Alaska Legislature ratifies federal virus relief aid plans

    Juneau, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska House abruptly adjourned Tuesday after ratifying plans for using more than $1 billion in federal coronavirus relief aid, one day after reconvening to take up the issue.

    The Senate, which passed its own ratification bill, stayed in session to consider the House version of the measure.

    Senate Rules Chair John Coghill said he was surprised by the House adjournment. His committee planned to hear the House version Tuesday.

    House Speaker Bryce Edgmon said the House adjourned because it was done with its work.

    A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the spending plans prompted lawmakers to return to Juneau Monday.

    Gov. Mike Dunleavy submitted plans for distributing federal aid to the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee under a process set out in law. That process allows a governor to submit to the committee plans to accept and spend additional federal or other program funds on a budget item.

    The committee agreed to more than $1 billion in spending plans despite legal questions about whether use of the process was appropriate for some items.

    The ratification bills were aimed at addressing legal concerns.

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