A Republican State Senator from Anchorage has put forward legislation intended to increase the development of infrastructure in the Arctic. Senate Bill 140 was introduced Monday by Senator Lesil McGuire.
The bill would increase incentives for private investment in ports, roads, and telecommunications projects. The bill also gives the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, or AIDEA, the authority to support infrastructure projects in the Arctic through loans or bonds. McGuire is the Chair of the powerful Rules Committee in the State Senate and she used last week’s Senate Majority press conference to speak to the infrastructure challenges in the Arctic.
“The Arctic is opening up and infrastructure challenges are paramount.”
Senator McGuire notes that another piece of legislation could soon be unveiled that would create an Arctic Port Authority. McGuire is the Co-Chair of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission and that commission will deliver a preliminary report to the Legislature on Thursday. The Commission’s final report will be presented to the Legislature in January of next year.