Sunday, March 24, 2013

The passage of SB 21; the legislative process

Deborah Brollni
Alaska Energy Dudes and Divas

I want to applaud the Senate for passage of SB 21, the Governor’s oil tax reform bill. I’ve sat and watched all the rhetoric over the Senate passage of SB 21, and have grown tired of the misinformation, and the temper tantrums by others who have not gotten their way. I’ve been on the front lines for oil and gas tax reform since March of 2009, and SB 21 Senate Finance Committee Substitute is a bill I can support, and I can look my children in the eye and be confident that they have a future in Alaska.

SB 21 is a bill that I have researched, and privately criticized throughout the process, and all Alaskans can thank our Senate for doing their due diligence in molding the Governor's bill into a better bill that this mother of two can live with. The legislative process in passage of SB 21 was transparent, and ALL Alaskans had and continue to have a voice. Any Alaskan could have called up any sitting Senate member on the Senate Special Committee on TAPS, Senate Resources, and Senate Finance and you would of found dedicated legislative staff available to answer your questions and concerns regardless of party. I personally did not care how long the Senate took in taking public testimony… testimony needed to be taken until. In addition, written public testimony taken throughout the process accompanies the bill as it has moved to the House.

I caution all Alaskans to avoid the noise of rhetoric as SB 21 works itself through the public process. You will continue to have a voice in the process, and I encourage you to contact those legislators who sit on House Resources, and House Finance and not be intimidated. House members work for all Alaskans and I promise you… you will find only helpful legislative staff ready and willing to help navigate you through SB 21, and answer your questions.

In working through the media slant, and the rhetoric the man you should be paying attention to is Tim Bradner with the Alaska Journal of Commerce. He is a long-time Alaskan who has reported on the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, first oil through TAPS, and ACES and the list goes on and on. He is not an emotional reporter, and he is balanced in his reporting. Also pay attention to Becky Bohrer with the Associated Press. I have watched her challenge legislators to get the answers, and her reporting this session has been non-emotional and spot on.

It is expected that SB 21 will pass out of House Resources this week. I encourage all Alaskans to testify, and don’t think for a second that your opinion does not matter. We are all Alaskans and we are all in this together in moving Alaska forward.

To my children. You have been so patient about your future. Alaska is your home, and I will continue to do whatever it takes to fight for it and give you hope