Rep. Sara Hannan, D-Juneau, center, answers a question as Sen. Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, left, and Rep. Andi Story, D-Juneau, wait their turn during a standing-room only town hall meeting at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Rep. Sara Hannan, D-Juneau, center, answers a question as Sen. Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, left, and Rep. Andi Story, D-Juneau, wait their turn during a standing-room only town hall meeting at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau’s legislators express concern about state jobs leaving town

Letter asks for information on possible elimination, relocation of jobs

Clarification: An earlier version of this article stated that Juneau’s legislators sent a letter to the commissioner of the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. The legislators didn’t just send the letter to that commissioner, but sent the letter to every commissioner. The article has been changed to reflect that.

The members of Juneau’s legislative delegation have publicly expressed their concern about the possibility of state jobs in Juneau being eliminated or leaving town.

Sen. Jesse Kiehl and Reps. Sara Hannan and Andi Story, all Democrats, signed a letter sent to every department commissioner expressing their concerns. The letter, dated Jan. 22, requests that the departments notify the trio of legislators immediately as soon as the departments “contemplates eliminating or relocating state jobs from Juneau.”

The letter, which Story shared recently on her official Facebook page, talks about recent state budget cuts slashing more than 500 state jobs in the capital city. The legislators stated in the letter that they believe cutting state jobs in Juneau makes the state less efficient, in addition to making life difficult on Juneau families.

Juneau’s lawmakers sent this letter expressing concern about state jobs leaving Juneau. (Courtesy photo | Representative Andi Story on Facebook)

Juneau’s lawmakers sent this letter expressing concern about state jobs leaving Juneau. (Courtesy photo | Representative Andi Story on Facebook)

The letter requests a slate of information from the departments, including information about where high-ranking members of the departments work.

“We ask you to provide the plan, rationale, cost considerations and any other analysis regarding the relocation or elimination of jobs,” the letter states.

In her post along with a photo of the letter, Story mentioned Gov. Mike Dunleavy and said this issue is close to her, Hannan and Kiehl’s hearts.

“While we understand the need of Gov. Dunleavy to organize his administration in the way that will best execute his mission, jobs should not be relocated unless there is an overriding reason to do so,” Story wrote in the post. “Protecting (and creating) jobs in Juneau is a priority of mine and I will remain vigilant to ensure that jobs are not being moved from our community without good reason and proper analysis.”


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or amccarthy@soundpublishing.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


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