The Drummond Dispatch: Busy, Busy, Busy.

We’re in the last 36 hours of session and things are rapidly coming to a head here in the Capitol. Bills are being quickly rushed to the floor. Just this morning they scheduled a last minute meeting of Community and Regional Affairs, a committee that had previously adjourned for the rest of session, in order to get a bill on the House Floor today.

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The Drummond Dispatch: Notes from Juneau

Over the years I’ve watched the end of session rush of bills from afar on Gavel to Gavel, so I thought I had a pretty good idea of what I was in for when I came down to Juneau.

Now that we are down to the wire and I am in the thick of it, I can tell you it’s even more hectic on this end!

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NEWS: Giveaway changes: More Money, More Power to Oil Companies

Late Night meeting increased size of giveaway, repeats past mistakes

JUNEAU – Just after 2:00 a.m. this morning, the House Resources Committee voted to give away more of Alaska’s oil wealth with no guarantee of new production and to make the state rely on oil company statements instead of actual receipts when auditing deductions for tax breaks. The committee also tried to undo hard-won provisions that allow the oil companies that own the Trans Alaska Pipeline (TAPS) to charge the state and other companies for all of their expenses, not just the “reasonable” expenses allowed under current law.

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NEWS: Democrats Push Permanent Fund Dividend Protection In Light Of Oil Giveaway

JUNEAU – Today eight Democratic legislators filed legislation to protect the Permanent Fund Dividend by placing the current dividend formula in the Alaska Constitution. With GOP leaders pushing an oil giveaway that is likely to cost Alaskans upwards of $1 billion or more a year, future legislators are likely to start cutting the Dividend to fund state revenue. To protect against attempts to spend the Dividend in tight economic times, former Governor Jay Hammond proposed an initiative in 2002 that would have enshrined the Dividend in the Constitution, but Lt. Governor Loren Leman rejected it as not able to be done by initiative.

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NEWS: Democrats Offer Improvements to Small Gasline Legislation

Amendments would ensure low-cost gas, add accountability, provide maximum benefit to Alaskans

JUNEAU – Tonight, in an effort to add much needed accountability and assurances Alaskans will get low-cost gas and the maximum benefit from a small diameter gasline, Democratic legislators in the Alaska House of Representatives offered a series of amendments to the gasline’s enabling legislation.

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