Rep. Dan Ortiz will cram school visits, tax discussions and a few odd jobs into a two-day visit to Wrangell this weekend.
The independent District 36 representative will visit Evergreen Elementary School and Wrangell High School today (Friday). He’ll also meet the Wrangell Borough manager about a state-planned cleanup of lead-contaminated soil from the old Byford Junkyard. And he’s going to meet with elected officials. KSTK visited with Ortiz via Skype.
“Meeting with the assembly on issues that relate to the upcoming regular session in January at the Alaska Legislature. Kind of more or less trying to hear what are some of the interests and needs from the Wrangell Community and what are they hoping for out of the next Legislative session.”
Ortiz expects a special session starting October 23 will be another important topic for discussion. Gov. Bill Walker called the session to find ways to raise revenue to fill a $2.3 billion budget deficit. Ortiz says new taxes are on the table.
“Nobody wants to see taxes increase at any time, but at the same time I heard from the mayor, Mayor Jack in Wrangell last time I was there, and he told me it’s really important that we in the Legislature come up with a fiscal plan.”
Ortiz was scheduled to join a Thursday teleconference with the governor and other legislators to discuss revenue options that could be pursued during the special session.
To round out his Wrangell visit Saturday, Ortiz plans to volunteer at the Wrangell High School’s cross-country meet and he’s going to do volunteer work with the local American Legion. He leaves for Ketchikan on Saturday afternoon.