AG Clarkson defends veto of court system funding

    Attorney General Kevin Clarkson.

    Juneau, Alaska (AP) - Alaska's attorney general says Gov. Mike Dunleavy was within his constitutional rights to cut the court system budget for a decision he didn't like.

    Attorney General Kevin Clarkson in a statement Thursday says a governor has line-item budget veto power over all appropriations, without exception.

    Dunleavy's budget vetoes last month included a $334,700 cut to the court system, the amount spent on state-funded abortions.

    The Alaska Supreme Court this year ruled that a state law defining what constitutes a medically necessary abortion was unconstitutional.

    The ACLU of Alaska sued Wednesday, claiming Dunleavy's budget reduction to the court system was a threat to judicial independence.

    Clarkson says the lawsuit proposes that the judiciary control how the other two branches of government fund the courts.

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