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Governor Calls Legislature into Special Session
More time needed for pension, workers' compensation reform


May 09, 2005

With only one day left in the legislative session, Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski called the Legislature into special session to reach agreement on legislation addressing a shortfall in the state's PERS/TRS system and rising workers' compensation costs. More time may be needed to reach agreement, the governor said.

The Public Employees Retirement System and Teachers Retirement System is facing a $5.7 billion fund shortfall. Senate Bill 141, which proposed a new Tier IV with a portable retirement investment account similar to a 401(k), is in a House and Senate Conference Committee.

In addition, the state's workers' compensation rates are second highest in the nation. Governor Murkowski called on lawmakers to approve a plan that begins to arrest the rising costs to small businesses. That bill, SB130, passed the House and is now being transmitted to the Senate. It is also expected to go to a conference committee.

"I am satisfied the Legislature is making good progress toward a resolution to these two important bills. I am convinced that with more time beyond our adjournment date, an acceptable solution can be reached," Murkowski said.

The two bills are included in the special session proclamation along with SB46, the state's capital budget, and HB1, a bill providing for the base student allocation used in the foundation formula.

The governor also reiterated his support for a strong capital budget that meets the infrastructure and education needs of the state and prepares Alaska for construction of a natural gas pipeline.

Senate President Ben Stevens and House Speaker John Harris appeared with the governor and agreed a special session will maintain the momentum on these vital pieces of legislation.

The special session will begin at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.


Source of News:

Office of the Governor
Web Site


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