House Tightens Operating Budget

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives have trimmed Gov. Sean Parnell’s operating budget by two percent.

The $9.7 billion budget was released on Monday, and every department except for corrections saw its funding brought down. Behavioral health services were reduced by $8 million, and $1 million was cut from early education.

Leadership in the House and Senate have emphasized the need for a tighter budget with oil production on the decline. The state may be facing its first deficit in nearly a decade, and could have to tap into its $16 billion reserve fund.

The finance committee is taking public testimony on the budget this week, and the bill could be up for a vote as soon as next week. After that, it will be transmitted to the Senate.

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