Rep. Stutes’ August 6th Newsletter: Legislative Update

Rep. Louise Stutes

It has been a while since my last letter and I would like to update you on the legislature’s progress over the past two special sessions. This was a contentious year in Juneau and a difficult time for all Alaskans as uncertainty loomed in the form of a potential government shutdown, job losses, an economic recession, State credit-rating downgrades, and a reduction to PFDs. A potential income tax, the oil and gas tax restructuring, and other controversial solutions on the table added to the fervor of the debate.

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NEWS: Alaska Legislature Passes Responsible Capital Budget Compromise

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature overwhelmingly passed a capital budget for Fiscal Year 2018 that will result in approximately $1.2 billion in federal funds coming to Alaska. The approved capital budget was a negotiated compromise that ensures continued funding for Alaska’s roads, bridges, and other vital infrastructure. House Finance Committee Co-chair Rep. Neal Foster (D-Nome) helped negotiate the compromise and worked to ensure passage today.

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NEWS: Significant Step Forward on Long-Awaited King Cove Road

Juneau – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation sponsored by Congressman Don Young to allow a land exchange as part of the effort to build a road to connect the communities of King Cove and Cold Bay on the Alaska Peninsula. Speaker of the House Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham) released the following statement upon learning the results of today’s vote.

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NEWS: Coalition Working with the Governor and Senate to Quickly Pass a Capital Budget

Anchorage – With the passage of legislation last week to reform Alaska’s oil industry subsidies, the attention of the Alaska Legislature turns to the Fiscal Year 2018 Capital Budget. That budget needs to pass before the start of the federal fiscal year in October in order to prevent the loss of over a billion dollars in federal funding. The Alaska House Majority Coalition hopes to negotiate a compromise with the Alaska State Senate and Governor Walker to pass the FY 18 Capital Budget before returning lawmakers to Juneau for final action. To this end, the Co-chairs of the Finance Committees in the House and Senate have already started meeting to discuss the details of a Capital Budget compromise.

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