NEWS: Rep. Ortiz Applauds Progress to Protect Transboundary Waters

Anchorage – Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan) applauds the new Statement of Cooperation on the Protection of Transboundary Waters between the State of Alaska and British Columbia. The statement was signed today by Alaska Lt. Governor Byron Mallott, the British Columbia Minister of Energy and Mines, and the British Columbia Minister of Environment.

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NEWS: Surrogates for Big Oil Grade on a Curve to the Detriment of the Alaska People

Anchorage – Today, a group of organizations that support continued giveaways to the oil and gas industry in Alaska released grades for the members of the Alaska Legislature. Republican-led Majority lawmakers who support policies to continue unsustainable oil industry cash subsidies received passing grades. The members of the Minority in the Alaska House of Representatives, who have consistently fought for common sense reforms, all received F grades.

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NEWS: House Ends Historic Fifth Special Session Without Progress on a Comprehensive Fiscal Plan

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives adjourned the Fifth Special Session of the 29th Alaska Legislature. Lawmakers were unable to reach consensus on the components of the fiscal plan proposed by Alaska Governor Bill Walker. Despite the setback, the members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition (AIDC) remain committed to finding acceptable solutions to close the budget gap that can garner approval from the Governor, the Alaska Legislature, and the people of Alaska.

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NEWS: Much Good and Some Bad in Governor Walker’s Line Item Budget Vetoes

Anchorage – Earlier today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker used his line-item veto power to cut $1.29 billion from the FY 2017 budgets. The veto includes $430 million in tax credit and other payments to the oil and gas industry down to the statutory minimum requirement of $30 million. The veto of the oil tax credit money is supported by members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition (AIDC) in the Alaska House of Representatives.

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NEWS: Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition Supports Long Overdue Decision to Drop Failed Lawsuit to Stop Medicaid Expansion in Alaska

Anchorage – Earlier today, a majority of the members of the Alaska Legislative Council voted to stop the lawsuit challenging Medicaid expansion in Alaska. The 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. The Alaska Legislative Council is made up of members of both the Alaska House of Representatives and the Alaska Senate and it represents the Alaska Legislature in some instances when the Legislature is not in session. Today’s action by the Legislative Council stops an appeal of the lawsuit to the Alaska Supreme Court.

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NEWS: Alaska House Ends Special Session Without a Fiscal Plan to Protect the Alaska Economy

Juneau – Tonight, the Alaska House of Representatives closed out the Fourth Special Session of the 29th Alaska Legislature without making any substantial progress towards creating a balanced and sustainable plan to address the ongoing fiscal crisis in Alaska. The House failed to pass any of the revenue measures they were called into Special Session to consider by Alaska Governor Bill Walker. The 13 members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition (AIDC) remain committed to working on a comprehensive fiscal plan that will protect the Alaska economy and the essential functions of state government.

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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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