Alaska: Governor Urges Legislature to Complete Budget
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June 17, 2021 (Juneau, AK) – Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy and Deputy Attorney General Cori Mills held a press conference today where he urged the Legislature to complete its constitutionally mandated task of passing a state operating and capital budget. The Legislature has failed to pass a Fiscal Year 2022 budget that meets the minimum requirements under the Alaska Constitution – specifically, an effective date that would allow funds to be spent at the start of the FY 2022 fiscal year on July 1, 2021.  Due to legislative inaction, the governor was forced to direct members of his administration to distribute layoff notices at 4:00 p.m. today. The governor has announced that if necessary, he will call the legislature into a special session to begin Wednesday, June 23rd to resolve the constitutional issue.

"The legislative session is now entering its sixth month and the outcome to this point is a budget that is unfinished, unfunded and has an effective date that will put thousands of hard working state employees out of work and shutdown many functions of state government until September," said Governor Dunleavy. "Active discussions are underway with legislative leadership and, my administration is standing by to provide whatever assistance it can. It's my hope and the hope of Alaskans that some of the maneuvers and brinksmanship that crafted this budget be put aside and the result in a constitutionally sound budget that serves all Alaskans because we are running out of time."

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Contrary to what some are saying, the effective date is contained in bills as required in Section 18 of the Alaska Constitution.

Without legislative action by June 18th at 11:59 p.m. to resolve the FY 22 budget's effective date of July 1, 2021, the budget does not take effect until 90 days after enactment, and thousands of pink slips will be delivered to state employees. In the event of a partial government shutdown, essential public health and safety workers will continue in their necessary roles.

On May 13th, with the end of the regular legislative session quickly approaching with no completed budget and little progress to protect the Permanent Fund and Alaskans' Permanent Fund Dividend in sight, Governor Dunleavy issued proclamations calling the Legislature into two 30-day special sessions beginning May 20th and August 2nd. Now, following nearly 150 days of legislative session, the FY 22 budget remains unfunded.

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The State of Alaska potential government shutdown notice can be found here.

The Department of Law memo on the FY 22 effective date clause can be found here.

A fact sheet of budgetary issues can be found here.

Watch the governor's press conference here.

Filed Under: Government, State

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