Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Juneau Representative Justin Perish offered his take on the actions of the Second Session of the 30th Alaska Legislature while a guest on Action Line Monday.
Parish said the sorry fact of the matter is is that the Legislature didn't do the really difficult, contentious things or at least not all of them. He cited the failure to increase oil revenues or adopt a broad based tax.
But Parish added they had some important victories. One he said was a $20 Million appropriation for the Alaska Marine Highway. Another, in which he was partially gratified, was the additional $20 Million for education.
He said they were hoping for more. It's better than nothing, he said, but not as good as it ought to be. Parish pointed out that that's evidenced by the need for the Juneau School District to let ten, first year elementary teachers go. He called that tragic.
In the meantime, the Legislature funded a 16-hundred dollar dividend, $500 dollars more than last year's dividend. That drove up the budget about 700 million dollars. When asked if election year politics had anything to do with that, Parish said, "Doubtless", and added that if you're willing to decide to take money from Alaskan children, there's not a lot you can't pay for.