Rep. Josephson’s Newsletter: The End of Special Session

Rep. Josephson's Newsletter They say when one door closes, another door opens. Apparently the same holds true for special sessions in Alaska because as soon as the Legislature adjourned the Governor called us back to Juneau for the 5th special session of the 29th Legislature. You can read Governor Walker’s proclamation here. (Note that, one new addition to the “call”—the bills before us—is a sales tax. I’m not sure this is an especially good sign, but am willing to review the idea).
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NEWS: Alaska House Ends Special Session Without a Fiscal Plan to Protect the Alaska Economy

Juneau – Tonight, the Alaska House of Representatives closed out the Fourth Special Session of the 29th Alaska Legislature without making any substantial progress towards creating a balanced and sustainable plan to address the ongoing fiscal crisis in Alaska. The House failed to pass any of the revenue measures they were called into Special Session to consider by Alaska Governor Bill Walker. The 13 members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition (AIDC) remain committed to working on a comprehensive fiscal plan that will protect the Alaska economy and the essential functions of state government.
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NEWS: Conference Committee Advances Flawed Oil Tax Credit Subsidy Bill

Juneau – Today, the Conference Committee created to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions of House Bill 247 advanced a new version that continues unsustainable subsidies to the oil and gas industry that will cost Alaska hundreds of millions of dollars a year. The only member of the Minority on the Conference Committee is Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage). She objected to the new version of HB 247 and voted no on advancing the bill out of the committee.
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NEWS: No Progress and No Communication on Linchpin to a Comprehensive Fiscal Plan

Juneau – The members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition (AIDC) have consistently insisted that any plan to address Alaska’s ongoing fiscal crisis be comprehensive in nature and include reform to our flawed oil and gas subsidy system that is costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars. House Bill 247 remains the linchpin to a successful fiscal plan, yet the Conference Committee has not met during the 4th Special Session of the 29th Alaska Legislature. House Resources Committee member Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) represents the AIDC on the Conference Committee and is the only member of the conference committee that originally voted yes on the compromise House bill that passed with bipartisan support.
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NEWS: Budget Compromise Prevents Threat of Government Shutdown and Protects the Alaska Economy

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed fully funded budgets for the next fiscal year that removes the threat of the first ever government shutdown in Alaska. The operating and capital budgets were passed with significant support from members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition (AIDC) after weeks of bipartisan negotiations between the Minority and Majority Caucuses in both the House of Representatives and Senate.
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