Discuss 2009 Legislative Priorities
November 10, 2008
"This is a really interesting time in Alaska politics. Alaska's municipalities need to continue to work together to create clear and concise decisions for the Legislature to work upon," says AML President Tim Beck, Fairbanks North Star Borough Assemblyman.
Many municipalities across the state share similar burdens at the local government level. Of these concerns affordable energy discussions will be in the forefront this week.
At least two resolutions addressing statewide energy concerns are expected to be voted on during the AML Annual Business Meeting Friday, November 14. These resolutions will address renewable energy resources, energy efficiency, energy conservation and the expansion of the Power Cost Equalization Program to help offset high fuels costs in rural communities.
The status of future transportation projects across Alaska is also a top priority.
Where will the funding come from? What projects are the State's priorities? How can we equally meet basic transportation service levels across Alaska? And, how we ensure that future modes of transportation will be safe and consistent? These are all questions that Alaska's local leaders will address this week and develop consensus to bring to the State Legislature in January.
"This conference is the best opportunity for our State's elected municipal officials to address their community's problems on a statewide level. The decisions made during this conference help shape Alaska's future," said Beck.
Several workshops throughout the conference will give delegates an opportunity to discuss and educate themselves further about both subjects.
Jeff Ottesen, Director, Division of Program Development ADOT, and Frank Richards, Deputy Commissioner of Highways and Public Facilities, will present a joint workshop about Alaska's transportation funding. Discussion of federal funding, and a possible Alaska Transportation Fund is sure to draw a large crowd on Wednesday, November 12.
On Thursday, November 13, the workshops continue with a presentation by Steve Haagenson, Executive Director, Alaska Energy Authority. Mr. Haagenson's workshop discuses the State's Energy Plan aimed at reducing the cost of energy in each Alaskan community.
Also on Thursday, workshops on the Alaska Marine Highway, Home Energy Rebate and Weatherization Programs, Power Cost Equalization and Renewable Energy Alaska Project (PCE/REAP), and climate change are expected to attract large audiences as well.
The networking opportunity this week for Alaska's local officials will prove invaluable during the upcoming legislative session.
"When Alaska's communities create consensus on important issues facing our state, the Legislature tends to listen," said Beck.
Pre-conference activities are
scheduled in Ketchikan for November 10 - November 11. The 58th
Annual Conference takes place November 12th - November 14th.
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