Senate Cool on Aerospace Funding Request


Jacob Resneck/KMXT

An increase in state funding for the Alaska Aerospace Corporation remains uncertain with key legislators remaining noncommittal. The state-owned corporation has requested $10 million in operating funds from the legislature, far more than the $4 million requested by Governor Sean Parnell. But so far there hasn’t been much support in the legislature to increase this amount.

At a Tuesday meeting of the Senate Finance Committee, a legislative aide to Sen. Lesil McGuire says the Military and Veterans Affairs subcommittee isn’t ready to endorse the funding request.

Here’s aide Michael Pawlowski briefing the senate committee.

— aerospace 1 :26 "It is important to note … we’d like to see it worked on."

Indeed state money for the Aerospace Corporation hasn’t been something legislators are ready to rally behind. That was demonstrated Tuesday when in a briefing with reporters, Senate President Gary Stevens of Kodiak and finance committee co-chair Senator Bert Stedman of Sitka were pointedly noncommittal.

— aerospace 2 :26 "Uh– it’s under discussion … we’ll take it from there."

The Alaska Aerospace Corporation has faced economic challenges since losing its Missile Defense Agency contract last year. A rocket carrying a U.S. Air Force satellite is scheduled to be launched May 5 from the Kodiak Launch Complex. And the corporation is bidding for ground-based missile defense at Fort Greeley.

Aerospace executives say the missile defense contract would help ensure the long-term health of the corporation which from July will be overseen by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

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