Walker urges action on plan to address deficit

JUNEAU — Gov. Bill Walker found little to praise in the Legislature’s passage of a state budget, saying lawmakers still need to act on a plan to address Alaska’s deficit.

During an at-times fiery news conference, Walker asked whether the state has to go broke before action is taken.

Legislators on Tuesday passed a compromise state operating budget, the timing for which was aimed at preventing layoff notices from being sent to state employees. Those notices would have gone out Wednesday without the passage of a fully funded budget.

Legislative leaders have committed to vetting pieces of Walker’s fiscal plan but have offered no guarantees about what might pass.

The budget uses savings to cover costs, but Walker said that status-quo way of doing things isn’t good enough anymore.