The corner window on the Third Floor of the Capitol is the governor's office. It's been bricked over for decades. When we did the seismic upgrades over the past few years,the governor said he wanted it open again. Juneau's Ken Alper liked that as much as I did, so we got a copy of my dad's old campaign poster showing his light burning late into the night on the Third Floor of the Capitol, working for Alaskans. I'm glad the light shines through that window again.
Sometimes you just have to fix stuff that gets broken. This year a group of city attorneys brought me a problem the legislature accidentally caused when it was fixing a different problem back in 1998. So I introduced SB 100, which passed the Senate this week.
It gives Alaska's cities and boroughs back the power to place liens when someone won't pay what they owe the city. Liens are a powerful, efficient tool to recover money owed, and Alaska law provides them for workers, mortgages, and pretty much every private sector business. Without them as a tool, cities had to do some convoluted, inefficient stuff to collect, and that costs local taxpayers.
So SB 100 gives local government back an important tool for collecting what people owe. It keeps all the rules we have now about being fair, but now it can go back to being efficient.
Haines' Habra Hits the Halls
Tony Habra is Superintendent of the Haines Borough School District. He visited the office this week to talk about their successes, challenges, and what deep budget cuts could do to education in Haines. We also took just a minute at the end of our meeting to talk jazz - I think I convinced him to come down for Juneau Jazz & Classics in May.
I forgot to get a photo, but Juneau superintendent Mark Miller also came by, with finance director David Means and Amy Lujan of the Alaska School Business Officials. They cleared up some questions I had about how Juneau schools put dollars to work teaching kids.
The United States Supreme Court has nine members again. It's been a long time. Some folks on my hallway in the Capitol gave us a chance to mark the occasion by coloring our favorite Supreme Court Justices. So my staffer Jesse Kiehl had his daughters Tsifira and Adara come by the office to help us out. They did a great job with Ruth Bader Ginsburg!