Getting off on the right foot

  • Thursday, October 22, 2015 5:07pm
  • Opinion

One more, with feeling.

The Alaska Legislature is set to convene its third special session of the year, this time to take up Alaska LNG Project issues. Gov. Bill Walker has proposed that the state buy out TransCanada’s stake in the project, and pitched a gas reserves tax measure for lawmakers to consider.

Unfortunately, lawmakers aren’t yet sure what they will be considering as the administration had not yet released any bills on either subject. And on Wednesday, legislative leaders announced the session would start with committee hearings at the Capitol, rather than the hours-long briefing planned by the administration.

And here we go again.

The governor and the Legislature, it seems, are just not capable of starting anything off on the right foot. You certainly can’t blame legislators from wanting to see bills ahead of the session. Legislative leaders already feel as though they’ve been blind-sided by the reserves tax measure; what other surprises will be waiting for them in Juneau?

Likewise, this is not the first time the governor has made something a legislative priority — but failed to provide the legislation for it. Remember Medicaid expansion? It was a central part of Gov. Walker’s campaign, yet when the Legislature convened in January, he apparently just assumed lawmakers would work out the details. A Medicaid expansion bill wasn’t introduced until March 17 — with about a month left in a regular session that also included marijuana legalization and a budget crisis. When lawmakers didn’t jump on Medicaid expansion, Gov. Walker opted to go it alone, leading to a lawsuit asserting that the governor had overstepped his authority.

Alaska LNG is too big a project — and too crucial to Alaska’s future — to go down the same path.

For his part, Gov. Walker at a Wednesday press conference told reporters that he is “optimistic that once we actually sit down at same table and start having discussions, it will be a productive process.”

We hope that’s the case.

More in Opinion

Opinion: Rural broadband is essential infrastructure

Broadband funding is available. The rest is up to Alaskans.

Nurse Sherra Pritchard gives Madyson Knudsen a bandage at the Kenai Public Health Center after the 10-year-old received her first COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska Voices: A mom’s and pediatrician’s perspective on COVID-19 vaccines for children

I want to see children and their parents who have yet to get vaccinated roll up their sleeves.

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Opinion: The foolish men claiming self-defense

It’s not just misguided teenagers carrying guns who find themselves in trouble with the law.

Larry Persily (Peninsula Clarion file)
Opinion: State defends its right to cut nonexistent taxes

This from a state that has no property tax on homes or businesses, only on the oil industry.

Dr. Jay Butler, former chief medical officer for the State of Alaska, is seen in this undated photo. (Courtesy photo)
Alaska Voices: Feeling grateful this Thanksgiving for the COVID vaccines

The COVID vaccines remain our strongest tool in combating the pandemic and helping us return to our lives and the things we love and cherish.

A resident casts their vote in the regular municipal election Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Voices of the Peninsula: All votes matter

In the beginning, only property-holding white men could vote.

Cristen San Roman. (Photo provided)
Point of View: Is management of Cook Inlet catered to special interest groups?

If these fish are so at risk, why is BOEM able to move forward with lease sale 258?

Homer Foundation
Point of View: Grateful for the hidden ‘good’

Gratitude: Noun The state of being grateful; thankfulness. The state or quality… Continue reading

Homer High School Principal Douglas Waclawski. (Photo provided)
Point of View: What is Homer High School about?

What I consider Homer High’s strength is that we are a place for learning.

Most Read