Legislature(1993 - 1994)

1994-02-09 House Journal

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1994-02-09                     House Journal                      Page 2316
HB 454                                                                       
HOUSE BILL NO. 454 by the House Rules Committee by request of                  
the Governor, entitled:                                                        
"An Act making a supplemental appropriation to the Department                 
of Law to pay costs of certain continuing legal proceedings; and               
providing for an effective date."                                              
was read the first time and referred to the Finance Committee.                 
The Governor's transmittal letter, dated February 9, 1994, appears             
"Dear Speaker Barnes:                                                          
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am     
transmitting a bill making a supplemental appropriation to the                 
Department of Law for costs and expenses related to certain oil and            
gas legal proceedings.  Due to the urgent need for this supplemental           
appropriation, the bill has an immediate effective date, and I urge your       
early consideration of this important bill.                                    

1994-02-09                     House Journal                      Page 2317
HB 454                                                                       
The supplemental appropriation of $15,950,000 is essential for the state       
to stay on track in its important oil and gas legal proceedings.  Several      
of these proceedings are scheduled for trial or formal administrative          
hearings in the near future.  Continued diligent preparation is necessary      
for the successful resolution of these complex matters, which could            
bring millions of dollars into the state treasury.                             
This supplemental appropriation is needed to process the millions of           
documents to be collected and produced, to review documents supplied           
by adversaries, to hire experts, to conduct and defend depositions, and        
to do other essential litigation preparation.  Without the early               
enactment of this supplemental request, the Department of Law may              
be forced to slow its litigation at the most crucial pretrial or prehearing    
period and could fail to meet deadlines imposed by the court or                
administrative agencies for resolution of those disputes.  An                  
appropriation is also necessary to keep an audit of the TransAlaska            
Pipeline System (TAPS) on schedule so that the findings may be used            
to contest tariffs.                                                            
We all agree that the resolution of these long-standing oil and gas            
disputes is in the state's best interest, especially now when our revenue      
forecasts show declining receipts for the near future.  The supplemental       
appropriation will help maintain the momentum and progress that we             
have all achieved in resolving such matters and in gaining additional          
revenue for the state.                                                         
The Department of Law originally requested $25,000,000 for oil and             
gas legal proceedings for Fiscal Year 1994.  The legislature                   
appropriated only $10,358,400 of that request.  The supplemental               
appropriation request, if granted, would bring the total appropriations        
for these matters to $26,308,400.                                              
I urge your early consideration and passage of this important                  
										Walter J. Hickel