Walker budget plan pitches job cuts, using nest-egg earnings

  • Thursday, December 15, 2016 9:07pm
  • News

JUNEAU — Gov. Bill Walker is proposing to cut 795 state positions as part of a budget plan that includes use of earnings from Alaska’s oil-wealth nest egg and ultimately tripling state motor fuels taxes.

Walker’s budget director Pat Pitney says that as part of the cuts, 400 fewer employees are expected to have jobs by this time next year.

Walker’s budget office says the governor’s overall budget plan, if implemented, would leave a budget deficit of nearly $900 million that would need to be closed with lawmakers’ help.

The office says one issue being looked at is changing Alaska’s corporate income tax.

In a release, Walker says the state has already slashed its budget and will look for more ways to reduce costs. But he says Alaska can’t cut its way to prosperity and a critical discussion is needed on raising new revenue.

Alaska is grappling with a multibillion-dollar budget deficit amid chronically low oil prices.

— The Associated Press

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