Jan 24 2012
State House Prepares for ACMP Debate
Tuesday, 24 January 2012

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Alaska House Majority Leader Alan Austerman, R-Kodiak, opens a House Majority press availability Monday morning. Representatives Bob Herron, D-Bethel, Dan Saddler, R-Eagle River, and Carl Gatto, R-Palmer, joined Austerman for the event. Topics covered included Alaska coastal management, texting or using cell phones while driving, veteran’s issues, and education.


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            The Alaska Legislature is preparing to take up discussion on a Coastal Management Program to replace the one that expired before it could get reauthorized during last year's regular and special sessions.

            On Monday morning, Representatives Alan Austerman of Kodiak and Carl Gatto of Palmer fielded questions from reporters about coastal management. Gatto says coastal management will likely be the first controversial issue the Legislature takes up, in a joint meeting between the House and Senate Judiciary committees.


-- (Coastal 1                40 sec              "We'll have public testimony ... it's a polarized issue.")


            Austerman, who is the House Majority Leader, said the date of the meeting is still up in the air:


-- (Coastal 2                17 sec              "We're waiting for the Senate ... that period of time.")


            Austerman said the House majority is holding off on taking a stand on the Alaska Sea Party's petition and ballot initiative reinstating Coastal Management:


-- (Coastal 3                27 sec              "The majority caucus at this time ... in process now or not.")


            If the legislature can agree on a coastal management bill that is "substantially similar" to what is called for in the ballot initiative, they can head off a vote of the people in the October General Election.