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Alaska Chamber: Capitol Notes March 31 - April 6, 2012

In this issue:


  • What’s Going on in Juneau?
    • Oil Tax Reform Update
    • Litigation Reform – HB 168
    • 24 Hour Rule – Coming Soon! 
  • What’s going on around Alaska?
    • Stand up for Justice – Stand up for Ted Stevens
    • Make it Meaningful – Alaskans Rally for Reform!
  • Committee Schedule

 
What’s Going on in Juneau?

Oil Tax Reform Update

Senate President Gary Stevens was the guest speaker for Thursday’s Alaska Business Roundtable.  The Alaska Business Roundtable is sponsored by the Juneau and Alaska Chambers throughout legislative session.  Senator Stevens took his opportunity to provide a complete legislative update to provide his opinion about oil tax reform.  You can read his speech in its entirety here
 
In response to Senator Stevens’ address on Thursday, Representative Kyle Johansen responded during “special orders” on the House floor the next day.  You can read his response here
 
Meanwhile, Senate Finance Co-Chairman Senator Bert Stedman continues to work on SB 192.  Read Senator Stedman’s latest report here. As you can see from the schedule below, work on SB 192 will continue all week.

 

Litigation Reform

 
HB 168, Injunction Security for Industrial Operations has advanced to Senate Judiciary, but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.  HB 168 enjoyed strong bipartisan support in the House last year and should in the Senate as well.  Please contact Senator Hollis French, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and request HB 168 be heard and advance as soon as possible. You can read HB168’s sponsor statement online here.
 
Senator Hollis French:  Senator_Hollis_French@legis.state.ak.us, 1-866-465-3892

24 Hour Rule Is Coming!

 
The clock is ticking – only 14 days remain in the regular legislative session.  Preparations for the end of session rush are underway in the Capitol.  The “24 hour rule” is expected to ensue sometime this week.  The rule allows hearings to be held on short notice.  Once this happens, Capitol Notes will be sent on an as needed basis to keep Alaska Chamber members informed and active on our legislative priorities.
 

What’s going on around Alaska?

Stand up for Justice – Stand up for Ted Stevens

Alaskans for Justice, a group formed to demand accountability from the Department of Justice for the unjust and abusive treatment endured by the late Sen. Ted Stevens at the hands of rogue federal prosecutors and investigators, will host its first public event Wednesday, April 4 at 5:00pm at PenAir’s Anchorage hangar.
 
Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan will serve as master of ceremonies for a slate of speakers including Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who recently introduced legislation that would prevent federal prosecutors from violating their oath to support and defend the Constitution, Congressman Don Young and other Alaskans. 
 
 The report recently released by a court-appointed special counsel makes it clear that the federal prosecutors and investigators repeatedly violated the Constitution, statutory law, and legal ethical standards in pursuing their vendetta against Sen. Stevens.  As a result, the Senator and his family endured years of unnecessary suffering. 
 
Despite their disgraceful actions, the federal prosecutors and investigators are still employed by the Department of Justice.  Worse yet, their legal bills are being bankrolled by the Department.  Alaskans for Justice is demanding that the Department fire the rogue prosecutors and investigators identified in the report.
 
 “When I read the special counsel’s report, I was sad and mad,” said Jim Jansen, one of the founders of Alaskans for Justice.  “Sad that Sen. Stevens, a great man who dedicated his life to the service of Alaska and Nation, wasn’t here to read this affirmation of his innocence.  Mad because the Department of Justice has done nothing concrete to hold the federal prosecutors accountable for their gross misconduct.
 
 “Everyone is welcome at the event on April 4th.   The event isn’t about politics or parties.  It’s about getting the federal government to take responsibility for the shameful vendetta the federal prosecutors pursued against our Senator.  It’s about ensuring that no other American ever has to go through the abuse the Senator and his family went through.”
 
Supporters who are unable to attend the April 4 event are invited to visit www.AlaskansForJustice.com to learn more about the movement and sign an open letter calling for the Department of Justice to hold its prosecutors accountable. 
 
Alaskans for Justice is a nonpartisan organization of concerned citizens formed to educate Alaskans and other Americans about the Department of Justice’s unjust persecution of Sen. Stevens and call for systemic change. Led by friends of the Senator and united by frustration with the system that let all Alaskans down, Alaskans for Justice demands accountability from the Department of Justice and punishment for the individuals who perverted the justice system to accomplish their own dishonest objectives.
 
Alaskans for Justice looks to a future in which no American has to endure the unjust and abusive treatment to which Sen. Stevens was subjected. Learn more at www.AlaskansForJustice.com.
 

Make it Meaningful – Alaskans Rally for Reform

From Ketchikan to Bethel, Alaskans support making Alaska’s oil and gas market nationally and globally competitive.  On Thursday, comments from almost 1,000 Alaskans and thirteen local chamber resolutions, representing well over 4,000 businesses and tens of thousands of Alaska workers were delivered to all sixty Alaska State Legislators.  The resolutions and comments were delivered by representatives of the Make it Meaningful Rallies for Reform, and local chamber executives and board members.
 
It’s no secret that over the past year, Alaskans from around the state have grown increasingly concerned with Alaska’s economic future.  Although many Alaska communities are removed from the oil and gas industry - Alaskans know that Alaska’s oil industry accounts for one-third of Alaska’s economy and over 90 percent of the state’s general fund.  As production continues to decline at an alarming rate, Alaskans are increasingly not fine with decline.  That’s why it is so amazing to have so many diverse business organizations, including local chambers, agree that we need to make Alaska competitive NOW. 
 
These organizations teamed up to sponsor rallies in Kodiak, Fairbanks and Anchorage where nearly thirteen hundred Alaskans took time from their day to rally for reform.  Check out a recap of the Fairbanks Rally here and watch the Anchorage rally here.  It’s worth your time to listen to the speakers at these rallies – fellow Alaskans concerned about Alaska’s future! 
 
Despite what you might hear, or perhaps not hear, from the media, the diversity of the organizations sponsoring these rallies is worth noting.  Of the over 20 sponsor organizations, 80 percent of them are not directly related to the oil and gas industry.  They include:  Alaska Bankers Association, the Alaska Crab Coalition, the Alaska Cruise Association; the Alaska Forest Association, the Alaska Miners Association, the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, the Alaska Trucking Association, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, the Associated General Contractors, the Consumer Energy Alliance Alaska, the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce; the Council of Alaska Producers, Make Alaska Competitive Coalition, the Resource Development Council and Prosperity Alaska.
 
The remaining sponsors organizations are traditionally more directly related to the oil and gas industry.  These organizations include the Alaska Energy Forum, Alaska Oil & Gas Association and the Alaska Support Industry Alliance.  The thirteen local chambers supporting a positive business climate for Alaska's oil and gas include:  Anchorage, Bethel, Chugiak-Eagle River, Fairbanks, Haines, Juneau, Kenai, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Seward, Palmer and Wasilla.  If you are part of a local chamber not included in this list, but would like to be, please contact Rachael Petro at rpetro@alaskachamber.com or 907-278-2739.
 

Legislative Committee Schedule   

The following list committee meetings addresses issues and bills important to Alaska Chamber members for the upcoming week.  For a complete list of bills visit the BASIS website.  Most of these meetings are teleconferenced.  The legislature also streams meetings in the capitol. 
 
You can check it out at http://www.alaskalegislature.tv/

If you would like to testify, it is best if you go through your local LIO office.  If you are unable to go through your local LIO office, you must call the Chair of the Committee in which the bill is being heard for "authorization" and get off-net call in number. 
 

Monday – April 2

 
House Finance – 8:00am
SB 23 – Film Production Tax Credit/Audits
 
Senate Finance – 9:00am
SB 192 – Oil and Gas Production Tax Rates
SB 159 -  Susitna State Forest
 
Senate Finance – 1:00pm
SB 192 – Oil and Gas Production Tax Rates
 
Senate Resources – 3:30pm
SB 145 – Oil/Gas Production Tax Credits: Nenana
SB 215 – Gasline Development Corporation:  In-State Gas Pipeline

 

Tuesday – April 3

 
Senate Finance – 9:00am
SB 192 – Oil and Gas Production Rates
 
Senate State Affairs – 9:00am
HB 205 – Public Procurement
 
Senate Finance – 1:00pm
SB 192– Oil and Gas Production Rates
 
House Finance – 1:30pm
HB 276 – Oil/Gas Production Tax Credits: Nenana
 
Senate Labor & Commerce – 1:30pm
HB 252 – Small Business Income Tax Exemption
 
Senate Community & Regional Affairs – 3:30pm
HB 9 – In-State Gasline Development Corp

 

Wednesday, April 4

 
Senate Finance – 9:00am
SB 192 – Oil and Gas Production Rates
 
House Resources – 1:00pm
SB 192 – Oil and Gas Production Rates
Pending Referral
 
Senate Finance – 1:00pm
SB 192 – Oil and Gas Production Rates
 
House Finance – 1:30pm
HB 289 – Natural Gas Storage Tax Credit/Regulation

Senate Resources – 3:30pm
HB 118 – Research and Development Tax Credit
HJR 20 – Roadless Rule & Chugach and Tongass Hydro
 
Alaskans For Justice – 5:00pm, PenAir Hangar, Anchorage
Driving directions to April 4th event at the PenAir Hangar:
West on Northern Lights, past Postmark Drive, Left on Boeing Ave., Left at stop sign to 6100 Boeing Ave., Follow the music to the PenAir Hangar, West Building

 

Thursday, April 5

 
House Finance – 8:00am
SB 23 – Film Production Tax Credit/Audits
 
Senate Finance – 9:00am
SB 192 – Oil and Gas Production Rates
 
Senate Finance – 1:00pm
SB 192 – Oil and Gas Production Rates
 
Senate Labor & Commerce – 1:30pm

HB 252 Small Business Income Tax Exemption
Pending Referral

 

Friday, April 6

 
Senate Finance – 9:00am
SB 192 – Oil and Gas Production Rates
 
House Resources – 1:00pm
SB 192 – Oil and Gas Production Rates
Pending Referral
 
Senate Finance – 1:00pm
SB 192 – Oil and Gas Production Rates
Pending Referral
 
Senate Resources – 3:30pm
SB 209 – Development Plans for Oil & Gas Leases
HB 118 – Research and Development Tax Credit

 

 

 
Capitol Notes highlights opportunities for Alaska Chamber members to make the “voice of Alaska business” heard during the Alaska Legislative Session on priorities and issues important to Alaska Chamber members.
 

 
Review Alaska Chamber 2012 Priorities here and all Positions here. To see a list of legislation the Alaska Chamber currently supports or opposes, click here.  
 

 
Please note that this list can change weekly as legislation changes as it moves through the legislative process.  For information about the Alaska Chamber’s legislative advocacy program, please call us at 907-278-2722.


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