Alaska legislature passes state budget

Published: May. 22, 2023 at 10:46 AM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Alaska lawmakers passed a state budget and ended their special session in one day.

Only one day of special session was needed for the Alaska House and Senate to come to an agreement for the 2024 fiscal year budget.

The session began and ended Thursday, immediately following the four-month regular session that ended without a budget deal.

The Senate had passed a budget package Wednesday and sent to the House as a take-or-leave proposition. The House adjourned without voting on it.

On Thursday, the measure was returned to the Senate, where $34 million in infrastructure projects was added before it was again passed by that chamber.

Ten members of the Republican-led House majority joined the House minority to approve the Senate budget.

The package includes a dividend of about $1,300 to residents, a number that could grow by 500 more if revenues exceed forecasts.

President of the Senate Gary Stevens was glad to see the legislature come together for the benefit of Alaskans.

“This budget is not only reasonable, but it is also responsible,” Stevens said. “The hard work that members of Senate Finance did made it possible to find solutions to balance the budget and provide a path to pay back our savings, all without spending down our savings, which is commendable.”