The state Division of Elections has certified a referendum to repeal a new state law that reduces taxes on oil companies.
In a letter to the citizen group organizing the effort, Elections Director Gail Fenumiai says the division has verified 45,664 signatures of registered voters. The group needed 30,169 qualified signatures to get the issue on the August 2014 primary election ballot.
The referendum calls for repeal of Senate Bill 21, signed into law in May, and pushed by Gov. Sean Parnell as a way to bolster oil production. Opponents call it an oil giveaway.
In a news release from the group “Vote Yes! Repeal the Oil Giveway,” prime sponsor and former state Sen. Vic Fischer says the successful petition effort “demonstrates how widespread dissatisfaction is with SB 21.”
The ballot question will ask if the new law should be rejected. The primary is Aug. 19, 2014.
This is a developing story.
- For the second time in two years, a Skagway political figure has been ordered to pay a fine for incomplete financial disclosures. Assembly hopeful Dan Henry failed to disclose substantial debt on his candidate paperwork. He will still be able to run for office in the upcoming election.
- Administration officials have a mouthful of a name for it: the “capped hybrid head tax.” It's a flat 1.5 percent of wages and self-employment income, with a maximum of twice the value of that year's Alaska Permanent Fund dividend.
- A federal district court has sided with conservationists fighting to preserve the U.S. Forest Service's "roadless rule" that limits road building in national forests. Alaska conservationists opposed to expanded logging in Tongass National Forest hailed the ruling as a victory.
- Arizona Sen. John McCain is the second Republican to oppose the legislation, after Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul came out against it last week. If one more GOP senator is against the bill, it cannot pass.