Republicans let bill advance that eases veto override of Alaska governor

    The more liberal members of the House Judiciary Committee voted to advance legislation to make it easier for the Legislature to override a governor’s veto. Representatives Matt Claman, D-Anchorage, Harriet Drummond, D-Anchorage, and Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, all voted in favor of the measure on Feb. 12. Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, was the lone dissenting vote.

    Eastman’s fellow Republicans, Representatives Gabrielle LeDoux, R-Anchorage, Chuck Kopp, R-Anchorage and Laddie Shaw, R-Anchorage had “no recommendation” votes on the measure so it easily passed out of the Judiciary Committee with a 3-1 vote.

    House Joint Resolution 15 would reduce the required number of votes for a veto override from three-fourths to just two-thirds of the full body of the Legislature. The resolution was sent to the Finance Committee where it does not yet have a hearing set.

    On Jan. 24, the Republican controlled Legislature failed to override $74 million that was sliced from Alaska’s budget last summer by Gov. Mike Dunleavy in an effort to reduce state spending during the current fiscal crisis. The override vote failed 37-20. Forty-five votes were required for the override to succeed. If HJR 15 passes, only 40 votes would be needed to override the governor.

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