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House Democrats Decry Threat to Alaskans
Murkowski, Senate Republicans play politics with lives, livelihoods


May 07, 2005

Alaska House Democrats said today they are surprised that Gov. Frank Murkowski is threatening to veto important public works projects throughout Alaska.
Murkowski made the threat Friday because he doesn't like the retirement systems bill the House had approved earlier in the day said the House Democrats.
Senate Republicans, who, like Murkowski, favor a much more radical change in the state's retirement systems, removed most construction projects from their version of the state's capital budget in retaliation for the House vote, said the House Democrats in a news release.
"These projects aren't just political bargaining chips," said Rep. Ethan Berkowitz, the House Democratic leader. "They are schools and roads and airports that Alaskans need. The governor and Senate Republicans are losing a public policy debate, and their reaction is to lash out at Alaskans. It doesn't make sense that they're so intent on hurting Alaskans."
The House Democrats said among the hundreds of threatened projects are:

  • A new regional public safety training center in Anchorage.
  • Improvements to the Eagle River Lion's Club Park.
  • Hatcher Pass Road improvements in the Mat-Su Borough.
  • Soldotna road improvements.
  • Ambulance replacement in Fairbanks.
  • Construction of the Morris Thompson Center in Fairbanks.
  • Construction of a police garage in North Pole.
  • Port and dock improvements in the Bristol Bay Borough.
  • A new prematernal home in Bethel.

"These are all important projects," said Rep. Eric Croft, D-Anchorage. "They are important in themselves, and they mean hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity all over Alaska. It's irresponsible for the governor and the Senate to be playing politics with people's lives and livelihoods."


Source of News:

Alaska Democrats
Web Site



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