Furniture Budget Raised 500% Despite Democrats’ Objection

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 10th, 2014

House Democratic Leader Representative Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage) today reiterated his caucus’s position regarding yesterday’s Legislative Council vote to authorize increased spending on the Anchorage Legislative Information Office (LIO).  

“There’s no need to spend a half-million dollars on furniture, especially in these tight fiscal times,” Tuck said.  “We support a functional LIO to serve the public, but now is not the time to quintuple the furniture budget.”

Rep. Max Gruenberg (D-Anchorage), the Minority Whip and the House Democrats’ representative on the Legislative Council, voted against the measure, as did Rep. Bill Stoltze (R-Chugiak).    “We all owe Representatives Gruenberg and Stoltze our thanks for making the right call,” Tuck said.

“As the Anchorage LIO project grows increasingly costly, our constituents become increasingly concerned,” Gruenberg said.  “In the face of widespread basic needs, including health and safety, education, and transportation, I could not support a 500% increase in the budget for LIO furniture.  As a fiscally responsible person and the House Democratic caucus’s representative on the Legislative Council, I voted against this use of public funds.”

The Legislative Council is a panel of lawmakers appointed to manage the legislature’s internal workings.

The Legislative Council’s action allows use of existing furniture, which Democrats support.  “Sure, replace worn-out or broken furnishings, but let’s be reasonable,” Rep. Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage) said.  “I just want my old desk back.”

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