From Sean Cockerham in Anchorage ---
Gov. Sean Parnell plans to make at least $400 million in budget vetoes this afternoon.
Interest groups from around the state have been lobbying the governor’s office in an attempt to protect their stuff from getting cut.
Parnell will announce at 1:30 p.m. just what he’ll cut from the capital budget (which stands at between $3.2 billion and $4 billion depending on how you count it.)
He may also do some vetoes from the $12 billion operating budget that pays for state services.
The Legislature’s spending reached historic levels this year. Spending in the capital budget includes $37.5 million for the troubled Anchorage port expansion project, $34 million for the new University of Alaska Anchorage arena, and $2 million to help the declining Great Alaska Shootout basketball tournament.
It includes $220 million to help do work toward a possible small-diameter natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to Southcentral Alaska, and $100 million (four times more than Parnell asked for) in home energy rebate and weatherization money.
Other big projects include $28.5 million for expanding the Blue Lake hydroelectric project in Sitka and $17.6 million to start work on the Chikuminik hydro project near Bethel. There’s $65 million for work toward the proposed Susitna River dam but Parnell supports that money and won’t veto it.