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Second legal memo questions Legislature’s decision to hold special session in Juneau

As the fight between the Legislature and Governor Mike Dunleavy (R – Alaska) continues over the location of Dunleavy’s second special session, a second legal memo from Legislative Legal Services questions the Legislature’s decision to hold the session in Juneau rather than Wasilla. Here is an article about the first memo.

Here is the second memo:

Second Legal Memo on Special Session Location

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The interesting part is the response to question 4. Do the presiding officers have the power to change the special session location?

The crux of the issue is the Legislature’s decision to hold the special session in a location different from the location Dunleavy chose. Dunleavy chose Wasilla. The Legislature has chosen to gavel in in Juneau and then hold meetings in Anchorage. The problem is that the Legislature is one vote short of the required 2/3 (40 votes) to call themselves into a special session. Unless one of the 21 changes their mind, which would be the responsible thing to do, we are on the verge of a constitutional crisis.

The response to question 4 speaks for itself.

By one of the 21 changing their mind on the Legislature calling their own special session, two things would be accomplished. One, this crisis would be averted. Two, they could add the capital budget to the call so they could deal with the funding issue. Dunleavy has only included the PFD on the call for his session, not the capital budget.

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The capital budget can and will be added to the call after the Legislature approves the traditional statutory PFD.

Peter Roddy

After the vetoes that ain’t happening.

Mandy Gershon

“The legislature‚Äôs failure to convene in Wasilla may be challenged by a citizen-taxpayer, a legislator, or any other interested party.” Now I find that *very* interesting. Considering that I’m poor and paying 45% of my income to the state as a tax, doesn’t that make my challenge even more valuable, should I choose to make that challenge?

I call BS

Uh… We have no state sales, income, or property tax. What tax are you paying to the STate of Alaska? And at 45% – flat BS regardless of state.

Mandy Gershon

We have a regressive tax via the PFD. If it wasn’t a tax, people would be receiving their lawful PFDs instead of having it stolen for state services. And where in this state do you live that you don’t pay a property tax?

I call BS

I don’t think you know the difference between a program and a tax. The PFD is a program. So is education. So is the University. So are police. Nobody “steals” a program. People just choose not to fund it. That is what policy choices require.

Mandy Gershon

Yes, the PFD is a program. And when Legislators steal from it to cover state services, it’s a tax. Governments use taxes to fund services. This form of taxation is a regressive tax, as each person is being forced to pay the exact same amount despite their income.

I call BS

As I stated, “We have no state sales, income, or property tax.” The STATE does not have a property tax. Those are local taxes.

Please “call the roll” and tell us who might be that “40th vote” to provide the 2/3 majority to allow the special session to be initiated by the legislature. And, after the budget cuts anyone thinking about a 3/4 budget appropriation override?