Alaska should invest the budget surpluses it predicts from high oil prices into funds that will be used for future education, transportation, alternative energy, and employee pension costs, Gov. Sarah Palin said Wednesday. The state government’s general fund revenues come largely from oil taxes, which are expected to generate billions of dollars in surpluses because of prices in the range of $90 to $100 per barrel. According to Palin, over the next two years Alaska should: invest $2.6 billion in the education fund for public education in the future; create a $1 billion fund, the earnings of which would be used for future transportation infrastructure; deposit $450 million into the state’s Teachers’ Retirement System, to reduce its unfunded liability; create a $250 million alternative energy fund; and pump $379 million into the state’s constitutional budget reserve, a fund to help the state’s government through lean financial years. Palin will release her operating and capital budget proposals for fiscal 2009 next week.
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