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Tough budget decisions remain in Alaska following drawn-out fight over spending plan

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JUNEAU, Alaska — It took two special sessions for Alaska legislators to agree to a budget after a crash in oil prices contributed to a severe reduction in the state's available revenue.

Barring a huge rebound in oil prices, things aren't expected to get much easier.

While legislators made big cuts in spending, they won't be able to repeat the same level of cuts to Alaska's infrastructure budget, for which state money was reduced largely to the amount needed to meet federal match requirements. And Legislative Finance Division Director David Teal says finding cuts in government operations is always tough.

Walker spokeswoman Katie Marquette said Walker signed the operating and capital budgets late Monday. The signing was not announced, and details were not immediately released. The new fiscal year starts Wednesday.

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