JUNEAU — Legislators ended their first week of a special session Wednesday with little progress in passing a state budget or bills relating to a restructuring of state finances, which are now mostly dependent on oil revenues and savings accounts.
The hallways of the state capitol are virtually empty with most lawmakers home for an extended break, which has now been extended through the Memorial Day weekend.
Special sessions last 30 days, so legislators have until June 17 to do their business or else Gov. Bill Walker will call another special session, which can also last 30 days.
Although the capitol hallways are quiet there are a few legislators around. The rules call for lawmakers to meet in session at least once every three days, so both the House and Senate have held “technical” sessions with just a handful of leaders present and minor procedural matters considered.
State budget deadlines are nearing, however. If no budget for fiscal year 2018, which begins July 1, has been approved by June 1, state personnel rules require the state administration to begin sending out “pink slips” to state workers, or notifications of possible layoffs if there is no approved budget by July 1.