House Republicans disavow attempt to swear in GOP member
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - House Republicans are disavowing an attempt by some of their members to swear in a new legislator.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy appointed Sharon Jackson to replace Nancy Dahlstrom, who was elected in November to an Eagle River-area seat but became Dunleavy's corrections commissioner before the session started.
Jackson was not sworn in with other lawmakers Tuesday amid bickering over the proper procedure for accepting her nomination. The House has no organized majority in place.
On Wednesday, a Facebook video showed Reps. David Eastman and Josh Revak attending a purported swearing-in ceremony at the Juneau courthouse conducted by a deputy clerk.
But a spokesperson for the Alaska Court System says a deputy clerk has no authority to make someone a legislator.
Rep. David Talerico said House Republicans expect an official swearing in on the House floor in accordance with state law and the constitution, referring to Jackson as a representative-appointee.
The House never met Wednesday as planned. With no organization, members hoped to name a temporary House Speaker, so the House can have limited authority.
The temporary speaker means the House can formally receive messages from the Senate and Dunleavy, but it cannot establish committees.
It also means the House can hold joint sessions with the Senate, which is important for Dunleavy’s upcoming State of the State.
Steve Quinn contributed information to this story.
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