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House Majority E-News for April 8, 2011 ANS Crude: $123.29 Henry Hub: $4.06



NOAA Habitat Designation Harmful and Unnecessary

(Juneau) - House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, released the
following statement today regarding the National Oceanic & Atmospheric
Association's Fisheries Service decision to designate 3,016 miles of
Cook Inlet as critical Beluga habitat.


"This is another prime example of the federal government locking up
our land and ignoring the calls for caution from the State of Alaska
and the Legislature.

"We have continually struck back against the federal government's
lack of consideration of the state's own data that shows the Beluga
population is recovering.

"They are closing off the middle and lower Cook Inlet for federal
permits next month. That means no construction, drilling or dredging.
What good is exempting the Port of Anchorage if the federal government
chokes Alaska's economy to the point that cargo vessels won't come
calling? What about development of Port McKenzie? Sadly, we've feared
this decision since they originally listed the Beluga in 2008.

"This rule sends a terribly mixed message. The President of the
United States says he wants to lessen reliance on foreign oil - he's
re-opened the permitting process for offshore oil and gas - but with
this habitat designation, the feds are blocking just that sort of
development. The State of Alaska approved helping to pay for a jack-up
rig to hit the Inlet this summer. This federal overreach could
jeopardize that work. It is especially troubling for the Kenai,
following on the heels of the LNG plant's closure earlier this year.
We were hoping to see the benefit of the state participation in
drilling this summer. Now? It's out the window.

"I am, and will continue to be, indignant on this issue.

"The federal government ignored state data and biologists, and
Alaskans and our kids will have to pay for it. That means fewer jobs,
less economic multipliers of that payroll, and less energy security
and stability for the entire Railbelt region."

The final rule, filed today, will take effect in 30 days.

The full text of this release can be found below:



House Votes to "Bring the Fleets Home"

(Juneau) - The Alaska State House of Representatives today
unanimously passed a resolution expressing the support of the Alaska
Legislature for relocating a fishing CDQ group from Seattle to Seward.

House Joint Resolution 27, sponsored by Resources Co-Chair Paul
Seaton, R-Homer, is a vote of confidence towards the Coastal Villages
Region Fund Community Development Quota, or CDQ, fishing fleet's plans
to build home port facilities in Seward. "The Coastal Villages plan is
about economic development, jobs and resources staying in Alaska
instead of leaving every Summer and Fall for Washington," Seaton said.

The full text of this release can be found below:



House OKs Bill Updating and Enhancing State Insurance Code

(Juneau) - The Alaska State House of Representatives today
unanimously passed a bill updating the state insurance code and
adopting new national standards.

House Bill 164, sponsored by Labor & Commerce Chair Kurt Olson,
R-Kenai, will improve the regulation of the insurance industry in
Alaska. "This bill contains numerous enhancements to the insurance
code and streamlines agent licensing, all while continuing to provide
protections for Alaska consumers," Olson said. "The changes will be
felt in all areas of the insurance industry, from billing and filing,
to licensing and oversight."

The full text of this release can be found below:



House OKs Creating AK Working Group on Interstate Energy Production

(Juneau) - The Alaska State House of Representatives today passed a
resolution calling for the creation of the Alaska Working Group on
Interstate Energy Production to promote collaboration between states
and better influence federal policy and legislation.

House Concurrent Resolution 9, sponsored by the Special Committee on
Energy, mirrors measures in the works in other states to combat the
negative consequences from delay or cancelation of economically-viable
energy-related projects because federal law and enforcement too often
overshoot constitutional authority.

"We hope to see a more unified voice from the states most affected by
the consequences of energy-related federal law," Co-Chair Lance
Pruitt, R-Anchorage, said. "We would have a chance to help develop the
policy for the new group and help set the direction on the coordinated
effort to get the federal government back to only directly follow
their constitutionally-granted authorities."

The full text of this release can be found below:



Legislature Votes to Support PNWER's Arctic Caucus

(Juneau) - The Alaska State House of Representatives today
unanimously concurred in Senate changes to House Joint Resolution 15,
supporting the work of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region's Arctic
Caucus. The House Special Committee on Economic Development, Trade &
Tourism sponsored the resolution, which promotes regional cooperation
between Alaska, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories.

"The resolution encourages Alaska, the Northwest Territories, and the
Yukon to send a unified message detailing the common needs of the
northern region to their respective federal governments, emphasizing
the coordination of U.S. and Canadian policies as being vital for the
well-being of the regions' citizens," EDT&T Chair Bob Herron,
D-Bethel, said. "I thank my colleagues for passing this resolution to
reinforce the spirit of camaraderie and teamwork that will become
increasingly necessary in a changing Arctic environment."

The full text of this release can be found below:



POTD 1: House Majority Whip Peggy Wilson, R-Wrangell (seated - in the
peach kuspuk), waits with staffer Sheila Finkenbinder for this
morning's House Community & Regional Affairs Committee hearing to
begin. Wilson's HJR 24 - asking Congress to reauthorize the Secure
Rural Schools & Communities Self-Determination Act of 2000 - was heard
and passed by the committee.



POTD 2: House Veterans Caucus Chair Bill Thomas, R-Haines, drapes
himself in the sheet that was used to cover the pencil portrait of
former Nome Representative Richard Foster today at the ceremony for
his son, current Nome Rep. Neal Foster, honoring Richard's life and


Bill Activity for Apr. 8, 2011
As of: 07:00:01 pm Alaska Time
HB 1 : Policy For Securing Health Care Services
* House Majority Legislation
Sponsored by Rep. Carl Gatto, Rep. Bob
An Act stating a public policy that allows a person to accept or
decline any offered mode of securing health care services.

Status: (H) RLS >> (H) CALENDAR 4/9
Contact: Karen Sawyer, 465-5025

Sponsor Statement: http://www.housemajority.org/spon.php?id=27hb1-95
HB 8 : Federal Regulations & Executive Orders
* House Majority Legislation
Sponsored by Rep. Wes Keller
An Act relating to certain federal statutes, regulations, presidential
executive orders, and secretarial orders; relating to the duties of the
attorney general; and providing for an effective date.

Status: (H) RLS >> (H) CALENDAR 4/9
Contact: Jim Pound, 465-6265

Sponsor Statement: http://www.housemajority.org/spon.php?id=27hb8-57
HB 206 : Extend Alcoholic Beverage Control Board
* House Majority Legislation
Sponsored by the Hou. Labor & Com.
An Act relating to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board; and providing
for an effective date.

Status: (H) RLS >> (H) CALENDAR 4/9
Contact: Jennifer Senette, 465-4530

Sponsor Statement: http://www.housemajority.org/spon.php?id=27hb206-161

Bill Activity for Apr. 8, 2011
As of: 06:00:01 pm Alaska Time
HB 164 : Insurance: Health Care & Other
* House Majority Legislation
Sponsored by the Hou. Labor & Com.
An Act relating to health care insurance, exemption of certain
insurers, reporting, notice, and record-keeping requirements for
insurers, biographical affidavits, qualifications of alien insurers
assuming ceded insurance, risk-based capital for insurers, insurance
holding companies, licensing, federal requirements for nonadmitted
insurers, surplus lines insurance, insurance fraud, life insurance
policies and annuity contracts, rate filings by health care insurers,
long-term care insurance, automobile service corporations, guaranty
fund deposits of a title insurer, joint title plants, fraternal benefit
societies, multiple employer welfare arrangements, hospital and medical
service corporations, health maintenance organizations, and alternate
forms of payment to policyholders; and providing for an effective

Version: CSHB 164(FIN)
Contact: Konrad Jackson, 465-4954

Sponsor Statement: http://www.housemajority.org/spon.php?id=27hb164-98
HB 214 : Walter L. Kubley Ferry Terminal
Sponsored by Rep. Kyle Johansen
An Act naming the Ketchikan ferry terminal the Walter L. Kubley
Ketchikan Ferry Terminal.

Version: HB 214 AM

Bill Info: http://www.housemajority.org/spon.php?id=27hb214
HCR 9 : State Energy Production Working Group
* House Majority Legislation
Sponsored by the Hou. Energy
Establishing in the Alaska State Legislature the Alaska Working Group
on Interstate Energy Production.

Contact: Dirk Craft, 465-3438
Christopher Clark, 465-3789

Sponsor Statement: http://www.housemajority.org/spon.php?id=27hcr9-132
HJR 27 : Relocate Coastal Villages Region Fund
* House Majority Legislation
Sponsored by Rep. Paul Seaton
Supporting the relocation of the home port of the Coastal Villages
Region Fund fishing fleet from Seattle to Alaska.

Contact: Katie Koester, 465-2689

Sponsor Statement: http://www.housemajority.org/spon.php?id=27hjr27-166

Bill Activity for Apr. 8, 2011
As of: 05:00:01 pm Alaska Time
HB 116 : Correct Spelling Of Lorazepam/Oxymorphone
* House Majority Legislation
Sponsored by the Hou. Rules by Request
of the Legislative Council
An Act making corrective amendments to the Alaska Statutes as
recommended by the revisor of statutes by correcting the spellings of
'oxymorphone' and 'lorazepam' and providing an applicability section;
and providing for an effective date.

Version: HB 116 AM

Bill Info: http://www.housemajority.org/spon.php?id=27hb116
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