Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
This year’s legislature got underway Tuesday in Juneau, as Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell gaveled in the House of Representatives, then the Senate, Tuesday afternoon.
The Alaska Youth Choir helped welcome both the House and Senate back to town. But as soon as members took their oaths of office and went through the formalities of organizing, they all recognized that they have a lot of work to do in the next 90 days.
Members noted that the top item of the session will be deciding what to do to increase oil production. So far, only one plan is on the table – in bills presented by both Governor Sean Parnell and Anchorage Republican Mike Hawker. The idea of changing the way oil taxes are calculated is gathering support.
But there’s a question of whether any oil tax change is necessary. Anchorage Democrat Bill Wielechowski, part of the Senate Majority, says the administration is starting off in the wrong direction.
A few committees get down to work Wednesday afternoon, but the big push on the major issues will begin Wednesday evening when the Governor will deliver his State of the State message to a joint session.
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