A new year means new laws for Alaska

Capitol 2

Alaska State Capitol Building. (File Photo)

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.

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