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May 29, 2012, Anchorage, Alaska – While in Dillingham attending the Rural Providers Conference, Alaska's Governor Parnell signed several pieces of legislation, including Senate Bill 130.
Senate Bill 130, which was sponsored by Senator Donny Olson and Representative Alan Dick, establishes an Alaska Native Language and Advisory Council. This council would be central in assessing the present state of Alaska Native languages. It would re-evaluate and make recommendations to reorganize existing programs or establish new ones.
“Without language preservation, a culture dies,” Governor Parnell said. “As Alaskans, we honor and celebrate our traditional cultures. The state will join with Alaskans to make sure these languages live on.”
A second bill signed by the Governor, House Bill 261, was sponsored by Representatives Bryce Edgmon, Steve Thompson, and Charisse Millett. This bill raises the maximum loan amount under the Commercial Fishing Revolving Loan Fund for entry permits from $100,000 to $200,000. The bill hopes to increase Alaskan participation in Alaskan fisheries by enabling a larger number of state residents to purchase limited entry commercial fishing permits.
House Bill 196, sponsored by Representative Edgmon, creates a one-stop shop for rural fuel. The bill combines bulk fuel loan programs currently administered by two entities, the Alaska Energy Authority and the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. The programs will now be administered by one department. The legislation streamlines the entire process of obtaining bulk fuel loans for rural communities.