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Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition Members Stand Ready to Work on Compromise Solutions to Alaska’s Fiscal Challenges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2016

Juneau – Tonight, the Second Session of the 29th Alaska Legislature came to a close without any significant action to address the ongoing fiscal crisis brought on by the sudden drop in oil prices and the broken promises of increased oil production.  The House and Senate Majorities both failed to pass the FY 2017 Operating Budget.

“From the first day of the session to the very end we were working to reach compromise solutions on the budget, oil industry subsidies, and a comprehensive fiscal plan,” said AIDC Leader Rep. Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage).  “The Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition will redouble our efforts in a special session to reach a compromise on a way to fill our budget gap, ward off a recession, and ensure that we have a functioning state government that we can all be proud of.”

A major goal of the AIDC is to pass significant and meaningful reform to the unsustainable subsidies given to the oil industry in the form of tax credits and incentives.  Last week, Coalition members supported the compromise oil tax credit reform bill that passed the House of Representatives.  Subsequently, the Republican-led Alaska Senate Majority gutted the bill in favor of continuing irresponsible concessions to the oil and gas industry that will cost Alaska hundreds of millions of dollars a year.  The House of Representatives failed to concur with the irresponsible changes to the bill made by the Senate Majority.

“The only responsible thing to do is to address the unsustainable oil tax credit subsidies by implementing significant reform like we did in the House,” said Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage).  “Unfortunately, the Senate Majority decided to keep in place a system of subsidizing the oil industry we simply can’t afford during a fiscal crisis.  If the upcoming special session is to be successful, the Senate Majority must realize the seriousness of our fiscal situation and compromise.”

The members of the AIDC support Governor Walker’s decision to call an immediate special session with a limited agenda focused on the budget, oil tax credit reform, new revenue measures, and a small handful of important bills.  The special session will begin on Monday, May 23, at 11 a.m.      

“We are facing a daunting fiscal challenge in the days ahead, a challenge like we have never seen.  The solutions are all within reach, and now is the time to step up and for all of us to be a part of the solution” said AIDC Whip Rep. Sam Kito (D-Juneau).

For more information, contact Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.

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