The sun is returning in Juneau and we’re hearing bills and preparing the budget. Next week, we wrap up finance subcommittees and make budget recommendations. I’m conscious of the impacts of continued cuts, and continuing to investigate new revenue options.Read more
In the wake of extremely low oil prices (about $30 per barrel on the West Coast) and leveling off of production on the Alaska North Slope, the state has seen a sharp reduction in revenues from oil and gas combined with a drastic increase of tax credits to the industry.Read more
My priorities are no secret. Keep Education strong with adequate funding; continue working to advance the Economy through smart policy and good projects that create jobs; and always work towards sustainable and affordable Energy solutions. Education funding in the House operating budget left gaping holes in our curriculum and support of Pre-K to UA. My call continues that the Senate restore this funding as part of their operating budget.Read more
One of the most important things the Legislature deals with is taxes
for oil and gas. The reason it’s so important is because approximately 80 to 90 percent of the State of Alaska’s general fund revenues come from these taxes. That means oil and gas revenues are responsible for funding schools, building roads and all the other things the government does for Alaskans.
This week, the Anchorage Daily News ran an opinion piece I wrote describing why it’s a bad idea to change our current structure.
Thank you for reading my newsletter. I appreciate hearing from you, so please stop by the office, call, write or email.Read more
JUNEAU – Today, Alaska Representatives Pete Petersen and Chris Tuck (both D-Anchorage), and Representative Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking that he investigate Alaskan fuel prices as part of his investigation of nationwide gasoline prices.
“Alaska produces more oil than most countries, but Alaskans still pay more at the pump than anyone else in the U.S. Something’s not right,” said Rep. Petersen. “Any investigation into high fuel prices should certainly include a hard look at the situation in Alaska.”Read more
Next week, the House Finance Committee will take public testimony on the proposed changes to Alaska’s oil and gas taxes. This is your chance to speak up and be heard. In my March 4 newsletter, I outlined some of the major components of the bill and the problems with the changes.Read more
$2 Billion Gamble?
The Governor’s corporate oil tax break bill is currently being heard in the House Resources Committee. From the studies by the Department of Revenue and the Legislature, there is no direct evidence that this bill will lead to any new jobs or development in Alaska.
The 27th Alaska State Legislature was sworn in on Tuesday. I am honored to be back representing West Anchorage and excited for the start of the new session. I will be serving this year on the House Judiciary and Labor & Commerce Committees, as well as the Joint Legislative Council.Read more