WILL CONTINUE WORK ON THURSDAY
Between deciding to pay for local school bond debts and for a cow inspector for the one dairy farm left in Alaska, the House today added $73 million back to the budget, reducing its budget cuts from last year’s base budget to about $184 million.
The budget that had come out of House Finance had shaved $257 million, but today those ambitions were clawed back by amendments that came mainly from the Democrat-led House Majority.
The Majority put $2.6 million dollars back in the Legislature’s own budget, with sponsor Rep. Chris Tuck arguing that there will be a lot of special sessions this year and they will cost a lot.
House Republican Minority amendments to downsize programs such as Medicaid and even defund the Human Rights Commission all failed.
The Democrat-led Majority has not set a Permanent Fund dividend amount in the budget, nor has it funded education for 2020, although it has forward funded education for 2021.
The amendment to not fund Medicaid elective abortions that passed in the Finance Committee was not challenged by Democrats on the House floor today.
Speaker Bryce Edgmon rolled the more controversial amendments to the bottom of the stack and signaled that he may not get to them all tomorrow.
In the early evening he called for adjournment over the objection of House Minority Leader Lance Pruitt, who wanted to continue working through the amendments. The legislative body had voted on about 65 amendments in all by the end of their work today, but several were postponed by the Speaker, without explanation.