Alaska editorial: Isn't it about time to move Legislature out of Juneau?

Posted: Sunday, February 11, 2007

Pardon us for mentioning this, but bad weather kept more than a dozen lawmakers out of Juneau the other week for quite a while - and isn't it time to move the Legislature, or perhaps the entire capital, someplace more accessible?

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Moving the capital, or the Legislature, is an old battle, but one that eventually will be won by common sense and pragmatism. Having the Legislature meet in Juneau each year ensures that the vast majority of Alaskans will never see their seat of government. It also ensures that from time to time, legislative business will be interrupted because lawmakers cannot get to their offices. Finally, it makes state government accessible only to monied interests.

It only makes sense to at least move the Legislature to a place easily reached by the majority of Alaskans and their representatives. We could suggest Anchorage, or Wasilla, or even Willow; anyplace with accessibility to an all-weather airport large enough to safely operate in all kinds of weather.

Having the Legislature, or the capital, for that matter, in faraway Juneau, makes absolutely no sense, except to those who want to keep government out of the hands of the people.

With the state's population on the rise, and more people wanting access to their government, moving the capital is an idea whose time has come. Moving it made sense decades ago. It made sense when voters cast ballots to move it to Willow. It made sense when Juneau interests ponied up the costs to sidetrack the move. It makes sense now.

It is just a matter of time.



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