Thursday, January 25, 2007

Twenty-Fifth Legislature Begins

The Twenty-Fifth Legislature began on January 16th. This picture is of me settling in at my new desk on the House Floor.

District 11,
Thank you for the opportunity you have once again given me to represent you here in Juneau. I was sworn in last week for another two years of service, and I am excited to keep things in the state moving.
Since arriving in Juneau my staff and I have been working on five separate bills we have pre-filed. You can read the full text of those bills on the BASIS website sponsored by the legislature:

If you have any questions about these bills, their intent, fiscal impact, etc., please contact my office for answers.

This year presents a big change for my office; instead of holding the position of Majority Leader, I am now the Chairman of the Rules Committee in the House. I will work closely with Governor Palin as a liaison to the House leadership, and all of the bills she sponsors go through the Rules Committee by request. Also in my new position I manage the Capitol building and its contents. Finally, the Rules Committee manages when bills go to the House Floor for a vote.

During the twenty-fifth legislature I will sit on both the State Affairs and Judiciary committees; these committees will be influential on any legislation concerning ethics and the PERS/TERS debate. I am also a part of the Finance subcommittees on Health and Social Services and the Department of Natural Resources.

As well as my leadership position, I also take part in several organizations that provide a variety of benefits for the citizens of Alaska. The Council of State Governments puts me in contact with other legislators from the Western region of the United States, many of whom face similar issues to those we face here in Alaska.

The Pacific Northwest Economic Region includes Canadian officials and other delegates from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. PNWER is an international collaboration on economic structures. Because the Alaskan workforce often crosses national lines, we work with the Canadian delegates to help coordinate border crossing issues, emergency equipment, mining laws, etc. A major development in the economic structures in the Northwest is the upcoming winter Olympics to be hosted in Vancouver in 2010.
Check my blog for our regular updates during session.