Alaska House approves $11.5 billion budget, sends it to Senate

With a 21-19 vote on Monday afternoon, the Alaska House of Representatives approved a $11.5 billion state operating budget and forwarded it to the Alaska Senate for consideration.

The budget, which passed largely along majority/minority lines (majority rules chairwoman Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, R-Anchorage, joined minority Republicans in opposition) calls for a Permanent Fund Dividend of approximately $1,600.

That dividend will cost approximately $1 billion from the Alaska Permanent Fund.

The budget will now go to the Senate, which will put its own suggestions forward. Those suggestions will come back to the House and likely be rejected, setting up an end-of-session compromise.

For now, the House’s budget is a statement of principle and the start of negotiations.

To close the state’s multibillion-dollar budget deficit, the budget calls for spending $1.7 billion from the earnings of the Permanent Fund and $700 million from the state’s Constitutional Budget Reserve.

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