Lawsuit filed against Gov. Dunleavy over Wasilla special session

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Published: Jul. 15, 2019 at 9:31 PM AKDT
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Two Anchorage residents filed a complaint Monday against Gov.Mike Dunleavy for his declaration of a special session in Wasilla, saying that it “caused great confusion among legislators and citizens." The lawsuit asked for injunctive relief to stop the implementation of the governor’s 182 line-item vetoes.

Plaintiffs Kevin McCoy and Mary C. Geddes say that Dunleavy’s "arbitrary" declaration of a special session in Wasilla violated the constitutional separation of powers, noting that “No previous governor has ever called the Legislature into a special session outside of the capitol.”

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs compare Dunleavy’s actions with a hypothetical situation in which the legislature enacts a statute requiring the governor to “work in his Anchorage office the second week of each month”?

The plaintiffs write that therefore the governor’s declaration “improperly intrudes on the independence of the legislature.”

According to the state constitution, they say, “the Governor gets to decide where to do his work and fulfill his responsibilities; so does the legislature.”

The plaintiffs request that a judge prevent Dunleavy from convening the legislature at a different location from the capital without the legislature’s approval, and prevent the governor from implementing the 182 line-item vetoes until the legislature can meet in full.

It also asks that the governor’s office provide “reasonable costs and attorney’s fees incurred by plaintiffs as allowed by law.”

The complaint follows a

by attorney Bill Satterberg on behalf of former Republican Rep. Al Vezey from North Pole against the legislative leadership in Juneau. That lawsuit asked that the Juneau session be invalidated because it did not meet the requirement from a 1982 statute that requires 40 members of the legislature to agree on the site of a special session.

The request for expedited hearing on that case

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