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Governor Murkowski Signs Six Bills
Commission on Aging, Tort Reform for Dwelling Construction, and more...


April 24, 2004

Juneau, AK - Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski on Friday signed into law six House and Senate bills relating to the Alaska Commission on Aging, health care providers, the limited entry commission, lawsuits over defective dwellings, research at the university, and reimbursements to the Department of Natural Resources.

SB 201, by Fairbanks Senator Ralph Seekins, reinstates a provision in Alaska law that requires a health care provider to undergo a criminal background check before he or she may receive state funds for delivery of home care. The bill corrects an error made when a cross-reference was deleted in an earlier bill.

"This may be a housekeeping bill, but it addresses an important situation," Murkowski said. "The safety of seniors, the handicapped, and others who are dependent on home care will have a higher level of assurance under this change."

HB 394, by Fairbanks Rep. Jim Holm, extends the sunset for the Alaska Commission on Aging from June 30, 2004 to June 30, 2008.

"In the next quarter century, the number of Alaska seniors over the age 60 is expected to triple, growing from 8 percent to 20 percent of Alaska's total population," Murkowski said. "Alaska seniors are living longer and growing stronger. This bill will extend the sunset of the Commission on Aging until 2008. The work the commission does will continue to ensure the dignity and independence of Alaska's seniors."

HB 478, by Wrangell Rep. Peggy Wilson, conforms state law to actual practice of the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, which issues interim use permits in any Alaska fishery that CFEC has not limited to a maximum number of participants.

"This bill addresses a problem stemming from fishermen who have caught halibut and sablefish outside the 3-mile limit of state waters, and have brought the fish into state waters for delivery and sale," Murkowski said. "The bill clarifies the law and is consistent with the original intent of the statutes."

HB 340, by Anchorage Rep. Kevin Meyer, is a tort reform bill that limits the amount of damages that may be recovered in a lawsuit as a result of a defect in the design, construction or remodel of a dwelling.

"The goal of this legislation is to help assist builders and contractors attain affordable general liability insurance, which will have a benefit to the consumer when deciding whether to purchase a home," Murkowski said.

HB 282, by Fairbanks Rep. Bud Fate, authorizes the president of the university to approve a contract between the university and an employee to conduct research and to develop, operate, or run a business related to the research as part of the employee's employment with the university.

"The bill will allow the university to earn revenue as a result of joint patents and copyrights between the university and businesses," said Murkowski.

SB 264, by request of the Governor, restores the authority of the Department of Natural Resources to enter into agreements for reimbursement of department costs incurred in assisting potential pipeline right-of-way lease applications in their preparation of an application under the Alaska Right-of-Way Leasing Act.

"This bill allows state agencies to quickly acquire the funding necessary to assist the company in crafting an efficient and economic permitting process," Murkowski said. "It will help DNR to continue to work with prospective pipeline lease applicants and will help streamline the process."


Source of News Release:

Office of the Governor
Web Site



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