Alaska Lawmakers have ended the first special session without any answers on the Permanent Fund Dividend.
Immediately after lawmakers adjourned, Governor Dunleavy issued a proclamation for a second special session at Wasilla Middle School starting July 8th.
Education funding, the operating budget, the mental health budget, the capital budget and anti-crime legislation are all items that he placed on the agenda. The operating budget, mental health budget and anti-crime legislation have passed the House and Senate and are now waiting on the Governor.
The Permanent Fund dividend was not specifically placed on the special session agenda, but was separated from the operating budget in order to allow the rest of the budget to advance and prevent a statewide government shutdown.
The Legislature and the Governor have still not agreed on the amount of this years dividend. Dunleavy says he still believes the Legislature’s work will not be done until they approve a $3,000 dividend using the traditional formula in state law. The House and Senate have each rejected the $3,000 proposal.
Even though the Legislature has adjourned, work will continue until the second special session begins. A bicameral working group of four representatives and four senators will continue to hold hearings on the PFD in hopes of reaching an agreement for the amount of this year’s dividend.
The Legislative Council is also continuing to prepare for a possible lawsuit against the governor over education funding.