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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Rep. Spohnholz’s Newsletter: Special Session Update

Rep. Spohnholz's newsletter

On Tuesday, the legislature passed a compromise budget package funded by the Constitutional Budget Reserve as is needed. This budget compromise is far from perfect, as are many compromises, but it allows us to keep Alaska open for business so that the fishing, tourism and business communities can continue to operate during the summer. The budget compromise ensures that we don’t face a crippling government shut down which would further damage the State of Alaska’s credit rating and hurt the thousands of Alaskan state employees and those who count on their essential efforts. In this special session update, I will describe these budgets generally as well as what is next in the special session.

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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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Rep. Spohnholz’s Newsletter: The Special Session

Rep. Spohnholz's newsletter

Last week on Wednesday, the legislature adjourned without passing a responsible fiscal plan for Alaska. As the newest member of the Alaska State Legislature, I was extremely disappointed that we were not able to balance the budget even after the session was extended. There is no more important responsibility of the Legislature than to make sure that we honor our responsibility to the people of Alaska by passing a responsible budget. However, we have another chance to get the job done.

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