Anchorage, AK – Governor Palin today signed Senate Bill 3 and House Joint Resolution 19. Poor weather caused Governor Palin to cancel the visit to Valdez for the signing. Heavy fog surrounded the port city on Monday, preventing the governor's plane from landing, instead the bills were signed at The Governor’s Anchorage office.
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 all 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. Many feel this could have prevented the Exxon Valdez oil spill back in 1989.
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.