Senator warns about falling oil prices

Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2008

JUNEAU - A state senator said the downward trend in crude oil prices could have state budget writers figuring how to make ends meet next session.

Juneau Democrat Kim Elton, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, said the price of Alaska crude oil needs to be about $75 to $80 per barrel to cover current state spending.

The price Friday fell below $70 per barrel.

State lawmakers set aside $5 billion of a projected surplus last session that Elton says was in anticipation of a potential rainy day.

He said he now sees thunder clouds on the horizon.

Elton said the last session was spent deciding how to spend a huge surplus but the next session may be a throwback, with a discussion of a fiscal plan.

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