Back to Juneau: Dunleavy changes venue - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, October 23, 2019
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Back to Juneau: Dunleavy changes venue

In a major olive branch to the House and Senate Majorities, Gov. Michael Dunleavy changed the location of the second Special Session from Wasilla to Juneau to break the gridlock that has taken hold of the Legislature, after the presiding officers refused to honor Dunleavy’s original location for the Special Session.

Dunleavy had called for the Special Session to meet in Wasilla starting on July 8 for the purpose of funding the 2019 Permanent Fund dividend.

But only conservative Republicans went to Wasilla. The rest of the Republicans and Democrats went to Juneau, where they have been unable to conduct business.

Dunleavy has also has expanded topics for the Special Session to include several items on the capital budget, including those that require federal matching funds.

Lawmakers have been at odds over who has the authority to name the location of the Special Session. Since the governor called the session, Alaska law gives him the authority to say where it will be held. Lawmakers could have met in Wasilla for one day and then adjourned themselves to Juneau, but Sen. Cathy Giessel and House Speaker Bryce Edgmon refused to meet in Wasilla. Edgmon cited security concerns, which was a prescient notion after anarchists took over a legislative meeting held by the Republican minority in Wasilla last week.

“In my daily discussions with legislators – those both in Wasilla and in Juneau – many have acknowledged that real progress needs to be made on the capital budget and that work cannot be completed until the legislature is meeting in one location,” Dunleavy said. “With sensitivity to the time that remains to capture federal funds, the Legislature will be able to quickly consider the capital budget, the PFD, and conclude this work for the people of Alaska before the end of July.”

Speaker Bryce Edgmon expressed his satisfaction at the governor’s concession:

“Alaskans deserve an end to the political turmoil that is disrupting daily life for so many people across our state and causing uncertainty in our economy and communities,” Edgmon said. “The only way we will get through this is if we set aside our disagreements and come together. This is a significant and encouraging step in that direction.”

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • DUNLEAVY STRONG!!!!!!

  • Alaskans deserve legislatures that aren’t afraid to do their job where the average Alaskan Citizen has access to them, not hid away in Juneau where the working people can’t afford to travel to. Now if we could just get these thieves to stop breaking the law and quite stealing our PFD.

    • Ed, lots of people I know here in Fairbanks are working people. All of them cannot take off a full week of work to drive down to Wasilla to assist to a special session. I haven’t seen any official transmission from the Wasilla session, but I was able to follow the official transmission of the session that was happening in Juneau.

      Where you one of the few D. supporters who were present in the Wasilla high-school? Or are you just saying you listen to the transmission because you don’t want to do it ?

  • We still need either the Governor or the legislature to expand the special session to include payment of this years PFD, a resolution to put PFD payment allocation in the Alaska Constitution as well as the Capital Budget.

    • This shows true leadership. The “leadership” in the legislature has failed and our governor saw that and took action so that the people’s work can be done.

      DUNLEAVY STRONG!!!!

      • That’s right Four-flusher, the Thrilla in Wasilla was stinking so bad that the Governor decided to cave to those in Juneau showing true leadership. Heheh!
        That hearing in Wasilla was too much even for this administration with folks showing up in Governor’s home town and calling for government services rather than a full PFD. He took action, all right, and caved as his position was stinking like a 4-week old herring in the trunk.

        • Another fail by Bill, you are really racking them up big guy.

        • Chiwaaaawaaaa……the Yankee Yipper……

    • While both the payment of this year’s PFD and Capital Budget are already in Governors special session change of venue, it is only your opinion that the PFD payment allocation needs to be put in our Constitution. It might be helpful to remove the original statutory formula but that, in itself, would just cause unnecessary grief on the part of folks wanting that statutory amount this year IMO.
      The POMV thing has made that statutory formula essentially worthless but this Legislature will need to work out whatever compromises are necessary to get these other things done. In particular, this Capital Budget is most likely the pressure point that forced Dunleavey’s cave here on his previous stance on a Wasilla session. Clock is ticking on those Federal funds but there is no clock ticking on any Alaska constitutional PFD allocation IMO.

      • It’s nice to see that he cares about something. His numbers will be UNDER the basement if he doesn’t appropriate the FAA/FHWA matches in time. Billions of dollars into Alsska’s economy go *poof*.

      • Please keep in mind, folks, that over time, oil revenues will continue to decline as fields age (there are no more Prudhoe Bays up there, sorry). It’s basic physics. So, your current problems will continue to repeat themselves, and adding the PFD payout to the Constitution will result in ever-diminishing services from the state. It sounds like some of the MRA folks here, would relish that, but in reality you won’t like it much when it’s your favorite service that goes away. Oh, and by the way, paying some taxes would help a little. It won’t kill you.

  • Please cancel this special meeting now scheduled to be held in Juneau. They had their chance to override the Governor. They messed up.

  • Interesting statements by Edgmon …
    .
    “Alaskans deserve an end to the political turmoil that is disrupting daily life for so many people across our state and causing uncertainty in our economy and communities,”
    .
    “The only way we will get through this is if we set aside our disagreements and come together. This is a significant and encouraging step in that direction.”
    .
    It’s almost as if he’s claiming no association and/or participation in the months long “Clown Show” that’s been an incessant and irresponsible turmoil, chaos, antics, and theatrics. He may not realize it but, it shows lack of leadership and accountability.
    .
    Simply SHAMEFUL!!!

    • The Alaska legislature is a Gong Show. And Bryce Edgemon is the Unknown comic.

      • But who is Gene Gene the Dancing Machine?

  • Governor Dunleavy has done everything right while the majority of our legislators have done wrong. The vetoes were great. The leaders of the Legislature inadvertently made sure there was no way the vetoes could be overridden. Now that time is short, the Governor brings them all together in Juneau so that they can fund the Permanent Fund Dividend and pass a capital budget. I’m glad our Alaska Constitution gives the Governor so much power.

  • Don’t get your hopes up.

  • I hope Dunleavy remains Strong and does not cave and refund the state.
    If he caves, he might as well be another gutless Democrat.

  • If a future Governor restricts his special session calls to dedicating the unicorn as the State animal and naming road corridors will they be able to monopolize the legislatures ability to act and run out the clock on legislation they oppose?

    • Ridiculous comment.

      • Not when you consider the fact that we have a Governor that thinks he has a mandate to instigate every path to a Constitutional Crisis imaginable.

  • Bryce has checks to sign.

  • Agree with above comments! ‪GovDunleavy it was gracious to invite Legislators back to Juneau. You showed leadership in a situation void of it by our legislative leaders. However, I would’nt concede on your PFD commitment nor back off cuts. Govt dependents need to be weaned from a plethora of social programs/services! It’s not state govt‘s responsibility to provide $ for all these.‬ DUNLEAVY STRONG!!!

    • When you are talking the government you be weaned from a plethora of social programs, you mean surely to get rid of the PFD, isn’t?

  • Dear Governor Dunleavy, stand strong against the Neo907-Bolsheviks that have invaded our state. The time is close to sharpen our swords.

    • When you are talking about the Neo907-Bolsheviks that have invaded our state, have you look at history. I think the white man you are should move away from Alaska, that was populated by native before you. Also looking at your last name, you are probably a descendant of an Italian or Spanish immigrant in the US. Maybe you should just move back to Europe and stop the invasion of the America?

  • Are are elected representing us…… Or do they resent us. I know Sarah Vance and her group represents myself, my family and our district.

    We the people do not work to support government employees Making more than the average worker.

    We the working producers refuse that supporting 25% of the government workers with a better paycheck than the producers of wealth is the logical correct path.

    By picking our wallets of the population of their PFD leaves those on the bottom in need of help which fans the flames of growth in government which will burn like a wildfire.

    Many people use that PF D to avoid government hand outs.

    Why is it greedy to demand the PFD by the every day person but noble when government worker and NEA members threaten shut down walkouts and stricks.

    • Wait, did you just tell “many people use that PFD to avoid government handouts”, don’t you think that the PFD itself is a social government handout?

      Also, if the elected are truely represented you, you should read the news, the support of the veto was losing at least 1:6. Then, the infamous 22 should have gone to Juneau and vote to override those. That would have been truly listening to the people.

      • No, the PFD is not a government hand-out. Just as the name states, it is a dividend, payable to all the shareholders of our undivided common interest in the mineral recourses of our state. The amount of that dividend is statutorily defined.

        A report of a 1:6 ratio at an event does not public policy make. For that we have elections. Governor Dunleavy won, the Republican party won, people who stated positions in line with Dunleavy, and for definitive reductions in government spending also won. That several of those people flat out lied, and others wobbled, doesn’t change the obvious, that the voters of this state want government spending to be in line with the financial realities imposed by the State’s share of mineral income, while leaving the People’s share of that income to be distributed, via a dividend, as designated by statute rather than decree.

    • “Use the pfd to avoid government handouts”, that’s downright funny!
      Glad to see the capital budget added to the agenda, a guy seriously starts doubting the R behind Dunleavy’s name when all he focuses on is our yearly “thanks for living in Alaska stipend”.

  • What wealth are you producing for the State of Alaska? (Hint: Not more than you are costing it.)

  • I didn’t realize we had so many Irish folks in our great state!

  • So hillbilly heaven.

  • We are either a nation of states, each living under and benefiting from the rule of law, or we are not. Too many of our legislators have revealed that they believe we are not. What other laws, and statutes of it’s own creating will our legislative branch whimsically choose to ignore. The whole episode is disturbing. With attitudes such as theirs, we can only expect more crime and ugliness in our state and cities.
    I will not be voting for Chris Birch again. Laddi Shaw, still gets my vote.

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