NEWS: Conference Committee Advances Flawed Oil Tax Credit Subsidy Bill

Juneau – Today, the Conference Committee created to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions of House Bill 247 advanced a new version that continues unsustainable subsidies to the oil and gas industry that will cost Alaska hundreds of millions of dollars a year. The only member of the Minority on the Conference Committee is Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage). She objected to the new version of HB 247 and voted no on advancing the bill out of the committee.

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NEWS: No Progress and No Communication on Linchpin to a Comprehensive Fiscal Plan

Juneau – The members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition (AIDC) have consistently insisted that any plan to address Alaska’s ongoing fiscal crisis be comprehensive in nature and include reform to our flawed oil and gas subsidy system that is costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars. House Bill 247 remains the linchpin to a successful fiscal plan, yet the Conference Committee has not met during the 4th Special Session of the 29th Alaska Legislature. House Resources Committee member Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) represents the AIDC on the Conference Committee and is the only member of the conference committee that originally voted yes on the compromise House bill that passed with bipartisan support.

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NEWS: Budget Compromise Prevents Threat of Government Shutdown and Protects the Alaska Economy

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed fully funded budgets for the next fiscal year that removes the threat of the first ever government shutdown in Alaska. The operating and capital budgets were passed with significant support from members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition (AIDC) after weeks of bipartisan negotiations between the Minority and Majority Caucuses in both the House of Representatives and Senate.

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NEWS: Last Minute Assault on Public Education Hits School Children

Juneau – As the Second Session of the 29th Alaska Legislature reaches the constitutionally mandated end of session, lawmakers and advocates for a healthy K-12 public education system are reeling from a surprise cut to public education. On Tuesday night, the House and Senate Operating Budget Conference Committee slipped a $50 cut to the Base Student Allocation (BSA) into the proposed FY 2017 budget in violation of funding promised by state law.

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NEWS: Alaska House Passes Legislation to Roll-Back Many Unsustainable Oil Industry Subsidies

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives approved House Bill 247 to significantly reform Alaska’s unsustainable oil tax credit subsidy system. The members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition (AIDC) cautiously supported the legislation after participating in a bipartisan effort to amend the bill to dramatically increase savings and fix flaws included in previous versions of the bill.

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NEWS: Independent and Democratic Lawmakers Call for a Halt to Illegal Lawsuit Challenging Medicaid Expansion in Alaska

Juneau – Today, the members of Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition sent a letter to the high-priced Washington D.C. law firm of Bancroft, PLLC asking them to not move forward on an appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court of a lawsuit challenging the expansion of Medicaid in Alaska. The authority to move forward with an appeal has not been granted by the full membership of the Alaska House of Representatives as is required by law. Last week, a notice of appeal was illegally filed with the Alaska Supreme Court on behalf of the Alaska Legislative Council and the Alaska House of Representatives. This is despite a clear legal opinion from the Alaska Division of Legal and Research Services that such an appeal must be authorized by a vote of the full Alaska Legislature, which it was not.

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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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