McCain's VP pick Gov. Sarah Palin is more than a pretty face. And more than a "Cheerleader-in-Chief," as one arguably sexist commentator put it. Like her or not, she is a sitting U.S. Governor. Some have argued that she has more "executive experience" than any of the candidates on the tickets. So I decided to check it out at the non-partisan research website Project Vote Smart, http://www.votesmart.org/.
It took me hours to get through her gubernatorial resume, going from link to link, reading press releases and checking on her record of vetoes and legislative proposals. In short, she has creds. Whether her policies are sound is another question, but that's not the question I'm looking at here.
What has Gov. Palin done in office?
She has built state cabinets (think leaders, not kitchen appliances). She has proposed and signed tons of laws. She has directed the Alaska Attorney General's office to file briefs in major cases, including the recent Supreme Court's decision on the right to bear arms. She has met with foreign leaders and established a Korean consulate in Alaska. She has met with national leaders including Cheney and Bush. She has proposed at least 2 budgets and signed emergency funding bills. She has used the line-item veto to override her state legislature. She implemented a state supreme court decision granting same-sex benefits to state workers, although she made it clear she disagreed and would seek to overturn the decision through legislative avenues. Gov. Palin has worked on issues relating to the economy, the budget, energy, domestic violence, education, and she has way, way more experience than she's letting on.
Think I'm exaggerating? Here's a list of her work as governor, compiled using Vote Smart sources (hailed across the country as "The Best source for accurate political information on the World Wide Web").
Palin Signs AGIA License Bill
Governor signed House Bill 3001, authorizing the state to award an AGIA license allowing TransCanada Alaska to start developing a 1,715-mile natural gas pipeline from a treatment plant at Prudhoe Bay to the Alberta Hub in Canada.
Palin Signs Energy Package
Governor signed House Bill 4001 and Senate Bill 4002 into law.SB 4002 uses revenues generated from the state's natural resources to provide a one-time special payment of $1,200 to every Alaskan eligible for the 2008 Permanent Fund dividend. 4002 implements it.
Gov. Announces Public/Private Gas line
Governor announced the formation of a public/private partnership among the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority (ANGDA), ENSTAR Natural Gas Company, and the State of Alaska that will build the first phase of a bullet line to bring Alaska gas to Alaskans within the next five years.
Governor Signs Bill Reducing Business Fees
License Fee to Decrease by $50. Governor signed House Bill 111 into law. HB 111 decreases the fee for a business license. Also signed HB 147 into law. Alaska's travel industry to continue to receive state funds by changing the present state statute
Governor Palin Signs Omnibus Crime Bill
Governor signed Senate Bill 265 into law. Bars convicted sex offenders from receiving a permanent fund dividend if they fail to keep their information current on the state Sex Offender Registry. SB 265 also makes more than a dozen changes to the state's criminal codes. • Makes a third offense for bootlegging within 15 years a class C felony, which carries a maximum fine of $50,000 and five years in jail. • Calls for pawnshops in cities with a population above 5,000 to maintain electronic records of all transactions to help law enforcement officials track down stolen property. • Allows the state to pursue court-ordered restitution from anyone convicted of unlawfully taking game. • Funds a special investigator, prosecutor and computer technician to detect and prosecute internet sex crimes. The bill passed the House and the Senate unanimously.
State Agencies Addressing Juneau Power
Governor announced multiple state agencies are working closely with Alaska Electric Light & Power (AEL&P) to assess the damage from massive avalanche and develop a plan to recover hydropower in Juneau. Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration; Members of the governor's disaster policy cabinet discuss declaring a state disaster.
Palin Signs Aviation, Consumer Protection Bills: Capstone Safety & Promotional Check
Governor signed two bills into law that will increase aviation safety and protect consumers from unfair and deceptive practices. Senate Bill 249 provides Alaskan airplane owners the opportunity to use a new low-interest loan program to purchase state-of-the-art avionics equipment for their aircraft. House Bill 182 amends the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act by making the offering of a promotional check, through the mail or by other means, a deceptive practice in violation of the Consumer Protection Act.
Governor Signs Education Funding Bill
Governor Sarah Palin today signed three bills into law: House Bill 273, House Bill 197 and House Bill 321. House Bill 273 makes several changes to the education funding formula statutes based on work of the Joint Education Task Force. In particular, the bill will phase in increases to the Base Student Allocation, increases for intensive needs funding, and adjustments to the district cost factors. The bill also recalibrates the amount of pupil transportation grants. House Bill 197 makes technical corrections to existing statutes governing trusts. House Bill 321, extends the salmon product development tax credit. Governor Palin signed House Bill 259, establishes the first week of March as Alaska History Week.
Filing Supports Second Amendment Rights
Governor Sarah Palin announced the State of Alaska will join the multi-state amicus brief authored by the State of Texas in support of the Second Amendment right of individual Americans to bear arms.
Habitat Division to Return to Department of Fish and Game
Governor announced the Habitat Division will be returning to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Plan to Improve Aviation Safety Announced Governor Directs Multi-departmental Effort
Governor announced details of her administration’s comprehensive aviation safety initiative. This multi-departmental effort includes a bill that will establish a new loan program in the Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development. Under the program, low interest loans will be provided for the purchase and installation of advanced satellite based avionics in aircraft. Alaska has seven times more licensed pilots than the national average and has the highest aviation accident rate in the nation. Governor Palin’s plan to improve aviation safety is a critical component of the FAA’s plan to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the installation, operation, and maintenance of the ground stations as part of its “CAPSTONE” aviation safety program. Governor Palin expressed appreciation for Senator Ted Stevens’ continued support in promoting expansion of the CAPSTONE technology.
Governor Palin Introduces the Health Care Transparency Act
Governor introduced the Alaska Health Care Transparency Act which will provide more effective tools to help Alaskans access affordable health care, and to ensure our health care system is responsive to changing demographics and market conditions. The bill would establish an Alaska health care information office to give consumers factual information on quality, cost and other important matters to help them make better-informed decisions about health care in the state. Recognizing that health care must be market-and business-driven, rather than restricted by government, Governor Palin is proposing a repeal of the Certificate of Need program (CON).
State of the State Address Governor Sarah Palin PRESENTED TO THE 25th Alaska Legislature Second Regular Session January 15, 2008
State of the State Address Governor Sarah Palin PRESENTED TO THE 25th Alaska Legislature Second Regular Session January 15, 2008
Governor Palin Signs House Bill 2001
Governor Sarah Palin today signed House Bill 2001 into law. HB 2001 was passed on November 16, 2007, the final day of the Legislature’s recent special session. The legislation effectively changes the state’s oil valuation system. House Bill 2001, dubbed Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share, or ACES, includes a 25 percent tax on the net value of oil. It will also charge 0.4 percent for each dollar the price of oil rises above $52 per barrel. ACES allows for tax credits to encourage new development and reinvestment in existing infrastructure.
Governor Palin Unveils Education Proposal
Building on the work of the Legislature’s Education Funding Task Force, and reaffirming her commitment to education, Governor Sarah Palin today announced details of her three-year school funding proposal. Under the plan, the State of Alaska would invest more than $1 billion each year in public education over the next three fiscal years.
State Files Suit Against Mercer
Governor announced the filing of a lawsuit by Attorney General Talis Colberg and the Department of Law against Mercer (US) Inc., the former actuary for Alaska’s Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) and Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) pension plans. The lawsuit seeks more than $1.8 billion in damages from Mercer for mistakes in calculating the pension plans’ expected liabilities, including mistaken actuarial assumptions and methods about future health care costs, and basic mathematical and technical errors.
Governor Announces Lowest Unemployment Insurance Rate in 28 Years
Governor announced that 2008 unemployment insurance tax rates will be the lowest Alaska employers have paid in the past 28 years. The average employer rate for calendar year 2008 will be 1.5 percent, down from the 2007 average of 1.94 percent. An employer in the average rate class will pay about $114 less for each employee than in 2007. The rates are applicable to the first $31,300 of the individual employee earnings.
Gov. Invites Public Input on Budget
Governor urged Alaska residents to become involved in the state budget process by participating in a web survey. “Voices Across Alaska: State Budget Priorities” is an opportunity for Alaskans to provide their opinion on how the state’s projected budget surplus should be saved and invested.
Governor Palin Names Daniel E. Winfree to Alaska Supreme Court
Governor selected Fairbanks attorney Daniel E. Winfree as her first appointment to the Alaska Supreme Court.
Governor’s Regional Office to Close
As part of an ongoing effort to find efficiencies in state government, Governor Sarah Palin announced today that, after consulting local mayors and community leaders, the regional office in Wasilla will close effective November 30, 2007. The office, located in the Westside Center on the Parks Highway, was opened during the Murkowski administration, but it was not used enough to justify keeping it open.
Governor Sarah Palin Directs Attorney General to File Amicus Brief
Governor confirmed her direction last week to Attorney General Talis Colberg to begin work on the state’s response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear the Exxon case. Last Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear Exxon Mobil’s appeal of the $2.5 billion damages award from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Governor Palin conferred with Colberg about filing an amicus brief and a decision was made to go forward. In its amicus brief, the state will offer its unique perspective on the harm to Alaskans caused by the spill and the legal issues on which the Supreme Court granted certiorari.
State to Assist Agrium Employees
Governor directed the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to continue assisting workers who will soon lose their jobs at the Agrium fertilizer plant in Nikiski. Agrium announced yesterday that the plant will close in December due to a shortage in the supply of Cook Inlet natural gas, leaving about 100 of the 140 employees without employment.
Governor Forms Alaska Climate Change Sub-Cabinet
Governor Sarah Palin today signed Administrative Order 238 establishing a sub-cabinet to prepare a climate change strategy. The Climate Change Sub-cabinet will consolidate the state’s knowledge about the expected effects of global warming in Alaska, recommend measures and policies to prepare our communities and residents to respond to expected effects, and guide the state’s participation in local, regional and national efforts to curb and to respond to global warming. Members of the sub-cabinet include the commissioners of the Departments of Commerce, Community and Economic Development; Environmental Conservation; Natural Resources; Fish and Game; and Transportation and Public Facilities. It is chaired by the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation. Administrative Order 238 also directs the sub-cabinet to consult with the president of the University of Alaska.
Governor Palin Highlights Hunting Opportunities to Returning Alaska Troops
Governor informed Alaska National Guardsmen and women serving in combat that big game hunting opportunities will be available when they return from combat zones this fall.
Governor Palin Unveils Oil Tax Valuation System Calls for October Special Session in Juneau
Governor today unveiled a new oil and gas tax plan. The new plan, called Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share, or ACES, is a hybrid of a gross and net tax system. It includes a minimum 10 percent tax based on gross receipts for the North Slope’s legacy fields with a 25 percent net tax to encourage new development and reinvestment in existing infrastructure. ACES also allows for tax credits on future work. It restricts capital expense deductions to scheduled maintenance and implements strong audit and information sharing provisions.
Governor Unveils Work Ready/College Ready Program
Governor announced a new program as part of her administration’s commitment to Alaska’s workforce development. The Work Ready/College Ready program allows students and adult job-seekers to gauge their readiness for work, college and occupational training, and to improve the basic skills valued by employers and educators. The Alaska Departments of Education and Early Development, and Labor and Workforce Development are program sponsors. Work Ready/College Ready provides an opportunity for Alaskans to be assessed in three basic skill areas – applied math, reading for information and locating information in graphic formats – that are critical to transitioning from high school to the workplace, college or occupational training. After an assessment, participants can enroll in web-based courses to improve their performance in certain skills.
Governor Welcomes Republic of Korea Consular Office to Alaska
Governor welcomed the announcement of the re-establishment of the Republic of Korea consular office in Anchorage. Korea’s previous consulate in Alaska, established in the 1980s, was closed in 1999. Japan and Canada also maintain full-time consulates in Alaska, and the state’s diplomatic corps includes honorary consuls representing more than a dozen countries.
Governor Palin Announces Special Session to Revisit Oil Taxes
Saying Alaskans must have confidence in the integrity of the state’s oil tax structure, Governor Sarah Palin today announced her intention to call the Legislature into special session starting October 18, 2007, to reconsider the Petroleum Profits Tax (PPT) it passed last year. The Governor has directed the Department of Revenue to prepare a proposal to respond to the substantive deficiencies with PPT.
Senior Benefits Program to Take Effect August 1, 2007
Governor Sarah Palin today signed Senate Bill 4 to continue support for low-income older Alaskans by adopting the Senior Benefits Program. In a special session June 26, 2007, legislators passed the Senior Benefits Program, which begins August 1, 2007, with payments ranging from $125 to $250 a month, depending on a senior’s income level. Because of the short turnaround time required for implementing the program, current beneficiaries will continue to receive $125 a month, followed by supplemental payments to those seniors eligible for higher benefit levels under the new program as soon as applications can be processed.
Governor Palin Named to Key Post at NGA Meeting
Governor was named Vice Chair of the National Governors Association (NGA) Natural Resources Committee. The NGA Natural Resources Committee is charged with pursuing legislation to make sure state needs are considered as federal policy is formulated in the areas of agriculture, energy, environmental protection and natural resource management.
Gov. Palin Signs Comprehensive Ethics Bill
Governor Sarah Palin today signed House Bill 109 into law at the Alaska Public Offices Commission in Anchorage. The legislation improves Alaska’s ethics and disclosure laws. • House Bill 109 improves laws affecting lobbyists by: • Requiring ethics training for lobbyists and their employers • Increasing restrictions on lobbyists’ gifts • Barring persons with certain felony convictions from lobbying • Barring spouses and domestic partners of legislators from lobbying for pay • Prohibiting certain high-level executive branch officials from lobbying for one year after leaving those positions • Improves disclosure laws by: • Requiring electronic filing of campaign and financial disclosures • Requiring legislators and legislative employees to disclose all boards on which they serve • Requiring final financial disclosures from legislators, public officials, and others within 90 days of leaving office • Requiring more details in financial disclosures • Requiring members of more executive branch boards to file financial disclosures • Improves executive branch ethics laws by: • Increasing requirements for public officials’ blind trusts • Specifying when a financial interest in a business is insignificant • Increasing restrictions on employment after leaving service in the executive branch • Barring political use of state aircraft except when that use is incidental • Requiring the governor, before granting executive clemency, to disclose any interest in the matter and obtain an ethics determination from the attorney general • Improves legislative ethics laws by: • Requiring ethics training • Increasing restrictions on gifts legislators and legislative employees may accept • Prohibiting legislators from receiving outside compensation for legislative, administrative, or political work • Makes it a crime for public servants not to report bribery they know about • Prohibits agreements to exchange campaign contributions to elected officials or candidates for changing their votes or positions on a matter • Provides for forfeiture of certain pension contributions when an official is convicted of a felony such as bribery in connection with official duties House Bill 109 passed the State Legislature on May 12, 2007.
Gov. Signs Legislation Into Law
Governor Sarah Palin today signed 15 bills into law, including two bills that recognize those who are serving our country in the military and two that widen the protection of victims of domestic violence. Bills honoring our military were House Bills 244 and 184. HB 244, sponsored by the Joint Armed Services Committee, creates an Alaska Decoration of Honor, which may be awarded to an individual who has been killed in action while serving in military combat on or after the date Alaska achieved statehood. HB 184 brings the Support Our Troops (sponsored by Support Our Troops® Inc) commemorative license plate to Alaska. The plate will be available to all for a $40 fee. Bills designed to protect victims of domestic violence and raise awareness of domestic violence crimes are House Bills 213 and 215. HB 213 provides for the imposition of greater sentences, up to the maximum for the offense, for crimes committed on the premises of a domestic violence shelter. HB 215 establishes the Task Force to Review the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. HB 87 re-establishes the Citizens' Advisory Commission on Federal Areas. The commission is charged with researching issues and determining the impact of federal statutes, regulations and management decisions on the citizens of Alaska in order to minimize or resolve potential conflicts. HB 110 extends the sunset date for the Regulatory Commission of Alaska until June 30, 2011. The bill requires the RCA to annually report on its regulation of oil and gas pipeline facilities, as well as the commission's compliance with performance measures in state law. HB 132 establishes the first Tuesday in May each year as Alaska Agriculture Day. The bill states that the day may be observed by celebratory events to increase awareness and appreciation of Alaska agriculture. HB 155 extends the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board until June 30, 2010. HB 170 relates to the accreditation of the Division of Insurance and includes other minor clarifying changes to the insurance code. HB 171 amends state laws relating to reporting requirements, budget submittal deadlines, and other necessary law changes related to the voter-approved 90-day session limit. HB 186 provides confidentiality to certain reports and records required by the state Department of Fish and Game concerning landings of fish, shellfish or fishery products of fishermen, buyers and processors. HB 209 makes changes to the timelines in state law for the Regulatory Commission of Alaska to review certain types of dockets within specific timelines. HB 220 outlaws computer-assisted remote hunting in Alaska. HB 228extends for two years the medical rate freeze for workers compensation claims to allow time for recommendations to be developed. The freeze would allow an annual rate increase based on the consumer price index. SB 105 extends the opportunity for certain communities to finance specific capital projects and receive debt reimbursement from the state. HB 22, extends the sunset date of the Board of Governors of the Alaska Bar Association until June 30, 2010.
Governor Signs Budget Bills into Law
Governor Sarah Palin today signed three budget bills into law: House Bill 95, House Bill 96, and Senate Bill 53. House Bill 95, sponsored by the Governor, establishes the fiscal year 2008 state operating budget. House Bill 96 establishes the fiscal year 2008 state mental health budget and makes appropriations for the operating and capital expenses of the state’s integrated comprehensive mental health program. Senate Bill 53 makes and amends capital and supplemental appropriations and ratifies certain expenditures.
Gov. Welcomes Int'l Whaling Commission
Governor welcomed the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to Alaska and addressed its members. The commission is conducting its 59th Annual IWC meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.
Governor Continues Senior Benefits
Governor ordered senior assistance benefits to continue for Alaska’s neediest seniors. Using an emergency regulation, Governor Palin will authorize cash payments to continue for at least a month after the SeniorCare Program sunsets on June 30, 2007. Governor Palin had included funding for the Longevity Bonus Program and the SeniorCare Program, in the FY 08 operating budget, however that funding was removed by the Legislature.
Governor Welcomes Chinese Officials
Governor welcomes the visit of the People's Republic of China Minister of Health Qiang Gao who will lead a delegation of seven other Chinese officials May 16-19, 2007, to observe the delivery of rural health care in Alaska.
Alaska Teams with Pipeline Safety Agency
The State of Alaska and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) today announced an agreement to provide enhanced and coordinated oversight of oil and natural gas production and transportation facilities located within Alaska.
Governor Palin Names Fisheries Advisor
Governor Sarah Palin today welcomed Cora Crome to the position of Fisheries Policy Advisor to the Governor. Crome most recently worked for United Fishermen of Alaska. She also served as Executive Director of the Petersburg Vessel Owners Association. Crome will be an advisor and coordinator on Alaska fisheries policy between the Governor’s office and other state agencies, especially the Department of Fish and Game. Crome will also work with the fisheries sub-cabinet, which will include the commissioners from the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Fish and Game and representatives from Governor Palin’s Washington, D.C. office.
Governor Palin Signs Sonya Ivanoff Act
Governor signed Senate Bill 45, the Sonya Ivanoff Act. SB 45 mandates the maximum sentence for first-degree murder when committed by an on-duty peace officer. Sonya Ivanoff, 19, was murdered in 2003, by a Nome Police officer. Matthew Owens was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 99 years in prison. His case is currently on appeal. Governor Palin was joined at the bill signing ceremony by Sonya’s parents and siblings, Senator Donny Olson and Richard Svobodny, the lead prosecutor in the case.
Governor Palin Signs Administrative Order Creating Petroleum Systems Integrity Office
Governor announced the “Petroleum Systems Integrity Office” (PSIO), her initiative to ensure Alaska’s oil and gas infrastructure will get the maintenance and inspection it needs to operate safely for decades to come. Governor Palin’s Administrative Order 234, signed April 18, 2007, creates the PSIO as an independent office inside the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Oil and Gas, with specific responsibilities and authorities to coordinate the state’s permitting, oversight and compliance functions with all other responsible agencies.
Governor Palin Signs Senate Bill 82
Governor signed Senate Bill 82 into law. The supplemental bill appropriates funds for work related to the proposed natural gas pipeline. The bill also provides additional funding for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.
Governor Signs Measures Into Law
Governor signed Administrative Order 233, reauthorizing the Alaska Marine Transportation Advisory Board; signed House Bill 18, relating to the WWAMI program; signed sexual assault awareness proclamation; and forwarded a joint resolution to Washington State legislators.
Governor Palin Signs Two Bills Into Law
Governor signed two bills into law. House Bill 21 allows a worn, tattered, or damaged Alaska state flag to be retired by fire. House Bill 120 extends the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault for another five years.
Governor Applauds the State Senate for Passage of Senate Bill 82
Governor applauded the Alaska State Senate for unanimously passing the Governor’s special appropriations bill to fund oil and gas development initiatives. The measure, SB 82, passed by a vote of 19 to 0.
Governor Palin Looks Ahead on 100th Day in Office
Governor Palin marked her first 100 days in office 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. According to Palin’s office, one of Governor Palin’s greatest accomplishments is putting together that cabinet in just over eight weeks – a cabinet which has only the best interests of Alaskans at heart. The Governor has chosen a talented, diverse cabinet which strives to further her priorities and insist upon openness and transparency.
Governor Palin Unveils the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act
Governor Sarah Palin today unveiled the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA). The Governor’s gasline bill heads first to the Legislature to begin the public review process.
Governor Palin Releases Amended Budgets
Governor released the FY2008 amended Operating and Capital budgets, meeting the overall target of $3.9 billion in general funds.
Governor Palin Travels to Washington, D.C.
Governor attended the 2007 National Governors Association (NGA) Winter Meeting. The meeting include sessions with President Bush, members of his cabinet, congressional members, academic leaders, and business executives for discussions on issues and challenges facing states. Governor planned to personally meet with Alaska’s congressional delegation, Energy Secretary Sam Bodman, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt, FERC Chairman Joe Kelliher, and with officials from ExxonMobil and MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company.
Governor Palin Outlines Continued Support for Alaska Seniors
Governor Sarah Palin introduced legislation today to continue support for low-income older Alaskans by extending the Alaska SeniorCare Program. Without passage of this legislation, the program will end June 30, 2007. The SeniorCare program was created in 2003 to help low-income Alaska seniors with monthly cash payments of $120. The program was expanded in 2005 to help cover prescription drug costs. Currently, nearly 7,000 Alaskans are enrolled in the SeniorCare cash assistance program and about 140 receive prescription support. The SeniorCare prescription drug payment assistance, which has had very low enrollment, will end. A recent survey by the Department of Health and Social Services found that many seniors have other insurance coverage.
Governor Palin Signs Two Bills into Law
Senate Bill 46 extends the deadline for coastal communities to revise their plans for environmental oversight and development. House Bill 69 now makes it mandatory for 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. In his final hours in office, Governor Murkowski granted an executive pardon to a company convicted of criminally negligent homicide. Whitewater Engineering Corporation pleaded no contest in 2001 to the charge in connection with the 1999 death of one of its employees. The pardon was granted on November 30, 2006. No one from the Murkowski administration notified the victim’s family of the request for clemency or that the pardon was granted.HB 69 not only ensures that victims of crimes are notified of the governor’s intent to grant clemency but also allows them to become part of the process.
Governor Forms Alaska Health Strategies Planning Council
Governor announced the establishment of the Alaska Health Strategies Planning Council in the Office of the Governor. The Council will advise the Governor and the Legislature on ways to effectively provide access to quality health care and to help reduce the costs of health care for Alaskans. During the announcement, Governor Palin signed Administrative Order 232, which establishes the Health Strategies Planning Council to develop a statewide plan which will identify short-term and long-term strategies to effectively address issues of access to, and cost and quality of health care for Alaskans.
Governor Launches Weekly Briefings
Governor Sarah Palin today launched her first weekly gasline briefing for the residents of Alaska. “It is important that the public understands the work that we’re doing on behalf of the state to get a gasline built,” said Governor Palin. “Every week, I look forward to providing insight into another aspect of the gasline process. I’ll explain what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and how the process is moving forward.”
Governor to Discuss Trade and Border Issues
Welcomed more than 30 Canadian officials to Juneau and Anchorage for meetings January 18-19, 2007. The high-ranking officials include Yukon Premier Dennis Fentie and a 20-member delegation; Northwest Territories Minister for Industry, Tourism and Investment Brendan Bell; Consul General Peter Lloyd from the Canadian Consulate in Seattle; and the President of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) Jim Kenyon who is the Yukon’s Minister of Economic Development.
Governor Palin's State of the State Address
Governor Palin Vetoes HB4001
Governor vetoed HB4001 – her first veto. “The Department of Law advised me that this bill, HB4001, is unconstitutional given the recent Court order of December 19th, mandating same-sex benefits,” said Governor Sarah Palin. “With that in mind, signing this bill would be in direct violation of my oath of office.” HB4001 passed during the special session of the Legislature in the final month of the Murkowski administration. The bill prohibited the commissioner of the department of administration from adopting same-sex regulations, allowing them to become law, or implementing them. The Governor’s veto does not signal any change or modification to her disagreement with the action and order by the Alaska Supreme Court. It is the Governor’s intention to work with the legislature and to give the people of Alaska an opportunity to express their wishes and intentions whether these benefits should continue.
Governor Addresses Court Order, Signs HB4002
Governor Sarah Palin today announced that, per the recent ruling of the Supreme Court of Alaska, the State of Alaska’s regulations are in effect to begin providing state benefits to same sex partners beginning January 1, 2007. “The Supreme Court has ordered adoption of the regulations by the State of Alaska to begin providing benefits January 1,” said Governor Palin. “We have no more judicial options. We may disagree with the rationale behind the ruling, but our responsibility is to proceed forward with the law and follow the Constitution.” In addition to adoption of the regulations, Governor Palin signed HB4002, which calls for a statewide advisory vote, proposed by the Legislature during its November special session. “I disagree with the recent court decision because I feel as though Alaskans spoke on this issue with its overwhelming support for a Constitutional Amendment in 1998 which defined marriage as between a man and woman. But the Supreme Court has spoken and the state will abide.”
So, there you have it. Gov. Palin's abbreviated resume. Even those who disagree with her policies should give her some respect for her accomplishments.
Sen. Biden's resume to follow . . .Source: Project Vote Smart: www.votesmart.org