Legislature Confirms Governor’s Appointments to Cabinet, Boards, Commissions

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

Friday, the legislature confirmed the appointments Governor Parnell made to his cabinet and to the state’s boards and commissions.  The appointments were considered in a joint session of the House and Senate.

However, there were objections to several of those people.

Bryan Butcher drew considerable, vocal opposition before being confirmed as Commissioner of Revenue – as only eight members voted against him.

Objections were raised by Anchorage Democrat Mike Doogan and Senator Bill

Weilechowski.  Both complained that Butcher had failed to provide information that they thought was important to legislation they were working on.

Doogan wanted to know who had actually written the governor’s oil tax bill that passed the House last month.  He provided a list of requests he had made to Butcher

Wielechowski wanted information on what production and cost information the state is not getting from oil producers.  He said the information would help the state better manage its resources.   Petroleum consultants have pointed out the weakness in the state’s data  system since 2007.   He asked Butcher what specific data other countries collect that Alaska does not get.   He cited eleven requests for that information.

Votes were not partisan, however.   House Minority Leader Beth Kerttula – a Democrat from Juneau – supported Butcher.  However, she reminded him — and the governor – that when legislators make requests, it is serious – and they should be answered seriously.

Butcher was confirmed with a vote of 51 yeas and eight nays.

All the governor’s appointees to the Board of Fish were challenged, but confirmed.

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