Legislators postpone making decision on Anchorage offices

The Alaska Legislature’s Legislative Council has postponed a decision on its expensive Anchorage offices.

In a presentation Friday, Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak and chairman of the council, presented information declaring that staying in the Legislature’s newly remodeled Fourth Avenue Legislative Information Office will cost four times as much as moving lawmakers to an existing state office building.

According to the report, the Legislature will spend $40 million over the next 10 years to keep Anchorage lawmakers’ offices in the Fourth Avenue building. In comparison, moving the Anchorage legislators into the Atwood Building a few blocks away would cost just $10 million over the same period.

The Legislature is renting space in the Fourth Avenue building, which has been deemed the “Taj MaHawker” by critics who scorn Anchorage Republican Rep. Mike Hawker’s close relationship with developer Mark Pfeffer. Hawker negotiated the state’s lease with Pfeffer, who owns the building.

Members of the Legislative Council — which makes decisions for the Legislature out of session — said they wanted more information than that provided by Stevens’ analysis.

The delay will put the Legislature’s decision out of Gov. Bill Walker’s proposed state budget, which was expected on Wednesday. The state is facing a $3 billion gap between annual revenue and expenses, and the Legislature was one of the few branches of state government to avoid budget cuts last year.

James Brooks is a reporter for the Juneau Empire.

More in News

Christie Hill prepares to play “Taps” during the 9/11 memorial service on Saturday. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Homer honors lives lost during 9/11

The Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotary held a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony at the… Continue reading

Judith Eckert
COVID-19 patient says monoclonal antibody infusion saved her life

Antibody infusions highly effective in reducing risk of hospitalization, according to FDA trial ..

A sign flashing “Keep COVID down” also offers information on where to get testing and vaccines on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
SPH holding steady in COVID-19 surge

Despite hospital crisis in Anchorage, Homer’s hospital not impacted, spokesperson tells Homer City Council.

Brie Drummond speaks in support of mask mandates on Monday, Sept. 13, for the Kenai Peninsula School Board meeting at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. During a work session before the meeting, the district presented revisions to its COVID-19 mitigation protocols. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
School district revises COVID-19 mitigation plans

The revisions come as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Alaska and on the Kenai Peninsula.

A protester stands outside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin building in Soldotna on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Parents square off over masks at school board meeting

Some parents said they will keep their kids home if masks are required, while others say they’ll keep their kids home if masks aren’t required.

.
Borough School Board election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

.
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

.
Homer City Council election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

Janie Leask, a Homer resident, spoke in support of the new multi-use community center during Monday night’s city council meeting, stating the need for community recreation is vital.
Council moves forward with HERC plans

After years of discussions and planning, the Homer City Council is quickly… Continue reading

Most Read