What Alaska's Governor Proposes Cutting to Make Up for Lost Oil Revenue
After pledging last month to cut more than 6 percent from state agency spending, Gov. Bill Walker on Thursday revealed just how he’d do that, releasing a proposal that trims $240 million in part by cutting 250 of the state’s 22,000 full-time employees.
In a speech in late January, Walker gave a preview of his budget proposal, warning legislators and citizens that a drop in state oil revenues would force a discussion about “deep cuts” that would “hurt.” But he didn’t say exactly who would be affected, instead offering an outline that showed the reductions from each state department.
On Thursday, he released a detailed plan showing for the first time which specific programs and people will suffer the pain as he attempts to close a $3.5 billion deficit.
The cuts, which are subject to approval and adjustment by state lawmakers, are contained in hundreds of pages of budget documents -- and legislative staff and reporters were still reviewing the package late Thursday to discern its impact.
But some of the first specifics to emerge showed how the cuts would affect people across the state, as Walker takes his initial steps toward closing the gap between the current year’s $6.1 billion spending plan and the $2.5 billion in expected revenue.