Governor calls Legislature into 4th special session on revenue
The state Legislature will convene for a fourth special session in late October, according to a message sent to lawmakers from Gov. Bill Walker’s office.
Darwin Peterson, Walker’s legislative liaison, said in the message that “it has been and remains the governor’s intent to call the Legislature into a special session this fall on the subject of revenue.”
“The governor has talked to both the Senate President and the Speaker (of the House) about timing for a special session and has settled on Monday, October 23rd as the best time to convene the Legislature in Juneau for the 4th special session,” Peterson wrote.
Lawmakers have passed capital and operating budgets, but haven’t agreed on a long-term fiscal plan for the state.
In a statement Thursday afternoon, Gov. Walker said, “Alaskans deserve predictability and stability so we can plan for the future. Revenue stability is a critical component to building a Stronger Alaska economy. We cannot continue to draw down on savings to pay for services. We cannot continue to rely on the volatility of oil prices to fund classrooms, roads and troopers."
Between now and October 23, Walker said he will be working with his team and lawmakers to narrow the focus on different revenue options available to ensure a productive session.
The governor's office special session proclamation is expected to be issued sometime before September 22 with the exact bill, or bills, according to Jonathan Taylor, deputy press secretary for Gov. Walker.
Walker had called an initial special session when the Legislature didn’t pass a budget before a deadline to do so in May, then a second session when lawmakers gaveled out in mid-June still without a budget.
In July, Lawmakers called themselves into a third special session to address the state’s capital budget.