Just when you thought the day was over, two more significant stories are ongoing worthy of note. An Alaska Native activist has accused the Wasilla mayor of assault for grabbing her arm without permission at a protest yesterday in Wasilla. You can read more about that here. Also, Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole, who was in Wasilla for the special session on Monday, who then traveled to Juneau on Tuesday when she realized there wasn’t enough legislators there for a quorum, has now officially left the Alaska House Majority. You can read more about that here.
House Finance Committee meeting has been delayed to the call of the chair.
Joint Session is adjourned.
Speaker of the House, Bryce Edgmon, makes final comments about the need to work together, and looking forward to doing so.
Sen Majority Leader Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, because the votes aren’t there, move to adjourn the joint session.
Rep. Johnston, R-Anchorage, our best and brightest will be leaving this state because education programs will not be funded. “We have a billion dollars of federal funds sitting on the table.”
Federal funds must be matched by a certain amount of state funds, but because of the divided legislature, the budget cannot be funded and those funds cannot be obtained.
They’re not going to hold on to that money, their going to give that money to other states that actually have their act together.
Public safety programs and many others are not funded because the capitol budget is not funded, “we are going to fix this,” Johnston said.
Sen Von Imhof, R-Anchorage, Governor has the right to veto, but there is a note on reason for the veto document which is a point of contention.
“Inappropriate use of funds.” Governor is taking away legislature’s power to appropriate money because he disagrees with how funds are being spent.
Governor taking money from the judiciary – “This governor is trying to hamstring the two other branches of government.”
“Unless we have three quarters of this body agree to take money from the CBR (Constitutional Budget Reserve), our last sources of funds, there will be no capitol budget.”
Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, makes the first statement regarding the motion.
Stressed the need to maintain the state’s infrastructure and noted, but declined to address, the lack of funds necessary for matching federal funds for infrastructure.
“Desperate need to get reasonable energy costs,” for Fairbanks area, which is burdened by high energy costs but that item was cut from the budget.
Noted the importance of the Marine Highway, not just for his own district but for the whole state.
Recognizes the executive’s power to approve a final budget, “I accept that,” he said. “My constituents have had their rights stripped from them by a group a dissidents,” who refuse to come to the constitutionally designated seat of government.
He pointed to the various empty seats of the missing legislators. “Dissidents” have striped legislature of their constitutional rights by running away.
It’s not the veto of the Governor, but the dissidents who have stripped me and my constituents of our constitutional rights
“I want my constitutional rights back, my constituents want their constitutional rights back,” he said.
Senate Bill 19, submitted to become bill, notwithstanding the Governor’s vetoes.
Joint Session comes back to order.
Joint Session takes an at ease.
Sen. Tom Begich, D-Anchorage, “These two days have been some of the hardest of my life.”
He talked about growing up in Alaska and working for former House Majority leaders.
“The courage in this room yesterday, spoke to me as an Alaskan,” he said, referring to yesterday’s session which failed to override the governor’s vetoes.
“Will we succeed? We’re not going to make it today, but we have to make it. Alaskans are counting on us to do the right thing,” he said.
Begich thanked Sen. David Wilson, R-Wasilla, for coming to Juneau from the Wasilla session and urged his other colleagues to do the same.
“I don’t want to lose my Alaska.”
Coghill: We do have tools at our hand and I hope that we use those rules. We are voices from every corner of Alaska.
We need to keep going so the people of Alaska don’t feel the legislature has failed them, he said.
“If we spit at each other, we’re not going to be able to build a community,” he said.
Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole, is talking now.
“Sixty members represent Alaska as one, it’s sobering to me that we’re missing a third of our voice,” Coghill said. “We can’t do it without them, and I’m sorry about that. It sets in motion things that I think the majority of us don’t want to happen.”
Saying that a third of his local economy will be devastated by cuts, “We’re going to have a lot of ‘going-out-of-business” sales,” he said. “Moms and dads are putting For Sale signs in the yard, right now.”
“My community is going to be affected in ways they don’t even know yet,” he said. “To the people of Alaska, it looks a little foolish to be arguing over where we meet.”
But we’re still one Alaska, he said, and we need to reach out to others and say it can’t be done without them.
Rep. Andy Josephson, D-Anchorage, cites the portion of the Hippocratic oath which says, “First, do no harm.”
He’s speaking about listening to a biography of former Kentucky representative, Henry Clay, and emphasizes his nickname, “The Great Compromiser.”
Rep. Chuck Kopp, R-Anchorage, makes a statement saying that vetoes may cause “destruction” of the state. “We must change course.”
“Our body (legislature) and our executive, need to come together to change course.”
He is calling for collective action. “I hold no malice to my colleagues,” he said of the legislators in Wasilla.
Kopp said that he would not allow a Permanent Fund Dividend of any amount jeopardize Alaska’s future.
Session has begun, debate has begun despite lacking the 45 votes necessary to override Dunleavy’s vetoes.
House recesses to await the arrival of Senators so the Joint Session can begin.
House comes to order, 24 members present.
Bells have rung calling legislators to House Chambers for Joint Session, scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m.
With no new Senate business to consider, Senate recesses to attend Joint Session in House Chambers. Sen. David Wilson, R-Wasilla, has arrived in Juneau from Wasilla, adding one more legislator to those in Juneau.
The Senate meeting has begun, with 15 senators present to consider Dunleavy’s vetoes.
Day four of the five-day special session in Juneau is about to kick off.
The House and Senate are both meeting this morning separately before coming together for a joint session at 10:30 a.m. The House meeting has been delayed, and Senate meeting is beginning soon.
Read our recap of yesterday’s action here: Legislators use ‘symbolic’ vote to deliver verbal smackdown to vetoes
• Contact reporter Peter Segall at 523-2228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.