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Alaska lawmakers end their session with late bills passing on energy, education

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska lawmakers ended their four-month session early Thursday with a flurry of last-minute bills addressing priority issues such as energy and correspondence school programs that are a focus of ongoing litigation.

Bickering over the budget was muted compared with prior years, and Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy and legislative leaders claimed successes in a session that was not without drama, marked by twofailed attempts to override Dunleavy vetoes of additional public school funding.


Education was billed as a top priority, and lawmakers in the bipartisan-led Senate and Republican-led House overwhelmingly passed a compromise package that included a permanent $175 million increase in aid to districts through a school funding formula. But Dunleavy, who had sought charter school provisions and a three-year teacher bonus experiment that divided lawmakers, vetoed the measure.

A veto override attempt failed, along with efforts in the House to cobble together another package. Ultimately, lawmakers settled for pieces including a one-time, $175 million boost to the foundation formula in the budget and additional funding intended to help K-3 students with reading.

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