Update on Legislature & FY2018 Budget

Dear ASEA Member,

As you may be aware, last evening the State House of Representatives inserted their version of the FY2018 Operating Budget into the Capital Budget bill and passed it. They then adjourned from the 1st special session. That action left the State Senate with the option of accepting the House version of the budget or adjourning from the 1st special session. It was not a surprise that the Senate chose to adjourn and a budget for FY2018 wasn’t enacted.

Based on this action the Governor immediately issued a Proclamation calling the Legislature into a 2nd special session beginning at 1:00 pm today. The following link will take you to the Governor’s proclamation for a 2nd special session: https://gov.alaska.gov/newsroom/2017/06/governor-walker-calls-alaska-legislature-into-special-session-to-avoid-government-shutdown/

The Governor, recognizing the importance of ensuring government services will continue after July 1, limited the focus of the special session to adopting an operating budget for FY2018. I believe the Governor made the right decision in limiting the topics that will be considered by the Legislature and this will result in an Operating Budget being adopted and will avoid a government shutdown on July 1.

I have received messages from many members concerned about how they will be affected by a number of issues if a shutdown should occur.  Be assured that I am in contact with the Administration regarding issues that need to be addressed if a shutdown should actually happen. Appropriate and necessary action to protect all members will be taken when it becomes obvious that a FY 2018 budget won’t be adopted in time to avoid a shutdown on July 1.

I realize how unsettling it is to you that the Legislature hasn’t done their job to pass a budget for FY2018. However, I do remain confident that the Legislature will reach an agreement and adopt a FY2018 budget prior to July 1.

Please feel free to contact me if you have concerns or questions.

Jim Duncan
Executive Director