Action Line: Senator Dennis Egan discusses legislature's failure on fiscal plan

    Juneau Senator Dennis Egan reviewed the failed attempts to come up with a fiscal plan and the prospects for next session while a guest on Action Line Tuesday.

    Senator Egan agreed when asked if the Legislature failed to do its job.

    "I really don't think we did. When the governor came out with all his vetoes and we didn't act, the legislature should have gone and taken each one of those vetoes and discussed them line by line. We could've done it in a session that would've lasted a day, but we didn't do it. We sat around and sat around, and finally went home and did nothing. I think it was a big mistake"

    One failure was funding of  school debt reimbursement.

    "That was horrible, and, again, we should've tackled that while we were in special session. The governor vetoed the money that would fund school debt reimbursement, but the municipalities had already made their budgets, and we took it away. The Juneau-Douglas school district is in serious trouble. My folks in Haines are really in trouble because they just built a bunch of new facilities and were doing some school debt reimbursement, and now they have no money. So, what do they do? On a per capita basis, they're up over $1,000 per individual, but the municipalities assumed they were going to get the money.

    Egan was asked about the chances the Legislature will come to agreement on a fiscal plan next year.

    "I don't know, but we have to do something. We can't just go on these bifurcated ideas and do nothing. We have to address different revenue sources and services of the state. Speaking of services of the state, we've cut a ton of money already, especially here in Juneau; we've lost hundreds of positions right here in our district. We have to do a better job attacking the issue, because it affects everyone. It's not just Juneau, it affects the Railbelt and, especially, rural Alaska."

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