Alaska’s second legislative special session starts with state government shutdown on horizon

Members of the Alaska House of Representative mill around the front of the House chamber before a brief technical session on Friday, June 22, 2021, in the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau. (Photo by Andrew Kitchenman/KTOO and Alaska Public Media)
Members of the Alaska House of Representative mill around the front of the House chamber before a brief technical session on Friday in the Capitol. A new special session to prevent an impending state government shutdown is scheduled to begin on Wednesday. (Photo by Andrew Kitchenman/KTOO and Alaska Public Media)

Legislators are converging on Juneau for the second special session that starts on Wednesday. 

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has cited the failure of a vote related to the budget bill in announcing the shutdown. 

Four more House members would have to vote for the budget to go into effect on July 1 to prevent a shutdown

State officials are assessing which state services will continue and which will cease if the government shuts down on July 1, according to a spokesperson for the governor. 

State workers received a document on Tuesday that provides details about how the shutdown will affect them. According to the document, workers who are required to work during the shutdown will be paid. But workers who are laid off or furloughed will not be paid for the time they’re out of work. 

Workers will continue to have health insurance in July. But laid off workers won’t have health insurance in August, according to the document, if the shutdown continues that long. 

Andrew Kitchenman

State Government Reporter, Alaska Public Media & KTOO

State government plays an outsized role in the life of Alaskans. As the state continues to go through the painful process of deciding what its priorities are, I bring Alaskans to the scene of a government in transition.

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