The last time the Republican Gubernatorial team of Murkowski/Leman was together on the Peninsula it was for the Kenai's first ever inaugural ball. Last week the Governor and Lt. Governor only missed being here at the same time by a few hours.
Leman spoke to the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, and Murkowski traveled to the Kenai Chamber on Wednesday for an official legislation signing ceremony. Both gave brief state of the State messages and talked of Alaska's financial challenges and the changes in government that could be expected.
Lt. Governor Loren Leman visited the Soldotna Chamber with his mother Marion and father Nick from Ninilchik the day before Governor Murkowski came to Kenai to sign new legislation.
Leman's family has lived in Ninilchik more than for 4 generations and he said he is the first Alaskan of native heritage to be elected to the Lt. Governor's office. Leman's mother and father Marion and Nick were at the Chamber meeting and when asked about this year's salmon run, Leman said, "Dad always use to say that if the moss on the birch trees grew a certain way or if the jellyfish showed up in a certain way or if the winter was a certain temperature that he could predict what the run would be like, but I haven't had a chance to talk to Dad yet, but I did meet today with Jeff Fox of Fish & Game, and he says yes there are going to be fish but the big question is how many and when. He thinks it could be early and is hopeful."
Governor Frank Murkowski on the following day at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce signed into law four bills intended to benefit Alaska's oil & gas industry. The governor applauded the work of the Peninsula delegation, Senator Tom Wagoner and Rep. Mike Chenault and Rep. Kelly Wolf, for their efforts to steer the natural resource development bills through the legislature. "We worked together Democrats and Republicans and changed the image a bit in Juneau. We were committed to that and I signed some bills today that are going to help the Kenai and resource development here by creating incentives and keeping jobs. It continues the continuity of the economy of this area. We need these things so that Alaska can once again become competitive in the global market," said Murkowski.
Additionally Murkowski defended his budget cuts by saying, "What we have to do is get state government down to a point where it is operating efficiently, effectively, and responsibly. We're making a commitment to that and we brought the discipline in to carry it out. We're separating the producers from the non-producers and we're going to give incentives to the producers and we're going to get our house in order and concentrate on resource development and when we do that I think we have a bright future to challenge our children to stay in Alaska to make their future and contribution here," said Murkowski.
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