For the past couple of weeks, the legislature has been moving forward on the governor’s proposal to cut taxes on oil companies. Now, it’s scheduled to take up the issue of an in-state gasline.
Here’s the legislative outlook for the week.
In his State of the State address, Gov. Sean Parnell put his support behind an in-state gasline that would move natural gas from the North Slope through the Interior and then down to Southcentral Alaska. Today, a bill that would advance that project gets its first committee hearing.
The bill would give the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation more autonomy, sets out what pipeline information would be confidential, and establishes some financing mechanisms for the project. A similar bill passed in the House last year, but stalled in the Senate.
Also on Monday, a bill that would relax regulations on cruise ship discharge is scheduled for the House floor. On Tuesday, bills that would extend the Suicide Prevention Council for another six years and would create a fund for responding to invasive species will get their first committee hearings.
Later in the week, resolutions that express displeasure with President Barack Obama’s gun policy will be taken up by the judiciary committees in both chambers. The House Judiciary committee will also hear a version of the Stand Your Ground Law, which allows a person to react to a threat with deadly force without first trying to retreat. A number of states already have a similar policy in place, and the law received national attention after the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida.
The governor’s oil tax proposal continues to move through the Senate. A special committee on oil production plans to wrap up its hearings on the bill by the end of the week.
- It’s costing 14 percent more to take the ferry to and from the Lower 48. The higher fare is part of another round of tariff increases aimed at boosting income and equalizing rates across all routes.
- Senate Bill 91 is one of the most hotly debated bills of the session.
- "A one candidate shift I don’t think it’ll make a difference. But five? That could make a difference," said GOP chairman Peter Goldberg regarding Donald Trump's delegate count.
- When the second phase of the project is complete next year, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan will all be able to accommodate four Panamax ships at once.