Posted: May 5, 2011
Contact: Will Vandergriff, 465-5284, House Majority Press Secretary
(Juneau) - With the first special session this year more than half over and no compromise on the capital budget, the Alaska House Majority Caucus will issue daily status reports from Juneau.
On Day 18 of the special session, Thursday, May 5, the House stood ready to accept legislation from the Senate but none was forthcoming.
The day's business included:
- The House Finance Committee had a meeting scheduled, but canceled it with no new work forthcoming from the Senate.
- The Senate Finance Committee hearing on "bills previously heard" - including the three outstanding items on the governor's special session proclamation - was scheduled for 9:00 a.m. but never convened. Although the committee holds the bills still in play, it has met only three times during the 18 days of the special session. The committee has, however, scheduled 9:00 a.m. hearings, and then waited until late in the day to cancel without hearing bills 13 times during the special session.
- The Senate and House both held brief floor sessions. The conference committee report on the operating budget, which closed out yesterday, was read across and held under unfinished business. Floor votes on the operating budget conference report are expected on Friday.
- House Majority leadership met with Governor Sean Parnell Thursday afternoon to discuss outstanding special session issues, including the capital budget.
Gov. 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 Alaska Performance Scholarship bill, and renewal of the Alaska Coastal Management Program - have not left the Senate Finance Committee. The operating and mental health trust budgets moved from a joint conference committee on May 4.
Per legislative process, the House is waiting to take action on the outstanding items once the Senate moves the bills out of the Finance committee, through a floor vote, and over to the House.
The House passed every measure in the governor's special session call, except for the capital budget, which traditionally is first approved by the Senate, during the regular session.