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House Majority E-News for Feb 23, 2011 ANS Crude: $102.00 Henry Hub: $3.83

State Department Performance Audit Bill Introduced

Juneau - House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, today introduced
House Bill 166, legislation re-instituting performance reviews for
state departments and agencies. Similar reviews for state boards and
commissions are instituted through statute, AS 44.66, and HB 166
returns that duty to departments and agencies, a practice ceased in
1983.

"Our Caucus's top guiding principle is fiscal responsibility, and one
of the main themes we've recognized as key is restraining and
re-examining state spending and budget growth to determine if programs
and directives we fund are still necessary and essential state
services," Speaker Chenault said. "We've been looking at what other
states do over the past couple of years and this is something we've
gone back to, and similar to what Texas does today."

Speaker Chenault says that with shortened 90-day sessions the finance
committees have less time to thoroughly review the governor's proposed
annual budgets, leading to justifications of spending and inflationary
increases instead of the typical analysis of finding efficiencies.
"Our Co-Chairs do the best they job they can to restrain growth, but
the fact of the matter is throughput in the oil pipeline is decreasing
but state spending at a departmental level isn't following suit. We
need to start re-evaluating state entities now, while we can afford it
thanks to the high price of oil, before the spigot closes and we're
left scrambling to fill gaps and re-start these discussions."

The full text of this release, audio, video can be found below:

http://housemajority.org/item.php?id=item20110223-52

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House OKs Temporarily Licensing for Military Spouses

(Juneau) - The Alaska State House of Representatives today
unanimously passed a bill supporting Alaska's military families by
allowing for temporary professional licensing of spouses. House
Finance Committee Co-Chair Bill Thomas, R-Haines, sponsored the bill,
House Bill 28, along with fellow veterans Reps. Bob Herron, D-Bethel,
and Eric Feige, R-Chickaloon.

"Alaska's military families deal with deployments, training missions,
relocations, and extended periods of single parenthood. HB 28 allows
them to be able to not only continue in their chosen field, but also
contribute income to help keep their families afloat," Thomas said.

The full text of this release can be found below:

http://housemajority.org/item.php?id=item20110223-53

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House OKs Expanding Senior Housing Development Fund Grants

(Juneau) - The Alaska State House of Representatives today
unanimously passed a bill that will benefit senior citizens across the
state by including regional housing authorities in the eligibility
pool for receiving housing development grants. Rep. Bryce Edgmon,
D-Dillingham, sponsored the bill, House Bill 65, along with fellow
Bush Caucus members Reps. Bob Herron, D-Bethel, Neal Foster, D-Nome,
and Reggie Joule, D-Kotzebue.

HB 65 adds the state's 14 regional housing authorities, spanning from
Ketchikan to Barrow, to the list of entities eligible for grants
through the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation's Senior Citizens
Housing Development Fund, or SCHDF. The fund contributes to
organizations that develop quality housing for older Alaskans.
Currently, the grants have been available to municipalities and
501(c)(3) and (4) nonprofits.

The full text of this release can be found below:

http://housemajority.org/item.php?id=item20110223-54

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