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State legislative session continues, with budget vote pending

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JUNEAU, Alaska — The state legislative session continued into overtime after a vote was delayed on a state spending plan.

Senate President Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage, said Sunday that Senate minority leader Berta Gardner wanted to wait to take up the budget. Under legislative rules, a conference committee report on a budget is to sit for at least 24 hours before being voted on, unless two-thirds of each the House and Senate support waiving that rule. Meyer said he wasn't going to fight the minority on that point.

Gardner, D-Anchorage, called it a courtesy to Alaskans to have time to review the budget proposal, which advanced from a conference committee late Saturday.

Also Sunday, House minority leader Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, said negotiations were ongoing for what it would take for members of the Democratic-led minority to support authorizing a draw from savings to cover the costs of government.

The Senate adjourned until Monday, after earlier passing an Interior energy bill the governor considered a must-have. The House canceled its Sunday floor session.

Failure to reach a budget agreement sent the Legislature into overtime. The Legislature had been scheduled to adjourn April 19.

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