Legislative panel taking new look at expensive Anchorage LIO

Legislative Council, the joint House-Senate committee that manages the Legislature's business, is meeting behind closed doors Thursday afternoon.

On the agenda: "financial transactions in process" that relate to two expensive construction projects: the redo of the Legislature's leased building in Anchorage and the seismic retrofit and renovation of the crumbling Capitol.

Rep. Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage and the council chairman, said he hoped that the Legislature will be able to reduce its lease payments for the Anchorage building.

Hawker last year signed new lease terms with developer Mark Pfeffer that raises the annual lease bill to $3.4 million over the $682,000 that it had been paying but total increase will be even more once utilities, property taxes and other expenses that had been covered under the old lease are factored in. Some brokers and developers have questioned the deal.

The executive session began around 12:30 p.m.