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Two Bills by Rep. Feige Signed Into Law Today

HB47 makes judges weigh economic impacts of injunctions against projects
HB121 gives Commercial Fishing & Agriculture Bank power to help AK biz

Monday, August 4, 2014, Anchorage, Alaska – A pair of pro-business and industry bills by Representative Eric Feige were signed into law today by Alaska Governor Sean Parnell. Feige, the Co-Chair of the House Resources Committee, welcomed the news at a signing event in Anchorage today, and thanked the governor and his colleagues in the legislature for their help.

“Our public policy decisions have real, lasting impacts on Alaskans and Alaska businesses. What we have done with House Bill 47 and House Bill 121 is tell our business community and Alaskans they employ and serve is ‘we’ve listened, and we did something about it,’” Feige, R-Chickaloon, said.

HB 47 levels the playing field when injunctions or stays are considered by state judges, highlighting that the courts should follow their own rule, Alaska Civil Rule 65(c), in making filers post bonds when requesting to stop legally permitted industrial operations. “We’re getting rid of that free pass for filers of frivolous lawsuits, plain and simple,” Feige said. “It’s put up or shut up. The old law carried immense impacts to working Alaskans and their families, and to the developers. If you can’t work, you can’t feed your family or pay your bills; economic activity and its benefits grind to a halt. Not anymore. The State already has a rigorous, deliberate, science-based permitting system with many opportunities for public participation, and we trust their process. We also trust the courts to uphold the laws we pass, which in this case is just a re-affirmation of their own rule.”

Alaska Civil Rule 65(c) states that “no restraining order, preliminary injunction shall issue except upon the giving of security by the applicant, in such sum as the court deems proper, for the payment of such costs and damages as may be incurred or suffered by any party who is found to have wrongfully enjoined or restrained.” HB 47 takes effect Nov. 2.

HB 121 gives the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank (CFAB) more opportunity to help Alaska businesses and strengthen the bank.

“The Bank is an Alaska success story, and it’s proper for us to be responsive to their Board and give them the authority to continue to grow, which is what the bill does,” Feige said. “Since being chartered by the state, they’ve fully repaid the start-up costs and initial investment, and now they want to keep growing. We’re letting them.”

The bill allows the CFAB to give more loans to commercial tourism and natural resources industries and removes the maximum loan amount cap for certain loans, gives it authority to loan to some non-resident owned businesses that are physically located in Alaska, expands the eligibility pool for small loans to non-members, lets the board set its own compensation level, and obtain more capital and protect the bank’s members by requiring the Alaska Banking Commission to begin examining its operations. It takes effect immediately.

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