HCR 12: Relating to the Joint Rural Assessment Task Force.

00 HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 12 01 Relating to the Joint Rural Assessment Task Force. 02 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 WHEREAS the Constitution of the State of Alaska provides that the Alaska State 04 Legislature shall provide for the performance of services it deems necessary or advisable in 05 unorganized boroughs and that the legislature serves as the assembly for the unorganized 06 borough; and 07 WHEREAS the Alaska State Legislature exercises that responsibility by proposing 08 and implementing policies that encourage self-determination, self-sufficiency, long-range 09 economic stability and sustainability, and assumption of responsibility by residents of rural 10 communities; and 11 WHEREAS, notwithstanding these commitments and efforts, recent developments in 12 rural communities, including sky-rocketing energy prices and the erosion of revenue sharing 13 and other forms of assistance to local governments, have compromised the ability of local 14 communities to provide basic local services and have underscored the need for the Alaska 15 State Legislature to conduct a reassessment of the efficacy of its policies; and 16 WHEREAS in the past few years many local communities in Alaska have either had

01 to dissolve, enter deeply into debt, or cease providing basic local services as a result of lower 02 local revenue; and 03 WHEREAS the Denali Commission, a state-federal partnership, regularly invests in 04 the rural Alaskan communities and has developed a five-year strategic plan to guide its 05 activities; and 06 WHEREAS the governor took action to address the serious challenges posed by high 07 energy costs in rural Alaska by appointing the Rural Energy Action Council to recommend 08 short-term and long-term approaches to address the costs; and 09 WHEREAS the Rural Energy Action Council has recently released its report and has 10 recommended a series of actions which, taken together, could provide partial relief to the 11 communities; and 12 WHEREAS crafting additional measures that will efficaciously address both short- 13 term and long-term sustainability issues will be dependent upon conducting an appropriate 14 needs assessment to guide these efforts; and 15 WHEREAS the Alaska Municipal League and the First Alaskans Institute have 16 committed to undertake such an assessment by examining conditions in a representative 17 sampling of rural communities; 18 BE IT RESOLVED that, pursuant to the authority granted under art. II, sec. 11, 19 Constitution of the State of Alaska to establish interim committees, the Joint Rural 20 Assessment Task Force is established; and be it 21 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Joint Rural Assessment Task Force shall consist of 22 seven members, three appointed by the president of the senate, three appointed by the speaker 23 of the house of representatives, a designee from the First Alaskans Institute and a designee 24 from the Alaska Municipal League; and be it 25 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Joint Rural Assessment Task Force shall consider 26 the findings and recommendations resulting from the needs assessment prepared by the 27 Alaska Municipal League and the First Alaskans Institute, the Denali Commission's Five- 28 Year Strategic Plan, and the Rural Energy Action Council's Finding and Action 29 Recommendations, travel to communities to hold hearings on the issues, and deliver a report 30 of its finding to the legislature by January 15, 2006, together with appropriate legislature 31 proposals for consideration during the Second Regular Session of the Twenty-Fourth Alaska

01 Legislature; and be it 02 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Joint Rural Assessment Task Force may meet 03 during and between legislative sessions and that the task force is terminated on February 1, 04 2006.