Superior Court Confirms Anchorage Mayor’s Veto Power

Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan
Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan

The Superior court of Alaska has ruled that Mayor Dan Sullivan’s Veto of the Anchorage Assembly’s ordinance putting a referendum repealing a controversial labor law, also known as The Responsible Labor Act or AO-37 on the April ballot shall stand.
Municipal Attorney Dennis Wheeler argued the case in Superior Court. He says he is not surprised by the decision.

“Prior Supreme Court case said that the Mayor’s veto power is sweeping and that unless there’s an express exception written into the charter, the Mayor can veto ordinances and we made that argument to this court and this court relying on that prior decision said that yes, the Mayor’s veto is sweeping and there’s no exception for moving a referendum.”

Assembly and Municipal attorneys disagreed whether the veto was legal and the issue was sent to court in December. In another case, The Supreme Court of Alaska ruled last week that the referendum to repeal the labor law can go forward. The Mayor contends that voter turnout will be larger at the later date and that will prevent special interest groups from influencing election results. The referendum could be scheduled for a special or regular election.