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Legislature adjourns with $3.2 billion budget

by Sue Deyoe ~ May 16th, 2011

The Alaska Legislature finally adjourned late Saturday evening.  Governor Sean Parnell received a capital budget for 2012 that totals $3.2 Billion.

This year’s regular 90-day session was immediately followed by a 27- day special session that involved a number of disputes about energy projects and coastal zone management.  In the end, the Coastal Zone Management plan was not reauthorized.

The legislature’s final budget includes a number of small, as well as extremely large, projects within the Mat Su Borough boundaries.

The $65 million for further study of the Susitna Dam stayed in the budget.  The budget also includes $750,000 to help construct a wood fired boiler at Su Valley High School, $3 million for further construction at the South Denali Visitor Center, $120,000 for library and technology upgrades (borough wide) and $420,000 for Sunshine Community Health Center construction in Willow.

Caswell Lakes received $20,000 in funds for their fire service area as well as some funding for the road service area.

Original funding was restored for the Goose Creek Correctional Center at Point MacKenzie.

The lawmakers’ budget will likely see cuts when it goes to the Governor’s desk. Parnell’s arbitary spending limit was originally set at $2.8 billion.  If his goal still stands, he will have to find projects to eliminate.

The next session of the legislature begins January 17th of next year.

*Not all line items are listed in this story.  Other projects include:

$5.7  million for paving of Talkeetna Airport; $5 for other airport improvements

$1 million for Hatcher Pass Trail and Scenic Overlook

$30,000 for Talkeetna RSA road upgrades

$30,000 for Trapper Creek RSA road upgrades

$20,000 for Talkeetna Fire Service

$3 million for Mat Su Borough substandard roads and bridge replacement

$37 million for Port MacKenzie Rail extension

The capital budget is here. Look under District 15 for Upper Valley projects.

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