NOAA’s Alaska Assets Should Be Based in Alaska

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed a resolution requesting that Alaska-focused assets of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) be based in Alaska. House Resolution 8 was put forward by the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee and carried by Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins (D-Sitka).

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Bill to Early Fund Public Education in Alaska Signed Into Law

Juneau – Earlier today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker was joined by members of the Alaska Legislature and dozens of elementary school students for the official signing ceremony for legislation to early fund Alaska’s K-12 public education system. The signing ceremony for House Bill 287 was held at the Harborview Elementary School in Juneau. HB 287 authorizes the State of Alaska to spend $1.3 billion for K-12 education and student transportation. The bill was introduced at the beginning of the Second Session of the 30th Alaska State Legislature by House Finance Committee Co-Chair Rep. Paul Seaton (R-Homer). HB 287 was co-sponsored by 22 State Representatives and 12 Senators.

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House Votes to Put Alaskans Back to Work by Clearing Oil Tax Credit Backlog

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed legislation proposed by Governor Bill Walker to issue bond debt to pay off the more than $800 million balance the state owes for oil and gas tax credits. House Bill 331 would discount the tax credit payments to more than cover the additional cost to the state of interest on the bond debt, which the state will then pay down over the next decade. In this manner, companies owed credits receive cash they can reinvest in additional development today while keeping the measure revenue neutral or revenue positive for the State of Alaska.

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Legislation Passes to Encourage Alaska’s Farm-to-Table Economy

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed a bill to increase economic opportunities for Alaska farmers, fishermen and the farm-to-table economy. House Bill 217, sponsored by Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage), encourages the State of Alaska, school districts, and municipalities to buy more “Alaska Grown” products. The bill also encourages the growing practice of farm touring and allows receipt authority for the Alaska Division of Agriculture to sell products with the Alaska Grown logo in support of Alaska farmers.

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Alaska Legislature Votes to Support Dive Fisheries in Southeast Alaska

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed legislation to update the protocol used by the Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association to charge an assessment to its members to help manage and support the geoduck, sea cucumber, and sea urchin fisheries. House Bill 354, sponsored by Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan), changes the assessment mechanism from a vote by a majority of permit holders to a three-quarters vote of the Board of Directors and a majority vote of permit holders participating in the election.

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