Alaska Senate to weigh dividend bill after House maneuver

A hearing room with a bunch of people sitting on a desk
(KTOO/Gavel Alaska)

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska House canceled its floor session Tuesday, the last day of the special session, leaving the Senate with what amounted to a take-it-or-leave-it decision on the roughly $1,100 the House had previously passed.

House Speaker Louise Stutes said legislative rules bar concurrence the same day the other chamber passes legislation and said there was no time left for a conference committee if the Senate made any changes. Legislators could waive those rules with two-thirds support in each chamber, but Stutes did not believe she had those numbers in the House, said House majority press secretary Joe Plesha.

RELATED: Alaska PFD remains unresolved as special session nears end

In a statement, Stutes, a Kodiak Republican, said she was “assured that the bill is safe in the capable hands of the Senate.”

There have been different views on whether some of the funds targeted for use for the dividend in the House bill are readily available. Without those, the dividend would be estimated at $585, according to the Legislative Finance Division.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy told reporters he wants to see what the Senate does.

The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday sent the House version of the bill to the Senate floor. The bill could be amended there. If the Senate adopts changes, the bill dies, committee co-chair Bert Stedman said.

Previous articleCoast Guard encountered Chinese warships in the Aleutians in August
Next articleAlaska Senate passes $1,100 dividend, now the governor must approve it