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House Majority E-News 02-17-10



House Majority E-News for Feb 17, 2010

ANS Crude: $77.33 Henry Hub: $5.47


House Urges USDA To Treat Military Families Equally

(Juneau) - The Alaska State House today unanimously passed House
Joint Resolution 24, which urges the Congress and federal Department
of Agriculture to remove the basic allowance for housing exclusion
within their school nutrition programs. House Judiciary Chair Jay
Ramras, R-Fairbanks, whose district includes Ft. Wainwright, sponsored
the resolution.

Military families of limited income who currently elect to live off
base are being denied access to USDA school meal programs, including
those for breakfast, lunch, and after school snacks, because they
receive basic allowance for housing, or BAH, benefits, even though
families who choose to remain on base and receive the BAH are not
denied. The USDA counts the allowance as income, which can push a
struggling family over the income threshold.

"We shouldn't tolerate the unequal treatment given to the children of
American military members," Ramras said. "Military families already
deal with significant hardships like long deployments and rotations.
These men and women are defending our country, and with the exclusion
we're basically leaving their families defenseless when it comes to
school meal programs. It's an easy thing to fix - but more
importantly, it's the right thing to do."

The full text of this release and an audio actuality can be found



HJR 16 Passes House Floor, Moves To Senate

(Juneau) - The Alaska State House unanimously passed HJR 16 this
morning, standing with other states in supporting disabled veterans in
building new businesses.

"The timing of this resolution is important," Rep. Carl Gatto,
R-Palmer, said. "The federal government with this kind of support will
ensure full implementation of these federal laws and directives."

The full text of this release and an audio actuality can be found



Kelly Intros Bill Creating Tax Credit For New TAPS Oil

(Juneau) - Representative Mike Kelly, R-Fairbanks, today introduced
HB 351, which proposes creating a tax credit for new oil transported
through the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, or TAPS. The bill would
retain the current 25% severance tax, including the progressivity
provision, for "easier oil" which has already been discovered and is
under development and production. New oil would pay only royalty under
the bill, in addition to local property taxes and income taxes paid by
all businesses. The tax holiday would last 10 years after the "new"
oil enters the pipe.

"The beauty of this bill is that it should give oil companies exactly
what they need for new oil, while avoiding a shock to state revenue by
cutting tax on all oil," Kelly said. "Critics may say that we risk
losing state revenue from a large new discovery, but there will be no
new discoveries if drill rigs are silent and a tax on nothing is still

The full text of this release and audio actualities can be found



Rep. Lynn Introduces HB 348

(Juneau) - Rep. Bob Lynn today introduced HB 348, which changes the
selection process and composition of the State Personnel Board
appointed by the Governor.

"I think all of us are concerned about how ethics complaints are
handled," Lynn said. "The long and short of it is that the board, as
currently constructed, lends itself to the criticism that it's a
creature of the governor rather than an independent body when it comes
to investigating ethics complaints."

The full text of this release and an audio actuality can be found



Photo: House Majority Leader Kyle Johansen (seated, center),
R-Ketchikan, conferring with Majority Whip Alan Austerman, R-Kodiak,
before gaveling in the House floor session today at the Capitol.
Leader Johansen assumed the gavel after House Speaker Mike Chenault,
R-Nikiski, left to attend to business in Anchorage.


Bill Activity for Feb. 17, 2010
As of: 04:00:01 pm Alaska Time
HJR 16 : Disabled Veterans Procurement Preference
Sponsored by Rep. Carl Gatto
Relating to federal procurement preferences for small businesses in the
state that are owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans.

Version: CSHJR 16(L&C)
Contact: Karen Sawyer, 465-5025

Sponsor Statement: http://www.housemajority.org/spon.php?id=26hjr16-76
HJR 24 : Fed. School Lunch Program/Military
Sponsored by Rep. Jay Ramras
Urging the United States Congress and the United States Department of
Agriculture to extend the basic housing allowance exclusion to all
military families for purposes of the school nutrition program.

Contact: Dana Strommen, 465-3004

Sponsor Statement: http://www.housemajority.org/spon.php?id=26hjr24-219

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