Governor calls lawmakers for 2nd special session after House budget gambit fails

House Speaker Bryce Edgmon, D-Dillingham, addresses reporters in the Capitol in Juneau on Friday. The House had pushed an operating budget through the night before then adjourned sine die, leaving the Senate few options. Other House Majority Coalition leaders pictured: Chris Tuck, Paul Seaton, Neal Foster and Gabrielle LeDoux. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has called the Alaska Legislature back for a second special session to begin at 1 p.m. today, after lawmakers failed to pass an operating budget.

Without a budget, the state government will shut down in two weeks.

The House called it quits for the first special session Thursday night after pushing through an operating budget on short notice. The Republican minority caucus strongly protested.

This morning, the more conservative Senate adjourned without acting on the House’s budget. Democratic Sen. Berta Gardner got the last word in before Republican Senate President Pete Kelly gaveled out.

“It’s unacceptable to shut down without passing a budget. And we have to keep working at it,” Gardner said.

House leaders said negotiations with the Senate were not going well, and that legal deadlines to adopt a budget compelled their unorthodox route to passing a budget.

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Jeremy Hsieh is the news director at KTOO and 360 North in Juneau. He’s a podcast fiend who has worked in journalism since high school as a reporter, editor and television producer. He’s run Gavel Alaska for 360 North since 2011, and is big on using social media to summarize, unpack and demystify state politics and policymaking. Jeremy is an East Coast transplant who moved to Juneau in 2008. He’s into sleeping late, rock climbing, ultimate frisbee, video games and eating tasty things.