From left to right: Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, House Majority Leader Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, and House Minority Leader Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, discuss messages from the Senate in the hall of the Alaska State Capitol on Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. A plan to hold the special session mostly from afar was hampered by demands from Republican Senators. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Plan for remote session stalled by lawmakers

Citing lack of progress, lawmakers want frequent floor sessions

A resolution allowing lawmakers to hold the latest special session mostly from afar ran into trouble Monday evening, as some members of the Senate majority expressed frustration with that arrangement.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Begich, D-Anchorage, told the Empire Tuesday the four caucus leaders had agreed on a resolution to extend the amount of time lawmakers could take between floor sessions, allowing them to hold committee meetings elsewhere in the state. But some members of the Senate majority took issue with that plan, Begich said, and negotiations were continuing among that caucus.

“The work we all believe can be done elsewhere,” Begich said, referring to members of the Democratic minority. “We are willing to do what it takes to move the process forward.”

Both chambers of the Legislature are scheduled to meet again Friday, but no additional committee meetings have been scheduled in the interim.

Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

[4th special session gets off to a slow start]

House Minority Leader Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, said in a phone interview Tuesday her caucus is not necessarily opposed to holding committee meetings on the road system and wanted to work toward resolving the state’s fiscal deficit. Tilton said she wanted to see the bills introduced by Gov. Mike Dunleavy being taken under consideration and used as a framework for a fiscal resolution.

Earlier this year Dunleavy introduced several bills for constitutional amendments for a new Permanent Fund dividend formula and a spending limit for the Legislature.

Several lawmakers in both parties and in both chambers have been critical of the governor’s proposals for a fiscal resolution. The governor’s proposals still leave the need for additional revenues which lawmakers have been divided over. Some lawmakers have introduced tax bills, but Tilton said she and her caucus were skeptical of new taxes and opposed to a state income tax.

The fiscal policy working group formed over the summer said the state would need to find between $500-755 million in new revenues in order to balance the budget.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of April 15

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Sunday, April 14, 2024

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

TJ Beers holds a sign to advocate for the rights of people experiencing homelessness outside the state Capitol on April 9. Beers was homeless for four years and in three states. “I don’t know how I survived,” he said. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)
Lawmakers weigh whether to reduce or acknowledge rights of growing Alaska homeless population

As cities try to house people, Dunleavy’s protest bill would further criminalize them, advocates say.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Saturday, April 13, 2024

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

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Friday, April 12, 2024

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

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Thursday, April 11, 2024

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

The sky and mountains are reflected in the water on April 5, 2012, at the Kootznoowoo Wilderness in the Tongass National Forest’s Admiralty Island National Monument. Conservation organizations bought some private land and transferred it to the U.S. Forest Service, resulting in an incremental expansion of the Kootznoowoo Wilderness and protection of habitat important to salmon and wildlife. (Photo by Don MacDougall/U.S. Forest Service)
Conservation groups’ purchase preserves additional land in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest

A designated wilderness area in Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, the largest… Continue reading

A welcome sign is shown Sept. 22, 2021, in Tok. President Joe Biden won Alaska’s nominating contest on Saturday. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Biden wins more delegates in Alaska and Wyoming as he heads toward Democratic nomination

President Joe Biden nudged further ahead in the Democratic nomination for reelection… Continue reading

Juneau Assembly members and other visitors examine a meeting room formerly used by the nine-member Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development on Monday, April 8, which is about 25% larger than the Assembly Chambers at City Hall. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Of three possible new City Hall buildings, one stands out — but plenty of proposed uses for other two

Michael J. Burns Building eyed as city HQ; childcare, animal shelter among options at school sites.

Most Read