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Empire Editorial: The hidden truth behind the Legislature's extra days

Posted: April 23, 2014 - 12:02am

Here’s the real reason the Alaska Legislature is staying in session.

It’s the weather.

It’s storming in the Southwest, chilly in the Interior, overcast in Anchorage and rainy in Ketchikan. Juneau has been the garden spot of the 49th state of late.

Heck, it was 56 degrees on Sunday, almost eight degrees above normal for this time of year.

Plenty of people were crowding the hiking and biking trails, and who can blame our legislators for wanting to join them? After all, Juneau is the best place in Alaska — just ask anyone who lives here.

How long will this legislative session last? Your guess is as good as ours — quite literally so, now that some in the Capitol have begun a betting pool to determine when the session will end. The pool’s no secret — heck, it’s being mentioned on Twitter — and we have to wonder if our local pool could eventually become more popular than that famous one up in Nenana.

Still, we suppose it’s about time for the legislature to start packing up. Though they did their level best, it doesn’t look like legislators will be able to spend all the state’s money — they’ll just have to try again next year.

It’d also be nice to have a few hotel rooms for the tourists and workers who fill the tanzanite and T-shirt shops on Franklin Street. The first ship arrives May 1, and while we cherish the thought of having both the legislature and tourists in town, we’d prefer to get our sun from a hike on Perseverance Trail, not from a walk to the nearest downtown parking spot — which may soon be in Lemon Creek, given current trends.

Though, come to think of it, the capitol could be Juneau’s next great tourist attraction. Instead of a zipline, the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau could advertise a thrilling tour through Alaska democracy.

Who needs sunshine and fresh air when you have the Alaska Legislature?

It’s sure to rake them in.

• Empire editorials are written by the Juneau Empire’s editorial board. Members include Publisher Rustan Burton, rustan.burton@juneauempire.com; Director of Audience Abby Lowell, abby.lowell@juneauempire.com; Managing Editor Charles L. Westmoreland, charles.westmoreland@juneauempire.com; and Asst. Editor James Brooks, james.k.brooks@juneauempire.com.

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Steve Davis
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Steve Davis 04/23/14 - 08:11 am
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Janice Murphy
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Janice Murphy 04/23/14 - 01:14 pm
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Dot Wilson
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Dot Wilson 04/24/14 - 08:37 am
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We can't have it

both ways. The Legislature needs to get their work done. I love tourism, and it is important to Juneau, but in the grand scheme of things, tourism is the part-time/weekend job. Whether you like government or not, it pays the bills in Juneau. Without the Legislature the continuing Capital Creep would become a Capital Leap and we would lose a lot of well paying jobs that currently go to highly educated citizens who are important to our city.

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