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Education isn’t the only thing left on the Legislature’s plate. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez is our Capitol correspondent, and she’s joining us today to walk us through what lawmakers need to do in the 60 hours before they gavel out.
The state House voted Thursday to sunset the Alaska Film Tax Credit in 2016. The provision was part of a bill requiring state agencies to report to the Legislature on so-called “lost revenue.” That’s the millions of dollars in revenues the state doesn’t collect each year due to various fee exemptions and tax credits. The bill adds sunset dates to some of them, meaning those programs would expire if lawmakers don’t intervene before then.
The Alaska State House has voted in favor of Gov. Sean Parnell’s plan to shore up the state’s pension system.
The new law puts a set of recently adopted regulations into statute, and takes them a step further It specifies that the state will not pay for elective abortions. It limits the term “medically necessary” to cases where a woman’s life or physical health is at risk.
This week, the Matanuska Susitna Borough Assembly got a preview of the Borough’s preliminary FY 15 fiscal plan. This year’s budget outlook indicates that some cost cutting may have to be done before the Borough Assembly makes a decision on the final spending package.
Gov. Sean Parnell’s $150 million-dollar bill to subsidize Alaska’s oil refineries grew to $200 million today, when House Speaker Mike Chenault expanded it to include the Agrium fertilizer plant in Nikiski.
At $245 million, the biggest item in the capital budget before the Legislature is a power plant for the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The plant is needed to replace an old one that’s at risk of breaking down. The project is now before the House Finance Committee for review, and lawmakers are less surprised by the price tag than by how the funding package works in the first place.
Gov. Sean Parnell has declared this year the education session the legislature, but if you are involved in schools in Anchorage you already know that education funding and policy are hot topics. On the next Hometown Alaska, host Charles Wohlforth will be joined by education activists to lead a community discussion on school funding and school choice. Should state funding increase, and should it be available to private and religious schools?
KSKA: Wednesday, 3/12, 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Nobody ever said it would be easy to attract investment for one of the biggest construction projects on earth in the difficult conditions of Arctic Alaska, but we all know it happened once for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Can it happen again for a gas-line?
APRN: Tuesday, 3/4 at 10:00am
Tradition is an important part of politics. The Alaska Legislature has long followed the tradition of keeping the state’s capital budget process confidential until the last minute, and then releasing and voting on it in the final days of the session. Some people think that leads to bad decisions. We’ll talk about Anchorage’s recent tennis court controversies, and other impacts of how the legislature does its job. Is there a better way?
KSKA: Wednesday, 2/19, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
The Legislature is going to go back into session next week, and one of the big issues they’re expecting to grapple with is permitting. A controversial bill that would put restrictions on water rights and limit who can appeal state decisions has been criticized by Native groups and fishing interests, but the Department of Natural Resources says it’s needed to streamline the agency’s work.
APRN: Tuesday, 1/14 at 10:00am
There are always surprises when the guest on Talk of Alaska is the Governor. You just never know what kind of questions are going to come in when the audience is spread all over the state. Way beyond politics as usual, it’s the resumption of the long tradition of Alaska’s Governor appearing on the next Talk of Alaska.
APRN: Tuesday, 9/24 at 10:00am