Alaska Governor Sarah Palin [on July 13, 2009] signed Senate Bill 3 and House Joint Resolution 19 (Legislation, 2009, Â¶1).
SB 3, sponsored by Senator Donny Olson, requires the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Information Commission to share data with Alaska Regional Development Organizations (ARDORs) at no cost. In the past, the law required them to charge for this service. This information will help ARDOR groups get the latest, most accurate information to help them understand economic trends that could impact local economies, particularly those that rely on fishing (Legislation, 2009, Â¶2).
HJR 19, sponsored by Representative Alan Austerman, recognizes the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill and puts the Alaska Legislature on record as supporting vessel escorts for any loaded oil tanker using Prince William Sound. Current federal law only requires vessel escorts for single-hulled tankers of 5,000 gross tons or more (Legislation, 2009, Â¶3).
The Senate Bill requires two agencies to share information without charging one another. Information sharing among government agencies is critical to streamlining tasks, projects, and processes. In the case of 9/11, much of the root cause was fixed on the CIA not being able to exchange information with the FBI. While the legislation signed is not a life or death issue, it does as noted affect local economies that rely on fishing.
The Resolution supports escorts for any loaded tanker using Prince William Sound. The latter is more of a first step in moving toward legislation that has the force of law behind it. If it does go in that direction, it will likely occur post-July 26, 2009. Should it move from resolution to law, it would be a common-sense piece of legislation that encourages responsible development while protecting the environment.
Governor Palin and the Alaska legislature continue to focus on passing laws that have a positive impact on people’s lives.
Governor Palin Signs Senate Bill, Resolution. (2009, July 13). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved July 14, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1966