Alaska Gov. Walker signs shutdown-averting budget

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Bill Walker signed a shutdown-averting $8.8 billion state operating budget into law.

    The Juneau Empire reports ( ) Walker signed the budget Friday, one day before the start of the state fiscal year and eight days after the Alaska Legislature approved the budget.

    The budget uses $2.3 billion from Alaska's Constitutional Budget Reserve to close a multibillion-dollar annual deficit, and it cuts the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend to $1,100. It fails to alleviate the budget crisis caused by fallen oil prices.

    A special legislative session will continue through July 15. Members of the Alaska Senate say they will return to Juneau on July 10 in an attempt to fulfill the sole item on the special session agenda: reforms to the state subsidy of oil and gas drilling.

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