Two former Interior lawmakers get state appointments

Posted: Sunday, February 02, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A former Interior lawmaker, Mike Miller, will take over the leadership of the state Department of Administration, while another, Steve Frank, will serve on the board of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., Gov. Frank Murkowski announced Saturday.

Miller, 51, will serve as commissioner for the Department of Administration, which has a variety of roles. It manages the needs of state workers, supervises the state's telecommunications program, the Department of Motor Vehicles and pioneers' homes. He spent 10 years in the House and 8 years in the Senate before retiring in 2000.

''He's got all of the qualifications and he'll do a tremendous job,'' Murkowski said of Miller.

''It came as a real surprise, but it also came as a real honor,'' Miller said.

One of his department's main upcoming challenges will be handling union issues and labor negotiations, said John Manly, Murkowski's spokesman.

Former Sen. Steve Frank, recently treasurer for Murkowski's statewide campaign, was selected to serve on the Permanent Fund Corp. Board of Trustees.

Frank, 48, won his first state Senate bid in 1988 after four years in the House. He retired from the Senate in 1996, leaving a powerful position as co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee.

''He knows finance, he knows Alaska and he's got the broad picture,'' Murkowski said.

When he left the Senate, Frank said he wanted to focus more on life outside politics. His role on the permanent fund board is not a full-time position, he said, and will allow him to remain in the Interior.

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