Monday, May 29, 2006

Governor Murkowski poses for a picture with my legislative aide, Karen Lidster, and me after the governor signed HB 133 Saturday morning in Fairbanks. I have been working on this legislation for two years to eliminate aggregate votes that dilute the vote of a citizen living in an area an existing municipality wants to annex. Below is the press release issued by the Governor's Office.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 27, 2006 No. 06-091
John Manly, Press Spokesman

Governor Signs HB 133 – Borough Incorporation and Annexation Bill

(Juneau) — Governor Frank H. Murkowski has signed into law HB 133, which makes changes in the way the Local Boundary Commission processes municipal incorporations, annexations, detachments, mergers, consolidations, reclassifications, and dissolutions.

The bill, sponsored by North Pole Representative John Coghill, also protects the voters’ right to incorporate, outline the boundaries of their municipality, and select the level of service they want. It also limits the ability of the LBC to impose conditions on an incorporation without an appropriate public process.

“This bill cleans up the process local citizens use to define their own community,� Murkowski said. “It is essentially about maintaining local control and putting appropriate sideboards on the Local Boundary Commission to make sure their processes do not usurp or conflict with the direction the communities want to go.�