Several new Alaska laws go into effect on January 1st , including a major change in the state’s oil production tax.
The current fiscal year is divided between the outgoing tax system and the new one; provisions of the new tax take effect on Wednesday.
Voters will have a chance to decide whether to repeal or keep the new law in the August primary.
A change in the state’s August primary election also goes into effect with the new year. The new law will move the primary from the fourth to the third Tuesday in August. State elections director Gail Fenumiai says the change will ensure the Division of Elections has time to meet the 45-day deadline for mailing general election ballots to Alaskans living overseas.
“We way it currently sat we only had like three days following certification and withdrawal deadline and we only had a three day window to get our ballots printed and in the mail to our military and overseas voters. Now we have about a week to do that.”
Next year’s primary will be August 19.
A law regulating the insurance for portable electronic devices also goes into effect on Wednesday.
Such insurance is generally sold by vendors who sell smartphones, laptops and tablets. The legislation was sponsored by North Pole Senator John Coghill, who said the bill would protect both buyers and sellers in an insurance market that had become chaotic due to the lack of regulation.
- The Department of the Interior announced today that 29 local Alaska governments would receive $29.7 million in Payment in Lieu of Taxes funds, or PILT.
- In visits to the Lower 48, Alaskans may have caught a ride in an Uber or Lyft car. Now, people around the state can use the ride-sharing companies at home. This month, Alaska became the latest state to make way for the transportation apps.
- It’s do-or-die week in Olympia. It's cliché to say, but if lawmakers don’t pass a budget and send it to the governor for his signature before midnight on Friday, state government will go into partial shutdown. Washington lawmakers are optimistic that won’t happen.
- The management slate won this year’s Sealaska board election. Three incumbents and a newcomer who ran with them beat out eight independent candidates.