22 members who were absent will have another chance to represent their districts on crucial vote
JUNEAU – Today during a joint floor session of the House and Senate, on a 37-to-1 vote, the Alaska Legislature voted overwhelmingly to reject the governor’s damaging, poorly vetted budget vetoes.
With 22 members absent, the vote, unfortunately, failed to meet the constitutional 45-vote threshold required to override vetoes.
Legislators who were not in attendance will, however, have another opportunity to represent their districts by voting on this crucial issue during a joint floor session that is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
Alaska is on the brink of a self-inflicted economic recession as a result of the $444 million in vetoes. Among the many impacts of the 182 vetoes, the University of Alaska could lose accreditation and be forced to close a campus. Payments that amount to more than 25 percent of income for hundreds of our most financially vulnerable elders have been suspended. Grants that pay service organizations to help dying people bathe, cook, and get to medical appointments have been suspended. All of those decisions could be reversed by the Legislature.
“The Legislature can still act to restore essential services, and we are committed to fighting until this is resolved,” House Speaker Bryce Edgmon (I-Dillingham) said. “These are not partisan decisions: Democrats, Republicans, and Independents from the House and Senate voted together today. We must stand together for Alaska.”