Walker is an expansion advocate, saying the program would bring health care coverage to 20,000 or more lower-income Alaskans and would be paid for almost entirely by the federal government. As a side effect, it would bring millions of dollars from the federal treasury to
Opponents say it would tie
To block Walker,
But two legal opinions, one from the
"The governor and I continue to hope that
Key Republican leaders on the
Davidson did not say if Walker would expand
"I think we're not there yet," she said about unilateral action.
"Until this special session ends, and
The legal opinions that say the legislative prohibition on accepting
That's the sentence that says "bills for appropriations shall be confined to appropriations."
Despite that, and
One reason for that is that budget bills can be easier to pass. Legislators who join majority caucuses typically pledge to vote for the caucus budget, whatever it contains, as a condition of membership. So even if they find a provision in the budget that is personally distasteful, they are required to vote for it anyway. Such a lock-step rule doesn't apply to stand-alone bills, when legislators are generally free to vote their conscience.
This year, when the budget bill came to a floor vote, several majority caucus members who have publicly supported
But the legal opinions say that may not matter.
"This funding restriction may violate the confinement clause because it arguably amends substantive law," wrote
The budget bill also contained complicated language barring acceptance of
That, too, Pollard wrote, was likely to violate the confinement clause.
A similar issue came to a head during the administration of former Gov.
Legislative Legal Services attorney
"Please be advised that it is my opinion that this language is likely unconstitutional," wrote Gardner, in a memo to Rep.
"We have options available to us that include calling another special session, while some folks have talked about a potential ballot initiative, others have asked the governor to do unilateral expansion," she said. "All of those things are things we're certainly thinking about."
"AFACT has been in unqualified support of
She said she wants the state to use whatever option is the fastest to provide the additional
"We've been told that it might be part of a special session in October," she said. "The reality for us is that there are people who don't have insurance right now," she said.
"I think it is inevitable," said Stedman, one of
"When you put them together, it's pretty hard to argue that it's not in the best interest of the state treasury, and the state," Stedman said.
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