JUNEAU — Alaskans are about to be $1,200 richer.
State legislators late Thursday passed a nearly $1 billion package of energy relief measures, including the hefty "resource rebate" for Alaska residents.
The action capped a long day of tense negotiations between House and Senate leaders to iron out differences in their respective versions of the legislation ahead of a midnight deadline, the scheduled end of the 30-day special session.
The final action came with about three hours to spare as the House of Representatives voted 35-3 to accept some changes the Senate had made.
"I am just real pleased with the relief we've provided," said Rep. Mary Nelson, D-Bethel. "This is a big deal. This is a big night for Alaskans."
Passage of the energy package was the Legislature's second major action of the special session. On Aug. 1, lawmakers approved an exclusive natural gas pipeline license for TransCanada Corp.
Gov. Sarah Palin is almost certain to sign the bill to pay Alaskans the rebate.
It was Palin, after all, who last month proposed that lawmakers pay out a $1,200 resource rebate as a way for the state to share some of its multibillion-dollar oil revenue surplus with Alaska residents.
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