Gov. Mike Dunleavy urged the Legislature to send some of the money to Alaskans in the form of $3,700 in permanent fund dividends.
The board voted 4-2 against moving the meeting back to Ketchikan despite dozens of comments urging it to hold the meeting in Southeast Alaska.
State ferries haven’t run the 120-mile route linking the panhandle with the northern British Columbia road system since 2019.
Ketchikan independent Rep. Dan Ortiz says that even with the higher forecast for oil prices, he’s not more likely to back Dunleavy’s PFD proposal. He said it must be weighed against the state’s other needs and the importance of protecting the permanent fund.
A decade ago, Southeast lost a Senate and a House seat when the districts were redrawn due to population shifts.
The Division of Motor Vehicles office in Ketchikan is offering limited services while the state agency replaces employees who left this summer.
And legislators have said successful communication will be important this summer. Gov. Mike Dunleavy has charged the Legislature with coming up with a long-term solution for the state budget. But the vote on the shutdown didn’t go smoothly. It almost didn’t happen.
Without a budget agreement, large swaths of state government will shut down in July. That could include Alaska’s lucrative summer salmon fisheries.
The bill also allows the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to promote hatchery-born, wild-caught shellfish in the same way they market hatchery-bred salmon.
The measure would add the Legislature’s to a growing chorus of voices calling for federal action but would not carry the force of law.