February 2, 2012 | Vol. 39, No. 5

Peggy's Corner

By Representative Peggy Wilson

Hello and welcome to week two of Peggy’s Corner of the House. The pace is really picking up as legislators jockey to get their bills into committees early so that they can get them passed before the end of the session. Any bills that don’t pass this year will have to start over from scratch during the next two-year legislative cycle.

One of the bills at the top of my stack this year is House Bill 216 that deals with how we adopt, amend and repeal regulations. The first part of the bill requires agencies to write new regulations or changes within a reasonable time frame, so that affected people and businesses can plan their activities. The second part of the bill requires that notifications regarding adoption, amendments or repeal of regulations must be written in clear, easily readable language that a person without a legal background is able to understand without following Internet links to the Alaska Administrative Code.

I want to remind you that there are several ways you can stay informed about the progress of bills that interest you. Gavel to Gavel, on Channel 18, shows all the House and Senate floor sessions and some committee meetings. Not all of what you’ll see will be in real time, but you can see your legislators at work. To watch committees in action, and hear the discussion of legislators and testifiers, go to www.alaskalegislature.tv. Or, if you simply want to track legislation of interest online, at any time, you can go to the Bill Action Status Information System, usually referred to as BASIS, (at www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/start.asp.)

Last year, the House Majority adopted Five Guiding Principles that help keep us focused on the areas that we feel are most important to the state. Those principles include: Fiscal Responsibility, Responsible Resource Development, Access to Affordable Energy, Excellent Schools and Workforce Development, and Safe and Healthy Communities.

I personally agree that these should be the priorities for legislation during this session, and all the bills I’m sponsoring or co-sponsoring fit within those principles. As House Majority Whip, it’s also my job to keep the majority actively pushing the bills that will accomplish the most good for the state in those areas.

There are hundreds of bills introduced in each legislative cycle, but by the end of the two years only a few dozen bills are actually passed into law. The only thing the legislature is constitutionally bound to do is pass the operating budget. Other than that, I want to make sure the bills we do pass are truly moving the state forward.

Next week, I will be presenting four of my bills in four different committees; in addition to attending all of my own standing committees and finance sub committees. I’ll be telling you about each of those bills as the weeks go by. Boy, are we having fun.

Don’t forget that if you want to be the first to know what’s happening here in my office, you can ‘friend’ me on Facebook or join me on Twitter.

That’s all for now from Peggy’s Corner of the House. I’ll talk to you next week.

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