By: Austin Baird
JUNEAU — Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz is in the state Capitol meeting with lawmakers and members of Gov. Bill Walker’s administration, making a last-minute push for funding and policies favorable to the municipality on the final day of the regular legislative session — at least the final day approved by voters.
Despite the voter initiative approving a 90-day limit, the session can last up to 121 days without a special session, and leading lawmakers have said it will drag on at least a while longer. At issue is the battle over oil and gas tax credit reform, proposed new taxes and tax hikes, and conflicting plans to use Permanent Fund earnings to pay for government.
Berkowitz in an interview with KTUU said his top interest now is to see how the capital budget shapes up, in particular, whether there will be funds he has requested for the Port of Anchorage and what a state community revenue sharing will look like.