Jan 28 2009
Legislature Dealing With Less Money This Year
Wednesday, 28 January 2009

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            The Alaska State Legislature has been in session for a week now, and is facing a very different situation than they were a year ago, when oil revenue was overflowing state coffers. Today, the price of oil is just more than half of what it was at its peak.

            Kodiak's Gary Stevens is the Senate President this year. He says the differences between last year and this is huge.


--          (Gary 1                       34 sec              "It's an enormously ... we're going to handle it.")


            One of the constant messages out of the legislature last year was how much of the oil spike windfall it was putting away for the future:


--          (Gary 2                       46 sec              "We want to be very careful ... budget very carefully.")


            He said the number and size of capital projects the legislature is looking at this year could be "dismally low," but he's still going to be fighting for Kodiak's share. He said more money to repair Mission Road is on his list, as is additional funds for a new Fish and Game headquarters on Near Island.

            Stevens says the state may be in line for more than a billion dollars in federal economic stimulus money:


--          (Gary 3                       :59                   "We're trying to work ... know we're going to be facing.")


            Stevens said the legislature will work with the governor on helping to solve the economic crisis in Emmonak and other rural villages, because he wouldn't like to see that way of life disappear:


--          (Gary 4                       18 sec              "If you saw those ... don't want them to disappear at all.")


            KMXT will have regular updates from Kodiak's delegation to Juneau throughout the 90-day legislative session.