House Democrats Decry Threat
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
"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
- 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
"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."
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