Gov. Michael Dunleavy was elected on a pledge to cut the state budget. But his proposal still finds room for budget boosts for a handful of items, from state courts to oil tax credits to a Denali State Park visitors center.
A lawsuit between the cruise ship industry and the city of Juneau has been on the mind of port communities that rely on seasonal tourism. At a summit this week, representatives from both sides tried to reassure them.
The ruling allows the city to move forward on its annual budget process and figure out how it will use roughly $5 million in passenger fees next fiscal year. One of the proposals has already raised flags for the cruise industry.
Following Judge H. Russel Holland’s December ruling that passenger fees can only be used for services to cruise ships, the industry had asked the judge to go further. The final judgement opens an avenue for either party to appeal.
Cruise industry attorneys are asking a federal judge to define more precisely what the City and Borough of Juneau can — and can’t — spend its passenger fees on. The judge recently ruled passenger fees can only be spent on services to vessels. The city may appeal the ruling.