He came to Alaska in 1991 to cover state politics for APRN and has logged an impressive 22 legislative sessions. He arrived in Juneau from North Carolina, thinking he would only stay one year. But like many Alaskans, he fell in love with the state and its capital city almost instantly.
Donaldson turned off his tape deck Thursday for retirement. In this interview with APRN’s Lori Townsend, he says he had a great first impression of the legislature and state lawmakers:
- The Juneau Assembly declined to pass a broaden sales tax exemption for seniors. Opposition from businesses prodded elected officials to refer the initiative back to committee.
- Fines for pet owners whose for critters scooped up by animal control officers have gone up. The fees hadn't been adjusted for nearly 17 years.
- Local education officials are applying for state money to replace and repair leaky roofs at several Juneau schools. About $5 million is coming in over the next five years earmarked for school maintenance from sales tax money that voters approved in the Oct. 3 election.
- "They’re calling it GTA, grand theft Anchorage, right now," said Rep. Lora Reinbold, who says she wants to repeal Senate Bill 91. "It’s outrageous, what’s going on in the city that I love.”