How can a vote fail with such a clear majority?
Well, the capital budget is funded using the Constitutional Budget Reserve (CBR) which requires 3/4 of all legislators to support it. In the House where we have 40 members, that means we need 30 people to vote to use those funds.
A 3/4 vote is also required for the annual "reverse sweep" of funds back into designated funds like the Power Cost Equalization (PCE) fund, which helps to keep energy affordable for 84,000 Alaskans annually, the Higher Education fund and dozens of others funds.
Anchorage Daily News did a good story
explaining the reverse sweep and what the impact of failing to do so would look like. The "reverse sweeps" from the CBR happens annually and requires a 3/4 vote. So far we have only gotten to 29 representatives--one vote short--of that threshold.
The capital budget isn't a partisan issue and has consequences for about 15,000 working Alaskans. Neither is the "reverse sweep." Republicans, Democrats and Independents have all voted for it historically.
The Capital budget can come up for one last vote. We need to work on finding the 30th vote to fund the capital budget.
How you can help
Please thank those who have voted in support of the capital budget. You can also write those who voted against it or who are absent and encourage them to support the capital budget and the reverse sweep so we can keep Alaskans working, going to college, distributing vaccines and all of the other important business of life made possible by this year's capital budget.