Dunleavy repeats call for full dividend payout
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – The Latest on the Alaska Legislature (all times local):
Gov. Mike Dunleavy says he expects Alaska legislators to approve a full dividend payout to residents this year from the state’s oil-wealth fund.
Dunleavy spoke to reporters Wednesday, the constitutional deadline for lawmakers to finish their work.
He said he expects action on the dividend, the budget and a crime package, as well as inclusion of school funding in the budget for the coming year. Otherwise, he says a special session will be needed.
Senate President Cathy Giessel says work continued toward trying to reach agreement on a dividend. There are lawmakers who agree with Dunleavy that the statutory calculation should be followed, but others do not think the formula is sustainable.
Giessel says she expects the crime package to be resolved Wednesday.
The Alaska Legislature faces a Wednesday deadline to complete its work, with agreement on state spending plans and a crime package and a decision on how to handle the dividend paid to residents from the state’s oil-wealth fund remaining.
House and Senate negotiators have nearly reached agreement on a state operating budget that shuns the level of cuts proposed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy. But a decision remains on what to do with the dividend.
Lawmakers have not agreed on a dividend amount, and an option that’s been raised is to handle that issue separately from the budget.
The state capital budget and a sweeping crime package also remain.
Lawmakers could extend the session an additional 10 days if needed or a special session could be called.