Alaska lawmakers pass budget package to end session

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Legislature in the waning hours of a four-month session has approved a state spending package.

    The budget includes payments to residents of about $3,200 this year after a vote that would have boosted the payout to about $3,850 narrowly failed in the House.

    The approved amount would be among the largest paid to residents.

    The debate over the payments came as state officials forecast higher-than-expected revenues, spurred by high oil prices.

    But Alaskans are being hurt economically by high costs of fuel, food and other goods.

    The House and Senate ended the regular session early Thursday morning, minutes after midnight.

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