- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 20, 2020

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Legislature adjourned Wednesday after the Senate gave final approval to plans for using more than $1 billion in federal coronavirus relief aid.

The House adjourned Tuesday after passing a ratification bill, and though the Senate passed an identical bill Tuesday, it still needed to consider the House-passed version to finalize matters.

Lawmakers were spurred by a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the plans. Gov. Mike Dunleavy submitted plans to the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee through a process that allows a governor to submit plans to accept and spend additional federal or other program funds on a budget item. The committee agreed to more than $1 billion in plans despite concerns that some of the items fell outside the scope of what can go through that committee process.

The bill seeks to approve and ratify the actions of Dunleavy and the committee. Attorney Joe Geldhof said his client Eric Forrer, who filed the lawsuit, plans to continue to contest the underlying constitutional issues raised by the case.

The bill passed 19-1 Wednesday, with Sen. Lora Reinbold, who expressed concerns with the process, voting no.



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