News and Press
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.
ANCHORAGE – Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon, D-Dillingham, and Senate President Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks, today released the following statement.
Juneau – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation sponsored by Congressman Don Young to allow a land exchange as part of the effort to build a road to connect the communities of King Cove and Cold Bay on the Alaska Peninsula. Speaker of the House Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham) released the following statement upon learning the results of today’s vote.
Anchorage – With the passage of legislation last week to reform Alaska’s oil industry subsidies, the attention of the Alaska Legislature turns to the Fiscal Year 2018 Capital Budget. That budget needs to pass before the start of the federal fiscal year in October in order to prevent the loss of over a billion dollars in federal funding. The Alaska House Majority Coalition hopes to negotiate a compromise with the Alaska State Senate and Governor Walker to pass the FY 18 Capital Budget before returning lawmakers to Juneau for final action. To this end, the Co-chairs of the Finance Committees in the House and Senate have already started meeting to discuss the details of a Capital Budget compromise.
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.
Here's the "good" and bad news about dipnetting on the Kenai this year. And when it comes to information resources that might help you, of course, there's an app for that. The way I see it, the primary rule is to protect future runs, and sometimes that means fishing closures when the runs are weak.
I have several pieces of news to report. The second special session closed July 15th after we reached a consensus on oil taxes. Here are the details:
Late Saturday night, the legislature found compromise and passed HB111, ending cash payments to oil companies. This effort will save the state $150-200 million annually for the next 10 years. These cash payments incentivized exploration and production efforts, but paying the companies cash just didn't make sense as we try to balance the budget and fill this $2.5'ish billion deficit. Instead, the companies can now recover their costs once fields go into production.