PHOENIX – Alaska is fast approaching the point where it needs to resolve its massive budget deficit, though analysts still believe it the state has a long ways to go before becoming the Illinois of the north.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker called the state’s legislature into a special session May 18 to try to solve the fiscal problems that have plagued Alaska for years and resulted in downgrades from all three agencies that rate the state. Dependent on the oil industry for an enormous chunk of its revenue, Alaska has been hit hard by persistently low oil prices and has seen its once unanimous triple-A ratings cut to Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service and to AA-plus by S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings.

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