Here’s the latest status update from the Majority Office as we end Day 23 of the first special session:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MEDIA ADVISORY
DAY 23 SPECIAL SESSION STATUS UPDATE
Tuesday, May 10, 2011, Juneau, Alaska — The first special session this year is nearly three-quarters complete, and the Alaska House Majority Caucus is issuing daily status reports from Juneau.
Although the House and Senate did not reach a formal compromise on the controversial capital budget, both bodies took up their own versions this afternoon, on Day 23. The House version (HB107) did not include the Senate’s (SB46) contingency language bundling up energy projects as one take-it-or-leave-it item. The Senate’s new fourth version included softened contingency language.
The day’s work included:
• The House Finance Committee rolled out its own version of a capital budget, due to the Senate’s lengthy refusal to forward its own without guarantees that the House would not change controversial contingency language on a package of energy projects. The committee has scheduled public testimony on the capital budget from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m. Wednesday, May 11.
• The Senate Finance Committee released a long-awaited version of a bill extending the Alaska Coastal Management Program. The committee made changes to the version passed by the House during the regular session. The committee is holding the bill for further discussion.
• After nearly three weeks of inaction, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on a new version of the capital budget late in the afternoon. The committee adopted the new version, sending the bill to a floor vote. The budget passed the Senate and was sent to the House.
• The House received the Senate’s version of the capital budget in a late evening floor session, assigning it to the House Finance Committee.
Gov. Parnell called the Legislature into a 30-day special session on April 18, the day after lawmakers adjourned the 90-day regular session without passing operating and capital budgets, among other time-sensitive items.
Included in the special session call were 10 bills, all of which were in the Senate’s possession at the close of the regular session. Within days, the House and Senate approved five of those measures. Two of the five outstanding bills – the Alaska Performance Scholarship legislation, and renewal of the Alaska Coastal Management Program – have not left the Senate Finance Committee.
The House and Senate gave final approval to the state’s operating and mental health trust budgets on May 6. The Senate moved a capital budget from the Finance Committee to a floor vote on May 10.
Per legislative process, the House is waiting to take action on the outstanding items once the Senate moves the bills out of the Finance committee, through a floor vote, and over to the House.
The House passed every measure in the Governor’s special session call during the regular session, except for the capital budget, which traditionally is first approved by the Senate.
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