The start date of the next special session of the Alaska State Legislature has been pushed back from Oct. 1 to Oct. 4, the governor’s office announced.
The session will be the Legislature’s fourth of the year and is so far dedicated to finding a resolution to the state’s fiscal deficit. Many lawmakers and the governor say resolving the state’s long-term fiscal issues is a priority but there are deep divisions over how best to do it.
Earlier this year the state House of Representatives took over a month to organize because of staunch divisions in the body. Following a fractious session, Dunleavy called two special sessions for the summer, one of which was originally dedicated solely to resolving the deficit. But deep divisions over the state’s budget, the size of the Permanent Fund dividend and efforts to provide additional support to Alaska’s health care infrastructure ended up consuming most of what turned into three special sessions.
A fiscal policy working group was created following one of the special sessions and produced a report with recommendations for lawmakers to follow.
Lawmakers are limited in what they can debate during special sessions, and when a session is called by the executive, the governor sets the agenda. Dunleavy amended the call of the last special session at the request of lawmakers who wanted to finalize the state’s appropriations process, including payments for a PFD.
The amended call announced Tuesday includes making appropriations for a supplemental PFD, an act or acts relating to the PFD program, constitutional amendments related to the Permanent Fund, constitutional amendments related to a spending limit and increasing revenues.
Contact reporter Peter Segall at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.