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Capitol Notes - February 15-21, 2013


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February 15, 2013

Action speaks. Plan to make your voice heard in the Capitol and around Alaska this week on oil tax reform and fair wastewater discharge rules across industries.


Capitol Notes is a service of the Alaska Chamber which highlights opportunities for you as a member to make the "voice of Alaska business" heard during the Alaska legislative session on the priorities and issues adopted by members.


For information about the Alaska Chamber's legislative advocacy program, or the Legislative Affairs Committee, please call us at 907-278-2722.


Issues On The Move
Time for action - oil tax reform

The Legislature's continued focus on oil tax reform is a positive sign. This week both the Senate and House Resource Committees heard from the administration and experts on the Governor's Oil Tax Reform bill. Additionally the Senate Minority caucus introduced SB 50, their approach to oil tax reform.  


Next week's House and Senate Resources calendars (see below) feature invited testimony from industry on SB 21 and HB 72 and PUBLIC TESTIMONY on Monday (6pm) and Wednesday (5:15pm) evenings. Other opportunities to support oil tax reform include constituent meetings in the Mat Su and Anchorage. Check out all the opportunities in this week's Legislative Committee Schedule.  

Please plan to testify in support of meaningful oil tax reform next week at one of the many opportunities noted below.
The Alaska Chamber supports a bill that will make Alaska competitive nationally and globally and follows Governor Parnell's four principles:
  1. Tax reform must be fair to Alaskans.
  2. Tax reform must encourage new production.
  3. Tax reform must be simple, so that it restores balance to the system.
  4. Tax reform has to be durable for the long term.
Testimony Resources:
HELP level the playing field

HB 80, the Governor's Cruise Ship Permit legislation dealing with wastewater discharge, provides regulatory stability and puts the cruise ship industry in-line with other permitted dischargers. The bill made good progress this week in the legislature.

Five amendments to the bill were considered by the Senate and all were defeated.  One would have essentially gutted the bill and required more state studies. The bill is scheduled to be up for a final vote in the Senate Tuesday, February 19.

It is important the Senate continue to hear from supporters so we can keep up the momentum and have a strong vote to pass the bill on Tuesday. Please take the time this weekend to call or email your Senator urging them to support HB 80 on final passage Tuesday.

Remember, the Department of Environmental Conservation, two Science Panels, and the contractor that tests cruise ship effluent all agree that HB 80 establishes permitting regulations that are attainable and protect Alaskan waters.


There is a lot of misinformation going around about the bill.  A recent article by Ivan Moore in the Anchorage Press helps put things into perspective.


Please write or call your senator today and encourage them to lend their full support to HB 80. Contact list


Talking Points:

  • This bill maintains the current high and most effective level of treatment in use by Advanced Wastewater Treatment Systems; the bill will not lower any current standards.
  • The goal of HB 80 is to allow DEC to issue cruise ship discharge permits in a similar manner to other dischargers, utilizing the best science and available technology.
  • The science panel did a very thorough job.  They looked at each ship individually to evaluate current treatment performance and concluded that the current systems are the best available.
  • The cruise ship permits should be based upon science.
Regulations hampering your business?

The Administrative Regulation Review Committee (ARRC) of the Legislature is interested in hearing from Alaska businesses, tradespeople and other professionals regarding state regulations on business and industry that negatively affect the business climate in Alaska, cause unnecessary burdens and delays, or hinder the start-up of new businesses. 


Specific citations or references to forms and/or agencies are needed. Please note that this refers to regulations (The Alaska Administrative Code) and not laws that would need to be changed by a bill in the legislature.


Especially helpful would be specific suggestions about how to improve something while still fulfilling the intent of a regulation (safety and health, ensure professional standards, etc.)


Do you have a concern and/or suggestion about a regulation that would remove a barrier to doing business in Alaska?  If so, please let Alaska Chamber staff know, or contact Robert Pearson, Legislative Committee Aide to the ARRC at 907-465-4906 or Robert.Pearson@akleg.gov .

House majority identifies principles

Members of the Alaska House Majority Caucus released the guiding principles they will use during the 28th Alaska Legislature.  Several of the principles are similar to identified Alaska Chamber priority issues. The principles identified were:

  • Affordable Energy
  • Build a Strong Economy
  • Fiscal Responsibility
  • Education Reform & Workforce Development
  • Healthy Communities

 You may read the Alaska House Majority Press Release here.

Legislative Committee  Schedule
Saturday, February 16

Anchorage Hillside - Senator Cathy Giessel

Rabbit Creek Community Church


Begich Middle School - Senator Bill Weilechowski
Begich Middle School

7440 Creekside Center Drive, Anchorage

11:00am - 1:00pm


East Anchorage - Senator Anna Fairclough

Wayland Baptist University

7801 East 32nd Avenue, Anchorage



Eagle River - Senator Anna Fairclough, Representative Dan Saddler

Chugiak Senior Center

22424 Birchwood Loop Road, Chugiak

4:00pm - 6:00pm


Mat Su Delegation Constituent Meeting

Senators Huggins and Dyson, Representatives Stoltze, Neuman and Gattis 


Snowshoe Elementary School

2001 West Fairview Loop, Wasilla 

Saturday, February 16th

12:00pm - 2:00pm


Girdwood - Senator Cathy Giessel

Community Room



Monday, February 18


H RES - 1:00pm

HB 4 - In-state Gasline Development Corp

HB 72 - Oil and Gas Production Tax 

Invited testimony - small producers/explorers, Brad Keithley 


S RES - 3:30pm

SB 21 -  Oil and Gas Production Tax

Invited testimony - small producers/explorers


H FIN Natural Resources Subcommittee - 4:00pm

Permitting Reform Update


S RES - 6:00pm

SB 21 - Oil and Gas Production Tax


Juneau - Capitol Room 205

Statewide - Local LIO List Here


Tuesday, February 19


Lunch & Learn - 12:00pm

Alaska Southcentral LNG Update: Progress ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillps, BP, and TransCanada have made to advance North Slope gas development

Presentation by Steve Butt, Sr. Project Manager, Alaska LNG Project Selection


H TRA - 1:00pm

HB 46 - Waive CDL Skill Test For Certain Veterans


S TRA - 1:30pm

HB 15 - Commercial Motor Vehicle Requirements


H L&C - 3:15pm

HB 32 - Lines of Business On Business License


Wednesday, February 20


Alaska Chamber LAC Meeting - Noon

Contact Alaska Chamber staff for more information


H RES - 1:00pm

HB 72 - Oil and Gas Production Tax

Invited testimony - major producers


H L&C - 3:15pm

HB 68 - Corporate Income Tax


S RES - 3:30pm

SB 21 -  Oil and Gas Production Tax

Invited testimony - major producers  


S RES - 5:15pm

SB 21 - Oil and Gas Production Tax


Juneau Capitol Room 205

Statewide - Local LIO List Here


Thursday, February 21


S FIN - 9:00am

SB 12 - Public Procurement


Joint Session - Annual Address - 11:00am
Senator Lisa Murkowski


Alaska Business Roundtable - TIME CHANGE
Doors @ 12:30pm, Program @1:00pm 

Guest Speaker:  Senator Lisa Murkowski


The Alaska Business Roundtable is a joint event presented by the Alaska and Juneau Chambers featuring speakers and programs that address issues important to the business community.


S CRA - 3:30pm

HB 40 - Municipal Tax Exemption: Farm Structures


Friday, February 22


H RES - 1:00pm

HB 72 - Oil and Gas Production Tax

Invited testimony - Consultant follow up


S RES - 3:30pm

SB 21 -  Oil and Gas Production Tax

Invited testimony - Consultant follow up


Upcoming Events
Don't miss a great debate

For the third year running, oil tax reform is the Alaska Chamber's top priority. Not surprisingly, according to a recent Anchorage Chamber membership survey, it is also the number one concern of Anchorage Chamber businesses.


If you are in Anchorage on February 25, plan to attend a special Anchorage Chamber "Make it Monday" forum which will feature Senator Bill Wielechowski and Anchorage Chamber President Andrew Halcro. The two will debate the pros and cons of oil tax reform and Alaska's economic future.


This debate is a excellent opportunity to educate friends, neighbors, colleagues and employees on the need for oil tax reform.  


Seats are limited, so reserve your table or seat today!




Monday, February 25, 11:30-1:00pm

Den'aina Center
Mat Su and Anchorage meetings

February 23, 2013


Anchorage Caucus Community Meeting 

Anchorage Caucus Co-chairs

Representatives Millett and Tuck


Loussac Library

Assembly Chambers

3600 Denali Street, Anchorage 

Saturday, February 23

9:30am - 1:00pm


Mat Su Delegation Constituent Meeting


Senators Huggins and Dunleavy, 

 Representatives Gattis and Hughes


Wasilla Legislative Information Office

600 East Railroad Avenue, Wasilla

Saturday, February 23

10am - 12pm


Muldoon & Elmendorf Town Hall Meeting

Senator Bill Wielechowski 


Northeast Community Center 

1251 Muldoon Road

1:30pm - 3:00pm
College Gate, Russian Jack, Nunaka Valley
Senator Bill Wielechowski

College Gate Elementary 

3101 Sunflower Street

3:30pm - 5:00pm

  March 23, 2013


Eagle River

Representative Dan Saddler

Eagle River Town Center

Conference Room 170

12001 Business Blvd

4:00pm - 6:00pm

Alaska State Chamber of Commerce | (907) 278-2739 | rpetro@alaskachamber.com | http://www.alaskachamber.com
471 West 36th Avenue
Suite 201
Anchorage, AK 99503
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