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Senate Democrats speak up following passage of AGDC bill

By Rhonda McBride 8:26 AM April 16, 2014

JUNEAU – A bill allowing the the governor to appoint a nonresident to the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation board of directors now goes on to Gov. Sean Parnell for his signature.

HB 383 was on the fast track, introduced by House Speaker Mike Chenault earlier this month. On April 9, it passed the House 27-12. On Tuesday, the measure also cleared the Senate by a 13-7 margin.

The bill resolves a conflict in state statutes and the Alaska Constitution. State law says only Alaska residents are eligible to serve on state boards and commissions. The constitution does not ban nonresidents from serving. It only requires appointees be U.S. citizens.

Democrats accused Parnell of violating state law when he appointed Richard Rabinow of Texas to the AGDC Board. The governor said the board needed Rabinow’s pipeline building expertise. Rabinow is now retired from ExxonMobil, where he was president of Exxon’s pipeline building company.

Chenault said he introduced HB 383 to end the debate about the legality of Rabinow’s appointment and to clear the way for his confirmation by the Legislature on Thursday.

Sen. Bill Wielechowski says passage of the measure allows the governor to stack the AGDC board in favor of oil interests.

Watch the video above for Wielechowski’s reaction to the passage of HB 383.

Click here to hear the governor defend Rabinow’s appointment and react to the passage of HB 383.

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