House ends special session with failed ‘Hail Mary’ on budget

State remains on pace to shut down July 1

Sunlight exposes the front of the Alaska State Capitol building on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

It was a mic-drop moment on a trampoline.

 

In a surprise Thursday night move, the Alaska House of Representatives attempted to avert a statewide government shutdown by forcing the Alaska Senate and Gov. Bill Walker to accept a take-it-or-leave-it deal.

The Senate left it, and Alaska’s state government is now two weeks from shutting down.

“Tonight was not an ideal end to the session,” said Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon, D-Dillingham, shortly after the House adjourned.

In a series of caucus-line votes, the coalition majority that runs the House inserted a version of the state operating budget, funded primarily with savings from the earnings reserve of the Alaska Permanent Fund, into the state’s capital construction budget. The House approved that combined budget and adjourned a special session called by Walker.

With the House having left the special session, the Senate must accept the House’s version of things or reject it and end the special session with no deal.

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