The Alaska State Legislature will be going into another special session this morning in Juneau in a last ditch attempt to save the coastal management program. The program, which gives local communities and the state a say in projects along the coastal zone, is set to expire on Friday.
Kodiak Representative Alan Austerman, reached Saturday in the Detroit airport on his way back to Alaska, said there has been a lot of behind-the-scenes work trying to bring the 60 legislators together.
— (CZM 1 31 sec "Near as I can tell … seem to agree.")
Senator Gary Stevens, reached in South Bend, Indiana, said he believes the compromise will have enough votes to pass:
— (CZM 2 20 sec "Agreements are pretty much … issues outstanding.")
The proposed compromise was built off the bill passed by the House during the regular session and tinkers with the more controversial additions made in the Senate.
Austerman said it is different – but not necessarialy better – than the current program:
— (CZM 3 36 sec "I would say it’s more open … tweak later on.")
Stevens says opposition has come from the mining industry, and lobbying by mining interests may explain Governor Sean Parnell’s lack of involvement on the issue:
— (CZM 4 26 sec "The mining industry is … they may have.")
Both of Kodiak’s legislators believe the special session – the second of the year so far – will only last one day. A simple majority vote from each branch is needed to pass the bill, but a two-thirds’ vote is needed to enact the effective dates of the legislation.