Per attorney general; governor can force legislative session in Wasilla

By  | 

The Governor may try to take legal action to force the second special session to be in Wasilla.

The latest dispute between Governor Mike Dunleavy and the Alaska State Legislature, about the location of the second special session, could end up in court. The governor said shortly after calling for the next special session, that it would be in Wasilla. However, a joint statement released by House Speaker Bryce Edgmon and Senate President Cathy Giessel, said the legislature plans to convene in Juneau, with floor sessions to be held in Anchorage. According to the State's Attorney General, Kevin Clarkson, that would not be legal.

"The constitution authorizes the governor to call a special session, the constitution does not require a special session to be held in Juneau’, said Clarkson. ”Nor does it give the legislature the power to determine where a special session would occur when the governor calls that special session."

In an official statement, he said the governor is the one that has the ability to determine the location of a Special Session. He went on to say that if members of the Legislature attempt to convene in another location, the governor could issue Alaska State Troopers to give them court orders. These orders would force law makers to go to the location the governor had chosen. The statements made by the State's attorney general runs counter to the legislature's top legal adviser, Megan Wallace. She says there is no constitutional power that would allow the governor to compel the legislature to convene in Wasilla.

While it is not known what action Governor Dunleavy is planning, he has made it clear he is not happy with the legislature's attempt to move the session to Juneau.

It's unclear where the second special session will be, but it will start July 8th.