Walker calls special session, says it’s critical Legislature pass fully funded budget
Gov. Bill Walker has called a special session after both the Alaska House and Senate adjourned Monday without passing a fully funded operating budget.
The budget was passed by both bodies earlier in the day, but not enough votes were received to use the State’s Constitutional Budget Reserve to balance the budget. As it stands now, the Legislature just passed a budget that “has a funding shortfall of $3 billion,” Walker said.
“Local governments in Alaska are not allowed to pass a budget that is not funded, and nor should we,” said Walker in a release. “While there can certainly be disagreement on the amount, whatever state budget is approved must be fully funded.”
The governor called a presser at the Capitol Building following his proclamation. He began the news conference by thanking the Alaska Legislature for its hard work thus far.
“I think that the fact that we’re having a special session should not be in any way a statement from me that I’m frustrated with them,” Walker said. “We just didn’t get everything done.”
Some things, he says, absolutely must get done: the operating budget, Medicaid expansion and reform and Erin’s Law.
Regarding the budget, the governor says “we’ll meet with the minority and we’ll meet with the majority,” adding that it’s time to “put away our different group associations.”
The special session will begin Tuesday, Walker says.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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