House, Senate enter final week of session
The House and Senate are inching closer to adjournment with seven days left in the regular session.
Lawmakers have until May 16 to finish their work and adjourn until next January when a new Legislature arrives.
While there may be a sense of urgency to leave Juneau before the 121st day, the harried pace of past sessions – only to be followed by special sessions – is missing.
Many lawmakers believe they may be going home this weekend, some, however, say it could still be early next week.
“I think things are moving on both sides,” said House Majority Leader Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage). “Today, we just had a lot of debate on some bills. It doesn’t look like a whole lot is moving, but we had a lot of debate. Some of these issues are pretty heavy issues.”
The House and Senate still have to put final touches on two budgets.
The state’s operating budget rests with a special committee made up of three members each of the House and Senate.
The House Finance Committee late Wednesday rolled out its amended capital budget to cover construction projects and items that require one-time funding.
They also have an oil tax credit bond bill under consideration in the Senate. Gov. Walker wants to pay off nearly $1 billion of credits to the oil industry by selling bonds.
There’s also crime legislation that melds several bills into one.
One addition includes a bill giving judges additional authority, especially when it comes to considering out-of-state criminal records at bail hearings.
The Senate is expected to vote on this bill, House Bill 312, Thursday morning.
“We have to end the catch and release,” said Senate Majority Leader Peter Micciche. “We have to give the tools to judges and law enforcement that they are missing to make what they do every day the most effective.”
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.