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Gov. Walker signs $4.9 billion operating budget into law

(KOLNKGIN)
Published: Jun. 30, 2017 at 5:25 PM AKDT
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Governor Bill Walker signed a $4.9 billion operating budget bill into law on Friday.

The governor signed two House Bills, H.B. 57 and H.B. 59, which passed an operating budget for fiscal year 2018 - July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018 - without vetoes.

Compared to fiscal year 2017, the operating budget was cut by $145 million. Since fiscal year 2015, the operating budget was cut by $1.9 billion - or a 27 percent decrease. And in the past five years, overall state spending has been decreased by 44 percent.

The state Legislature set Permanent Fund Dividends at $1,100, per each eligible Alaskan. And the $2.5 billion deficit will be paid off "entirely from savings," according to the governor's press release. The remaining $2 billion in the state's main savings account will be used for emergencies, such as fires, floods, and earthquakes.

Currently, lawmakers are still in Juneau for the extended special session.

This story is developing. Stay with KTUU for updates.