Operating budget fails House after marathon weekend session - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, May 13, 2021
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Operating budget fails House after marathon weekend session

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Due to a baby ready to be born in one legislator’s family, and a sick child in another member’s family, the House didn’t get the budget passed on Sunday.

The House leadership was trying to rush the budget through because Rep. Grier Hopkins had to get to Anchorage for the arrival of his child, and Rep. Zack Fields had to return to Anchorage due to a sick child.

There went the majority.

But Sunday at least ended in with a path forward in the Alaska House of Representatives, as the Operating Budget was sent back to the Rules Committee. Without the two men who left for Anchorage, the majority doesn’t have the votes to pass the budget, and won’t have a majority for a few days. On Monday, the House will instead meet in joint session with the Senate to hear remarks from U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan.

[Read: Republican input not welcome, as Democrats cut off amendments midstream]

Sunday was high drama, but much of it behind caucus doors.

In a procedural move that was very much “in the weeds,” the House majority voted earlier on Sunday to refused to allow HB 69, the Operating Budget, to go back to “second reading,” to help Speaker Louise Stutes stop the amendment process in its tracks, with over 30 amendments thrown in the trash, something liberal members like Rep. Ivy Spohnholz and other hard-left members of the majority wanted to do, since too many of the Republican amendments were passing.

Outtakes from Saturday’s House floor session that show the frustration Speaker Stutes was experiencing.

The fragile Democrat-dominated majority had made a mess of things over the weekend and had forgotten, it appears, that it would need the Republican votes to get into the Constitutional Budget Reserve and to sweep funds left over from last year into this year’s budget. Throwing out their amendments before they were even offered on the floor was the worst strategy possible.

Rep. Sara Rasmussen and Rep. Josiah Patkotak finally approached the dais on Sunday and appeared to break with the Democrats to tell Speaker Stutes they could not vote in favor of a budget that had disenfranchised so many representatives from being able to make their amendment motions.

Rep. Bryce Edgmon, the immediate past speaker, also approached the dais three times and appeared to warn Stutes she needed to adjourn because she was losing control of the House. Finally, the budget was sent back to the Rules Committee. When it comes back to the House Floor, the Republicans will be able to offer their amendments.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Well that is what is the one thing predictable when Leaders follow the will of man. There is choas and disorder.
    The legislature will be more ordered if the leaders had their eyes on the One who lived perfectly.
    These leaders they like it that way, they like chaos and drama. Hahahaha. If they didn’t they will had set their own way aside.

  • Its very nice of those two parents wanted to do their parental duty be at home for their children sake. But! They chose a position where unfortunate self sacrifices are expected to be made on the Public’s behalf— These legislators are part of a team leading 700,000 peoples lives, they can’t afford being absent. U.S. Senator Ted Stevens understood this responsibility. All civic public servents made self sacrifices for love of their country they served. This is why past leaders chose their spouse very thoughtfully marrying strong, independent, intelligent spouses to anchor the family down all on their own. This is why President Kennedy chose Jacqueline over a Marilyn.

  • Useless. They can play beer pong and footsie and do anything except the job that they were sent to Juneau to do. Hopkins and Fields can just stay in Anchorage-or go to Portland where they belong. If the progressives won’t work with the rest-and they won’t because all they want is power-then shut it down. Shut down everything and lay it in Stutes and Sponhotz laps. Progressives destroy everything that generations of hard working people create. They need to go.

  • Flashback to February 5 2021, when “The Hill” called Alaska’s legislature “America’s most dysfunctional legislative body.” I’m guessing they had no idea how bad it really was shaping up to be. Thanks Speaker Stutes and crew for validating the Hill’s headline. What a great legacy you’ll leave behind. Shame of it is there are hard working people in both bodies and they get coloured by your incompetence. Do Alaska and her people a favor and turn the gavel over to someone who can actually do the job.

  • Sounds like ole Bryce boy got scared.

  • I’m tired of the legislators’ power plays. They need to do what is best for Alaskans and work together to get the budget done!

  • This is what we get and deserve. The non educated voter needs to be taxed and put on a short leash to see how they like what they voted for. Not a for the people group in Juneau just a power hungry I know best group.

  • This is what happens when petulant children are in charge.

  • You better shut down this meeting.
    We’re not winning or controlling, these crazy normal thinking Republicans.
    We better go run and Hide were scared. What happened to all the Sheep.

  • Is there anything that they actually do well besides partying and stealing PFDs?
    And is there any reason to still bother voting if enough “Republican” psychopathic liars immediately switch parties after winning election, and giving the Democrats continued control?

  • If no budget actually meant no money spent, then it would be a great thing for these mediocrities to be idle. Too many people think that bureaucrats spending money is a good thing. There are far too many people suckling at the government teat who vote their bank account, such as all the useless “government employees”.

    Those “government employees” are simply welfare cases who raid everyone else’s paychecks, and they should be humble and thankful to the people who actually work and give them part of their hard work. They should not be these screeching harpies that tell everyone how great it is to pay taxes, how they are essential while the rest of us are not.

    Also, these politicians and their bureaucrat counterparts should not be giving us orders upon penalty of police assault, prison and penury. They are not to be telling us we should shut up and obey or face their wrath. Since when do we take orders from politicians in America? Since their jobs are guaranteed by election fraud and they face no consequences at the ballot box? Furthermore, all political positions should be volunteer unpaid service. Any politician getting rich in office should be getting the fine tooth comb treatment for the rest of their lives.

    The parasites have drained the host dry and will not stop until we are all dead. These are garbage level proglodyte communist morons, whether they know it or not.

  • This is what happens when Democrats (even the ones with an “R” after their names) run things.
    .
    These clowns are an embarrassment.
    .
    Stutes is incompetent. She should be removed and replaced.

  • KENAIMIKE, progressives come with both a ‘D’ and ‘R’. Their goal is not to govern but to control.

  • ANOTHER ALASKAN, two types of creatures exist in nature: producers and parasites. As human beings we alone have the choice to emulate the honeybee or the leech.

  • About time the conservatives in the legislature
    started acting conservative.

  • All the useless RINO’s, need to be fired, I thought that happened but looks like more women desided to become democrats and screw their voters and the state.

  • Not only are they not very bright or capable..but.. they also hate you.

    Remember that.

  • The Stutes wanted the leadership job but current events show The Stutes is far from a leader.
    .
    Ranked-choice voting assures The Stutes remains in office, leaving one with the forlorn hope that growing dissension among the ranks leads to someone usurping The Stutes (and its mask).
    .
    … sooner rather than later.

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