(2-minute read) HOUSE ORGANIZATION ON DAY 3: NO RESOLUTION
Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s State of the State speech is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 22, but nothing is certain.
Although the Senate has accepted the proposed date, the House is still disorganized, so they can’t take action on the request by the Governor’s Office. The speech usually is an evening event that is live-streamed and carried on local television channels.
House session scheduled for yesterday was delayed and then canceled, and the session scheduled for Thursday morning was delayed to Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile, negotiations between the 16 Democrats, 23 Republicans and 1 no-party candidate continue as members try to form up a leadership caucus.
A deal was set on Wednesday night to agree on a Speaker Pro Tem, but at the last minute the Democrats pulled out.
The State of the State could continue, with Dunleavy only giving the address to the Senate, which would mean using the smaller chamber. House members would have to watch from screens in their offices.
Or, if the House somehow agrees on an organization, it could be given in the larger chamber, which has room for both bodies.
WHAT IF SHARON JACKSON IS STILL NOT CONFIRMED?
If the House doesn’t organize, but finds an unconventional way to concur with the Jan. 22 State of the State address time slot, all members would be seated in the House except Rep. Sharon Jackson, a Republican whose confirmation has been blocked for three days by House Democrats.
Democrats are citing a minor procedural interpretation they are using to prevent Jackson from being able to vote.
If that continues, she would not be able to take her seat representing District 13 during the State of the State.
Jackson walked across Fourth Street in Juneau on Wednesday and asked a deputy clerk of the court to administer the oath of office. But that wasn’t accepted by Democrats, or even Republicans, who say the lieutenant governor is the only one who can administer the oath right now.
It will be awkward for Democrats if Rep. Jackson has to sit in the back of the room during the governor’s address to the Legislature.
It might be even more awkward — although highly appropriate — if Gov. Dunleavy singled her out in his speech as an example of an Alaskan with an indomitable spirit and heart for service.