Second special session confirmed; capital budget passed in House and Senate

The Alaska state legislative special session has ended.

Just before 11:00AM AKST today, the House adjourned sine die, which means without a set date of when they will return. Late yesterday evening, the House approved the capital budget, with a vote of 23 for and 11 against.

The Senate followed suit at just before noon today, approving SB 19, the state capital budget, in a vote of 15 to 2. Afterwards, the Senate also adjourned sine die, without approving a PFD payout for this year.

The Legislature will have a second special session but it is unclear at this time when the second special session will start.

With the passing of SB 19 in the Senate today, the Legislature will have completed its constitutional mandate. Despite that, there is still some unfinished business, namely, the amount of this year's PFD. The House adjourned without approving a PFD and a second special session will be needed. It's unclear if any other item will be discussed.

In this morning’s Permanent Fund Working Group, Co-Chair Jennifer Johnston assigned members of the committee to evaluate three PFD payout amounts and how they would affect the State. The amounts were the full statutory PFD which is roughly $3,000, a $1,600 Dollar PFD, and a surplus PFD, which calls for a payout of what is left over after the revenue and expenses are balanced. According to Rep. Adam Wool, that amount would be around $900.

The PFD amount has been a point of contention for some time, with the statutory calculation not being followed for the last three years. Governor Mike Dunleavy has made it clear that he wants the full PFD amount this year, adding on social media last night that "... the Legislature’s job is not over until it passes a full statutory PFD for Alaskans."