Senate Republicans on Thursday fell short of the signatures needed on a petition calling for an extraordinary session of the legislature. Lawmakers wanted the Senate to take up funding bills for schools and local governments, which were passed by the Assembly last month.
Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) says the state can't afford to wait for lawmakers and the Governor to agree on a complete budget package. The Juneau Republican says there's still too much ground to cover on the state budget, and passing the funding package could prevent property taxes from seeing a several hundred dollar increase later this year.
Fitzgerald questions why Democrats rejected the special vote, when the Assembly-approved measures included funding levels already requested by the Governor. He says they should be able to pass a portion of the state budget that all lawmakers already agree on.
Governor Doyle has said he doesn't want to take up the budget in pieces.