House finalizes budget, forms working group to confront long-term financial issues

JUNEAU – The Alaska House of Representatives voted today to finalize a budget that avoids a government shutdown and protects the essential services Alaskans rely on.

 

While the budget previously fell short of a required two-thirds supermajority vote to establish the budget’s effective date as July 1, representatives had the opportunity to re-vote on the question of when House Bill 69 takes effect during a floor session today. That provision was approved 28-10. 

 

The House also approved a document that details a commitment by both the legislative majority and minority to continue working toward broad solutions to the state’s long-term budget problems.

 

The successful votes occurred after an agreement to form a working group that will negotiate toward a solution to Alaska’s long-term financial issues at the next special session.

“Alaskans no longer need to worry about the disruption a shutdown would cause at the peak of summer and at a time when we’re finally getting back to life as normal,” Speaker Louise Stutes (R-Kodiak) said. “I thank everyone who stepped up and voted to eliminate any uncertainty about the budget’s effective date, a move that reassures thousands of state workers and countless people across our state. 

 

“I reiterate our coalition’s commitment to working in the next special session to find a solution to our state’s long-term financial problems and the divisiveness surrounding the Permanent Fund and dividend program.”

 

HB 69 now heads to the desk of Gov. Mike Dunleavy for final approval.

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