Governor Parnell Slams Federal Government
Governor won't expand Medicaid, supports nullifying new gun laws
ANCHORAGE - Republican Governor Sean Parnell sounded a little bit like a candidate for the U.S. Senate during a press availability in Juneau Wednesday.
The governor recently returned from a National Governor's Association meeting in Washington, D.C., and had nothing good to say about the budget crisis and the partisan gridlock.
Based on a meeting with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Parnell said he will not ask the Legislature to expand the Medicaid population in Alaska, for fear that the federal government would fail to pick up its share of the cost.
"We’ve got the president and congress blaming each other, no trust between the parties and they appear to have literally no way to stop careening from crisis to crisis. And Washington is not only broken, but it looks like the federal government is broke."
The governor's term is up next year, as is the term of U.S. Senator Mark Begich, a Democrat.
Parnell also said he supports a bill that would declare any new federal gun laws null and void in Alaska.
The governor declined to say whether he would authorize state troopers to arrest federal agents or authorize the Department of Law to defend Alaskans who are charged with violating the federal laws.
Parnell, a lawyer, also denied that the bill automatically violates the clause of the U.S. Constitution dictating that federal laws trump state laws.
"I'm assuming that the underlying law is not constitutional, therefore the supremacy clause would not even kick in; it would not be an issue at that point. So there are ways that that bill would be constitutional."