Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - House Speaker Bryce Edgmon said another vote will be held by the end of the month.
The house voted 29-7 to approve a capital budget, Senate Bill 2002. However, they need a three-quarter supermajority to fund the program out of the Constitutional Budget Reserve.
The capital budget will help Alaska secure nearly $1 billion in federal highway funding and funding for construction projects.
“This bill not passing is having immediate impacts, and Alaskans are understandably nervous and angry as they witness continuing gridlock in Juneau. Jobs, scholarships, and vital services are all on the line,” Speaker Edgemon said. “We are not giving up hope. We thank everyone who voted for the capital budget and for the growing commitment to find compromise on this issue and the many other challenges ahead.”
S.B. 2002 has far-reaching implications well beyond the potential loss of federal highway funding. The bill also restores programs that provide university scholarships to 12,000 students, keep rural energy rates down through Power Cost Equalization, finance state efforts to prevent oil spills, and provide life-saving vaccines to Alaskans.
The governor took unprecedented action to zero out all of those programs, as well as funding for organizations that help domestic violence victims and homeless shelters.
Edgmon said the new crime bill also went unfunded. Juneau rep. Andy Story and Sara Hannan both voted in favor of the capital budget.