NEWS: Legislature Passes Rep. Holmes Bill to Enforce Consumer Protections

“Alaska should not have its hands tied waiting for the federal government to protect our citizens”

This morning, the Alaska State Senate passed HB 274, a bill by Rep. Lindsey Holmes to bolster the state’s ability to stand up for the rights of Alaskan consumers.

Currently, a loophole in state law prevents the state from enforcing Alaska’s Consumer Protection laws in cases where federal and state responsibility overlap.

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NEWS: Rep. Gara to Point Out Potential $2+ Billion State Liability for “Private” Knik Arm Bridge Project;

“Until 2 years ago the state and federal officials promised the Knik Bridge would be built with private funds, and operated by a private company. With a new Governor and new mayor in Anchorage, that has changed. Now the state is likely on the hook for upwards of $2 billion or more in liability to the “private” developer when tolls don’t pay for the cost of construction and operation of the project,” said Rep. Gara.

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House Democrats Optimistic About Big Gasline Announcement

“It’s very encouraging to see new focus on the line that gets the most for Alaska”

JUNEAU – Today, House Democratic Leader Beth Kerttula released the following statement in response to the announcement about a large-scale gas pipeline from the North Slope:

“It is very encouraging to see new focus on a big gas pipeline from the North Slope and the potential for an All-Alaska line. A big export line gets the most for Alaska – new incentives to develop on the North Slope, the cheapest gas for Alaskans, and the best opportunity to create opportunities for generations of Alaskans. We look forward to working with industry, the governor and other members of the Legislature to make this long-time Alaska dream a reality.”

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Rep. Gara Repeats Call That Port Not Keep Returning For More Public Money

JUNEAU – Today Rep. Les Gara (D-Anch.) repeated his call to the Port of Anchorage that it promise not to come back for more public funds if it gets $350 million from the state. The Port project has been plagued with hundreds of millions of dollars in cost overruns.

“This project started out as a $275 million proposal. Then it was $500 million. Then $700 million. Then the former Port Director said it would be $1 billion more for three needed sections. When does it stop? I’m not comfortable putting unlimited funds into a project until I know it’s been efficiently designed,” said Gara.

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NEWS: Interior Democrats Fight for Fairbanks in Small Gasline Proposal

Without fixes, bill would undercut development and lead to high gas prices for Alaskans

JUNEAU – Before voting on House Bill 9 (HB9) tonight, Interior House Democrats offered a number of amendments to protect Fairbanks’ and Alaskans’ interests as the state moves forward on a small gasline from the North Slope.

“As it is, this bill would repeat many of the mistakes Alaskans have made in the past,” said Rep. David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks). “We have an oil line right through the Interior and we still pay some of the highest energy prices in the nation, and without significant changes, this bill would let us watch a gasline go by without any real benefit to Fairbanks.”

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NEWS: Democrats Move to Improve Small Gasline Proposal

Without fixes, bill could undercut development and lead to high gas prices for Alaskans

JUNEAU – Before voting on House Bill 9 (HB9) tonight, House Democrats offered a number of amendments to protect consumers, resource development incentives, and the state’s interests as the state moves forward on a small gasline from the North Slope.

“I am all for getting a gasline to get Alaska’s gas to market and to Alaskans. A small line should be our last option. With alternatives that bring cheaper energy to Alaskans moving forward, it’s premature to rush ahead with a bill that undercuts development and puts the state and consumers at risk.”

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Legislative Report Shows School Funding Has Lagged 5% Behind Inflation Since Governor Parnell Took Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 26, 2012

This week the House Finance committee will take up whether to increase school funding this year, including House Democratic calls that funding keep up with inflation. “The Governor has given salary and benefit increases to every one of his own agencies for increases in inflation. He should do the same for students,” said Rep. Les Gara (D-Anch.).

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