"Nobody from the administration has been to my office to talk about it," Rep. Alan Austerman, R-Kodiak, said. "My representative to the right of me says nobody has been in his office. I see a number of different legislators all shaking their head, saying the same thing. Nobody's been in their office."
The co-chairs knew about the budget request, but Rep. Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage, said it was the administration's job to keep the rest of the Finance Committee informed.
"You and the executive are talking to us as leadership and haven't followed up throughout the building. That is incredible. That's an insult both to me and the people of the state of Alaska," Hawker said.
Gov. Sarah Palin's budget director, Karen Rehfeld, tried to calm the waters.
She told lawmakers the money originally was in the budget for the Alaska Natural Gasline Development Authority. But after Palin named Harry Noah as her in-state gas line director, it made more sense to give the money to the governor's office.
Rehfeld said Noah has been talking to a number of lawmakers about how the state will move forward to build an in-state line.
"It's very unfortunate that he's not had an opportunity to talk with you," Rehfeld said to lawmakers. "But I believe other lawmakers have confidence in what he's laid out."
The intent language in the budget also stirred up emotions. Some lawmakers say it appeared designed to give the project to Enstar Natural Gas.
"The state shouldn't be favoring one corporation over other entities that can do a better line," Gara said.
"We were just surprised. It was all of a sudden. Many people were surprised. Here's a new $9 million solely for a Parks Highway route," said Bill Walker with the Alaska Gasline Port Authority.
"We did not write that language, and we did not approve that language," said Joe Balash with the Department of Natural Resources. "Again it does not reflect the schedule or work plan that we've been discussing with lawmakers for the past few months."
Throughout the day, lawmakers have been mending fences.
"I think there was just late-night confusion at that committee and it happens from time to time and we'll sort through that situation, and move forward to an orderly adjournment Sunday," Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, said.
Stedman offered a fix -- the $9 million will now go into a supplemental spending bill.
It's also speculated that from the accusation that this amendment was designed to give the in-state gas line to Enstar, the intent language is also going to be cleaned up.
What got everyone upset was the wording that the line would go through the "Railbelt region," which some interpreted as the Parks Highway, Enstar's preferred route.
The administration said the language in the amendment was not theirs, and that the money will be spent to analyze what would be the best route.
Contact Rhonda McBride at firstname.lastname@example.org