At least one lawmaker is perturbed by what Dunleavy said today. Senate Minority Leader Tom Begich points to Dunleavy’s call to the Legislature to “follow the law” as a bit hypocritical.
“The governor’s statement today is disappointing. It’s ironic for Gov. Mike Dunleavy to talk about following the law when he has blatantly ignored or trampled on it in terms of appointment of judges, funding education, and using public funds for his own political purposes. Rather than casting blame, perhaps he should take a little time to reach out to others and build consensus that moves Alaska forward, not just his own personal agenda.”
Dunleavy officially declares that the special session will be July 8 in Wasilla. In the announcement, Dunleavy states this session is for figuring out the PFD. It will take place at Wasilla Middle School.
“While the legislature has avoided a no-budget scenario, their work is not finished until they provide Alaskans with a full PFD outlined by statute. Today I am calling a second special session in Wasilla so lawmakers can complete their work and follow the law,” Dunleavy said in a statement. “At this point, a change in venue is necessary to refocus the conversation and remind lawmakers about the people and their PFD. Once the issue of the PFD is solved, these other budgetary issues will fall into place quickly.”
Von Imhof tells reporters afterward that she’s guessing the special session will be in Juneau. She also expects the special session to address the capital budget and the dividend. With the working group now meeting about the dividend, that leaves the rest of the Legislature to focus all energy on the capital budget.
The Senate adjourns, meaning this special session is over. Now we wait for word from the governor on when/where he calls them into another special session.
A couple photos from this floor session:
The Senate votes to accept the House’s version of the capital budget, but that’s purely ceremonial. They’ll all have to delve into this budget during the upcoming special session, whenever and wherever that is.
In short, the senators are upset that a usually uncontroversial budget (the capital budget) has become contentious because the House decided to use money from a constitutionally protected state fund to fund this budget. That’s what failed to pass the House yesterday.
Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, says something we can all agree with.
“The pandemonium has to stop,” Micciche says. “We’ve been here for five months. The pandemonium has to stop.”
Sen. Lora Reinbold seems to have had this quote ready, as she refers to the capital budget: “I’m not sure if this is potpourri or poo-pourri.” Nailed it.
Von Imhof says this is “an incomplete budget,” which is true. A big chunk of it is still without a funding source. She says this will take more work in the upcoming special session.
Sen. Scott Kawasaki, D-Fairbanks, is getting hyped for the next special session, or as he calls it, SS2. Sounds like an action movie sequel.
The Senate is discussing the capital budget. Sen Natasha von Imhof, who has been absolutely on fire on the floor recently, is speaking about the House’s failure to get this bill fully approved. She is disappointed that there are many projects that are not funded in this bill.
The Senate is on the floor now.
Here’s a photo of House Minority members getting together after that vote earlier:
Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon just spoke to reporters for a few minutes in his office. He says there hasn’t been a huge amount of communication with the governor this session, but House leaders did talk with Dunleavy about adjourning today.
“All parties are committed to a special session,” Edgmon says.
That special session will deal with the capital budget and the Permanent Fund Dividend.
He says this will likely take place in early July, as many legislators have already made plans for the next couple weeks. The location is not yet determined, Edgmon says.
Thompson makes a motion that the House adjourns for the session. Rep. David Eastman objects. They’ll vote.
The motion passes, 23-11, and this session is over for the House.
Rep. Geran Tarr gives today’s invocation. She asks for strength and guidance, “no matter how many turns or special sessions the road holds.”
There are 34 people in attendance today. There were 36 yesterday.
House Majority Leader Steve Thompson rises to make a statement.
“We will be coming back this summer, and I want to assure the public that we will absolutely provide a dividend this year,” Thompson says.
The House is in session.
The electronic bells are ringing throughout the building, signaling that the House is ready to meet. Let’s see what they do.
The Permanent Fund working group met again this morning, assigning members to investigate the effect that various levels of the PFD would have on the state.
The House and Senate are both scheduled to have floor sessions this morning, and the clock is certainly ticking. This special session is supposed to end tomorrow, remember.
Last night, the House passed its capital budget but did not get enough votes to secure some of the funding. This is from Becky Bohrer’s Associated Press report:
Minority House Republicans, some of whom supported passage of the capital budget, nonetheless voted against tapping the constitutional budget reserve to help cover costs. Three-fourths support is needed to access the reserve fund.
House Minority Leader Lance Pruitt had said he couldn’t see members of his caucus supporting a draw from the reserve fund without funding for an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend settled. A proposed amendment to pay a full dividend of about $3,000 to residents from permanent fund earnings failed earlier in the day.
Read her full coverage of yesterday’s events here.