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The Latest: Dunleavy: No legal basis to reject Wasilla call

June 25, 2019

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on Alaska lawmakers rejecting Wasilla as the location for the special session: (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy says leadership of the Alaska Legislature is trying to retreat to Juneau instead of convening the special session next month in Wasilla.

Dunleavy called the special session to determine the amount of this year’s oil check. He said a change of venue would be good for lawmakers, and placed the session in his conservative hometown.

However, House Speaker Bryce Edgmon and Senate President Cathy Giessel announced Monday they will not go to Wasilla and will convene in July 8 in Juneau.

Lawmakers plan to hold floor sessions at the state Capitol in Juneau and conduct hearings in Anchorage.

Dunleavy maintains state law gives him the authority to set the location for the special session, and legislative leadership attempting to “negate” the Wasilla special session has no legal basis.

Dunleavy’s spokesman Matt Shuckrow was asked what happens if lawmakers do meet in Juneau on July 8. He says they will wait and see what happens, but adds that they hope lawmakers think better of this plan and meet in Wasilla.

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351 p.m.

Alaska lawmakers have rejected Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s location for a special session.

House Speaker Bryce Edgmon and Senate President Cathy Giessel issued a joint statement Monday saying they will convene July 8 in Juneau and hold most of their hearings in Anchorage.

Dunleavy had called the session for Wasilla, his hometown and conservative base. Dunleavy said a change of location would be good for lawmakers, but some lawmakers saw it as a means of intimidation or cited security or logistical concerns.

Dunleavy’s spokesman didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

The Legislature failed one vote short of the 40 needed to call itself into session. However, the statement from Edgmon and Giessel said a majority of lawmakers considers it their right to determine the location and venue to conduct business.

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