Thompson: Panel working to get budget to floor by March 9

A co-chair of the House Finance Committee says the panel is working hard to get the state operating budget to the House floor by March 9.

Republican Rep. Steve Thompson of Fairbanks says budget cuts are needed before looking at other sources of revenue.

But he says continuing with the current spending rate without looking at other ways to balance the budget would threaten the state’s dividend program and reserves.

Thompson says once the budget gets to the floor, lawmakers can concentrate on possible revenue sources.

Thompson says all the options will be looked at.

Gov. Bill Walker has proposed industry tax increases, oil tax credit changes and a personal income tax. Several proposals, including one from Walker, would make use of Alaska Permanent Fund earnings.