By the numbers: Alaska budget debate, attempts to fix it
Last week, Gov. Bill Walker called lawmakers into a special session after the Legislature failed to pass a fully funded budget for the coming fiscal year. Democrats and Republicans remain at odds over cuts to education funding and pay for union workers, among other things. The state is facing a multibillion-dollar deficit this year and next amid low oil prices.
Lawmakers are taking a break from floor sessions until May 12, though finance committees have been meeting. Here’s a look at some of the numbers surrounding the special session and the budget debate:
$6.9 billion: Projected deficit between this fiscal year and next, according to the Legislative Finance Division.
$94 million: The amount of state money Walker proposed adding to the budget passed by legislators.
May 19: Date by which Walker must decide what to do with the partially funded budget. Walker’s budget director, Pat Pitney, has called the budget invalid, barring some kind of action to balance revenues and spending for the coming fiscal year.
6: Number of budget hearings held during the special session so far.
0: Number of hearings held so far on the other two issues the governor wanted lawmakers to talk about during the special session: Medicaid and a bill pertaining to sexual assault prevention and awareness programs in schools.
$130: The range in price that a barrel of oil would have to be to balance the budget, according to the budget director.
$60: The recent price range per barrel of North Slope oil.
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