JUNEAU – Today, a rump minority of the legislature decided not to return to work in Alaska’s capital city of Juneau to convene the second special session. In a recent legal opinion, the Legislature’s nonpartisan attorneys have concluded that according to the state’s Constitution, this special session is held constitutionally in Juneau. Senator Tom Begich (D-Anchorage) issued the following statement:
“We do not work for the Governor. We represent the people of Alaska. It is unfortunate and disappointing that some lawmakers did not show up for work today. The Governor has created an unnecessary crisis when we should be focused on the future of this state and overriding these unnecessary vetoes. We must work together across caucus and party lines to do what is best for Alaska. Those of us who have come to Juneau, agree that the vetoes should be overridden. Our Capitol has the ability to conduct and conclude business cost-efficiently and is accessible to the statewide public.
“These vetoes by Governor Dunleavy are devastating to all Alaskans and our economy. I call upon every lawmaker to come to Juneau, put politics aside, and work with us to provide hope and opportunities for every Alaskan to succeed. If not, it is almost certain that Alaska will spiral into another avoidable recession.
“There are three branches of government: the Executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary. The leadership of our branch has issued a call to meet in Juneau, and we should respect the call of our leaders. Juneau is the location we are constitutionally obligated to have this special session.”