Two experienced litigants have filed the lawsuit that Democrats promised would be filed if the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee approved the major relief package for Alaska businesses and communities.
Joe Geldhof, a Juneau attorney, filed the lawsuit on behalf of Juneauite Eric Forrer today.
The gist of the lawsuit is the the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee was not the proper venue for approving the hundreds of millions of dollars for relief.
“This lawsuit is brought by Forrer in the interest of the public to enforce the obvious and express provisions of theAlaska Constitution, including the provisions requiring that expenditures of money in the treasury of the State of Alaska be allocated and withdrawn in accordance with appropriations made by law,” the lawsuit says.
“The failure by the Alaska Legislature to provide for proper legal authorization to make all of the proposed expenditures set out in paragraph 14, supra, is an abdication of the legislature’s constitutional power and a violation of the separation of powers implicit in the Alaska Constitution,” it continues.
“If people are mad about this, they should contact their legislators and insist that they follow the constitution. That doesn’t mean that they need to fly to Juneau. They can have a 60-legislator Zoom meeting, have two hours of public testimony, and two hours of debate, and then vote on it,” Geldhof said tonight.
The lawsuit did not ask for a temporary restraining order.