SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Legislature Completes Special Session
Confirms Lt. Gov. Campbell, Overrides Energy Money Veto


August 11, 2009

(SitNews) - The Alaska State Senate on Monday completed its work in the Special Session of the Legislature, voting to confirm the Governor's line of succession, and to override a Governor's veto.

"While I would have preferred to avoid the need for this special session, I am pleased that the Legislature took care of the important business on its agenda today," said Senate President Gary Stevens (R-Kodiak). "I have known General Campbell for a long time, and we look forward to working with him in his new role as Lieutenant Governor."

The House and Senate called themselves into special session after former Governor Sarah Palin chose Lieutenant General Craig Campbell to succeed Lieutenant Governor (now Governor) Sean Parnell upon her resignation, although General Campbell had not been confirmed by the legislature, as is required by law. By a combined vote of 55 to 4, the legislature confirmed General Campbell in the line of succession. The vote means that General Campbell will officially take office as the State's Lieutenant Governor. Governor Parnell was sworn in to office on July 26th.

The Honorable Judge Charles T. Huguelet administered the oath of office to Campbell immediately following the vote.

"I would like to thank the Legislature for this afternoon's vote confirming me as lieutenant governor for the state of Alaska," Campbell said. "I am very honored to have this opportunity and look forward to serving Alaskans in this new and exciting role. In the coming months, it is imperative that we work together on economic development - jobs for Alaskans. As we advance the natural gas line, it is important that we also focus on providing in-state gas to Alaskans. This will be at the top of my priority list as I continue to serve Alaskans in this new position."

"Lieutenant Governor Campbell has served our state with distinction," Governor Sean Parnell said. "We share the same priorities for Alaska - strengthening our economy and our families. I look forward to working closely with the lieutenant governor to advance our state."

Lieutenant Governor Campbell recently served as the adjutant general for the state of Alaska and the commander of the Alaska National Guard and the commissioner of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The lieutenant governor and his wife, Anne Marie, were married in 1972. After moving to Alaska, they built their home in Eagle River in 1983. They have two daughters and four grandchildren.

The Senate and the House also voted to override the former Governor's veto of $28.6 million in federal stimulus funds intended to encourage energy efficient homes and the development of alternative energy in Alaska. The action received 45 votes, giving it the support of three-quarters of the members of both houses, the number statutorily required to override a Governor's veto.

"With today's votes, Alaskans will have access to federal funds that will help address energy needs across the state," said Senator Stevens. "Alaskans, especially in rural areas of our state, have been suffering from extremely high energy costs, and we need to do all we can to encourage innovation and conservation."

Governor Sean Parnell said that he respects the Alaska State Legislature's authority to override vetoed state energy stimulus funds. Today, Governor Parnell sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, providing required assurances to accept the $28.6 million in funds for Alaska.

The Alaska State Legislature voted 45-14 Monday to override Governor Sarah Palin's veto of the funds.

"I respect the Legislature's right to override the veto," Governor Parnell said. "Given today's action, we have applied for the funds in the least restrictive manner possible. I strongly believe that local communities should retain the option to set their own building energy codes.

"These funds can be spent for a broad range of energy-efficiency and renewable-energy purposes. I am committed to making effective use of these dollars to reduce energy costs for public facilities and to support ongoing energy-efficiency programs."

The state has already made a substantial investment in energy-efficiency programs. The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation has administered some $360 million for weatherization and energy rebate programs. An additional $125 million has been allocated to renewable-energy projects.


Source of News:

Office of the Goveror

Alaska State Legislature - Senate Bipartisan Working Group


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Ketchikan, Alaska