After essentially throwing his hands up in the air in frustration at the Legislature for making it past the session’s halfway mark and well into the layoff warning and government shutdown territory with little to show for it, Gov. Bill Walker is rolling out his compromise deal to the fiscal crisis today.
Walker announced his plans in a pretty scathing statement on Friday, the day after layoff warnings went out and he cryptically said he’d give the Legislature another day before acting. The Legislature didn’t–the House pointed fingers during a floor session and the Senate Majority canceled its news conference–so Walker announced he’d step in.
Legislators are getting briefings on the package today and the administration is being tight-lipped about the plan for now.
The House Majority should have started its briefing around 10:30 a.m. this morning and the House Minority should be getting its briefing around 2:30 p.m., according to folks I’ve chatted with (though at least one legislator seemed to be surprised there were such meetings today).
Rumors are circulating that a sales tax could be part of the plan, but a careful reading of the statement from last week suggests otherwise. In the statement he said he’s building his “compromise package from concepts currently on the table.”
Since the whole gridlock is almost entirely about new revenue, the potential revenue bills that have been introduced include: oil and gas taxes, the income tax, the motor fuel tax, the permanent fund restructure and Sen. Click Bishop’s education raffle. No one has introduced a sales tax this session.
So it’s probably not a dramatic overhaul, but perhaps a path forward and, hey, maybe there’s hope for that education raffle.