Governor Sean Parnell yesterday attended the Rural Providers Conference in Dillingham where he signed several pieces of legislation.
Senate Bill 130, sponsored by Senator Donny Olson and Representative Alan Dick, establishes an Alaska Native Language and Advisory Council. The council will assess the state of Alaska Native languages, re-evaluate the programs, and make recommendations to establish new programs or reorganize existing programs.
"Without language preservation, a culture dies," Governor Parnell said. "As Alaskans, we honor and celebrate our traditional cultures. The state will join with Alaskans to make sure these languages live on."
House Bill 261, sponsored by Representatives Bryce Edgmon, Steve Thompson, and Charisse Millett, raises the maximum loan amount under the Commercial Fishing Revolving Loan Fund for entry permits from $100,000 to $200,000. The legislation will increase Alaskan participation in Alaskan fisheries by enabling a larger number of state residents to purchase limited entry commercial fishing permits.
House Bill 196, sponsored by Representative Edgmon, creates a one-stop shop for rural fuel. The bill combines bulk fuel loan programs currently administered by two entities, the Alaska Energy Authority and the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. The programs will now be administered by one department. The legislation streamlines the entire process of obtaining bulk fuel loans for rural communities.