The Alaska State Capitol, pictured Jan. 21, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

The Alaska State Capitol, pictured Jan. 21, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Capitol Decode: 26 new bills arise in third week of session

There were 37 new bills in the first week of the 30th Alaska Legislature, 25 in the second week, and now 26 in the third.

Monday is the 21st day of the Alaska Legislature, and lawmakers are preparing themselves for a full 121-day session — and possibly more.

On Friday, Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon, D-Dillingham, said he’d like to think lawmakers learned from their experience last year, but that doesn’t make agreements any easier.

“None of us want to have a repeat of that, but then again, the forces that’s necessary to come to agreement, it’s very difficult to do,” he said.

While lawmakers negotiate a fix to the state’s $3 billion annual deficit, they’ll walk and chew bubble gum by considering plenty of other topics. Here’s each bill introduced last week, summarized in one or two sentences:

HOUSE BILLS

HB 87 (Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak) — Any Board of Fisheries board member who holds a license in a fishery being considered for regulation changes can vote on the issue unless a majority of the board says otherwise.

HB 88 (Stutes) — The Board of Fish has nine members, not seven.

HB 89 (Rep. Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage) — Radiologists and X-ray technicians have to have a state license to work.

HB 90 (Rep. Sam Kito III, D-Juneau) — All of the state’s occupational licenses will share investigative costs to lighten the burden on occupations with few licenses but lots of investigations. Occupations with lots of licenses but fewer investigations will pay a bit more.

HB 91 (Kito) — The state will tax lobbyists for lobbying services.

HB 92 (Rep. Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla) — Creates a spending limit for state government in statute. Tilton also proposed a constitutional spending limit, but that one couldn’t become effective until 2019. This one could become effective this year.

HB 93 (Rep. Chuck Kopp, R-Anchorage) — Fixes a land-ownership problem with the law that transferred the Alaska Railroad to the state in 1983 but made it more difficult for landowners near the tracks to use their land.

HB 94 (Rep. Geran Tarr, D-Anchorage) — October 25 each year is African American Soldiers’ Contribution to Building the Alaska Highway Day.

HB 95 (Gov. Bill Walker) — This is the governor’s supplemental budget; it changes the budget for the current fiscal year to match what’s actually being spent.

HB 96 (Rep. Steve Thompson, R-Fairbanks) — Cruise ships that allow gambling can’t deduct federal taxes from the amount subject to state taxes. Cigarette taxpayers can’t deduct the cost of tax filings from the amount owed by the state.

HB 97 (Thompson) — Alaskans can’t get a tax credit by giving money to the Alaska Fire Standards Council.

HB 98 (Thompson) — Alaska businesses can’t get a tax credit for employing a veteran.

HB 99 (Josephson) — Oil and gas companies that get tax credit subsidies from the state have to disclose what they’re using them for.

HB 100 (Tuck) — June 27 is Post-Traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Day.

HB 101 (Rep. Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole) — If someone accidentally shoots an undersize or wrong-sex big game animal but lets Fish and Game know and surrenders all the meat, antlers, hide and skull, he or she might not be found guilty of a crime.

HB 102 (Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, D-Sitka) — Schools can hire foreign-language and Native-language teachers who may not have a bachelor’s degrees.

HB 103 (Rep. Ivy Spohnholz, D-Anchorage) — Optometrists can do more things currently restricted to ophthalmologists.

HB 104 (House Judiciary committee) — Attorneys don’t have to automatically report information about settlements in civil cases anymore.

HB 105 (Josephson) — Wolves can’t be hunted in an area near Denali National Park.

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTIONS

HJR 9 (Ortiz) — The federal government should work with Canada to protect Alaska salmon rivers near the border from the effects of Canadian mining.

SENATE BILLS

SB 43 (Gov. Bill Walker) — This is the governor’s supplemental budget; it changes the budget for the current fiscal year to match what’s actually being spent.

SB 44 (Sen. Berta Gardner, D-Anchorage) — Oil and gas companies that get tax credit subsidies from the state have to disclose what they’re using them for.

SB 45 (Senate Labor and Commerce committee) — If you build your own house and sell it within two years, you have to report it to the state so the government can confirm you’re not trying to get around the state’s rules for registered contractors.

SB 46 (Sen. David Wilson, R-Wasilla) — October 25 each year is African American Soldiers’ Contribution to Building the Alaska Highway Day.

SB 47 (Sen. Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage) — Auto manufacturers have to relax their rules on car dealer franchises.

SB 48 (Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole) — Provides health insurance for the children and spouses of police and firefighters killed on the job.

SB 49 (Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage) — Changes the membership of the State Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Board.

SENATE JOINT RESOLUTIONS

SJR 3 (Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage) — The President and Congress should do what they can to limit the harm done to Alaska’s seafood industry when they abandoned plans for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

SJR 4 (Sen. Donny Olson, D-Nome) — Alaska’s Congressional delegation should support bills that protect the right to possess walrus, mammoth, and mastodon ivory.

SENATE RESOLUTIONS

SR 3 (Sen. Tom Begich, D-Anchorage) — February 2017 is Black History Month.

 


 

Contact reporter James Brooks at james.k.brooks@juneauempire.com or 419-7732.

 


 

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