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Episode 61: Unfinished Legislative Business

By KTVA Alaska 7:01 AM June 27, 2016

State lawmakers now have a short cooling-off period before they go back to work on a long-term budget fix. Gov. Bill Walker has called another special session for July 11.

So far this year, legislators have been in Juneau for about five months. The stakes are some of the highest in state history. With a $4 billion deficit this year and another multi-billion dollar gap projected for next year, the state’s savings accounts are draining fast.

When the Legislature adjourned its last special session, a measure tapping permanent fund earnings cleared the Senate, but stalled in the House. So the big question now: Will anything change next month?

On Frontiers this Sunday, a look at the unfinished business of resolving the state’s fiscal crisis. Some of the highlights:

  • KTVA’s Juneau correspondent, Liz Raines, gives us a status report on where things stand now in the Legislature.
  • We pay a visit to Stan Corp’s barbershop in Bethel to get the Bush perspective on a plan to use permanent fund earnings to pay for government.
  • We are joined by Liz Raines in a conversation with Sen. Lesil McGuire, who describes herself as “moderate” Republican. She talks about the political hurdles to overcome in finding a budget solution. You can see even more in an extended conversation on the web.
  • KTVA’s Heather Hintze takes us to a summer culture camp in Anchorage, which celebrates the culture of the Unangax, or the Aleuts, from the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands.

One final note on this week’s show: We realize there are many perspectives on the state’s fiscal crisis — and we have featured a few of them on Frontiers. We hope to cover more ground in the future, to help our viewers understand the depth and the breadth of the challenges ahead.

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