Rep. Seaton’s July 26th Newsletter: Capital Budget alert

Greetings! Please see the below press release outlining the draft capital budget compromise between the House and Senate. Links are provided to additional documents and a summary. Once appointed, the capital budget conference committee is scheduled to meet in Juneau at 1pm Thursday, July 27 to review and vote on this draft. Should it pass the conference committee, I anticipate the bill will then move to the House and Senate floors the same day.

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NEWS: Governor Signs Bill to Increase Access and Decrease Costs of Eye Care in Alaska

Anchorage – Today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed House Bill 103 into law, delegating increased authority over the regulation of optometrists to the Board of Examiners of Optometry. HB 103 was introduced by Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage) and its Senate companion, Senate Bill 36, was introduced by Senator Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage). The bill passed both the Alaska House of Representatives and Alaska Senate with strong bipartisan support in April and May.

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Rep. Tarr’s July 20th Newsletter: Negotiating a Compromise to End Cash Payments to Oil Companies & Russian Jack Picnic

I’m pleased to write this after having worked hard to negotiate a compromise bill to end oil and gas cash subsidy payments. When asked about these subsidies in a recent budget survey, 93% of respondents in our area said they needed to end. I listened and worked with my colleagues, and as the Chair of the Conference Committee on HB 111, to make that a reality.

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Rep. Tuck’s July 20th Newsletter: Agreement Reached to End Cash Subsidies to Oil Companies

This past weekend the House and Senate formed a compromise on HB 111 to eliminate cash credits to oil companies. The House passed the bill by a vote of 33-6 and Senate passed it 18-0. After weeks of negotiating, the bill is estimated to save the state about $200 million per year over the next 10 years. With some limitations, companies can instead claim tax deductions after they start producing oil, which makes a lot more sense than handing money over with no way to tell if it is resulting in increased production.

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NEWS: Compromise Achieved to Reform Alaska’s Unsustainable Oil Tax Credit System

Juneau – Tonight, the Alaska Legislature passed a compromise version of legislation to reform Alaska’s system of subsidizing the oil industry on the North Slope with tax credits. House Bill 111 ends Alaska’s unique cash for tax credits system and strengthens the four percent minimum tax to ensure Alaska receives some production tax revenue in times of low oil prices. Tonight’s compromise was brokered by House Resources Committee Co-chair Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage), who served as the Chair of the HB 111 Conference Committee.

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NEWS: HB 111 Conference Committee Meeting Scheduled for Wednesday Afternoon in Anchorage

Anchorage – Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage), Chair of the House Bill 111 Conference Committee, is calling the committee together for a meeting in Anchorage Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. to discuss a proposed compromise to end the unaffordable practice of paying oil companies on the North Slope cash for tax credits. The HB 111 Conference Committee is tasked with working out the differences between the competing versions of the bill passed by the Alaska House of Representatives and the Alaska State Senate.

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NEWS: Governor Walker to Sign Legislation Saturday Designating Indigenous Peoples Day in Alaska

Juneau – Representative Dean Westlake (D-Kiana) will join Alaska Governor Bill Walker for a ceremony Saturday in Utgiagvik to sign House Bill 78, which designates the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day in Alaska. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Westlake and passed the Alaska State Legislature this year with overwhelming bipartisan support in both the Alaska House of Representatives and the Alaska State Senate.

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NEWS: Budget Compromise Achieved, Government Shutdown Averted

Juneau – Tonight, to avert the looming government shutdown, the Alaska State Legislature passed the Fiscal Year 2018 Operating Budget. The compromise budget totals $4.1 billion in Unrestricted General Fund (UGF) spending and sets this year’s Permanent Fund Dividend at $1,100. The K-12 Base Student Allocation (BSA) will be fully funded at $1.2 billion, the same level of funding as the current year. This reverses the $69 million cut to education advanced by the Alaska Senate. 

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