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Alaska Chamber This Week: February 1-8, 2012


Weekly Update
             February 1-8

In This Issue:
           Committee Meetings – 10 Day Outlook
       2012 Legislative Fly-In Recap
       Capitol Notes
       Senator Giessel Comments on McDowel Group Study
       Position Spotlight
       Upcoming Events
Committee Meetings
Events Committee: Thursday, February 2 at 10:00am.
Legislative Affairs Committee: Monday, February 6 at 12:00pm
All meetings are held at 630 E 5th Ave, Ste 102, Anchorage and via teleconference  unless otherwise noted. (907-278-2700)
NOTE: If you are a member of the committee, you will receive meeting documents when they are sent to the committee.  If you are not a member of a committee, but would like to participate or listen in, please let me know and the documents for the meeting will be forwarded to you. 

2012 Legislative Fly-In Recap
Last week over 70 Alaska Chamber members gathered in Juneau, Alaska for the annual Alaska Chamber Fly In.  The Fly In is designed to give members the chance to influence public policy effectively by meeting directly with state legislators and the administration.   
On Wednesday, January 25, Alaska Chamber members met with 51 legislators in four hours!  That means Alaska Chamber members (resident constituents and business constituents) met with at least one legislator from every (senate) district in the state of Alaska.  Members highlighted our top legislative priorities for 2012.  Later that day, Alaska Chamber Fly In participants joined the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce Fly In participants for a reception at Governor Parnell’s residence.  On Thursday, January 26, Fly In participants heard directly from:
•   Senate President, Senator Gary Stevens
•   Senate Minority Leader, Senator John Coghill
•   Speaker of the House, Representative Mike Chenault
•   House Majority Leader, Representative Alan Austerman
•   House Rules Chairman Representative Craig Johnsen
•   House Democratic Leader, Representative Beth Kerttula
Former Congressman David Minge, a founding steering committee member of the Coalition for a Fiscally Sound America, addressed the fiscal crisis of our nation over lunch.  His presentation can be viewed here. The Fly In finale was a Legislative Reception at long time Alaska Chamber member Capital Office Systems downtown Juneau store.

Capitol Notes
Capitol Notes will be emailed weekly during the 2012 Legislative Session and should arrive to your inbox at the end of the week, following Committee Hearing schedule releases. Capitol Notes highlights opportunities for Alaska Chamber members to make the “Voice of Alaska business” heard during the Alaska Legislative Session on priorities and issues important to Alaska Chamber members.
Review Alaska Chamber 2012 Priorities here and all Positions here.   To see a list of legislation the Alaska Chamber currently supports or opposes, click here.  Please notethat this list can change weekly as legislation changes as it moves through the legislative process.

 Senator Giessel Comments on McDowel Group Study
Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, recently addressed the State Senate about the just-released jobs study by Juneau-based McDowell group, which compares Alaska North Slope job numbers with production.
“The McDowell report confirms that, yes, employment numbers are up on the North Slope, but unlike in past decades, production per worker is way down,” Giessel said. “At peak production of more than 2 million barrels per day in the pipeline, the ratio of what each worker produced was 200,000 barrels per year. Now, the ratio has dropped to 27,000 barrels per worker per year. In other words, it takes nearly eight times as many workers to produce that 200,000 barrels of oil.
“The argument that all is well on the North Slope, based on employment numbers, is specious,” Giessel said. “Production is what brings wealth to state government. Production is declining by 7-8 percent per year. Our focus must be on increasing production. Increased production brings with it more job opportunities for Alaskans, in good-paying jobs.”
The study was requested by the Senate Labor and Commerce committee. To read the McDowell report, please go here: 

Alaska Chamber Position Spotlight
Support Shellfish Mariculture Industry

The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce supports diversification of Alaska’s economy, including use of appropriate incentives to spur investment in Alaska. Shellfish farming has been identified as one of the top economic development opportunities in efforts to rebuild the economy of the Tongass National Forest of Southeast Alaska. Overcoming high front-­‐end capital costs and a long lag in revenues has been identified as two of the bigger impediments in developing more shellfish farms in Alaska.

The Alaska Chamber believes Alaska’s fledgling shellfish mariculture industry needs strong support from the state of Alaska before it can be considered a viable industry. Because the state of Alaska owns all the tidelands and waterways, the nascent Alaska shellfish mariculture industry cannot realize its full potential without strategic support from the State of Alaska including establishment of a mariculture revolving loan fund, deferred tidelands lease fees, and establishment of a sustainable DEC testing program.

Upcoming Events
Alaska World Affairs Council Luncheon
Featuring Senator Mark Begich and Kevin Brook
February 3 – Dena’Ina Center
Doors at 11:30am
Alaska Committee Program
Featuring State of Alaska Economist Neal Fried
February 3 - Rainier Square Conference Center – Seattle, WA
Rural Outreach Trip
July 10-11, 2012 – Kodiak, Alaska
Alaska Business Week
July 14-21, 2012 – Fairbanks, Alaska
Annual Conference & Policy Forum
October 2-4. 2012 – Anchorage, Alaska
2013 Legislative Fly-In
January 23-24, 2013 – Juneau, Alaska
Save these dates, mark your calendar and watch for additional details.

Thank You To Our Lead Partners
ConocoPhillips Alaska
Capital Office Systems
Pioneer Natural Resources
Wells Fargo
Alaska Communications
Holland America Line
The Pebble Partnership
Alaska Railroad Corporation
Totem Ocean Trailer Express
Tower Hill Mines - Livengood Gold Project
TSS, Inc
Lead Underwrites receive recognition at each event, in printed programs, and on banners. Additional recognition is given in our enews, annual membership directory, and online at www.alaskachamber.com

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