Hawkins faces Action Line questioning

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Scott Hawkins is visiting Juneau Thursday.

    He was a guest on Action Line where host Pete Carran asked the candidate about his position on issues of importance to Capital City residents.  

    Topping the list of questions was whether Juneau should remain the Capital City.  "Absolutely.  I'm the one candidate on the Republican Primary side that's very clear and unequivocal about that.  Juneau's the historic capital of Alaska and it could be extensively expensive and also politically divisive to try to change that, so I wouldn't support any talk of a capital move."

    What about the location of legislative sessions?  "The Legislature needs to meet in the capitol.  I think there is an argument that during certain seasons of the year a special session can be held in Anchorage.  I think holding hearings like the Legislature does from time to time up in Anchorage to give people  in Southcentral Alaska access to their legislators, that's all well and good, but the bulk of the business needs to be done here in Juneau"

    Hawkins was asked about the Juneau Access Project which calls for a road out of town.  "I think its a good project.  I was really disappointed when the current administration put it on the back burner and tried to reappropriate the funds for it.  There is legitimate tension around the rest of the state having access to the capitol and access to their elected officials.  I think anything we can do improve that access, to reduce the burden of getting here for people is worth doing.  And I think it helps the Juneau economy to to have better access out, so I'm a big supporter of the road.  It would be one of the first things I would reinvigorate if I'm elected."

    He was asked for his view of the Alaska Marine Highway and how it should be operated.  "Its a vital highway to Southeast Alaska and it needs to stay in business.  We could probably operate it more efficiently.  We could probably reduce that subsidy that's required, but it needs to continue.  It needs to remain a vital transportation service."

    Valuable fishing grounds are in harms way in Southeast Alaska from mining activity in Canada, including the Taku fishery south of Juneau.

    Hawkins was asked how he would work to relieve the concerns of commercial fishermen and the environmental community.  "The cross border issue is a snarly one.  The good news is that the Canadians have high environmental standards to.  They like to do it right.  I think its a matter of the governor engaging with the Canadians and engaging with our partners at the federal level to work out those issues.  I mean mining and commercial fishing can co-exist. That's proven many times over around the world.  It's just a matter of making sure we do it right and we don't have one nation exporting its environmental impact to another one."

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