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AK State House Majority Caucus press release: House OKs Bill Allowing Gov to Choose RCA Chair (HB 156)

Olson’s HB 156 returns Reg. Comm. of Alaska Chair to pre-2003 procedures

Thursday, April 7, 2011, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska State House of Representatives today passed a bill returning the leadership structure for the state’s utility regulation body to its roots by allowing the governor to select the incoming chairperson.

House Bill 156, sponsored by Rep. Kurt Olson, R-Kenai, alters the organization of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, or RCA, and gives it more stability. From 1970 to 2003 the governor was tasked with selecting the commission’s chair; HB 156 returns the RCA to this arrangement and sets the term at three years. “HB 156 will give the RCA stability of leadership that it does not have now,” Olson said. “The current chair is selected by fellow commissioners and serves only a one-year term. Consistency of leadership is important, especially when they see so many issues and dockets that span years.”

The RCA would join numerous other state boards and commissions with a governor-appointed chair, including: the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, the Workers’ Compensation Appeals  Commission, the Labor Relations Agency, and Alaska Oil & Gas Conversation Commission, among others.

HB 156 wouldn’t take effect until after the current term of the current chair expires.

HB 156, which passed by a vote of 34 to three, now moves to the Alaska Senate for consideration.

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