Department of Law Issues Opinion Regarding Senate Budget Bill Language

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Members of the House Finance Committee met in Anchorage Friday to hear the State Department of Law’s opinion regarding language in a Senate budget bill.  As it stands now, the state legislature is still in special session because of an impasse between the Senate and Governor Sean Parnell over language which in essence forces the governor to pass all or none of the one hundred and five capital projects in the bill.

State Attorney General John Burns told the finance committee members that section 36 – the contingency clause of the bill is, in his opinion, unconstitutional.

Burns told the panel that the Senate’s approach to the capital projects is a first in Alaska’s history.  He also warned the committee members that another clause in the bill, section 37, should be removed from the bill.

Finance committee member Anna Fairclough said after the session adjourned that the focus on the validity of energy projects coming out of the debate is not the real issue.

Representative Les Gara says he’d like to see the governor sit down with Senate members and assure them that their projects won’t be vetoed.

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