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Dunleavy, State of Alaska partially oppose motion for entry of judgment

FILE - In this March 12, 2020 file photon Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks during a news...
FILE - In this March 12, 2020 file photon Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks during a news conference in Anchorage, Alaska. Dunleavy has announced that checks from the state's oil-wealth fund will begin going out to residents three months early, citing economic hardships related to the coronavirus.(Mark Thiessen | AP)
Published: Nov. 21, 2020 at 5:51 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Gov. Mike Dunleavy and the State of Alaska have opposed the final judgment proposed by the American Civil Liberties Union in a case where Dunleavy’s veto of $334,700 from the Alaska Court System was ruled unconstitutional and the money is now to be “restored.”

The case stems from Dunleavy’s actions in June 2019 when he cut roughly $334,000 from the budget of the Alaska Supreme Court. Dunleavy’s stated reasoning behind the veto was because of decisions the courts had made to allow state funding for so-called “elective abortions.”

With the defendants’ opposition to motion for entry of judgment, the court document says Dunleavy and the state oppose the judgment proposed by the ACLU, they do not oppose the entry of final judgment.

On Oct. 16, Anchorage Superior Court Judge Jennifer Henderson ruled the veto from Dunleavy as unconstitutional. The court ordered the vetoed sum to be restored, and if the parties saw the need to, it was directed for the parties to submit “further briefing regarding the proper mechanism for restoring that appropriation.” Those were not filed, according to the document.

“... Defendants see no need for further instructions from the Court about transferring the vetoed funds to the court system,” the document reads.

The document states that at the time the money was appropriated, Dunleavy used his line-item veto power. The money is now not going to be “refunded.” Since the court disallowed Dunleavy’s veto, the Office of Management and Budget can replace the money by transferring the funds to the court system, going to the appropriate legislation, according to the documents.

The opposition document later says that the ACLU’s proposed 30-day time frame for restoring the appropriation does not align with previous court statements. It also states that the appropriation at issue was for the fiscal year ending June 2021, and that funds are to be transferred to the court system for fiscal year 2020 expenses under appropriation legislation.

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