How Will The State Legislature Balance The Budget Deficit Now?

Published: May. 17, 2017 at 11:56 AM AKDT
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Alaska legislators face a constitutional deadline for completing their work, but they remain at odds over how best to address a multi-billion- dollar state budget deficit.

The state, which has long relied on oil revenue, has been using savings to help cover expenses amid chronically low oil prices.

While there's general agreement about using earnings from the Alaska Permanent Fund as part of a fiscal plan, there are sharp differences over what else should be done.

The House majority made its support of using permanent fund earnings contingent upon passage of a broad-based tax and a rewrite of oil tax and credit policy, seeing that as a more balanced approach.

But the Senate voted down an income tax last week.

The Republican-led Senate has proposed limits on future spending, along with cuts to public education and the university system, that the House majority considers too deep.

The constitution allows for regular sessions of up to 121 days - a mark that will be reached on Wednesday.