Senate proposing easier access to Budget Reserve cash

The state Senate today took up a bill that would make major changes to the Legislature’s savings account — the Constitutional Budget Reserve. The Reserve began in 1990 and collected all settlements or litigation relating to back taxes on oil and mineral production, leases and royalties. The reserve can be spent if three-fourths of the House and Senate agree to withdrawing money to cover appropriations. Currently the Reserve has $3 billion available and another $5 billion spent over the years is due to be repaid.

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau