State Fiscal Work Stalls as House Democrats Take a Break
Operating Budget Conference Committee Ignored at Alaskans’ Expense
Thursday, May 25, 2017, Juneau, Alaska – With the Alaska Legislature nearly a week into special session – and only about a week from sending “pink slip” layoff notices – a key conference committee is not even scheduled to meet. The House Majority is responsible for setting operating budget conference committee meetings, but so far has only called a single procedural meeting that lasted less than seven minutes.
It is very troubling to see the House Democratic leadership send members home at state expense, instead of keeping members in Juneau working on the operating budget, the Legislature’s single-most important responsibility.
The six-member joint House-Senate operating budget conference committee is responsible for resolving differences between their respective versions of the budget bill. Delays raise serious risks of a July 1 government shutdown.
It is disappointing that the Democrat-led majority and the Governor are unwilling to negotiate on the budget without the Senate first adopting an unnecessary income tax. House Republicans are committed to working through the process of fulfilling our responsibility in passing a sustainable budget.
Here’s the status of the legislation on the governor’s special session call:
Operating Budget – HB 57 – Conference committee appointed, but held only one meeting
Capital budget – SB 23 – Remains in House Finance
Mental health budget – HB 59 – Conference committee appointed, but held only one
Oil and gas tax credit reform – HB 111 – House has appointed its conference
Permanent Fund Restructure – SB 26 – Conference committee appointed; held one
Motor fuel tax – HB 60 / SB 25 – Remains in House and Senate Finance committees
Opioids – HB 159 / SB 79 – HB 159 passed the House, SB 79 in Senate Finance
“Broad-Based” revenue – no legislation introduced by governor
For more information contact Press Secretary Mallory Walser at Mallory.Walser@akleg.gov