Legislature hung up on dividend amid budget negotiations


AP Photo/Becky Bohrer

Sens. Bert Stedman, of Sitka (left), and Donny Olson, of Golovin, talk at a meeting of the legislative conference committee in Juneau on May 26. The committee's job is to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions of the state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. The committee includes three members each from the House and Senate.

Setting the amount of this year's Permanent Fund dividend - and deciding on how to pay the cost - continues to hold up agreement on a state spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

The Legislature has been in special session since May 20. The joint House-Senate conference committee that was appointed to settle budget differences has met only a few times, briefly reviewing non-controversial items, with a meeting expected sometime Wednesday.

Most legislators have left Juneau to return home or attend to their personal lives while negotiators focus on the political and financial st...

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