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Senate Adjournment Statement

Speaker says caucus tomorrow to decide next steps

Thursday, April 26, 2012, Juneau, Alaska – Following the Alaska Senate’s abrupt adjournment this afternoon from the special session called by Governor Sean Parnell, House Speaker Mike Chenault said tonight that he has called a House Majority caucus for Friday morning to consider members’ positions on the next move for the House.

Although the Senate chose to adjourn without addressing the business on the special session call, the House stands ready to fulfill the call, Chenault said. In the event that the House continues to work, by the Alaska Constitution – Article II, Section 10 – the Senate would be required to reconvene in three days.

“The House has been working diligently, and I’ll look to our caucus on how the House should continue in light of actions taken by the Senate,” Chenault, R-Nikiski, said. “There is work unresolved.”

Parnell called a special session April 18, with three items on the call; oil and gas production taxes, House Bill 9 related to an in-state natural gas pipeline, and House Bill 359, related to sex trafficking. The House and Senate quickly passed HB 359. House Bill 9 passed the House in March, and was directed only to the Senate. House Bill 9 is the unfinished business on the governor’s call.

Chenault commended the House Resources and Energy Committees for their dedicated, thorough response to date on HB 3001, oil tax legislation. The committees have been meeting jointly nearly every day since the call, soliciting answers and information from administration officials, international consultants, and the oil industry. They had scheduled public comment on the plan today. However, Parnell removed the oil tax legislation from the call on April 25.

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