Members of the Alaska House of Representatives spent hours in floor sessions Saturday and Sunday inside the Alaska State Capitol, seen here on Monday, April 26, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Members of the Alaska House of Representatives spent hours in floor sessions Saturday and Sunday inside the Alaska State Capitol, seen here on Monday, April 26, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

House moves budget back to committee

Marathon floor sessions over weekend end in bill rollback

A comprehensive budget bill in the Alaska House of Representatives was sent back to committee Sunday after procedural disagreements during marathon floor sessions over the weekend halted progress.

House members debated amendments to House bills 69 and 71 — the operating and mental health budgets respectively — all day Saturday and Sunday, but when the majority caucus tried to bring an end to the amendment process, members of the House minority objected.

After negotiations between caucus leadership, the bills were sent back to committees where changes to legislation are easier to make.

Even with the delay, House leadership is still confident the Legislature will be able to pass the budget bills within the 121 days allowed by the state constitution, according to House Majority Coalition spokesperson Austin Baird.

[With May 19 goal in mind, lawmakers speed up work]

Dozens of amendments were submitted and debated Saturday, and late that evening, the bill was automatically moved to third reading, according to the House journal, which ends the amendment process. But Sunday morning, members of the Republican Minority tried to move the bill back into the amendment process, but that vote ended in a 20-20 deadlock.

Negotiations between caucus leadership ended in the bill being sent back to the House Rules Committee. Moving the bill back to committee will allow members of the minority to advance some of the ideas they put forward in amendments, Baird said Monday.

If lawmakers are unable to pass the budget by May 19, a special session will have to be called, either by the governor or by the Legislature itself. Both bills still need to go through the legislative process in the Senate as well.

More in News

In this Sept. 21, 2017, file photo, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks at a rally in Montgomery, Ala. Palin is on the verge of making new headlines in a legal battle with The New York Times. A defamation lawsuit against the Times, brought by the brash former Alaska governor in 2017, is set to go to trial starting Monday, Jan. 24, 2022 in federal court in Manhattan. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)
Palin COVID-19 tests delay libel trial against NY Times

Palin claims the Times damaged her reputation with an opinion piece penned by its editorial board

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19 at all-time high statewide

The state reported 5,759 new cases sequenced from Jan. 21-23

Volunteers serve food during Project Homeless Connect on Jan. 25, 2018, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion file)
Project Homeless Connect to provide services, support on Wednesday

The event will be held at the Soldotna Sports Complex on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The logo for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is displayed inside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Schools aim for ‘business as usual’ as cases reach new highs

On Monday, there were 14 staff members and 69 students self-isolating with the virus

Triumvirate Theatre is seen on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 in Nikiski, Alaska. The building burned in a fire on Feb. 20. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Triumvirate construction on hold as theater seeks additional funding

The new theater is projected to cost around $4.7 million.

The logo for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is displayed inside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
KPBSD schools to start 2 hours late Tuesday

Due to weather, all but 4 schools will be delayed

Data from the state of Alaska show a steep increase in COVID-19 cases in January 2022. (Department of Health and Social Services)
Omicron drives COVID spike in Alaska as officials point to decreasing cases in eastern US

On Friday, the seven-day average number of daily cases skyrocketed to 2,234.6 per 100,000 people

Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire
Dan Blanchard, CEO of UnCruise Adventures, stands in front of a ship on May 14, 2021.
Smooth sailing for the 2022 season?

Cautious optimism reigns, but operators say it’s too early to tell.

Former Alaska Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Bakalar speaks a news conference on Jan. 10, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska, after she sued the state. A federal judge on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, ruled that Bakalar was wrongfully terminated by the then-new administration of Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy for violating her freedom of speech rights. (AP File Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)
Judge sides with attorney who alleged wrongful firing

Alaska judge says the firing violated free speech and associational rights under the U.S. and state constitutions.

Most Read