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Alaska Senate Passes Bill to Save Coastal Management

Senate Bill 45 represents compromise reached by Senate and House Leaders

JUNEAU-The Alaska State Senate has adjourned from the Legislature's second Special Session after passing an amended version of Senate Bill 45, which extends the Coastal Management Program for another six years as well as creating an Alaska Coastal Policy Board.

Senate Bill 45 is the result of a carefully crafted compromise reached last week between Senate and House leaders to save the state's Coastal Management Program from lapsing into federal control.   

"Keeping Alaska's Coastal Management alive is critical. If we let the program expire, the federal government will take over these duties- meaning we're giving the federal government more power over our resources here in Alaska," said Senate President Gary Stevens.  "That is just not acceptable and we are happy we have passed a bill to prevent that from happening."

The compromise also addresses previous points of contention between the House and the Senate.  One resolution was to remove all references to the terms "local knowledge" and "scientific evidence" and replace them with "aggregate evidence."    Another resolution was to require the governor to show cause to remove a Coastal Policy Board Member, but without requiring the governor to provide written notice or a hearing opportunity.

"We agreed to come to Juneau to hold a one-day Special Session to save the Coastal Management Program.    The Senate has now accomplished what we came here to do - pass a bill to save the Coastal Management Program," said Senator Stevens.     "We had an agreement with the House Leadership on a compromise, which is what we passed.  Now, the ball is in their court."

The program is set to expire on June 30th if the Legislature does not take action.

For more information, please contact Senate Bipartisan Working Group Press Secretary Carolyn Kuckertz at 907-748-7714.

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