANWR. After speaking at an event in Anchorage this week, the Senator told reporters there are a lot of details that need to be filled in.
- In the past, climate models have struggled to connect ocean conditions with what happens in the atmosphere. But two new studies do a much better job describing that link.
- The Kentucky legislature is considering arming teachers and administrators in response to a school shooting there Jan. 23.