Alaska’s state legislature will begin its first session of the year this Tuesday. The City of Wrangell outlined what it would like state legislators and its lobbyist to advocate for.
City officials have said when the state budget gets cut, it passes a financial burden to municipalities. That’s why the city wants to see the state adopt a sustainable budget, including a broad based-tax. City officials have said they’d prefer that come as an income tax, rather than a state sales tax.
The city doesn’t want to see cuts to jail contracts, fisheries, school debt reimbursement, the marine highway or state grants. Grants help pay for major upgrades to Wrangell’s infrastructure, including roads, public buildings, and our harbors.
The city also wants to see state positions in Wrangell reinstated. Those include the public health nurse, child welfare case worker and magistrate. Those positions are now in Petersburg.
The city sees veteran and senior tax exemptions as unfunded mandates, so it would like municipalities to have the option to override those if needed.
Aside from largely budgetary concerns, the city wants Senate Bill 91 revised. Critics across the state claim it’s made Alaska soft on crime.
The Borough spends $72,000 a year for both federal and state lobbying.
You can view the city’s total list of legislative prioritizes here. Scroll to item 13b.