2023 Session Update

Date: March 16, 2023

We are on day 56 of the statutory 90 day session.

We are on day 56 of the statutory 90 day session. This year the house has the operating budget first so much of the timing of session depends on the house budget process this year. We expect the House finance committee to finish hearing budget subcommittee closeouts this week. Beyond the subcommittee closeouts the house finance committee has some informational hearings are scheduled but it is unclear when they will take up the full budget. As it stands, the budget recommended by the subcommittees will propose deficit spending if the legislature appropriates a full statutory dividend. At this time there are multiple proposals on how to reform the PFD being considered in the House ways and means Committee.


The Senate has prioritized education funding in the form of increasing the base student allocation (BSA) and consideration of a defined benefits retirement system for state employees. There are rumors of pending legislation in the senate designed to increase state revenue such as increased industry taxes or an income tax. Some conservative members in the Senate are advocating for a spending cap, a concept that is also live and being considered in the house. From a big picture perspective the Senate is advancing increased spending while the House is considering formulas (bills and constitutional amendments) to “right-size” the PFD.


Personal legislation has been of low priority this year and will likely become even less important towards the end of the 90 day session. In most years personal legislation gains in priority from the middle of march until the end of session. Leaders in the legislature in both bodies are playing up the importance of a durable solution on the PFD, they see personal legislation as a threat to that effort. The Governor has been fairly quiet this session but he is rumored to share the legislative leadership’s perspective and desire for a durable resolution to the PFD. The actions of his legislative team thus far give support to rumors that his primary interest is a comprehensive and durable end-game budget negotiation that is based on a forward looking fiscal plan.

Related Content: Small Business News | Alaska

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