Meyer wants to finish started projects

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 29, 2013 at 6:24 pm •  Published: January 29, 2013
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Meyer said there may be some willingness to use savings to supplement the capital budget if the state gets commitments that oil companies will increase production in the near term. He said if lawmakers could see in the next three to five years that there is going to be 20,000 to 40,000 additional barrels of oil in the pipeline, he personally would be more amendable to dipping into savings for the budget, "knowing that we have this other revenue coming in down the road."

Parnell has proposed an overhaul to the state's oil tax structure as a way to encourage new production.

Sen. Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks, and Meyer's co-chair on finance, said lawmakers will have to spend money on issues, like helping to solve energy concerns for Fairbanks and rural Alaska, "regardless of our situation right now." He said that will probably mean dipping into savings at some point.

Kelly said he is grateful for the work that has been done to build up Alaska's savings accounts. He said he thinks there is an early consensus that a budget crisis is coming and said lawmakers want to be smart about their spending decisions now.

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Follow Becky Bohrer on Twitter at http://twitter.com/beckybohrerap .

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