Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on May 20, 2009 signed bills to promote boating safety and repeal for two years salary scale limitations on hiring out-of-state teachers (Bills, 2009, Â¶1).
“House Bill 215, sponsored by Representative Peggy Wilson, repeals salary scale limitations for hiring new out-of-state teachers. The bill allows districts to better compete for those teachers coming into the state who bring with them years of experience. Current law limits experience-based salary adjustments to eight years of non-Alaska service. HB 215 suspends the experience cap for a two-year period. For many years, this law was irrelevant because salaries in Alaska were generally much higher than elsewhere in the country. As Alaska’s teaching salaries have become less competitive, school districts have a need for incentives to attract experienced and qualified personnel for hard-to-fill positions (Bills, 2009, Â¶2).
“HB 215 provides Alaska’s school districts with the ability to offer competitive salaries to attract the best, most qualified teachers,” Governor Palin told Mr. Engell’s American Government class. “This, in turn, provides Alaska’s students with the best, highest-quality education” (Bills, 2009, Â¶3).
Governor Palin speaks to Petersburg High School seniors in Mr. Engell’s American Government class.
(from left) Superintendent Dr. Gary Jacobsen, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Petersburg School Board President Jean Ellis speak to a high school class while signing House Bill 215.
As with prior two educational bills and as seen in the photos, this was an in situ signing. “Governor Palin signed HB 215 at Petersburg High School” in the presence of students in an American Government class (Bills, 2009, Â¶4).
House Bill 151, sponsored by Representative Mark Neuman, extends the Statewide Boating and Safety and Education program to 2011. The program allows the state to receive federal funds for boating safety and education programs. The Alaska Office of Boating Safety qualifies for about $1 million in federal grant funds in support of Alaska’s boating safety program. The program works closely with several partners including the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary to promote safe boating around the state. HB 151 passed the House and Senate unanimously (Bills, 2009, Â¶5).
“In a state as vast as Alaska, where so many of our residents depend on boats for their transportation, recreation and livelihood, boating safety and education programs are both needed and vital,” said Governor Palin (Bills, 2009, Â¶6).
Governor Palin signed HB 151 during National Safe Boating Week, at the Shakes longhouse at the Wrangell harbor (Bills, 2009, Â¶7).
(from right) Alaska Governor Sarah Palin speaks before signing House Bill 151 along with Mayor McConachie (behind Governor), Representative Peggy Wilson, Marge Byrd of the Stikine Native Dancers (in regalia) and Wrangell residents in attendance on May 20, 2009.
(from right) Alaska Governor Sarah Palin signs House Bill 151 along with Mayor McConachie, Marge Byrd of the Stikine Native Dancers (in regalia) and Wrangell residents in attendance on May 20, 2009.
Legislation that improves and makes a positive difference in constituents’ lives — like these two bills — is what our elected officials should focus on. Kudos to Governor Palin and the Alaska legislature for doing this.
Governor Palin’s in situ signings have been discussed in a prior entry as how they’re reflective of her as a transformational leader. The other aspect to this is that these signings are educational in that they teach people about how the political process works. What could be a better way to learn about American Government than to see it in action right in your classroom? It’s one thing to read about how bills are created and signed into law. It’s quite another to witness the signing.
Governor Palin is bringing the political process to her constituents by signing bills at locations directly affected by them. It makes the process more open and more transparent. She demonstrates that she is one of us by so doing.
The inclusion of the Stikine Native Dancers at the boating safety course carries a significance special significance. Southeast Alaska is part of a region that bears the same name…..
Governor Palin signs bills on boating safety and teachers salaries. (2009, May 20). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved May 21, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/archive.php?id=1853&type=1