Senate Finance Co-Chair, Senator Sean Parnell, comments: "Committee members are
working with some of the world’s best experts to tell us how to preserve and
protect the Permanent Fund for future generations. That’s got to be part of any
long-range financial plan we develop this session--and we’re working with the
best people to do that."
= Sean Parnell, 21 K
Senate Finance Co-Chair, Senator John Torgerson, reports on Wednesday's hearing
in Senate Finance. The Committee heard from the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation,
as well as an expert on investing and protecting the state’s major savings account.
As the legislature grapples with ways to address a $1.2 billion dollar budget
shortfall, the Finance Committee continues to hear from financial experts on tools
necessary for crafting a long-term, sustainable financial plan for the state.
= John Torgerson, 61 K
Senate President, Senator Drue Pearce, explains her motivations for introducing
SCR 7. The measure urges Governor Tony Knowles to withdraw his request for a
referral of the Tulsequah Chief Mine in British Columbia to the International
Joint Commission, which mediates border disputes between the U.S. and Canada.
The resolution, moved by the Senate Resources Committee Wednesday, further
expresses Alaska's support for the environmentally responsible development of
= Drue Pearce, 92 K
Representative Lisa Murkowski describes consumer protection legislation
she sponsored. The measure provides comprehensive consumer protection
laws regulating the fast-growing rental-purchase business.
= Lisa Murkowski, 57 K
Senate Finance Co-Chair, Senator John Torgerson, gives an overview of the
Senate Finance Committee's recent hearings on long-term fiscal plan
= John Torgerson, 125 K
Senate Finance Co-Chair, Senator Sean Parnell, details upcoming plans for the
Senate Finance Committee. He announces that it is the responsibility to present
a long-range fiscal plan to the public
= Sean Parnell, 28 K
House Oil and Gas Committee Chairman, Representative Jim Whitaker, announces his
proposal to create a State owned entity called the Alaska Gas Corporation. This
would be the first step toward establishing a natural gas pipeline project from
Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. Rep. Whitaker details some of the specifics of his
= Jim Whitaker, 55 K
Representative Whitaker describes his motivations for introducting legislation
to create the Alaska Gas Corporation.
= Jim Whitaker, 14 K
Representative Whitaker further comments and details the specifics of how his
proposed Alaska Gas Corporation would function.
= Jim Whitaker, 59 K
Senator Jerry Ward comments on his motivations for introducing SB 46. The
measure will rename a remodeled building behind the Capitol the Terry
Miller Legislative Office Building.
= Jerry Ward, 26 K
Representative Jeannette James comments on the House's passage of her HB 112.
The measure would establish the Alaska Public Building Fund, which would be
used to help pay for maintenance and other costs of state-owned facilities.
= Jeannette James, 112 K
Representative Gail Phillips comments on the House passing her HJR 28. The
measure calls on Congress to give the National Marine Fisheries Service
authority to regulate the harvest of Belugas until the population has
= Gail Phillips, 83 K
Representative Norman Rokeberg comments on the House passing his HB 123.
The measure would exempt volunteer ski patrollers from minimum wage and
overtime compensation requirements and clarify the law regarding
exemptions for nonprofit organization volunteers.
= Norman Rokeberg, 59 K
Senate Finance Co-Chair, Senator John Torgerson, discusses important goals in
the Majority's fiscal plan. Defensible assumptions are amongst the most
important of those goals.
= John Torgerson, 27 K
Senate Finance Co-Chair, Senator Sean Parnell, comments that money saved
today towards closing Alaska's fiscal gap is worth millions in the future.
= Sean Parnell, 41 K
Senator Robin Taylor details his motivations for introducing SJR 19 Wednesday.
The measure would separate administrative hearing officer functions away
from the State bureaucracies that now employ them.
= Robin Taylor, 21 K
Senator Jerry Ward describes the effects of a resolution he sponsored that
passed the Senate Wednesday. SJR 8 opposes the use of random sampling
techniques or other statistical methods of counting Alaskans during our
= Jerry Ward, 17 K
Senate Finance Co-Chair, Senator Sean Parnell, discusses how the Finance
Committees cannot build a fiscal plan that depends upon oil revenues. Peter Bogin,
from Cambridge Energy Research Associates, and Douglas M. MacIntyre from the U.S.
Department of Energy are nationally recognized energy experts who both told a joint
meeting of the House and Senate Finance Committees that the days of easy oil money
= Sean Parnell, 23 K
Senate Finance Co-Chair, Senator John Torgerson, comments on the long-range
revenue projections for Alaska's oil income and how this impacts the budget
= John Torgerson, 66 K
House Finance Co-Chair, Representative Gene Therriault, explains that immediate
and long-term oil price prospects are forcing tough budget decisions. Low prices
and declining production numbers dictate a budget that relies far less on oil
revenue than in the past.
= Gene Therriault, 31 K
House Finance Co-Chair, Representative Eldon Mulder, discusses the bad and good
news delivered by national energy experts Tuesday during a Joint House and
Senate Finance Committee meeting. While oil prices have likely bottomed out
short-term, the North Slope's declining oil production figures point to new
= Eldon Mulder, 77 K
Representative Joe Green says he is encouraged by information presented in
Tuesday's Joint House and Senate Finance Committee meeting by national energy
experts. While oil prices are currently very low, Mr. Peter Bogin, from
Cambridge Energy Research Associates, and Douglas M. MacIntyre from the
U.S. Department of Energy are nationally recognized energy experts who told
Committee members that oil prices have likely bottomed out. Rep. Green goes
on to speculate about the future of Alaska's oil industry and future gas
= Joe Green, 116 K
Representative Gail Phillips comments on how Alaska's oil industry will likely see
very slight increases in oil prices long-term and how Alaska's budget process must
take this into account. She goes on to talk about new oil production possibilities
and how they could affect Alaska's bottom line.
= Gail Phillips, 109 K
Senator Loren Leman describes the purpose behind his SB 27. The measure was
passed by the Senate on Monday and seeks to guarantee parental access to
important records on children, and also requires school districts to share
information with other districts about potentially dangerous transfer
= Loren Leman, 93 K
The Alaska Legislature is hosting a delegation of high-ranking Russian political
leaders March 24-29 that will meet with public and private sector leaders and
tour facilities in Anchorage, Juneau, and Kenai. Representative Ramona Barnes
explains the details.
= Ramona Barnes, 71 K
Representative Eldon Mulder defends legislation he sponsored in a
floor speech today. The House unanimously passed his HJR 21 Monday. The
measure asks the Federal Government to reform the selection and evaluation
criteria used in any future military base closure actions.
= Eldon Mulder, 86 K
Representative Eldon Mulder further comments on HJR 21.
= Eldon Mulder, 55 K
Senate Majority Leader, Senator Jerry Mackie, expresses his satisfaction and
pleasure that Governor Knowles Friday signed into law today new protections in
Alaska's Forest Practices Act. SB 12 strengthens stream and water quality
protections for Alaska's coastal forest areas.
= Jerry Mackie, 28 K
House Finance Co-Chair, Representative Gene Therriault, comments on a Minority
sponsored press conference today where they discussed their concerns over the
way the budget process is going. Rep. Therriault's floor speech noted that
the Minorities' actions raise more questions than they answer.
= Gene Therriault, 109 K
Senate Rules Chair, Senator Tim Kelly, explains his motivations for introducing
SB 99. The measure seeks to end discrimination against members of the Armed
Forces in legislative redistricting and insure that future redistricting plans
are based on census figures derived from an actual count of every Alaskan.
= Tim Kelly, 18 K
Senator Jerry Ward comments on legislation he sponsored, SJR 14, that would
amend the State Constitution to make the Attorney General post an elected
= Jerry Ward, 35 K
Representative Gene Therriault urges House members for a favorable vote on
HJR 13 during a floor speech. The legislation calls for a long-term "research
and monitoring" endowment using $115 million from the expected reserve of
Exxon Valdez oil spill settlement funds.
= Gene Therriault, 80 K
Representative Gail Phillips defends her resolution, HJR 11, during a floor
speech urging Congress and the White House to open the Coastal Plain of the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration.
= Gail Phillips, 111 K
Senator Drue Pearce explains in detail the reasons behind her withdrawing her
support for the Anchorage International Airport Expansion Project. This project
is the largest single public project ever funded by the State of Alaska.
= Drue Pearce, 181 K
Senator Jerry Ward explains his reasons for proposing his "Parolee Pay"
program, SB 108. The measure would charge inmates for their parole and
probation supervision costs. Currently, the cost to the state is over $8.5
million dollars annually.
= Jerry Ward, 17 K
Senate Finance Co-Chair, Senator Sean Parnell, comments on the Senate's
concurrence on changes made to the Supplemental Budget in Conference
= Sean Parnell, 38 K
Representative Carl Morgan defends and urges members to vote for his measure during
a floor speech Tuesday. HB 93 permits refinancing of Alaska Housing Finance
Corporation rural home loans in the same manner any conventional mortgage allows.
= Carl Morgan, 49 K
House Finance Co-Chair, Representative Eldon Mulder, comments on the House's
concurrence on changes made to the Supplemental Budget in Conference
= Eldon Mulder, 87 K
In a speech to the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Monday, Senate President Drue
Pearce announced the Senate Republican Majority's goal to reduce state spending
next year by $300 million.
= Drue Pearce, 25 K
Representative Carl Morgan defends his HB 80 during floor action Monday. The
measure would establish an enlistment and retention incentive for the Alaska
= Carl Morgan, 26 K
Senate Finance Co-Chair, Senator John Torgerson, talks about the passage of
HB 100, this fiscal year's Supplemental Budget from the Senate Sunday afternoon.
"We worked through the Governor's original supplemental request and found items
that were not necessary or were largely over-funded," said Senator Torgerson.
"Each dollar spent in the Supplemental Budget is one dollar out of the State's
savings account. By tightening the strings now, we'll have more money and
more flexibility to shape a long-term funding solution later."
= John Torgerson, 30 K
Senate Finance Co-Chair, Senator Sean Parnell, comments on the passage of
HB 100 from the Senate Sunday afternoon. "We chose to keep the pressure on the
Democratic Leadership for more current year budget cuts rather than writing
them a 'blank check'," said Senator Parnell.
= Sean Parnell, 24 K
Senate State Affairs Committee Chairman, Senator Jerry Ward, vows to find out
what's wrong at Alaska's Pioneers Homes and "fix it," following a Senate State
Affairs Committee hearing yesterday on the care given to seniors at Pioneers
= Jerry Ward, 72 K
Senator Lyda Green also comments on her concerns about senior care at
Alaska's Pioneers Homes.
= Lyda Green, 52 K
Senator Rick Halford discusses the passage of his SJR 5 from the House Friday.
The measure opposes the National Park Service's (NPS) recent closure of two
million acres of Denali National Park and Preserve to snowmachine use.
= Rick Halford, 25 K
Senate Finance Co-Chair, Senator Sean Parnell, talks about the passage of
HB 100, this fiscal year's Supplemental Budget from the Senate Finance
Committee Friday evening. "Our original spending plan included $16.5 million
dollars for unanticipated and extraordinary expenses." Parnell said, "We were
able to cut that by $3.3 million."
= Sean Parnell, 24 K
Senate Finance Co-Chair, Senator John Torgerson, comments on the passage of
HB 100 from the Senate Finance Committee Friday evening. The measure is
this fiscal year's Supplemental Budget. "In my memory, this is one of the lowest
supplemental budgets that has been passed in recent years," said Torgerson.
= John Torgerson, 20 K
House Finance Co-Chair, Representative Eldon Mulder
defends and urges the passage of HB 100 during today's floor session. The bill,
which contains the FY 99 Supplemental Budget, passed the House Floor Thursday
on a 24 - 7 vote. The measure decreases State spending $1.5 million below the
level authorized for the entire fiscal year.
= Eldon Mulder, 35 K
Representative Mulder continues his comments
= Eldon Mulder, 67 K
Representative Norman Rokeberg discusses his tobacco
litigation package, companion bills HB 21 and HB 37. The former allocates the
State's share of the recent settlement with tobacco companies 1/2 to medical
assistance for the needy and 1/2 for tobacco education and cessation programs
and for smokers' health screening. The latter, HB 37, adds smoking education and
cessation program to the list of public health and social services programs
administered by the Dept. of Health and Social Services.
= Norman Rokeberg, 57 K
Representative Rokeberg further comments.
= Norman Rokeberg, 32 K
House Finance Co-Chair, Representative Gene Therriault, discusses his proposal to
privatize and consolidation of Alaska's tourism marketing efforts. HB 136 would
repeal the Alaska Tourism Marketing Council and reduce the size of the Division of
Tourism. It directs the division to award a contract to a single, qualified trade
association. That association is required to provide a 30% match to the State's
dollars in the first year of implementation. The match goes up to 60% in year
= Gene Therriault, 58 K
Representative Vic Kohring discusses his opposition to funding rural electrical
rate subsidies and the findings by the Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission on
Power Cost Equalization. Rep. Kohring talks about his alternative plan to develop
an infrastructure to create self-sufficiency.
= Vic Kohring, 77 K
Senator Jerry Ward, chair of the Senate State Affairs Committee, talks about his
public hearing on the State-run Pioneer Homes. The Pioneer Homes have been the
subject of numerous complaints and questions regarding how the homes are operated
and the safety of their residents.
= Jerry Ward, 50 K
Senator Jerry Ward expresses his opposition and motivations for introducing SJR 8.
The measure urges the federal government to not use statistical methods during
our country's next census.
= Jerry Ward, 13 K
House Finance Co-Chair, Representative Eldon Mulder discusses the Finance
Committee's actions in the passage of HB 100 from Committee Tuesday. The measure
is this year's supplemental bill. The bill funds emergency situations, disasters,
and other items which occur but cannot be predicted during FY 99 (June 30, 1998
through June 30, 1999).
= Eldon Mulder, 69 K
Representative Lisa Murkowski talks about the Legislature's newly formed Joint
Committee on Military Bases and its mission.
= Lisa Murkowski, 81 K
Senate Finance Co-Chair, Senator Sean Parnell, discusses the Senate Finance
Committee's plans for the Constitutional Budget Reserve draw this week.
= Sean Parnell, 18 K
Senator Loren Leman relates his motivations in introducing SJR 15 today. The
measure will provide increased accountability from state judges and change
the process for filling judicial vacancies. "The role of the court system in
Alaska government has changed in recent years, and this change has not been for
the better," stated Senator Leman. "Increasingly, state judges have abandoned
their constitutional role as interpreters of the law, and are instead beginning
to write the law.
= Loren Leman, 78 K
Senator Dave Donley comments on Senator Leman's Judicial Accountability measure,
SJR 15. Senator Donley noted that the Supreme Court's Bess v. Ulmer decision
last year provides a vivid example of why judicial reform is needed, "In the
Bess decision, the Supreme Court denied the people of Alaska their right to vote
on a constitutional amendment related to prisoners' rights, without even
allowing the parties to brief the issue.
= Dave Donley, 152 K
Representative Jeannette James, sponsor of HB 12, comments on its passage from
the Alaska House of Representatives Friday. The measure reauthorizes the
identification of a corridor for the extension of the Alaska Railroad to
the Canadian border and allows eventual funding from any source, private
= Jeannette James, 31 K
Freshman Representative John Harris discusses his Tobacco Settlement bill,
which the House passed Friday. The measure, HJR 12, asks the federal government
to abandon its announced intention to take some of the billions of dollars
Alaska and other states will receive from a huge settlement with tobacco
= John Harris, 93 K
Representative Vic Kohring defends his School Voucher measure, HB 5, from charges
it would make K-12 education more expensive in Alaska.
= Vic Kohring, 58 K
Representative Vic Kohring explains his motivations for introducing HB 4. The
measure would eliminate Daylight Savings Time in Alaska.
= Vic Kohring, 82 K
Senator Jerry Mackie discusses his support for Governor Knowles' lawsuit
against the Federal Government to resolve jurisdictional conflicts in
Glacier Bay. The lawsuit seeks to prove the State of Alaska has ownership
of the submerged lands and tidelands of the Bay.
= Jerry Mackie, 68 K
Senator Leman comments on his proposed amendments to the new law that
permits use of marijuana for medical purposes. The "Medical Marijuana"
initiative passed by popular vote last November and takes effect today.
= Loren Leman, 59 K
Senator Jerry Ward discusses his resolution declaring March as "Sobriety
= Jerry Ward, 48 K
Senate Majority Leader, Senator Jerry Mackie, reflects on the concensus
building process evident in the passage of SB 12 from the Legislature today.
The measure increases protections in the Alaska Forest Practices Act for
water quality and fish habitat in Alaska's coastal rivers. It also further
defines the buffer zones that must be maintained in timber harvest areas.
= Jerry Mackie, 51 K