News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Kelly
For Immediate Release: June 15, 2017

Senate Disappointed by House Majority’s Failure to Compromise

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JUNEAU – Senate President Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks, released the following statement today in response to the House Majority’s failure to compromise on an operating budget.  

“We are deeply disappointed in the House Majority’s actions tonight.

“In one fell swoop, the House Majority’s $12.1 billion budget plunders one-third of the Permanent Fund earnings reserve, forcing the fund’s managers to sell off high-earning assets in exchange for a quick political ‘fix’ that solves nothing. This is the same fund that pays out dividends to Alaskans.

“Contrary to the House Majority’s rhetoric, their budget and adjournment tonight does not avert a government shutdown, but forces the Legislature into an additional special session that adds costs, grows uncertainty for the public and private sectors, and further hampers the ability of the two bodies to reach a compromise.

“Alaskans should know tonight’s decision was unnecessary, and unprecedented. For weeks, the Senate urged the House Majority to negotiate a budget. The House Majority walked away from negotiations last week – then canceled four public negotiation sessions this week, while leading the Senate to believe they remained interested in a compromise. As late as Thursday at 6 pm, Senate leaders were still reaching out to the House Majority in hopes of reconciling the two bodies’ differences.

“Tonight’s House floor action was a betrayal of many conversations between the two bodies in an attempt to compromise.

“Time allowed for a compromise with the Senate on this budget. The House and Senate could have reached an accord at any time tomorrow – the last day of special session – and passed a budget, together, for all Alaska. Instead, the House Majority chose to reject compromise, placing the state at risk for a government shutdown.

“The Senate Majority will be responsible with Alaska’s reserves, and will not support this budget that jeopardizes the financial future of our state. We remain committed to a fully funded FY18 operating budget in sufficient time to avoid a government shutdown.”

For more information, contact Senate Majority Press Secretary Daniel McDonald at (907) 465-4066.

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