Gov. Walker signs $4.9 billion operating budget into law
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.