Fourth special session ends quietly for Alaska Legislature

Dunleavy hasn’t proposed a tax. And it’s not clear how his plan  would pay for both larger PFDs and the budget, beyond the next couple o f years. What he has proposed is a one-time, three-billion-dollar draw from permanent fund earnings. That’s projected to be enough to cover the budget and this year’s and next year’s dividends at the level he proposes, maybe a third year. 
The Alaska House of Representatives meets on Oct. 4, the first day of the fourth special session, in the Capitol in Juneau. The session ended on Tuesday, more than three weeks after either chamber held a regular floor session. (Andrew Kitchenman/KTOO and Alaska Public Media)

Tuesday was the last day of the fourth special session for the Alaska Legislature this year.

It ended quietly, with neither the Senate nor the House of Representatives meeting. 

The Senate held just one regular floor session during the special session, on its first day. A majority of senators weren’t in Juneau for the rest of the time. 

The House held two regular floor sessions, on the first and ninth days of the special session. Most House members also returned to their home districts.

There were also relatively few committee meetings over the 30-day special session. 

In calling the fourth special session, Gov. Mike Dunleavy asked for the Legislature to fund another permanent fund dividend payment, of roughly $1,200. Legislators had funded a PFD of $1,114 in the third special session. 

Dunleavy also called for the Legislature to enshrine the PFD in the state constitution and to lower the state’s limit on spending. 

Legislative leaders expressed concern about the effect of a second PFD payment on the permanent fund, saying the state should not draw more than planned from fund earnings without agreeing on a long-term budget plan. 

Dunleavy has said that he doesn’t plan to call a fifth special session this year.

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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