OPINION: Senate leaders put oil company profits first

Rep. Les Gara

Paying oil companies billions from our dwindling state savings, while cutting schools, help for seniors and those who battle disabilities, isn’t an Alaska I believe in. This is one of the little-reported and major sticking points between our Republican-led Senate and our bipartisan House majority coalition. The Senate budget cuts help for kids, students, seniors and disabled Alaskans, but deficit-spends handsomely on subsidies for our oil industry partners.

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Note from Rep. Gara: Juneau Update: What I’m Fighting For

Rep. Gara Newsletter

As one of 60 legislators, I think we could have finished our work within the 90-day limit. But like negotiating for a car, you can’t just make your offer. You have to get the car salesperson to make a reasonable offer back. That hasn’t happened. The offer so far from our Senate colleagues is:

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NEWS: The House is Waiting for Progress in the State Senate

Juneau – The leadership of the Alaska House Majority Coalition has decided to hold a limited number of technical floor sessions for the remainder of the week to allow House members to travel back to their home districts for the Memorial Day Holiday. This will allow members to engage with constituents about the important issues under consideration during the Special Session called by Alaska Governor Bill Walker. Allowing lawmakers to go home also saves the state money since lawmakers will not be collecting per diem in their home districts.

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NEWS: Resources Committee Co-chairs will Lead Effort to Reform Unsustainable Oil Industry Subsidies

Juneau – On Monday, Speaker of the House Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham) appointed House members to negotiate a compromise on legislation to reform Alaska’s unsustainable oil tax credit system that passed both the House and Senate. House Resources Committee Co-chairs Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) and Rep. Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage) will represent the House Majority on the conference committee. The House Minority will be represented by Rep. Dave Talerico (R-Healy). The State Senate is expected to appoint their members to the conference committee on Wednesday.

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