Alaska lawmakers have agreed upon a plan to avert a statewide government shutdown, but at press time Thursday, the Alaska Legislature’s various factions were struggling to find enough votes to approve the deal.
At 1:04 p.m. Thursday afternoon, a joint House-Senate conference committee approved a compromise budget that funds state government past July 1 using savings from Alaska’s Constitutional Budget Reserve. The agreement ends more than a month of work to reconcile contradictory spending plans passed by the House and Senate.
“This is very much a compromise budget, and that’s what we’ve been down here working on,” said Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer and House chairman of the conference committee.
The agreement must be approved by a vote of the full Senate and by a vote of the full House, but that didn’t appear to be a sure thing on Thursday afternoon despite the consequences of failure.
To use the Constitutional Budget Reserve requires a three-quarters vote of the House and a three-quarters vote of the Senate. Without those votes, the deal will fail.