MARCH 24, 2017
Representing District 17:
Midtown, University, and East Anchorage
I Answer to You!
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1500 W. Benson Blvd #229
Anchorage, AK 99503
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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter, and keeping up with what is happening in your state legislature. Every day so much happens that affects all of us; from oil-tax legislation and the budget, to protecting our wild fisheries for future generations. These last few weeks, I’ve been working hard to make sure that Alaskans’ rights and resources are protected!
Oil-Tax and Credit Legislation
Testifying before the House Finance Committee with Rep. Tarr, and my chief-of-staff Lisa Weissler about HB 111. HB 111 is the oil-tax and credit reform legislation written by the House Resources Committee which Rep. Tarr and I co-chair.
Last week HB 111 moved from the House Resources Committee, which I co-chair. The bill ends the tax incentives that had the state paying millions in cash for tax credits related to costs accrued by oil and gas companies. In the future, companies will be allowed to deduct a percentage of their costs from their tax obligation once they have taxable production.
This brings Alaska more in line with other oil and gas fiscal systems worldwide. HB 111 also would require more information related to oil and gas activities be made public so we have a better understanding of how our oil resource is being developed. The House Finance Committee is hearing HB 111 this week. Public testimony is scheduled for Saturday, March 25, starting at 10:00 a.m. Testimony is limited to two minutes.
Last week we spent most of our time working on the Operating Budget. The budget had already been through an extensive vetting. However, the minority proposed more than 100 amendments to the budget on the floor, effectively filibustering the state’s operating budget. (While offering amendments is part of the democratic process, the debate raged for 5 days and over 17 hours). We spent many hours debating their amendments into the evening, but finally made it through them.
There should be a vote on Monday, March 27th, to finally transmit the Operating Budget to the Senate for its consideration.
Speaking on the floor during the budget amendment debates.
HB 134 was heard before House Resources on Monday. It’s a bill I sponsored that adds a non-consumptive seat and a tourism seat onto the Alaska Board of Game. As it currently stands, all Board of Game members represent different interests in hunting and harvesting wildlife. However, afforded by my bill will allow a voice to tourism interests, wildlife photography and viewing, and others who enjoy Alaska’s beautiful wilderness.
HB 13 will have had its second hearing before the House State Affairs Committee by the time you’ve read this today. This is my bill making it illegal for state or municipal funds to be used to create a federally mandated registry based on race, religion, national origin, or ethnicity. I am always proud to stand up and protect those who need it most, and I sponsored this bill to make sure that our state does the same.
HB 23 is my bill to ensure survivors of fallen peace officers and firefighters continue to receive medical insurance coverage. I’m pleased to report the bill passed the House unanimously. It is currently in Senate Finance. My hope is it will be scheduled for a hearing next week.
I look forward to receiving your thoughts on any of these issues, as it is you, my constituents, that guide every step I take toward a better Alaska.
Thank you and have a great week!
I Answer to You!
Representative Andy Josephson
1500 W. Benson Blvd., Suite 229