Blogs by Rep Bob Lynn

Blog site of Representative Bob Lynn, Alaska House of Representatives,District 31 Anchorage, Alaska. Blogs consist of public comments during legislative sessions, speeches, political commentary, as well as personal observations, and some journal type entries. Comments are invited.

Location: Anchorage, Alaska, United States

Member of the Alaska State House of Represeentatives since 2003. US Air Force, Retired; military bandsman; F94C interceptor pilot; Vietnam service as radar controller (Monkey Mountain), radar site commander(Pleiku); Government Contract Management; Public school Teacher, Retired. Married 55 years to Marlene Wagner Lynn, 6 children, 20 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild. Member St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Church. Former Tucson Arizona policeman, Ambulance Driver and Mortician's Assistant, Realtor (currently on referral status).

Monday, April 02, 2007

Ethics Bill Passes House. Halleluiah!

Governor Palin’s ethics bill HB109 was passed today in the House with a unanimous vote. Halleluiah! The bill is now in the hands of the State Senate. It’s the governor’s bill, but a large group of bipartisan representatives - including me - have “skin” in the bill. Following is my speech on the House floor in support of HB109:

Mr. Speaker:

The most important thing we can do in this legislature is to build a stronger foundation of trust – the trust between the people of Alaska, and the people they elect to public office. That’s what this bill is all about.

Do we want, do we need, a gas pipeline? Of course we do. We all want that. What’s the first step for the gas pipeline contract? I think it could be this ethics bill. If the people of Alaska see this legislature build a stronger foundation of trust by passing HB109, the people of Alaska will be more likely to trust our decisions on AGIA, the pipeline route, the pipeline contract, who gets the pipeline contact, and everything else we do. And trust is what this bill is all about.

And how do we build trust? We build trust with transparency, disclosure, and laws about what elected officials can and can not do. We do our best to pass ethics legislation that will help the ethically challenged uphold the high standards of conduct the public has a right to expect from the people they elect.

The very first committee hearing in our State Affair’s Committee, was on ethics legislation. I sponsored a bill, HB10, with my name and other legislators. Mr. Speaker, you sponsored a bill, HB20, with your name and other legislators. And other bills were sponsored by other legislators, both Republican and Democrat. And these were all good bills. And then the governor sponsored her own good bill, HB109.

We thought better ethics legislation was too important for individual names to be attached to it – so in our State Affairs Committee we rolled 13 bills, and thirty-five amendments, plus I-don’t-know-how-many amendments to amendments, into the governor’s bill. To make that happen, we appointed a bi-partisan sub-committee chaired by our Rules Chair, assisted by the representative from Muldoon, and the representative from Mountain View whose max amendments made the bill into a much improved piece of legislation.

Then the bill came before the full committee, and we were pleased to take recommendations from Joyce Anderson of the Legislative Ethics Committee, and Brooke Miles of APOC. Deputy Attorney General David Jones, from the governor’s office, worked with us every step of the way. I must also say that the staffs of all the legislators involved have done invaluable work on this bill, as well as the House pages in putting together the briefing books – and thank you. This bill is the result of a very successful team effort, and that includes public testimony.

We put an excellent package together. Then we sent HB109 to the Judiciary Committee, where 38 other amendments were carefully considered. And the Judiciary Committee also did a great job. We might even call HB109 “AGEIA II” – the “Alaska Governmental Ethics Inducement Act”!

I’m here to tell you, Mr. Speaker, HB109 is an excellent bill. Is it a perfect bill? No it is not. We’re not perfect legislators, so we don‘t put together perfect bills. But HB109 an excellent bill that we can all be proud of. HB109 will strengthen the foundation of trust we need between the people of Alaska and their government. This is a bill whose time has come. I respectfully request your support.


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