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Alaska governor says he will veto education package unless lawmakers adopt his priorities

Iris Samuels and Sean Maguire, Anchorage Daily News, Alaska on

Published in News & Features

Klaameyer voiced support for a teacher bonus proposal like the one proposed by Bjorkman and urged legislators to vote to override Dunleavy's education veto — if that came to pass.

The bipartisan education package was approved on Thursday evening on a 38-2 vote. Despite that vote tally, it remained unclear if there would be enough House members to support a potential veto override vote.

Rep. Craig Johnson, an Anchorage Republican, last week voted in support of the bipartisan education package. He said on Tuesday afternoon that he hadn't watched Dunleavy's news conference, and after weeks of work on the education bill, he was ready to move on to other pieces of legislation.

"But I also want good policy. If some of the stuff was left out, we need to address it," said Johnson.

Three non-Republican members of the House majority have been more closely aligned with the 16 members of the Democrat-dominated minority in supporting a substantial school funding boost this year and opposing Dunleavy's more contentious education proposals.

 

Rep. Bryce Edgmon, a Dillingham independent and member of the House majority who opposed several of Dunleavy's provisions, said lawmakers "went from a position of great relief after a combined 56-to-3 vote on a very contentious bill to a 'where do we go from here now' sort of picture."

"It's going to be very difficult I think for the Legislature to pivot and come back with legislation in a couple of weeks' time between now and the date when the governor has to make a decision on the bill, so I don't know where we go," said Edgmon.

Lawmakers had been racing to get the education bill signed into law by Feb. 28, so eligible schools could apply for grants to boost their internet download speeds to 100 megabytes per second. But Dunleavy said that the deadline was actually weeks away.

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development on Tuesday sent a memo to school administrators, telling them that they need to file applications by Feb. 28. But they would then have roughly another month before a legislative change was needed to get funding for the higher broadband speeds.


(c)2024 the Alaska Dispatch News (Anchorage, Alaska) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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