Lawmakers keep adding projects to budget $3 BILLION? Governor warns Legislature to cool down and return to restraint.
JUNEAU — Controversy is growing over the proposed $2.2 billion state budget for construction projects. Lawmakers were busy Thursday adding projects that would make their spending plan even bigger while Gov. Sean Parnell said they are stuffing it too full and need to stop.
"I think the Senate Finance Committee is on a path to a bloated capital budget. If they continue down this road they're going to spend about $3 billion," Parnell said.
He said he wants "this path arrested and changed" before the Legislature adjourns for the year on April 18. Parnell has the power to veto projects.
State senators were huddling Thursday to decide which additional projects will appear in the capital budget when a bigger version is released Saturday. Members of the House, meanwhile, were working to craft an additional package expected to include hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds for construction projects left out of the budget.
Senate Finance Committee co-chair Bert Stedman said the state is far behind on road work, building maintenance and other infrastructure, while it is sitting on a huge surplus of funds from the high oil prices.
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