Posted: May 3, 2011
Contact: Will Vandergriff, 465-5284, House Majority Press Secretary
(Juneau) - With the first special session this year half over and no compromise in sight on key budgets, the Alaska House Majority will issue daily status reports from Juneau.
On Day 16 of the special session the House stood ready to accept legislation from the Senate, but none was forthcoming. The day’s business included:
- House members stood by for a 9:00 a.m. Senate Finance Committee hearing that could have covered the proposed FY2012 Capital Budget (SB 46/HB 107,) the Alaska Coastal Management Program (HB 106) extension or the governor’s proposed performance scholarship plan (HB 104.) The meeting was postponed to the call of the chair, and never reconvened before the committee called it off just before 5:00 p.m.
- The Senate adjourned its 11:00 a.m. floor session instead of standing in recess, without moving legislation on to the House. That eliminated the chance the House would receive work from the Senate for the day, so the House held a brief floor session at 1:00 p.m. as a formality.
- The House Finance Committee scheduled a meeting on the capital budget, pending referral by the Senate, but did not receive the bill. The House Finance Committee has scheduled, and then had to cancel, capital budget hearings 14 times since April 13, due to the lack of a bill.
- Concerned about the lack of Senate progress in advancing a capital budget, the House Finance Committee today scheduled a hearing for 10:00 a.m. May 4 on the potential impacts that further delays may have on Alaska communities, agencies and businesses. The committee will also hear from the Parnell Administration about spending recommended by the governor, but not included in the Senate’s most recent capital budget substitute.
- The House Finance Co-Chairs met with the governor this afternoon to discuss the operating and capital budgets.
Governor Sean Parnell called the Legislature into a 30-day special session on April 18, the day after lawmakers adjourned the 90-day regular session without passing operating and capital budgets, among other time-sensitive items.
Included in the special session call were 10 bills, all of which were in the Senate’s possession at the close of the regular session. Within days, the House and Senate approved five of those measures. Three of the five outstanding bills – the capital budget, the scholarship bill and renewal of the Alaska Coastal Management Program – have not left the Senate Finance Committee. The operating and mental health trust budgets linger in a six-member conference committee.
Per legislative process, the House is waiting to take action on the outstanding items once the Senate moves the bills out of its finance committee, through a floor vote, and over to the House.
The House passed every measure in the governor’s special session call during the regular session – except for the capital budget, which traditionally is first approved by the Senate.