04/12/15 - 8:31pm
JUNEAU, Alaska — Heading into the legislative session in January, two of the big issues were Gov. Bill Walker’s desire to expand Medicaid and the suddenly more urgent need to confront Alaska’s budget deficit amid a crash in oil prices.
It’s been said repeatedly this session that no one could have predicted the free-fall in oil prices that exacerbated Alaska’s deficit, leaving projected multibillion-dollar holes this year and next.
Alaska relies heavily on oil to fund state government, and oil prices are roughly half of what they were this time last year.