Second Special Session to Starts Today
This time the special session is to extend the Coastal Zone Management Program, set to expire on Friday.
The debate over whether the Alaska Legislature should return to Juneau for a second special session has dragged on for more than a month, and after lawmakers went back and forth, it looks like they’ve finally come to a decision.
The legislature is scheduled to gavel back in this morning for its second special session of the year.
This time it's for an extension of the Coastal Zone Management Program, set to expire on Friday.
An extension of the program failed narrowly in the first special session.
A proposed compromise between the house and senate would allow both science and local knowledge to be considered when development projects are going through permitting processes.
"I think cooler heads just prevailed. I think people recognized the importance of the program and both sides gave, and we came up with a compromise that's not what I think any particular group would have liked, or any particular legislator would have liked, but I think it's a fair compromise, and hopefully we'll go down and pass it in two days," said Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage.
One of the big problems if the Coastal Zone Management Program passes is the question over who will run the program.
Once it appeared staff members would lose their jobs, many resigned and accepted other employment earlier this month.