They can’t even agree on when they should meet, let alone what they should do with the fiscal crisis.
Isn’t doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results the definition of something?
Ah, right, Alaska politics.
It looked like the session was going to end without a dividend but upon further review, one legislator decided that a $1,100 PFD is better than none.
The same turn also happened in the Senate where a slate of amendments aimed at poking holes in vaccine requirements initially sunk the bill before it was revived with the hope that the House could salvage it. It turns out those hopes were misplaced.
In his veto, the governor’s administration claimed that the gap could be made up with federal funds and then in an editorial later claimed that no public health nurses would be laid off due to the vetoes. What he didn’t mention was agency has extreme staffing problems with as much as a 30% vacancy rate when the pandemic started, according to the budget documents.
“Something is not a compromise merely because one says it’s a compromise,” said Rep. Andy Josephson, D-Anchorage.
It’s likely that this whole thing could end up in the court again while Alaskans are left waiting for resolution.
“This is way beneath Alaskan standards,” said House Speaker Louise Stutes.
“There’s certainly a lot to talk about if needed but if not that’s fine,” Wool said before the committee held the vote on the measure.
In a deeply wonky combination of last-minute maneuvering and a recent ruling, there would have been nearly twice as much money available for this year’s dividend. It would have been $1,025 instead of the $525. Right now, though, it’s zero.