Dunleavy says Legislature may be called back June 23, unless changes are made by tomorrow

    Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy. (KINY)

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy said he is "prepared" to call the Legislature back into session on June 23 if they do not craft a full budget by Friday evening, the last day of the special session.

      The legislature finished passing a state spending plan on Wednesday but did not include funding for all programs and funds.

      They also failed to change the effective date clause, meaning the budget would not go into effect before the next fiscal year on July 1, but later.

      "We're prepared to call them back because we need a budget to run the government, and I think we all understand that," said Dunleavy in a press conference Thursday afternoon.

      He added that he would call them back into Juneau to "craft and pass a functioning budget, which really is the only constitutional duty that the legislature has. "

      Layoff notices were sent out to state workers Thursday before the press conference, according to Dunleavy.

      "If the legislature fails to come to agreements on some of these issues, and a functional budget is not sent to me--actual layoffs will need to occur and a number of programs cease to function," Dunleavy said.

      Sen. Jesse Kiehl commented on social media that Dunleavy's action was "The nastiest tantrum I've seen -- and I work in politics."

     Said Kiehl, "The governor just sent unnecessary pink slips to thousands of state employees. Yes, the state budget passed yesterday. Today Dunleavy blindsided Alaskans. He tossed out the way Alaska has read the law since 1979, so the budget doesn't count."

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