Budget Deal Reached; State Operating Budget Passes the Alaska Legislature

Juneau – A compromise budget agreement between the Alaska House of Representatives and the Alaska State Senate was reached today, resulting in the passage of the fiscal year 2019 operating budget for the State of Alaska. Today’s budget deal prevents any disruption in essential public services as the State of Alaska enters the busy summer tourism and fishing seasons. House Bill 286 features total General Fund spending of $6.27 billion. The budget includes Alaska House Majority Coalition priorities such as $942 million to inflation-proof the value of the $65 billion Alaska Permanent Fund, $1.02 billion to pay for $1,600 Permanent Fund Dividends for each eligible Alaskan, a $10 million investment in the University of Alaska above the Governor’s proposal, and multiple measures to improve public safety and law enforcement in Alaska.

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Legislature Approves Increased Benefits for Those Displaced by Federal Construction Projects in Alaska

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed legislation to increase the maximum relocation benefits available to those displaced by federally funded construction projects. House Bill 131 brings Alaska statutes in line with federal laws that were changed in 2012 with the passage of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. Prior to passage of the act, federal relocation benefit rates had not been changed in 30-years. HB 131 was sponsored by the House Transportation Committee under the leadership of Co-Chairs Rep. Louise Stutes (R-Kodiak) and Rep. Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks).

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NEWS: Coalition Pledges to Diligently Consider Governor Walker’s New Revenue Proposal and Criminal Justice Reform Bill

Anchorage – Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham) issued the following statement in response to Governor Walker’s proclamation calling the 30th Alaska State Legislature into a 4th Special Session next month. The Governor is asking lawmakers to consider criminal justice reform legislation and a bill to create new revenue for the State of Alaska.

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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: Compromise Achieved to Reform Alaska’s Unsustainable Oil Tax Credit System

Juneau – Tonight, the Alaska Legislature passed a compromise version of legislation to reform Alaska’s system of subsidizing the oil industry on the North Slope with tax credits. House Bill 111 ends Alaska’s unique cash for tax credits system and strengthens the four percent minimum tax to ensure Alaska receives some production tax revenue in times of low oil prices. Tonight’s compromise was brokered by House Resources Committee Co-chair Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage), who served as the Chair of the HB 111 Conference Committee.

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