JUNEAU — Alaska’s already massive budget deficit has jumped another $300 million thanks to low oil prices, Gov. Bill Walker’s administration said Monday.
The state’s unrestricted revenue forecast for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, dropped to $1.3 billion from an earlier projection of $1.6 billion, according to a new preliminary forecast by the revenue department released Monday morning. The exact drop is about 17 percent, the department said, and it’s based on sustained low oil prices.
The revised forecast means the expected deficit for the state’s $5.4 billion budget is now $4.1 billion, up from a previously projected $3.8 billion. That means current revenue can cover only about 25 percent of the existing state budget.
The picture for the following year is even worse, with the forecast revised downward to $1.2 billion from a previous $1.8 billion projection.