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  Maggie Wall, (907) 465-4582
Senate Majority Press Office
State Capitol
Juneau, AK 99801
web site:
http://www.akrepublicans.org
Actuality line: 1-800-478-6540

Senator Drue Pearce Named Alaska Senate President for Second Time

First Woman to Hold Position Twice

For Immediate Release: January 19, 1999
Contact: Maggie Wall at (907) 465-4582

Juneau -- Senator Drue Pearce, an Anchorage Republican, leads the Alaska State Senate for the second time in four years. Pearce was named President by her Senate colleagues on January 19th, the first day of the Twenty-first Alaska Legislature.

Senator Pearce is the first woman in Alaskaís history to serve as Senate President twice, said outgoing Senate President Mike Miller. Drue was selected unanimously by her colleagues. She is experienced, she knows how to build consensus, and she makes things happen.

It will be an honor serving the State of Alaska as Senate President, said Pearce. It is my goal to lead a legislature that is accountable to the people of Alaska, to persevere in our promise to deliver a smaller, smarter government, and to face the financial challenges of the new millennium by looking for positive solutions."

As a long-term legislator, Pearce has initiated many positive changes for the State. She led the Senate two-years ago in the 19th Legislative Session, which became known as the session of reform. Laws were passed implementing welfare reform, tort reform, teacher tenure reform, and campaign finance reform.

Pearce also played a key role in developing the Republicanís Five-Year Budget Plan. If the Republicans had not implemented its budget plan when we did, the State would be in a poor position to deal with todayís low oil prices, said Pearce.

This year, Pearce continued her effort to toughen crime laws by introducing Senate Bill 5 , which makes misprision a felony crime. Misprision is defined as witnessing a violent crime, or an arson, and not reporting it.

SB 5 is important legislature especially as it pertains to children. This bill makes it illegal to witness the sexual abuse of a minor and fail to notify authorities, said Pearce.

This session Pearce is a member of the Senate Rules Committee. She also serves as Vice-Chair of the Transportation Committee; is a member of the Health, Education, and Social Services Committee and the Legislative Council; and is the alternate on both the Legislative Budget and Audit, and Ethic Committees. She continues on as an Executive Committee member of The Energy Council.

This is an exciting and difficult time for Alaskans. Major revenue shortfalls means all Alaskans will have to work together to make decisions about values and priorities, and where we want the State to be in the next millennium, said Pearce.

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