Alaska Legislature convenes special session on taxes, crime

JUNEAU — The Alaska Legislature has convened its fourth special session this year.

Gov. Bill Walker has asked lawmakers to consider a wage tax and to respond to public outcry over crime by revising a sweeping criminal justice overhaul passed last year.

Walker sees new revenue as a key component of a plan to address a multibillion-dollar state deficit that has persisted amid low oil prices. But he faces a challenge in selling skeptical lawmakers on his tax proposal.

Lawmakers opened the session Monday in Juneau.

House and Senate committees planned to get to work immediately, with Monday committee hearings focused on crime.

The week’s calendar also includes meetings unrelated to the session topics, such as an inaugural meeting of a new working group on oil and gas taxes.