Governor Bill Walker called the Alaska State Legislature into a special session minutes after it adjourned last night. He wants them to address the budget and other bills lawmakers failed to pass during the 121-day session.
A minute past midnight, Walker called for Legislators to return to Juneau on Monday. He asked them to consider the capital and operating budgets. The special session will also focus on legislation to draw money from Permanent Fund investment earnings to pay for the annual budget, as well as a bill to overhaul the state’s oil and gas taxes.
Walker also called for legislators to consider bills to introduce an income tax and to raise taxes on motor fuel, alcohol, mining, tobacco, marijuana, and commercial fishing.
Some legislation that isn’t related to the budget will be on the agenda. It includes a bill that would make changes to some adoption procedures. Other measures are aimed at foster care, the state’s individual insurance market, and benefits for law enforcement officers and firefighters who die in the line of duty.
The majority caucuses of both houses tried to extend the session by 10 days. But the House minority caucus opposed an extension.
State workers would receive layoff notices on June 1st if the Legislature hasn’t passed a budget by then.