Senate blocks effort to override governor’s PFD cut
The Alaska Senate is declining the House’s invitation to meet in a joint session Friday to address Gov. Bill Walker’s budget vetoes — including his cut to limit Alaska Permanent Fund dividend checks to $1,000 this fall.
Senate President Kevin Meyer, a Republican, says it didn’t make sense to accept the invitation. Most senators are not in Juneau because the Senate is holding committee meetings in Southcentral, and there likely wouldn’t be enough votes to override any of Walker’s vetoes.
“We just didn’t see that the number was there,” said Meyer. “And that number was too large to get over, so why fly everybody down to Juneau, take up a session — take up a joint session — which probably would take quite a while? Again, knowing all the House members are up for election, they’re going to want to say something on all the different vetoes.”
House Majority Leader Rep. Charisse Millett said Thursday evening she’s still waiting to receive some sort of official indication that the Senate is declining the House’s invitation. The Anchorage Republican says she hopes to meet with Meyer Friday morning.
When asked whether the House will adjourn Friday, Millett replied, “I don’t know what that leaves for us to do in Juneau,” referring to the Senate’s opposition to a review of Walker’s vetoes.
Meyer says if the House adjourns, the Senate will likely follow suit — but his body will wait until next week to make that decision.
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