On June 1, Bill Walker, the Governor of Alaska, announced an imminent July 1 shutdown of part of the state government by sending layoff notices to 10,000 state employees. This layoff is contingent on the lawmakers of the state failing to reach an agreement on the next fiscal year’s budget.
The fight between Alaska lawmakers and the powers that be has escalated due to the plunge in oil prices worldwide. Currently, they are dealing with a shortfall of no less than $3 billion, and they’ve been arguing over the budget for four months or more just to try to decide what to do about funding the day-to-day operations of the state government. There has been a difference of opinion between the Alaska Senate and the House regarding the amount that the budget could be cut without limiting the services provided to the residents of the state that currently total about 750,000.There are still some significant differences remaining at the forefront regarding amounts to be allocated for the restoring of state workers’ pay raises, as well as the funding of the marine-highway-system, state universities, and public education.
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