Veto pen pic

The push to make it easier for the state legislators to override vetoes by Alaska’s Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy is steadily moving towards a vote of the full House.

On March 16 House Joint Resolution 15 passed out of its third committee – House Finance – and now heads to the House Rules committee. Two of the six Republicans on the committee, Rep. Gary Knopp-Kenai, and Rep. Bart LeBon-Fairbanks, joined all three Democrats and the non-affiliated Dan Ortiz to pass the bill.

Voting to move bill out of committee

  • Dan Ortiz, not affiliated-Ketchikan
  • Bart LeBon, R-Fairbanks
  • Gary Knopp, R-Kenai
  • Adam Wool, D-Fairbanks
  • Andy Josephson, D-Anchorage
  • Neal Foster, D-Nome

Voting against moving bill

  • Ben Carpenter, R-Kenai
  • Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla
  • Kelly Merrick, R-Anchorage
  • Colleen Sullivan-Lenard, R-Wasilla.

The proposed constitutional amendment 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 majority caucuses in the current Legislature are at odds with Gov. Dunleavy over his efforts to drastically reduce state spending during the current fiscal crisis. On Jan. 24, the Legislature failed to override $74 million that was sliced from Alaska’s budget last summer. 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.

The measure is sponsored by some of the more liberal leaning Democrats in the multi-party majority caucus in the House – Representatives Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins of Sitka and Anchorage Democrats Andy Josephson and Matt Claman.


The bill does not yet have a hearing set in the House Rules Committee. Click here to contact members of the House Rule Committee.

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Bill allowing Legislature easy override of gov. vetoes moves closer to vote of full House

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.