Alaska lawmakers hope to wrap work soon after 90-day limit

Alaska Senate President Pete Kelly, left, speaks during a committee meeting while Senate Majority Leader Peter Micciche looks on, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, in Juneau, Alaska. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – The Alaska Legislature won’t finish its work by Sunday, but legislative leaders don’t believe they will be in Juneau much longer.

Sunday marks the end of the voter-approved 90-day session. Lawmakers have blown past that deadline in recent years amid debate over how to address Alaska’s budget deficit. The constitution permits sessions of up to 121 days.

Senate President Pete Kelly and House Speaker Bryce Edgmon say this session lacks the acrimony of last year, which was marked by a bitter fight over taxes.

This session, both sides intend to use Alaska Permanent Fund earnings to help pay for government. And, they say, they aren’t that far apart on the budget.

Still unresolved is whether lawmakers will approve a long-term plan for using fund earnings and several other priority bills.

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