(L-R) State rep. Sam Kito, Senator Dennis Egan and State rep. Justin Parrish.
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Juneau's state legislative delegation asked for action on a state fiscal plan just days before the Alaska legislature convenes.
There was a full house at the Mendenhall Valley library Thursday night as constituents showed concern about the state government, its fiscal crisis, the Marine highway system, airport and transportation funding, health care spending and other issues.
State Senator Dennis Egan said this session worries him because its an election year and he doesn't expect anything to get done to stop the gridlock. "Tons of gridlock. We have to come to some sort of conclusion so we can handle these things as people of the state of Alaska and not as regions. We can't fight against each other. We have to come up with a solution that is best for the people of the state."
State representative Justin Parrish said the oil tax structure needs to be changed and the permanent fund needs to be protected. He said the legislature in recent years has spent $12 billion from reserves and he described that as "wildly irresponsible." He compared it to being on the titanic with an iceberg ahead and saying, don't worry, its melting. "Most of the spending was by previous legislators, the majority that I helped to replace. The spending in the absence of a fiscal plan is profoundly irresponsible. That is why I hoped pass a fiscal plan to the senate in the first 90 days I was in action. I hoped that they would do the responsible thing so we don't keep spending down our savings and our children's savings."
State representative Sam Kito said he was also pessimistic about the chances of a broad based tax being approved. He said the state faces a near $3 billion shortfall and don't have the savings to cover that debt. He said the state government has made significant cuts in the past few years, "We are around 17-20 percent reduction in the past three years. That has had a significant impact on the services we provide to the state. We have done as much cutting as I'I feel comfortable doing. We have to figure out how we are going to pay for the services we provide Alaskans."
The next legislative session begins on Tuesday.
More from News of the North
Salmon derby unofficial results
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Some of the top weights were recorded in Douglas as the 72nd annual Golden North Derby wrapped up Sunday.
Search for missing hiker
Sitka, Alaska (KINY) A Sitka man was found safe and sound after a search on Saturday.
Officials to Decide if Iron Dog race Will Return in 2019
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Iron Dog board of directors is expected to meet next week to decide whether the 2,000-mile (3,219-kilometer) snowmobile race across Alaska will be held this winter.
Alaska Elections Director says State is Ready for Primary
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska's elections director said she's confident the state has enough questioned ballot envelopes and that poll workers will be ready after some Alaskans had their voter registration addresses changed before Tuesday's primary.
Governor Walker quizzed on Juneau Access decisions while on Action Line
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Juneau Access was one topic of conversation with Alaska Governor Bill Walker on Action Line Friday.
Jobless rates continue to decline
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) July employment was down by an estimated 0.3 percent, or 900 jobs, compared to July 2017.
Travel Juneau honors long time contributors
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The Travel Juneau Board recognized Steve Hamilton (Westmark Baranof Hotel) and Gin Anderson (Treetop Tees) for their service as directors.
Police shoot and kill man involved in domestic argument
Wasilla, Alaska (KINY) The name of the victim is being withheld.
Chinese hackers target Alaska
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Most of the attempts came from a University.
Sitka Mermaid Festival Highlights Benefits of Seaweed and Celebrates Nautical Legend
Juneau, AK (KINY) - Mermaids, whether they are singing songs about discovered treasures or luring in sailors with their beauty, have always been a mythological creature of the ocean. They are connected wholeheartedly to the ocean and its mysteries, which is something being explored by the Sitka Mermaid Festival.
Stuff the Bus Charity Event Gathers School Supplies for Juneau Students
Juneau, AK (KINY) - Juneau residents and businesses came together to ensure that needy students in the area will have school supplies through the Stuff the Bus event.
Candidate Withdraws from Areawide Assembly Race
Juneau, AK (KINY) - After talking with another candidate and friend, Andy Hughes has withdrawn his name from the race for the Areawide Assembly seat.