JUNEAU, Alaska Update:
The Alaska State Legislature will not approve a state budget today. According to a Press Conference held at 5:30 pm, Governor Mike Dunleavy is preparing the legislature for a special session, though no exact details have been released at this time:
"The exact time will be determined here this afternoon and this evening," began Governor Dunleavy, "and we area still running some logistics on where. There is a lot of interest to have this up in the Mat-Su Valley, and we are seriously considering that. We are looking at some logistics. We can always have it here, in Juneau. But, you know, a different change, a change in venue may end up with different results. But we'll know that here in a few more hours. We're going to make sure we have our I's dotted and out T's crossed on the logistical aspects of it."
Today is the last day of the regular session for the Alaska State Legislature and the state still has no approved budget.
On top of the state budget, the amount of Permanent Fund Dividend has also not been decided. Under the budget proposed by the Senate, citizens would receive the full constitutional amount of the PFD. For this year, that would be around $3,000. The House's proposed budget excludes the PFD, which they say should be dealt with separately. The dividend calculation hasn't been followed in three years and the additional money has been used to subsidize the government.
In a press conference held early today, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy said he also wants progress to be made on replacing the crime bill SB 91. The House rejected the revised HB 91, which would have replaced SB 91, in yesterday’s session. The Governor went on to say that unless decisions on the state budget, the PFD, and the crime bill are made by the end of the day, more action will be needed.
"If a budget doesn't move, and the crime packages don't move, and the PFD doesn't move, and there's no educational funding, and midnight hour strikes, we'll have to have a special session,' Governor Mike Dunleavy.
The Governor says he is planning on holding another press conference this evening. If the three major topics haven't been resolved, then he plans on revealing the location and time of a special session.