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Legislative Inaction Forces Governor to Call Immediate Special Session in Juneau

May 15, 2019

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 (Juneau) – With only minutes remaining in the 121-day regular session and no indication of progress being made, Alaska Governor Michael J. Dunleavy issued a proclamation calling the Alaska Legislature into special session to complete its work on the constitutionally mandated budget bills, a comprehensive crime package to make Alaskans safer, a full permanent fund dividend as outlined in statute, and properly funding public education.

“It’s painfully clear that after spending the last four months in session, lawmakers will not complete the people’s business by midnight tonight,” said Governor Dunleavy. “Alaskans have every right to be disappointed by the legislature’s inaction, but Alaskans are also expecting final action on legislation to address the most pressing issues facing our state like giving law enforcement and prosecutors the tools they need to stop criminals and reducing state spending. As a result, I am calling a 30-day special session to give lawmakers another opportunity to complete the critical tasks they were sent to accomplish by the People of Alaska.”

The special session proclamation calls lawmakers back into session in Juneau beginning at 10:00am on May 16, 2019.

“I call the Thirty-First Legislature of the State of Alaska into its first special session in the legislative chambers in Juneau, Alaska at 10:00am on May 16, 2019…,” the proclamation states.

The proclamation directs the legislature to work on five items:

  • An education appropriation bill to bring a solution to the FY20 education budget
  • HB39 – Operating Budget which includes a full PFD under calculation
  • HB40 Mental Health Budget
  • SB19 Capital Budget
  • HB49 Criminal Reform Package

“I told Alaskans earlier today that these items must be completed before adjournment and we would remove any of the five items from the call if they passed by midnight tonight. Now, I urge lawmakers to work with me in the remaining days to get these bills passed and bring the special session to a close. If the legislature again fails to adopt a full PFD, operating and capital budgets, fund education and pass an effective crime package, it will be evident we will need to move to a new venue,” added Governor Dunleavy.

A copy of the proclamation is available by clicking here.