The intent of Senate Bill 224 is to keep any money in the accounts from being swept into a state piggy bank, the Constitutional Budget Reserve.
The Alaska Higher Education Investment Fund has been under threat of being emptied of more than $400 million as a result of legislative budget fights.
The issue could lead to the state spending from funds that most lawmakers want to protect for the future. Or it could go without paying some of its bills — but the Legislature would have to agree to a change for it to be legal.
In some cases, the price of home electricity will double. Towns and villages, also eligible for lower-cost power, may need to raise rates for water and sewer service.
The lawsuit argues that $32.4 million in the budget for power cost equalization should continue to be paid, and that the administration’s position effectively means that the governor vetoed the money, even if it wasn’t on his list of vetoes.
Both Gov. Dunleavy and legislators from every caucus have said they want to fund these programs. But legislators haven’t agreed on how to fund them.
Nearly 15,000 Alaska state workers received layoff notices on Thursday. The next special session is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Wednesday in the Capitol.