Governor Walker meets with CBJ Assembly

    JUNEAU, Alaska (KINY) - Assembly member Mary Becker gave a rundown of what was discussed in an interview with Action Line's Pete Carran.

    The Juneau Assembly conducted a special meeting over the noon hour Thursday with Governor Bill Walker.

    The chief topic of discussion was the need for a state fiscal plan and how the lack of a plan has hurt local governments like the City and Borough of Juneau.

    Assembly member Mary Becker was asked afterwards how it went.

    "I thought it was very successful," Becker responded. "We asked some tough questions of him, and I think he gave us answers that show his own frustration with what the budget is and what vetoes he had to make. We were really happy to hear what his opinions were."

    One tough question revolved around the Governor's veto of school debt reimbursement funds.

    "When he was asked if that's something we could expect to continue happening, he said that he basically did not want that to happen; he didn't like it to happen. He hoped it would be something that they would discuss, and they would find other ways to solve the budget problems of the state. He knows that the problems that start with the state all run downhill. He understands that we end up getting the brunt of many of the decisions that the state makes."

    We wondered if the Governor was asked if that matter might be addressed in a supplemental budget submitted by his administration early next legislative session.

    That's a great question, and he was asked that very question. Basically, he pretty much said that everything is up for conversation and anything is possible, but he also said he wouldn't plan on it.

    During his call for the last special session, the Governor gave lawmakers a choice of broad based taxes...either an income tax or a sales tax.

    Local governments, including Juneau, don't like the thought of a sales tax since that's a chief way they fund their programs

    "We did tell him we don't want that, so he heard that from us."

    Downtown parking was also discussed with the Governor.

    "The question was basically how we can have a partnership with the state? We have state workers that don't have enough parking; we're providing parking for the state, both in our parking garage and around Centennial Hall. We just need to find other places, or find a way for the state help us have parking for their people, and for our community, too. We would also help with it."

    Becker's comments were made during a recording of Action Line done Thursday afternoon following the Assembly's meeting with the Governor  that will air Friday morning.

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