House passes a ‘play it safe’ budget, but no dividend yet

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After hours of amendments, most of which failed, the Alaska House of Representatives approved a $4.5 billion operating budget. The document now goes to the Senate for its consideration and vote, then will land in a conference committee before heading to the governor’s desk.

The operating budget, which passed largely along caucus lines, lacks an appropriation for the Permanent Fund dividend, and also lacks a complete funding source, as there were not enough votes to dip into the Constitutional Budget Reserve.

As the Democrat-led majority did last year, they severed the dividend from the rest of the budget to take up that item separately.

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