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House Majority E-News for May 2, 2011 ANS Crude: $125.07 Henry Hub: $4.61


(Juneau) - With the first special session half over and no compromise yet on key budgets, Alaska House Majority Caucus leadership today announced the caucus will issue daily status reports from Juneau.

On Day 15 of the special session, the House stood ready to accept legislation from the Alaska Senate, but none was forthcoming.

The day's business included:

  • House conference committee members attempted to meet with the Senate on the proposed FY2012 Statewide Operating Budget (HB 108,) and hoped to close out the conference following several canceled attempts over the past few days. However, the absence of both Senate Finance Co-chairs prevented any work.
  • The House convened in a floor session to manage any business passed over by the Senate. Lacking any new legislation from the Senate to consider, the floor session broke to give the Senate a few more hours.
  • The House adjourned for the day in the early afternoon following a five-minute Senate floor session in which no new business was conducted before adjournment.
  • House leaders participated in a teleconference with senators and Governor Sean Parnell around 2:00 p.m. to address lingering operating budget issues. No resolution was reached on those points, which included funding the Power Cost Equalization (PCE) endowment, the governor's scholarship program bill and development of a natural gas pipeline for in-state use.
  • The Senate Finance Committee was scheduled to meet Monday at 9:00 a.m. but was delayed to a call of the chair. By 4:00 p.m. it appeared unlikely the committee would, in fact, meet.
  • The House Finance Committee scheduled a meeting on the capital budget (SB 46,) pending referral, but did not receive the bill because it was not passed over by the Senate. The House Finance Committee has scheduled, and then canceled, capital budget hearings 13 times since April 13.

Governor Parnell called the Legislature into a 30-day special session on April 18, the day after lawmakers adjourned the 90-day regular session without passing operating and capital budgets, among other time-sensitive items.

Included in the special session call were 10 bills, all of which were in the Senate's possession at the close of the regular session. Within days, the House and Senate approved five of those measures. Three of the five outstanding bills - the capital budget, scholarships and renewal of the Alaska Coastal Management Program - have not left the Senate Finance Committee. The proposed FY12 operating budget and Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority budget (HB 109) linger in a six-member conference committee.

Per legislative process, the House is waiting to take action on the outstanding items once the Senate moves the bills out of the Finance Committee, through a floor vote, and over to the House.

The House passed every measure in the Governor's special session call, except the capital budget, which traditionally is first approved by the Senate.

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