Alaska attorney general says Alaska Hire violates state, federal constitutions

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Attorney General Kevin Clarkson discuss the governor’s proposed budget and Permanent Fund Dividend related constitutional amendments in January. On Thursday, Clarkson wrote a memo to Dunleavy saying the Alaska Hire law is unconstitutional. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson has written that the Alaska Hire law is unconstitutional. 

Clarkson wrote in a memo in response to a question from Gov. Mike Dunleavy that a provision of state law requiring some private employers to hire Alaskans violates both the state and federal constitutions. He said the state should stop enforcing it. 

Clarkson wrote in the 11-page document that excluding nonresidents isn’t a legitimate purpose under both constitutions. He noted that both the U.S. and Alaska supreme courts have struck down previous versions of the Alaska Hire laws because the state couldn’t provide a legitimate reason justifying discrimination against nonresidents.

Andrew Kitchenman

State Government Reporter, Alaska Public Media & KTOO

State government plays an outsized role in the life of Alaskans. As the state continues to go through the painful process of deciding what its priorities are, I bring Alaskans to the scene of a government in transition.

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