Governor Sean Parnell is warning that Ketchikan’s lawsuit against the state over school funding might make him and lawmakers reluctant to fund Ketchikan projects.
In a visit to the community Thursday, Parnell discussed the Ketchikan Gateway Borough’s lawsuit, which argues that municipalities in Alaska should not have to pay a local contribution for public education. If the suit is successful, it could hold the state accountable for hundreds of millions more in education spending and Parnell predicted potential repercussions.
Parnell confirmed some people’s worries here in Ketchikan. He said the lawsuit filed in January could jade his and other lawmakers perspective toward Ketchikan funding.
“When Ketchikan asks for money but yet the state might be on the hook in the lawsuit for more money, there’s kind of a reluctance or a reticence to step forward for other projects.,” Parnell said.
Parnell said he understands the frustration behind the lawsuit. But he thinks a local contribution for education is a good thing.
“I actually think a local contribution is important, I think it helps keep people connected to the school district and helps really make people interested and invested in the school district and the system that is here for our kids.”
- The city thinks Hecla's Greens Creek mine may be responsible. The mine says its discharges in the area meet state requirements.
- Sarah Erkmann, external affairs manager for the Alaska Oil and Gas Association trade group, said the tax amounts to “punishing” oil companies.
- The Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon canceled its annual convention slated to be held in Haines, mainly due to the weak Canadian dollar.
- For now, traffic in Gastineau Channel will not be restricted, but Hilbert said they will likely establish a no-wake zone during the actual salvage operation.