Capitol Live: House picks Permanent Fund work group members

Capitol Live: House picks Permanent Fund work group members

Live updates from inside the Capitol.

2:45 p.m.

The House has selected its members of the Permanent Fund working group: Reps. Jennifer Johnston (R-Anchorage) will serve as the chair, and Reps. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins (D-Sitka), Kelly Merrick (R-Eagle River) and Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks) will join her.

They complete the group of eight, which also includes Senate Chair Click Bishop (R-Fairbanks) and Sens. Shelley Hughes (R-Palmer), Donny Olson (D-Golovin) and Bert Stedman (R-Sitka).

Below is a memo sent from Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon about it.



1:50 p.m.

According to the Legislature’s website, today’s House floor session is canceled. It’s scheduled to reconvene at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

12:15 p.m.

Something notable in the capital budget: Not only does it include funding for reopening Palmer Correctional Center, but it includes funding for “housing prisoners in out-of-state facilities for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020,” according to the House’s document (page 28).

When the Legislature passed House Bill 49, the main crime bill this session, Rep. Chuck Kopp said the bill would almost certainly result in prisoners being sent out of state. This, I believe, is the first time we’ve seen it officially in writing.

We wrote in February about why many people caution against sending inmates out of state.

11:40 a.m.

The Senate didn’t do anything, but appears to simply be waiting for the House to do its work. Still no word on a solid time for the House to meet. It sounds like early afternoon, but we’ll see.

Unrelated: Interesting tweet here from the House Minority’s press person Zachary Freeman. He says in his Twitter bio that the views on his account aren’t necessarily reflective of his employer, for what it’s worth.

Red pens, as we’ve seen, have become symbolic of the governor’s veto power, and many Dunleavy supporters are sending him red pens and carrying them around to show their support.

11:01 a.m.

In the hallway outside the Senate, Sens. Shelley Hughes and Click Bishop pass each other. The two of them are on the PFD working group that will be meeting to develop recommendations for the future of the fund.

“I’m ready to get to work,” Bishop says.

“Me too. We should talk today,” Hughes says.

10:57 a.m.

The Senate is preparing for a floor session now. It’s unclear what they’re going to do. It seems that the House is the only one that has any real decisions to make today. But we’ll see what happens.

10:38 a.m.

Via the Legislative Finance Division, here’s a look at the past few years of the capital budget. If this does end up being about $1.4 billion, that will be generally on par with the budgets of the past couple years. The capital budget, in general, has been shrinking for the past six years, according to this data, and has been in the area of $1.4-1.6 billion for the past four years.

10:35 a.m.

EDIT: As it’s been explained to me and by other reporters, apparently the draw of about $160 million from the Constitutional Budget Reserve is what requires the 3/4 vote. So it’s a much larger number than what I previously thought below.

Another interesting aspect of this is that about $17 million in funding comes from the state’s power cost equalization endowment fund, which apparently requires a 3/4 vote from both bodies to be used. If the House Minority all bands together to vote against that, those members can stall this bill.

10:27 a.m.

A little bit of a curveball here, as it looks like the committee is ready to approve this budget until Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard chimes in. She asks Wilson, the committee’s co-chair, if it’s possible to introduce amendments today.

Wilson asks Sullivan-Leonard if she has an amendment ready. Sullivan-Leonard, a Wasilla Republican, says she doesn’t currently have one but she might. Then she winks, I believe, at Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski.

After a short at-ease, Carpenter says he will not be voting for this and says there needs to be more thought put into this. Carpenter, Sullivan-Leonard and Wasilla Republican Rep. Cathy Tilton all vote no, but it isn’t enough to stop the bill. It passes, 8-3, and will go to the House floor.

Strange stuff. The meeting is adjourned. Now we await a House floor session.

10:14 a.m.

One highlight in Henderson’s presentation is $12 million for addiction treatment. He says this money will be used to build more treatment facilities throughout the state.

10:08 a.m.

House Finance is getting going. They’re discussing changes to the capital budget.

Remond Henderson, from Rep. Tammie Wilson’s staff, is in attendance to walk through the capital budget.

9:32 a.m.

The waiting game continues. The House Finance Committee is on hold at the moment, meaning the capital budget is stuck in limbo. The House is scheduled to meet on the floor in about half an hour. They’ll likely select their four members for the PFD working group.

Here’s our recap from yesterday.

With the operating budget out of the way and the assumption that the PFD will have to wait for another session, the feeling is that this special session can basically end as soon as the capital budget is finished. But we’ll see if anyone has last-minute tricks up their sleeve.

Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard, R-Wasilla, center, and Rep Dan Ortiz, I-Ketchikan, right, listen to Rep. Andy Josephson, D-Anchorage, ask a question to the update to the capital budget bill during a House Finance Committee meeting at the Capitol on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. The bill passed out of committee. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard, R-Wasilla, center, and Rep Dan Ortiz, I-Ketchikan, right, listen to Rep. Andy Josephson, D-Anchorage, ask a question to the update to the capital budget bill during a House Finance Committee meeting at the Capitol on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. The bill passed out of committee. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

More in News

Drag queen Gigi Monroe reads a book about a wig during Drag Storytime at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
One for the books: Drag Storytime returns

Balloons, books, bustin’ moves.

FILE - Tara Sweeney, a Republican seeking the sole U.S. House seat in Alaska, speaks during a forum for candidates, May 12, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. Sweeney's campaign manager said, Wednesday, June 22, 2022, that the campaign did not plan to sue over a finding released by Alaska elections officials stating that she cannot advance to the special election for U.S. House following the withdrawal of another candidate. (AP Photo / Mark Thiessen, File)
Alaska Supreme Court ruling keeps Sweeney off House ballot

In a brief written order, the high court said it affirmed the decision of a Superior Court judge.

President Joe Biden signs into law S. 2938, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act gun safety bill, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Saturday, June 25, 2022. First lady Jill Biden looks on at right. (AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President signs landmark gun measure, says ‘lives will be saved’

The House gave final approval Friday, following Senate passage Thursday.

Three people were arrested over several days in a series of events stemming from a June 16 shoplifting incident, with a significant amount of methamphetamine seized. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)
Shoplifting investigation leads to arrests on drug charges

Significant amounts of drugs and loose cash, as well as stolen goods, were found.

Ben Gaglioti, an ecologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, stands next to a mountain hemlock tree damaged in winter on the outer coast of Glacier Bay National Park in Southeast Alaska. (Courtesy Photos / Ned Rozell)
Alaska Science Forum: Bonsai trees tell of winters long past

By Ned Rozell A GREEN PLATEAU NORTH OF LITUYA BAY — “These… Continue reading

This photo shows a return envelope from the recent special primary election for Alaska's lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. On Friday, a judge sided with the state elections office on a decision to omit fifth-place finisher Tara Sweeney from ballots in the special general election. Al Gross, who finished third in the special primary, dropped out of the race, creating confusing circumstances ahead of Alaska's first ranked choice vote. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Judge rules Sweeney wont advance to special election

Decision has Sweeney off the ballot for special election.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Saturday, June 25, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of June 19

Here’s what to expect this week.

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire 
Peter Froehlich, a retired Juneau district judge who is now a volunteer tour guide, explains the history of the history of the Kimball Theatre Pipe Organ in the State Office Building to a group of visitors Thursday. The organ has been idle since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now needs repairs before regular Friday lunchtime concerts and other performances on the 94-year-old instrument can resume.
Historic organ is in need of tuneup

How much it will cost and who will do it remain up in the air.

Most Read