- Associated Press - Friday, June 30, 2017

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has signed a state operating budget into law, making no vetoes.

Savings are used to fill a $2.5-billion deficit, which Walker’s office says will leave $2 billion in the constitutional budget reserve account.

Walker wanted to avoid a continued draw-down of savings. But lawmakers, during an extended regular session and a special session, could not agree on the best long-term approach to address the deficit.

They toyed with setting up a system for structured draws from the earnings of Alaska’s oil-wealth fund, the Alaska Permanent Fund. But that stalled amid disagreement over what else might need to be done as part of a fiscal plan.

Legislators, motivated by the threat of a government shutdown, passed the operating budget last week. The new fiscal year starts Saturday.

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