Alaska lawmakers again fail to override governor vetoes
By DAN JOLING Associated Press
July 11, 2019 01:57 PM
State Sen. John. Coghill, a Fairbanks Republican, speaks during a joint session of the Alaska Legislature Thursday, July 11, 2019, in Juneau, Alaska. Lawmakers are meeting for a second day to consider overriding Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget vetoes, but still don’t have the needed 45 votes as about a third of lawmakers continue to meet in Wasilla instead of Juneau.
The Juneau Empire via AP
The Alaska Legislature again failed to override budget vetoes by Gov. Mike Dunleavy as minority members of the Alaska House of Representatives and a handful of state senators were absent.
State lawmakers opposing vetoes say the budget cuts will cripple the University of Alaska and seriously damage the state economy.
About a third of the 60-member legislature was absent or excused on Thursday.
Senate Finance Committee Co-Chairman Bert Stedman called the missing lawmakers “dissidents.”
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He said they’re ignoring their sworn duty and thwarting his right to argue in favor of an override affecting Ketchikan.
Sen. John Coghill directed an emotional floor speech toward his missing colleagues. He said the people of Alaska need their voices in budget deliberations.
The deadline for overturning vetoes is Friday night.