Location of new special session still uncertain

Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Gov. Sarah Palin is not yet committing to where a special session to address energy rates should be held, raising concerns she might suggest it be held outside Juneau.

"Gov. Palin has not announced whether the session will be in Juneau," said Sharon Leighow, Palin's spokeswoman.

Palin will announce timing and location details Thursday.

Commissioner of Revenue Pat Galvin said the special session of the Legislature will be to consider the Palin administration's short-term energy relief plan that will require legislative action to implement.

Rep. Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau, said she hoped Palin would simply continue the June session on a natural gas pipeline into a subsequent energy session.

"It makes sense monetarily and logistically to have it in Juneau," she said. "We are all going to be in Juneau."

House Speaker John Harris, R-Valdez, on Monday called on Palin to expand the call of the gas pipeline session to include short-term energy relief.

Palin has more than once raised capital move concerns in Juneau. Last year, she suggested a special session on oil taxes be held somewhere "on the road system."

That session was eventually held in Juneau, after legislators overwhelmingly indicated their preference to hold it at the Capitol.

A one-day special session was held in Anchorage last year, the first time since statehood the Legislature met outside Juneau.

Two capital move bills moved out of committee during the last legislative session but did not make it to the House floor. No capital move bills were introduced in the Senate.

• Contact reporter Pat Forgey at 523-2250 or e-mail patrick.forgey@juneauempire.com.

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