State of the State Address


Gov. Bill Walker


Wednesday, January 21, 2014 – 7:00 p.m.


 


Governor Bill Walker will deliver his first State of the State speech Wednesday at 7 p.m. in a joint session of the state Legislature.


Tonight’s speech it will be an opportunity for Walker to lay out his vision for the state’s future. Senate majority leaders on Tuesday said they are hoping to hear details on how the governor will proceed on the Alaska Liquified Natural Gas Project. They fear he does not support it, nor SB 138 — the legislation passed last year to create a state partnership with oil producers and TransCanada to bring North Slope gas to market for export overseas as well as in-state use.


The governor did not respond to their criticism, but has been a longtime proponent of developing an LNG project. He could address his vision for developing Alaska’s gas in his State of the State address. Recently, he’s also raised concerns about oil and gas tax credits.


Energy is expected to be one of the topics he addresses on Wednesday night, but the governor could discuss natural gas development and petroleum revenues on Thursday at 7:00 p.m., when he’s scheduled to deliver his State of the Budget address.


In 2006, Gov. Frank Murkowski was the last governor to give a budget speech to the legislature. Governors since then have broken with the tradition, perhaps because oil prices steadily improved since then, creating billions in surpluses. But with the state facing a $3.5 billion dollar budget deficit, the administration wanted to revive the speech to bring focus to the state’s fiscal crisis.


The full text version of Walker’s State of the State speech can be found here.


 




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