Gov. Walker says fourth special will be in October, focus on revenue

Gov. Bill Walker speaks at a press availability in Anchorage on July 17. On Thursday, he said he would call a fourth special session, beginning on Oct. 23. (Photo by Wesley Early/Alaska Public Media)










Gov. Bill Walker said Thursday that he will call the Legislature back for a fourth special session primarily focused on revenue. The session would convene on Oct. 23 in Juneau.

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Walker did not say what revenue options he’ll put on agenda for the session.

There is a $2.36 billion gap between what the state spends and what it raises in taxes, fees and oil royalties. The Legislature has used savings to close that gap the last three years.

Walker said in a statement: “We cannot continue to rely on the volatility of oil prices to fund classrooms, roads and troopers.”

Members of the mostly Democratic House majority said they’re willing to consider what Walker proposes.

But the Republican-led Senate majority may be more skeptical. Anchorage Republican Sen. Kevin Meyer said lawmakers should first determine if there’s a consensus on revenue before justifying the expense of another session in Juneau. He noted that the Senate voted 15 to four in May against an income tax passed by the House.

“I actually would hope that maybe we could meet in Anchorage prior to the special session and just see whatever the governor is proposing as far as a tax bill, if that’s truly what it is,” Meyer said. “And just see if there is enough interest, or consensus, to justify flying us all down there and paying us per diem.”

Walker said he and his team will work with lawmakers to narrow the focus on the various revenue options available. A Walker spokesman says the special session proclamation will be issued on or before Sept. 22.

Rashah McChesney in Juneau contributed to this report.

Andrew Kitchenman is the state government and politics reporter for Alaska Public Media and KTOO in Juneau. Reach him at

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