Lawmakers in the state House have failed to pass the Senate version of a bill funding the first phase of the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority’s proposed bridge.
In a vote at about 9 p.m. Wednesday, 20 representatives voted to concur with the Senate bill, but 18 voted against it -- causing the measure to fail, with a majority of 21 House votes necessary for passage. Two House members, Reps. Lora Reinbold (R-Wasilla) and Rep. Bob Lynn (R-Anchorage), were excused from the vote.
House Speaker Mike Chenault named three lawmakers -- Reps. Alan Austerman (R-Kodiak), Bill Stoltze (R-Chugiak) and Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage) -- to a conference committee, intended to work out differences in the bill with the Senate.
Despite the Senate’s passage of the KABATA funding package earlier this month, lawmakers have questioned moves this year to transition the project from a public-private partnership to a state-funded project backed by federal grants and infrastructure loans.
Channel 2’s Adam Pinsker contributed information to this story.