Legislature(1999 - 2000)

2000-04-18 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

2000-04-18                     Senate Journal                      Page 3214
SB 7                                                                         
Message dated and received April 17 was read, stating:                         
Dear President Pearce:                                                         
Under the authority of Art. II, sec. 15, of the Alaska Constitution,           
I have vetoed the following bill:                                              
HOUSE CS FOR CS FOR SENATE BILL NO.                                           
7(FIN) am H An Act relating to the University of                               
Alaska and university land and authorizing the                                 
University of Alaska to select additional state land.                          
The bill provides for the selection and transfer of 260,000 acres of           
state land to the University of Alaska. It is the latest of several            
efforts since statehood to obtain more land for the university system          
as a revenue-raising means.                                                    
Throughout my term as governor, I have strongly supported the                  
university. I have proposed healthy operating budget increases, fought         
for adequate capital funding for university facilities, worked to              
encourage Alaskas best and brightest students to attend Alaskas                
university and obtained a long-term source of funding for the                  
university through the Charter with BP Amoco.                                  
However, this bill is the wrong approach toward adequate resources             
for the university. As I did in 1995 and 1996, former Alaska                   
Governor Bill Egan vetoed similar legislation in 1959.                         

2000-04-18                     Senate Journal                      Page 3215
SB 7                                                                         
As Governor Egan noted in his veto of a university lands bill, this            
measure is inconsistent with constitutional concepts and not in the            
public interest. I agree with Governor Egan regarding the concept              
of earmarking state lands when he said:                                        
 . . . can we in good conscience limit the practice                           
to the University? Why not similar provision for                               
common schools, public building, hospitals, penal                              
institutions, highways, airports, aid to dependent                             
children, and so on throughout the entire list of                              
important state functions?                                                     
I continue to believe the basic premise of the bill, transfer of state         
land to the university for the purpose of raising revenue, is not in           
the best interest of the state. It is an inefficient and unsuccessful way      
to secure reliable funding for the university. Instead, this bill will         
complicate state land management, contribute to significant land use           
conflicts, and likely lead to years of litigation reminiscent of the           
Mental Health Trust Lands case.                                                
Instead of a futile attempt to generate revenue for the university             
through the grant of additional state land, I have long worked for             
adequate resources for higher education. For the coming year, I                
proposed the largest increase ever - $16.9 million  for the                    
University of Alaskas operating budget. As a result of the Charter             
my administration negotiated between the State, BP Amoco and                   
Phillips Petroleum Company, the university also will realize income            
estimated at $2.8 million each year. And, as I have in the past, I             
support an appropriation of additional federal lands to the university         
consistent with land grants offered in other states.                           
The University of Alaska has a broad mission of educating and                  
training Alaskans for future economic and civic responsibilities, for          
vital research in the public interest and for public service. Despite          
this veto, I remain open and willing to work with the university and           
its  supporters  on  reasonable  means  to  advance  that  mission.            

2000-04-18                     Senate Journal                      Page 3216
SB 7                                                                         
But a grant of state land as proposed in this bill will not solve the          
university's immediate financial needs and, for the policy reasons             
expressed above, I must veto this legislation.                                 
					Tony Knowles