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Tue Jun 8, 2021, 01:41 AM

Without broad agreement on Alaska's state budget, high schoolers could lose scholarships and rural

Without broad agreement on Alaska’s state budget, high schoolers could lose scholarships and rural electrical prices may double

JUNEAU — The Alaska Legislature’s ongoing special session is more than halfway over, and there’s no sign yet of an agreement on the state’s budget for the coming year. If lawmakers don’t pass — and Gov. Mike Dunleavy doesn’t sign — a state budget before July 1, state government will shut down, and with it will shut down a swath of key services.

Lawmakers say that dire scenario isn’t likely, but with lawmakers split over the amount of this year’s Permanent Fund dividend, there’s a growing risk that the budget will pass House and Senate by only a small majority, without a procedural vote known as the “reverse sweep.”

Without the reverse sweep, thousands of Alaska high school students may instantly lose their college scholarships. In rural Alaska, electricity rates could soar. Fishermen could lose access to low-interest loans.

“It’s a really big deal for our membership,” said Bill Stamm, president and CEO of the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, which serves 58 communities, mostly in rural Alaska.

Read more: https://www.adn.com/politics/alaska-legislature/2021/06/07/without-broad-agreement-on-alaskas-state-budget-high-schoolers-could-lose-scholarships-and-rural-electrical-prices-may-double/
(Anchorage Daily News)

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