SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Governor Palin Looks Ahead on 100th Day in Office


March 14, 2007
Wednesday AM

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."

Strong Cabinet

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.

Ethics Reform

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.

Additional Information

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 office.

"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 future."


Source of News:

Office of the Governor

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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska