Governor Mike Dunleavy (R – Alaska) announced he has delayed the start of the third special session from August 2 to August 16. This came after legislative leaders sent him a letter yesterday asking for a delay. Dunleavy originally called the August special session in May, asking legislators to work on the following:
- Constitutional Amendment to establish an appropriation limit (HJR 6/ SJR 5)
- Constitutional Amendment to prohibit new state taxes without voter approval (HJR 8/ SJR 7)
- Appropriations of federal relief funds, including ARP funds
- Potential measures to increase state revenues
In a press release today, Dunleavy modified the call to include his proposed constitutional amendment to put the dividend and Power Cost Equalization into the Alaska Constitution. Dunleavy provided the following comment:
While Alaskans are out enjoying summer, they are also paying close attention to the legislature because they rightfully expect them to move forward on a plan that protects both the PFD and the Permanent Fund in the constitution and that can be put before voters in the 2022 general election,” said Governor Dunleavy. “We can’t wait any longer. The fund is sitting at 81 billion dollars, more than enough to pay sizable PFDs to Alaskans recovering from the pandemic. The members of the House and Senate Comprehensive Fiscal Plan Working Group are reportedly making progress on recommendations that can be presented to the legislature at the start of the upcoming special session.
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Dunleavy also stated the Department of Revenue has requested time to present revenue measures and updated fiscal projections to the fiscal plan working group.
Since July 7, the Legislature’s new comprehensive fiscal plan working group has held five meetings, though they have not yet produced any proposals. Anything the working group comes up with will need to go through the normal legislative process. In addition to appropriating a dividend, which is currently at $0, the reverse sweep will be a major topic of the special session. Once the Legislature gavels in, they have five days to take up any budget veto overrides.