Budget deal imminent

The Alaska Legislature is close to a deal to avert a statewide government shutdown, legislative leaders say, and an agreement could come as quickly as Thursday.

“I think we, the Senate, should be done tomorrow. If it hits the floor, we’ll be done tomorrow,” said Senate President Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks, in a Wednesday interview with the Empire.

“I think tomorrow will be a good day. I’m anticipating we’ll be out of there by the weekend. I think we’re that close,” said House Minority Leader Charisse Millett, R-Anchorage, on the same day.

In a brief hallway conversation, Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon said he agrees with what Kelly said. Edgmon, busy in meetings and negotiations all day ─ members of the Senate Majority were seeing entering and leaving his office ─ did not have time for a more detailed conversation.

“I couldn’t say we have an agreement between leadership yet. That just hasn’t happened,” Kelly said early Wednesday afternoon, but one appeared imminent.

“I think you never know until you see a vote,” said Rep. Les Gara, D-Anchorage. “I would say that it seems like people are working with each other well.”

The Legislature must approve a state operating budget before July 1, the start of the state’s fiscal year, to avoid a shutdown of state services.

Read the rest of this story here at JuneauEmpire.com.

06/22/2017 - 9:06am