17,000 State Employees May See Layoffs This Week

Published: May. 30, 2017 at 9:27 PM AKDT
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Thousands of Alaska state workers could be getting layoff notices this week.

The state legislature's inability to come up with a working budget may prompt early notices to be sent out to state employees.

The house and senate are battling over spending plans and ways to cut the state's large deficit.

17,000 notices will be sent out to employees on Thursday if the legislature doesn't act.

They give workers a 30 day notice that goes into effect if lawmakers don't come up with a budget by July 1st.

The notices don't cover employees of the University or courts, which send their own.

Lawmakers are in the 13th day of their special session, after spending 121 days in regular session.

State Representative Tammy Wilson said Monday that there have been reports that the house is waiting for the state senate to come up with a plan, when in fact, that's up to the Governor, since he called the Special Session.

"This is not a special session called by the other body, it was by the Governor; and if the Governor wants to see some kind of revenue measure, I hope that's what he plans on bringing forward so it can be looked at. But bigger than that mister speaker is, how do we do anything without an operating budget. How do we do, not knowing how much we're going to spend but we look at how to fill whatever gap there might be. To me that's backwards, to be looking for more revenue, when we haven't been utilizing our time well, and looking at ways we might be able to more efficient during this time. There's no reason that house finance isn't meeting, can't be looking at other programs that we can be doing."