Kodiak Senator Gary Stevens is gearing up for the next session of the Alaska State Legislature, which begins in January. Stevens, who is Senate President, and other members of the Senate Majority will soon go on a retreat to come to agreement over their legislative priorities.
Governor Sean Parnell has already warned legislators to take it easy on capital projects spending in the new budget. He said he did not see the strong revenues the state currently enjoys as a license to spend more.
Stevens would like the governor to look elsewhere for savings.
Parnell has until December 15th to unveil his budget plan.
Last session, Parnell could not convince the senate to go along with his reduction in taxes on oil companies, which has the state sitting comfortably while the rest of the nation struggles with their budgets. Stevens says he may be receptive to some adjustment to the oil taxes, but not the huge give back Parnell offered last session.
As far as capital spending goes, Stevens said he thought Parnell "played fair" with Senate District R last year, and hopes to fund many more projects back here at home next year.
Because of redistricting, this will be the last year Stevens will represent Homer and Seward. If he is re-elected next year, his district will expand to the east and west.
Because of redistricting, Stevens’ four-year term was truncated to two, just like all but one other state senator. His will be a two-year term, meaning he’ll have to run again in 2014 for a full, four-year term. It would be his third campaign in four years.