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Sat Nov 26, 2016, 08:49 AM

Alaska Gov. Walker looks to local leaders for help lobbying lawmakers on budget plan

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has a new message for local government leaders forced to cut their budgets because of state spending reductions: Help me help you.

Walker in June used his veto power to slash spending on an array of state programs in a bid to close Alaska's massive deficit and in the process, he blew multimillion dollar holes in the budgets of places like Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

Now, in a new string of letters to municipal leaders, Walker, a former Valdez mayor himself, said his decisions were forced on him by legislative inaction. And, he added, he'll need help from local officials to pressure lawmakers on a broad budget plan if they want to keep things from getting worse.

Walker particularly singled out officials at the Mat-Su Borough, whose state legislators have been among the most resistant to Walker's deficit-reduction proposals, even as this year's state revenue covers just 29 percent of spending.

Read more: https://www.adn.com/politics/2016/11/25/alaska-gov-walker-looks-to-local-leaders-for-help-lobbying-lawmakers-on-budget-plan/

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