House majority gives LeDoux the boot after budget vote
State Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, R-Anchorage, has been removed from the House majority, a caucus spokesman said Friday afternoon following the floor session.
A caucus member is often obligated to vote with the group on budget issues. But on Friday, LeDoux voted to support the Senate’s rewrite of the operating budget rather than support the House’s version.
The remaining members of the House majority, plus the 15-member minority, opposed the changes that came with a $3,000 Permanent Fund dividend appropriation.
Historically, when a lawmaker bucks its caucus on budget votes, that person gets removed from the group. That generally means being stripped of committee positions, a reduced staff and being re-assigned to a smaller office.
House Speaker Rep. Bryce Edgmon, I-Dillingham, has made no announcement about LeDoux’s status yet.
LeDoux said she sided with the Senate’s budget rewrite because it included a dividend that met the statutory requirement, which is an estimated $3,000.
“I bear responsibility for my actions,” LeDoux said in an interview afterward, “and I fully expect those consequences.”
She has long been a proponent of a full dividend, voting last year for a full payment. When the final budget vote did not include the maximum sum, she voted no on the budget.
LeDoux said Friday’s vote reflects the wishes of her East Anchorage constituents.
“They didn’t send me down here so that I could have a nice office with a view,” she said. “I’ll probably end up in the dungeon now. I think I voted the way they would have wanted me to vote.”
Edgmon said in a prepared email statement:
"The Alaska House Majority remains committed to developing a streamlined budget that protects core services and pays Alaskans a sustainable dividend. We look forward to working through the details of the budget in a conference committee with the Senate. Getting this critical task right is bigger than any one member of the Legislature.”
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