Things didn't quite go the way Republican lawmakers thought they would this morning.
Seeking to override vetoes by Democratic Gov. Tony Knowles of two Senate bills, the GOP majority only managed to turn one measure into law by midday today.
Senate Bill 267, which would allow for the same-day airborne hunting of wolves, was made law over Knowles' objections on a 42-17 vote, with some Democrats joining GOP lawmakers.
The law will allow hunters to spot wolves from airplanes, land and then kill the animals on the same day. Such shooting would only be allowed in areas where the state Board of Game has called for predator control measures.
A veto override vote on a measure that would give some 250,000 acres of land to the University of Alaska failed by one vote. Senate Bill 7 seeks to both develop state land and raise money for the university, said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Robin Taylor, a Wrangell Republican.
Immediately following the vote, Sen. Rick Halford, a Chugiak Republican, called for another vote to rescind the Legislature's action, in order to keep the bill alive.
Rep. Ramona Barnes, an Anchorage Republican who could be counted on to vote with the majority, was excused from the House floor due to illness today.
It appeared Taylor had been counting on support from Rep. John Davies. The Fairbanks Democrat voted for the bill when it was before the House in late March, but not today.
Taylor glared at Davies following the vote, and the two exchanged words. Outside of the House chambers, Davies was waylaid by two University of Alaska regents, and did not comment to reporters before the Empire's deadline. Taylor was unavailable for comment as well.
As of the Empire's midday deadline, the joint Legislative session had not taken further action on Halford's effort to keep the university lands bill alive.
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