Dunleavy to lawmakers: Advance crime, amendment bills or 'no deal'
While the Alaska House of Representatives began debating budget amendments Tuesday, Gov. Mike Dunleavy said lawmakers need to pass crime bills, advance proposals for three constitutional amendments and offer more spending cuts — or there is no deal.
Dunleavy didn’t issue any specific veto or special session threats, but he said he will execute options afforded to him.
“I’m not going to be afraid to use any of the tools that the constitution has provided the executive,” he said. “We can veto line items, we can veto the budget, we can call special sessions. We can use whatever tools we have.”
Dunleavy is fresh off two weeks of meetings with constituents throughout the state, most recently in Ketchikan on Monday. He remains steadfast on his priorities and restated his “no deal,” position originally posted last week on his social media pages.
Dunleavy said he would like to see more progress from the House on the following constitutional amendment proposals:
“Quite frankly, it’s a little concerning that in the House, these constitutional amendments are not moving,” Dunleavy said. “I know the constituents would love an opportunity to weight in to help us fix this fiscal issue. We’re going to continue to press the House to move these constitutional amendments through the process to give the people of Alaska an opportunity to vote on them.”
But Dunleavy is willing to thwart voters’ voices from a 2006 ballot initiative — the state’s Ocean Ranger program, which places inspectors on cruise ships to look for environmental violations. It’s funded with a $4 passenger fee and Dunleavy has bills in both the House and the Senate to repeal the program.
The House bill is not getting any support, but the House Finance Committee did remove funding for the program last week when it produced its final version. Additionally, Dunleavy said, “There are a lot of people that don’t believe it works.”
The House could still restore the funding as it closes out the budget this week.
Dunleavy also said he would like to see more movement from the House on crime bills. House Judiciary Chair Matt Claman, D-Anchorage, said crime bills have been and will continued to be heard. Claman said his normal practice is to stop hearing bills after day 90, which would be Sunday. However, he said public safety bills will continue being heard after Sunday.
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