Gov. Walker prepares for possible government shutdown
At a press conference Thursday morning Gov. Bill Walker told members of the media he is preparing for a possible government shutdown.
“There has to be a plan because we have to assume the worst. I guess we have been through this once before,” said Governor Walker, referring to last year’s legislative session, which had lawmakers gridlocked until June 11th. “So we are in the process of sort of replicating what we did last year. We’ve begun that process to give the different departments sort of the heads up, of sort, of where we’re headed.”
Walker says they have up until June 1 to avoid the slips being mailed out — 10 days after they are scheduled to gavel in for a special session. Lawmakers have until July 1 to avoid a government shutdown.
Alaska has never had a government shutdown before.
Minority leader Rep. Chris Tuck told reporters Wednesday he thinks it is possible to reach a budget deal by then.
“We’re so close that if it was only going to take us a couple more days to get things done, there’s no reason why we can’t get all of this stuff done in a week,” Tuck said.
House majority and minority didn’t seem to agree on what exactly was the sticking point holding up passage of a budget Wednesday night.
At the press conference Thursday morning, Tuck said his caucus and the majority were “deadlocked” on oil tax credit reform, which was included in the governor’s special session agenda.
But when asked about oil tax credits at a press conference immediately following Wednesday’s adjournment, House Speaker Mike Chenault replied: “There wasn’t an ask or a give in the negotiations on oil and gas tax credits, that wasn’t part of the negotiations.”
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