Memo raises legal questions with Alaska budget language

    Gov. Michael J. Dunleavy.

    Juneau, Alaska (AP) - A legislative attorney says language in Gov. Mike Dunleavy's budget proposal giving his budget office discretion to transfer money within departments raises legal and constitutional questions.

    Linda Bruce, in a memo, writes that a court is unlikely to find that the language is legally permissible or constitutional. She notes that the Legislature has the power of appropriation.

    The memo was requested and released by Sen. Bill Wielechowski, a Democratic member of the Senate Finance Committee.

    The budget language in question states that at the budget office's discretion, it could transfer funding between items in a department.

    A spokesman for Dunleavy did not immediately return an email message seeking comment on whether the administration had a legal opinion of its own.

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