Walker calls legislature back for second special session before July 1st government shutdown

Published: Jun. 16, 2017 at 1:18 PM AKDT
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On Friday afternoon, Alaska Governor Bill Walker officially called the House and Senate back for a second special legislative session in order to broker a compromise on an operating budget before the July 1st government shutdown.

"Compromise is required to protect Alaskans, our economy, and our future."

Both the House and Senate gavelled the first special session to a close after the House pushed through a budget proposal that the Senate was in clear opposition to. The Senate refused to vote on the House proposal and opted to gavel the session to a close.

At a press conference on Friday afternoon, Governor Walker made it clear that the single issue for the second special session is to pass an operating budget to stop a government shutdown before July 1st.

"We need to remain focused on the operating budget right now. If that means adding new revenues to it, absolutely I will."

Walker noted that the option of new revenues, including a sales tax implementation for the state, was still on the table.

Both the House of Representatives and Governor Walker proposed an operating budget during the first special session that included a state income tax. Those proposals were opposed by the Senate.

Walker was confident on Friday that the Legislature would come together and find common ground before July 1st.

"We're going to get it done. And we're going to get it done for Alaskans... I am confident that we're going to get through this without having a government shutdown."