We moved the state operating budget out of the powerful House Finance Committee, across the House floor and on to the Senate this week. The budget is a 79-page monster costing about $8.9 billion. At least that’s how it left the House. Budgets never get smaller, however. They only grow. So there’s no telling how much bigger it will get in the Senate, then in conference committee. But unless a meteor wipes out the Prudhoe Bay oil fields, we can probably afford it.