Special Session Rejection
A growing movement to hold a second special session in Juneau has come to a screeching halt today.
A growing movement to hold a second special session in Juneau came to a screeching halt Sunday.
Leaders of the State Senate majority met at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office Sunday afternoon to see if they had the votes to go back to work.
"One of the problems when you are in special session is you need a two-thirds vote, of both bodies to go back to special session. I can't speak for what's happening on the House side, but you could have a majority vote in the House, but you may not have two-thirds to go back" said Senator Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage.
Last week, lawmakers seemed poised to head back to Juneau to deal with the state's Coastal Zone Management Program.
A compromise bill on the program died in the regular session, and again in the first special session.
"It's the same offer that failed on the House floor twice, at the end of the first special session and the movement on the House side hasn't changed, and so I think it would be futile for us to go down and vote on the same bill again" according to House Speaker, Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski.
If nothing is done to re-authorize the program it will sunset at the end of June.
The Coastal Zone Management Program allows local communities and the state a say in how federal coastlands are developed.
One of the main sticking points in the debate was how much to weight scientific data against local knowledge of waterways.
The Senate wants to use local knowledge exclusively, while the House wants scientific data as the only benchmark.
Senate leaders say they remain willing to negotiate, but House members say they remain firm in their opposition to the Senate's proposal.
Governor Sean Parnell could call both bodies back to Juneau, but indicated last week on his Facebook page, he was willing to let the Legislature decide whether it wants to begin another special session.