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Alaska Senate proposes $2B in savings

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- Alaska's Senate Finance Committee is proposing saving $2 billion and putting another $1 billion toward unfunded pension liabilities.

The proposal is part of the $9.5 billion state operating budget that advanced from committee Friday. The committee amended the spending proposal, adding another $11 million to it. That figure includes another $5 million for a low-income energy assistance program, $4.3 million for new labor contracts and additional funding for early learning programs.

It does not include the $2 billion that would go to a budget reserve fund or the pension system funding.

The Senate will likely vote on the bill this week. It will then go to a conference committee, where Senate and House negotiators will try to hammer out differences in each chamber's respective plans.