House rejects budget money for new capitol

Posted: Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Alaska House of Representatives agreed that no money from this year's state operating budget can be used for building a new capitol.

The amendment proposed by Rep. Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak, was included in the 2006 fiscal year operating budget that was approved Wednesday.

When the amendment come up for a vote Tuesday in the House Finance Committee, it sparked a debate again about whether politicians from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough were trying to halt Juneau from keeping the capital in Southeast Alaska.

Stolze said it's not a regional fight, although his constituents do not want to capital to be in Juneau.

"It's really to protect the appropriation process in the Legislature," he said.

Stoltze said he fears money can be taken from the budget by the executive branch for construction projects without legislators' consent. He didn't specify whether he knew the governor had such plans.

"I hope for the best but prepare for the worst," he said.

A spokesman from Gov. Frank Murkowski's office said Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho is driving the capitol-planning process and has not asked for state money.

• Andrew Petty can be reached at andrew.petty@juneauempire.com



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