Monday, May 20, 2013
Constitutionality, Legality of Proposed Capital Budget Questioned
Does the all-or-nothing language of the proposed capital budget collide with the governor’s right to line item veto?
It's all or nothing. That's what the Senate Finance Committee is saying about its proposed capital budget regarding a $400 million energy project package.
Senator Hollis French says the Senate is trying to fund an energy package for the entire state without subjecting it to the governor's vetoes.
The Parnell administration says the governor never made any threats against energy projects. Instead, they say what Gov. Sean Parnell said was that if Alaska doesn't take steps to increase oil production then spending must be reduced.
Parnell's camp says the governor never threatened any specific project or district.
His administration also says he all ready introduced a comprehensive energy package in December.
Either way, the attorney general says the budget contingencies are completely unconstitutional.
“The injection of the contingency and non-severability language is unabashedly aimed at constraining the constitutional power of the executive branch,” said Attorney General John Burns for the Department of Law.
The last time an issue like this went to the Supreme Court was Tony Knowles vs. Legislative Council in 1999.
As of right now the budget stands at about $2.68 billion.