Rep. Tuck’s Newsletter: Public Testimony on Oil & Gas Tax Credits

The House Rules Committee, of which I am a member, will be hearing House Bill 247, the oil & gas tax credits bill, starting at 9:00 am on Wednesday. Public testimony will be taken this Wednesday, May 11, 2016, from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. You can testify via teleconference at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office and you can watch the hearing live on Gavel Alaska. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Rep. Kawasaki’s Newsletter: Why are we Still Here? – Crime Bill Passes House, Congratulations UA Graduates

It’s Day 110 and many of us are still working in Juneau. Construction is underway at the Capitol so we moved in to a small rental near downtown. After 4 days of debate, the House voted on SB 91, the “Crimnibus” bill that overhauls the criminal justice system in a way Alaska has not seen since 1978. Below is an update about this legislation and why we’re still here.

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NEWS: House Republican Leadership Illegally Appeals Lawsuit to Stop Medicaid Expansion in Alaska

Juneau – The Republican-controlled leadership in the Alaska House of Representatives has filed an appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court of a lawsuit challenging Medicaid expansion in Alaska without approval of the full Alaska Legislature as required by law. The ill-advised lawsuit was dismissed in March by a Superior Court Judge after finding that the Social Security Act allowed the Governor to initiate Medicaid expansion and that existing state law required Governor Walker to provide Medicaid to the group of Alaskans eligible for expansion.

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NEWS: Display of Student Research Highlights the Need to Adequately Fund the University of Alaska System

Anchorage – Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) is highlighting some of the valuable research being undertaken by students and faculty at the University of Alaska by sponsoring the University of Alaska Anchorage Undergraduate Research and Discovery Symposium today in Anchorage. This comes as the Alaska Legislature is deliberating over the proposed FY 2017 budget, which includes a $50 million cut in funding for the University of Alaska. Such a cut will result in the loss of hundreds of jobs and diminish the ability of the University to conduct needed academic research.

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Rep. Claman’s Newsletter: Extended Session Update

On Sunday, the legislature will be 14 days into the extended legislative session and we have not reached an agreement about revenue and expenses for a state budget. The House will be considering the Criminal Justice Reform bill early next week. As the session continues, I will continue my work for a responsible action plan for Alaska.

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Rep. Josephson’s Newsletter: Legislative Update: The Outstanding Issues

We are now 95 days into the second session of the 29th Legislature and there are still a number of issues that have yet to be resolved. These include the Omnibus Crime Bill (SB91), the Operating and Capital Budgets, a new plan for drawing from the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve (SB128 & HB245), and a revision of our generous Oil and Gas Tax Credit System (HB247). At this time, most other legislation is essentially dead and the majority of the attention has been focused on these key issues. (Some bills, like the Campus Carry Bill could always resurface, however).

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Rep. Wool’s Newsletter: It feels like déjà vu around here…

I’m writing you from Juneau again, and it feels like déjà vu – we’re here past our 90 day limit again. In many ways I’m not surprised, as we’re talking about a lot of major issues this year: restructuring the Permanent Fund, income or sales taxes, reforming our oil tax credits, making significant changes to our Medicaid program, and an overhaul of our crime laws. I hoped we could finish in 90 days, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. I am committed to staying as long as it takes to craft a real solution, because we cannot afford to kick the can down the road another year. My goal has always been to support a long term, comprehensive fiscal solution, and I spoke about that at a press conference earlier this month.

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