I, Sarah Palin, Governor of the State of Alaska, under the authority of art. III, secs. 1 and 24 of the Alaska Constitution, establish the Alaska Rural Action Subcabinet to advise the Office of the Governor on challenges faced by rural Alaskans.
Background and Findings
Life in remote parts of Alaska has always been more difficult than in other areas of this state. Barriers exist – both new and old – that make living life outside of Alaska’s urban centers increasingly difficult. Rapid and substantial fluctuations in fuel prices, combined with other factors, have compounded already complex problems for Alaska’s rural residents. The state must address the proper roles of government and private institutions in order to ensure that life in rural Alaska remains sustainable.
Purpose and Duties
The Alaska Rural Action Subcabinet (subcabinet) shall advise the Office of the Governor on the preparation and implementation of a rural needs strategy that recognizes and works to preserve the culture and way of life, including reliance on subsistence resources, of rural Alaskans. In view of its purpose, the subcabinet shall study
- rural migration patterns; and
- the cost of energy in rural Alaska.
In further examining the sustainability of life in rural Alaska, the subcabinet should also consider the following non-prioritized issues:
- state and tribal relations;
- local self-governance;
- sustainable local economies;
- rural education;
- rural law enforcement;
- availability of affordable telecommunications and transportation;
- creation, maintenance, and replacement of infrastructure;
- public safety in rural Alaska;
- rural workforce training options;
- coordination of existing resources;
- availability of emergency services; and
- any other issue which the subcabinet considers important to rural Alaska
Individual state agencies are already addressing many of the factors related to these issues through existing energy assistance and social programs. Good examples are the state’s power cost equalization program, community revenue sharing program, rural utility business advisor program, and village safe water program. The subcabinet will not replace the work of these agencies. It will supplement their efforts by engaging additional interests both within and outside of state government.
Composition and Chairperson
The subcabinet shall be chaired by the attorney general and shall include in its membership the commissioners from the following additional departments: Commerce, Community and Economic Development; Labor and Workforce Development; Military and Veterans’ Affairs; Environmental Conservation; Health and Social Services; Education and Early Development; and Public Safety. The director of the Office of the Governor (Alaska and Washington, D.C.) shall also serve on the subcabinet.
The subcabinet is authorized to create one or more advisory groups to study specific issues. Advisory groups created by the subcabinet may provide recommendations to the subcabinet for consideration. At times and locations to be determined, the subcabinet may also convene public meetings to present and receive comments.
To the extent that travel is required, each member of the subcabinet is responsible for the member’s own travel expenses.
Nothing in this Order is intended to limit or otherwise modify any existing or future statutory or regulatory authority of any state agency. This Order takes effect immediately.
DATED at Anchorage, Alaska this 18th day of December, 2008.