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Nullifications a Step Closer to Reality in Alaska

Keller’s HB 83 offers a different way of dealing with the federal government

Friday, April 12 2013, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska Legislature today completed its work on a bill that will address the concerns many Alaskans have with actions undertaken by the federal government. House Bill 83, sponsored by Representative Wes Keller, R-Wasilla, directs the Alaska Attorney General to notify the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee Chairs of problems his office finds during its regular review of federal laws, regulations, executive and secretarial orders.

“There is a growing perception recently that the president’s executive orders are being used to circumvent the lawmaking duties of Congress and do not pay sufficient heed to laws or the Constitution that arguably protect Alaskans,” Keller said. “Alaska has paid dearly many times because of this perceived rule making authority.”

Under HB 83, once the Judiciary Chairs and the committee members have been notified of a potential problem the option of introducing legislation is available.

“Many times, statutes and regulations ignore the Constitution or are adopted without following the proper procedure,” Keller said. “In either case it brings the question forward, does the language have the effect of law? HB 83 allows the Attorney General in his regular review of federal statute, regulations, executive and secretarial orders to provide information to the Legislative Judicial Committees. Either Committee has the option of deciding how to proceed including introducing legislation that would declare the questionable language not enforceable in Alaska.” 

HB 83 is written to give the Alaska Legislature and the Governor the authority to work collaboratively to reduce the effects of inappropriate federal actions.

HB 83 passed the Senate and House unanimously. The bill now heads to the Governor for signature.

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