Gov Dunleavy introduces budget with larger PFDs with cuts to come

first_imgThen-candidate Mike Dunleavy talks to a group gathered at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library in September. He was elected governor last month, and his administration proposed a budget with full PFDs Friday. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/Alaska’s Energy Desk)Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration introduced a budget for next year with a full Permanent Fund dividend of roughly $3,000 for next year. But the administration also made it clear that it will propose substantial spending cuts in the next two months.The portion of the budget controlled by the legislature is $5.7 billion — slightly higher than the current spending plan. The proposed budget would cover the 12 months starting this upcoming July.The budget would set PFDs using the formula used from 1982 until 2015. The budget doesn’t include funding to pay back residents for the reductions in dividends from the last three years. Dunleavy campaigned on restoring these payments and could propose the money as an amendment or separate legislation.The budget includes a $1.6 billion deficit for next year, on top of a $263 million deficit for this year. Slightly less than half of the deficit — $770 million — is attributable to paying higher dividends than the $1,800 PFD that former Gov. Bill Walker proposed before he left office. The rest of the deficit is the result of Walker’s administration projecting higher oil prices at $75 per barrel, based on their peak levels in October. Dunleavy’s administration projects prices at $64 next year, only slightly higher than current prices near $62.“The Dunleavy administration is all about truth in budgeting,” Revenue Commissioner Bruce Tangeman said in a statement.State budget director Donna Arduin said all state spending is on the table in the coming weeks.“The state must learn to live within its means and we get there by making the tough spending choices,” Arduin said in the statement.The budget will be sent to a legislature that is unsettled. While the Senate has organized with a Republican-led majority, the House has a near-even split between Republicans who want to organize a predominantly Republican majority and those who want either a mostly Democratic majority or a bipartisan coalition.After the legislature passes a budget, Dunleavy will be able to reduce it with line-item vetoes. But he won’t be able to add items to what the legislature passes.Updated revenue figures project a slight increase in North Slope oil production, which would rise slightly more than one percent, to 533,000 barrels per day next year. It would then flatten out to roughly 500,000 over the next decades, with new production offsetting some of the previously projected declines.Permanent fund investment revenue is expected to rise $200 million, which will offset some of the drop in oil prices. This revenue is based on a law enacted this year that draws roughly five percent from the permanent fund each year from fund earnings.last_img read more

Best Buys biggest 2011 Black Friday deals

first_imgYou already know that the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, is the time for door-busting deals in the US. What you may not know is that the week before Black Friday is the time for retailers to “accidentally” leak many of those deals in order to generate some advance buzz. Who are we to go against tradition, and not tell you about some of the savings to be had next week?Here are some highlights from Best Buy’s leaked 2011 Black Friday savings:Seasons 1-3 of Mad Men on BluRay – $9 eachBefore you get too excited about this sharp discount on the first few seasons of the award-winning AMC series, you’ll want to know that each store will supposedly only be offering three copies for the discounted price. When you then consider that snagging the episodes of Don Draper and company may require you to camp out overnight, the deal loses a little bit of its luster.As sweet a deal as this is, you might also want to keep in mind that each of these seasons currently retails between $15-19 on Amazon, and they are also available for streaming on Netflix.Batman: Arkham City on PS3 or Xbox 360 – $30This is a great deal on the new Rocksteady title if you can get it — offering $30 off of the full retail price. The selection won’t be quite as limited as the Mad Men deal, with each store supposedly ringing up ten copies of Dark Knight’s critically acclaimed title for $30 a pop.Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception on PS3 – $30Here’s the second Game of the Year candidate that will be selling for $30 on Black Friday. Like Arkham City, there will only be ten copies per store getting the discount.Camping out probably won’t appeal to many people, but if you can snag both the Batman title and Uncharted 3 for a total of $60, that’s almost enough to justify it.Battlefield 3 on PS3 or Xbox 360 – $30Best Buy is pulling out all the stops with their Black Friday video game deals. Battlefield 3 is the third top title of 2011 that you can add to the $30 list.As with the previous games, there will only be ten up for grabs in each store, so you’ll need to storm the store at the break of dawn.160GB PS3 console with LittleBigPlanet 2 and Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One – $200If you’re looking to get a PS3 soon, this could be a great way to save a few bucks — and get LittleBigPlanet 2 and the latest Ratchet & Clank title to boot.Only the first 12 shoppers at each store will be able to save big on this console bundle.250GB Xbox 360 console with Fable III and Halo Reach -$200If you’re more of an Xbox person, then Best Buy has a similar console bundle for you. $200 gets you the 250GB console with Halo:Reach and Fable III.Keep in mind, though, that you’ll have to buy Kinect separately if you want some hands-free motion control action.Like the PS3 bundle, only twelve of these will be racked up per store.Sharp (LC-42SV49U) 42-inch 1080p HDTV – $200This appears to be Best Buy’s biggest HDTV deal this year. The 42-inch 1080p LCD normally retails for $800, but the first ten to get to it will only pay $200.MacBook Pros and iMacs – $60 to $200 offThis one is a little vague, but apparently $60 to $200 will be your discount on a new MacBook Pro or iMac.What that will probably mean is $200 off of the top-of-the-line iMac, and $60 off of the entry-level 13 inch MBP — with every discount in between also corresponding to price.More coming…Be sure to check back as we will be exploring more retailer’s top discounts leading up to the big shopping day.via PCMag and Deal Newslast_img read more