The item veto power forms an important check on the legislature in many states, including Alaska. The power allows the governor to veto individual items in an appropriations bill rather than vetoing or signing the bill as a whole. In 2011 the Alaska State Legislature contemplated challenging this crucial executive power. A proposed draft of the annual capital appropriations bill contained language that linked each energy appropriation to all the others, providing that if the governor struck one item then none of the items would go into effect. Further, the legislature inserted language providing that none of the proposed energy appropriations would go into effect if the section of the bill linking them together were successfully challenged in court. While neither provision was included in the final version of the bill signed into law, they prompted a controversy about whether such language would comport with the requirements of the state constitution. If they had been passed, the provisions would indeed have been unconstitutional and invalid, as they usurp the governor’s constitutional item veto power and violate the confinement clause’s requirement that the content of appropriations bills be limited to appropriations.
Nicholas Passarello, The Item Veto and the Threat of Appropriations Bundling in Alaska, 30 Alaska Law Review 125-150 (2013).
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/alr/vol30/iss1/5