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JUNEAU—Governor Bill Walker Wednesday responded to legislative leadership’s request to take a two-week break before convening the special session in Anchorage. Governor Walker declined to rescind his proclamation, and held firm that the legislature pass a fully funded budget before gaveling out.
“It is unacceptable to leave the capital city with a budget that has a $3 billion hole,” Governor Walker said. “It’s time to put aside our political differences and pull together for the good of Alaska.”
The legislature adjourned Mon., April 27, with an unfunded budget—eight days after the statutory 90-day legislative session. Governor Walker immediately issued a proclamation convening a special session.
Without legislative approval to tap into the state’s savings account established for times of low revenue, the $3 billion hole could lead to a government shutdown in November—which means basic services like snow removal, ferry runs, law enforcement, and payments to school districts would stop.
“Passing an unfunded budget is akin to giving Alaskans a bad check,” Governor Walker said. “It creates uncertainty in business negotiations and hampers the state’s ability to attract new investment. I trust our legislators to do the right thing and work cooperatively to pass through a fully funded budget.”