Gov. Mike Dunleavy calls the Legislature into a Wasilla special session

Gov. Dunleavy announces his intention to call a special session. (KTUU)
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Gov. Mike Dunleavy has called the Legislature into a second special session in Wasilla to determine the size of the 2019 Permanent Fund dividend.

The session will begin July 8 and take place at Wasilla Middle School. Some lawmakers have raised logistical concerns with holding a legislative session inside a school.

Jessica Geary, the executive director of the Legislative Affairs Agency, said it would take roughly a month to prepare a site away from Juneau for a legislative session.

House Speaker Bryce Edgmon, I-Dillingham, previously said it was a "possibility" that the Legislature would meet in Wasilla, immediately gavel out and then meet again in another location.

Senate President Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, said Thursday that that idea remained "a subject of discussion" in the Senate.

“Today I am calling a second special session in Wasilla so lawmakers can complete their work and follow the law,” said Dunleavy in a statement. “At this point, a change in venue is necessary to refocus the conversation and remind lawmakers about the people and their PFD. Once the issue of the PFD is solved, these other budgetary issues will fall into place quickly.”

The call of the special session is limited to discussing a full Permanent Fund dividend transferred from the Earnings Reserve Account, the account that collects earnings from the Permanent Fund.

Giessel said Alaskans would receive a PFD in 2019 but a focus for the Legislature was passing a proposed $1.6 billion capital budget.

The budget funds maintenance and construction projects across Alaska. If the budget isn't passed by the end of July, the State stands to lose almost $1 billion in federal matching grants for highways and airports.

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