Governor Palin Looks Ahead
on 100th Day in Office
March 14, 2007
Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin marked her first 100 days in office
Tuesday by reaffirming her commitment to work with the State
Legislature on the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, early funding
for education and comprehensive ethics reform legislation.
"One hundred days ago, I outlined my top priorities for
the state: a natural gasline, a balanced budget including temporary
relief for the unexpected PERS/TRS burden, ethics reform, and
workforce development," said Governor Palin. "I am
proud of our accomplishments to date, but we still have a lot
of work to do."
The first months of any administration always require a strong
devotion to choosing the best cabinet and members of the governor's
team. Quoting a news release, one of Governor Palin's greatest
accomplishments in her first 100 days was putting together that
cabinet in just over eight weeks - a cabinet which Palin says
has only the best interests of Alaskans at heart. The Governor
says she has chosen a talented, diverse cabinet which strives
to further her priorities and insist upon openness and transparency.
Alaska Gasline Inducement Act - AGIA
Governor Palin submitted the AGIA to the Legislature on her 89th
day in office. The legislation will act as a vehicle to get
a natural gas pipeline built and bring the state's substantial
gas reserves to market. The AGIA offers a number of inducements
for those who hold gas leases and for those who want to build
the line. In return, the state will provide a matching capital
contribution and insist on the state's must-haves: project benchmarks,
gas for Alaskans, expansion capabilities, and jobs for Alaskans.
The state is committed to ensuring that Alaskans will be trained
and ready to build the gasline. Governor Palin recently traveled
to Washington D.C., where she received encouragement for the
AGIA from Alaska's Congressional Delegation, FERC officials and
members of the Bush Administration.
FY 08 Amended Budgets
Governor Palin says she is committed to a budget that controls
the growth of government, forces the state to live within its
means, and encourages a healthy savings for the state's future.
The Governor's budget includes funding to restore the longevity
bonus program, a community revenue sharing program and fully
funds the education foundation formula. The budget also commits
nearly $500 million in new dollars for PERS/TRS relief throughout
the state during this time of budget surplus. From the moment
Governor Palin took office, she directed all state agencies to
look for efficiencies and savings. Through a collective effort,
the Governor was able to reduce general fund spending in the
operating budget alone by over $124 million. The capital budget
maximizes federal funding and focuses on the Administration's
priorities. The Governor will continue to work with the Legislature
to craft a final budget that meets the needs of Alaskans.
Keeping her campaign promise to govern in an open and transparent
fashion, Governor Palin presented an ethics bill to the Legislature
on January 24, 2007. The bill tightens ethics within the executive
branch, but touches upon all public servants. The Governor's
bill mandates more detail in financial disclosure, encourages
electronic access, further defines conflicts of interest, bans
gifts from lobbyists, and tightens certain employment restrictions
after leaving office. Governor Palin expects a comprehensive
ethics bill will pass both houses of the Legislature.
Senate Bill 46 and House Bill 69 were signed on February 20,
2007. Senate Bill 46 extends the deadline for coastal communities
to revise their plans for environmental oversight and development.
House Bill 69 mandates the Governor and the Board of Parole
to work together to ensure any decision on clemency is based
on a thorough review of the case, and made in deference to victims
and their families.
Governor Palin also signed Administrative Order 232, creating
the Alaska Health Strategies Planning Council. The Council will
spend almost a year finding innovative solutions to effectively
provide access to healthcare and help reduce the costs of healthcare
for Alaskans. The Council must report back to the Governor with
solutions on January 1, 2008.
Governor Palin is also making good on her campaign promise to
sell the Westwind II jet that was purchased under the previous
Administration. The Department of Public Safety recently accepted
bids for an aircraft brokerage service after numerous attempts
to sell the jet on eBay. The Westwind II is currently parked
in a hangar in Juneau. Governor Palin has never stepped foot
on the jet or used the jet.
Looking forward, Governor Palin continues to be committed to
helping the Legislature pass the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act
this session. She is also hoping to visit more villages and
communities across Alaska, and build public faith and trust through
openness and transparency in government throughout her term in
"These are exciting times for Alaska," said Governor
Palin. "I am more committed than ever to developing our
resources, building a world-class workforce, and saving for our
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