Alaska lawmakers face looming deadline, big decisions

FILE - This April 2, 2012, file photo shows the front entrance of the Alaska state Capitol building in Juneau, Alaska. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)

By BECKY BOHRER
Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Lawmakers face another looming deadline to complete their work and big decisions on the session’s thorniest issues.

Wednesday marks the 121st day of the regular session, the constitutional limit, though a 10-day extension is allowable. Lawmakers last month blew past a 90-day voter-approved session limit.

Legislative leaders have targeted Wednesday to finish but lawmakers must agree on the budget, a dividend amount for residents this year from Alaska’s oil-wealth fund and a sprawling crime bill.

House Speaker Bryce Edgmon said Friday he was “somewhat optimistic” the Wednesday deadline was achievable.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy also plays a role. He has supported a full dividend payout but also called for matching spending with revenues. He has said he has not ruled out vetoes or calling a special session to help meet his goals.

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