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State releases rosier-than-expected revenue forecast; governor wants to limit capital spending

Posted: April 6, 2011 - 9:32pm

JUNEAU — The state has released a rosier-than-expected revenue forecast, showing Alaska receiving nearly $1.9 billion more this fiscal year than was earlier anticipated.

That’s owed largely to oil prices, which averaged about $13 a barrel higher than the state had predicted.

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell says the challenge now will be to stem government’s appetite to spend. He says he wants to limit capital spending to the $2.8 billion passed last year, plus put more than $2 billion in savings, including $400 million for a scholarship endowment.

He says that should leave the state with about $14 billion, at least, in reserves.

But this assumes a bill addressing oil taxes will pass before the Legislature adjourns, and the likelihood of that happening is iffy with strong opposition from Senate leaders.

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