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State Senate Highlights from Friday, January 18, 2013


Senate Floor Session

Today, six bills were introduced on the Senate Floor, including:

Senate Bill 24, sponsored by Senator Stevens, which adjusts the Alaska Marine Transportation Advisory Board and was referred to the Transportation and Finance Committees

Senate Bill 25, submitted by Governor Parnell, allows for the suspension of Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax contributions when the UI fund is deemed solvent. Existing UI laws allow no flexibility and mandates increased tax collections from employers and employees, even when the trust fund is healthy. SB 25 was referred to the Labor and Commerce and Finance Committees.

Senate Bill 26, submitted by Governor Parnell, transmitted legislation to reform and streamline procedures for obtaining, issuing and appealing permits, leases and other authorizations issued by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  SB26 was referred to the Resources and Finance Commitees.

Senate Bill 27 submitted by Governor Parnell authorizes the State of Alaska to assume primacy from the federal government to administer the regulatory program for managing certain wetlands. It is another move to ensure that Alaskans have a say in the use of their lands.  SB27 was referred to the Resources and Finance Committees.

Senate Bill 28 submitted by Governor Parnell, creates the Susitna State Forest and expands the conditions under which the state could offer negotiated timber sales.  SB28 was referred to the Resources and Finance Committees.

Senate Bill 29  submitted by Governor Parnell amends current law and allows the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to permit operation of wastewater discharges from commercial passenger vessels, including discharges from advanced wastewater treatment systems, consistent with standards for other permitted discharges throughout the state. SB29 was referred to the Resources and Finance Committees.

Other Notes from Floor Session

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski will make her annual address to the Legislature at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 21, 2013.

U.S. Senator Mark Begich will make his annual address to the Legislature at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, March 4, 2013.

Chief Justice Dana Fabe will deliver her first speech to the Legislature at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 13, 2013.

Legislative Budget & Audit Joint Committee -Members elected Senator Anna Fairclough as Chair and Representative Mike Hawker as Vice Chair. Legislative Finance Director David Teal introduced his staff and Legislative Auditor Kristin Curtis gave an overview of the audit process.  Members closed with other committee business.
To see the entire meeting, click here.

Resources Committee- Today the Senate Resources Committee received an overview from the Department of Natural Resources. Deputy Commissioner Dan Sullivan, Deputy Commissioner Joe Balash, and Ed Fogels all participated in the presentation.
To see the Power Point presentation click here.

Things you might want to check out on Monday, January 21, 2013:

8:00 a.m. Senate Education Committee-Capitol 106-Members will conduct an overview of education funding and the foundation formula.

3:30 p.m. Senate Resources Committee-Butrovich 205-Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan, Deputy Commissioners Joe Balash and Ed Fogels will continue their presentation which began on Friday. In addition, Petroleum Geologist Paul Decker with the Division of Oil & Gas will address problems and solutions in his presentation: "Who's Keeping the Lights & Heat On?”
SB27 was referred to the Resources and Finance Committees.

For updates throughout the day, please bookmark the Senate Majority’s Website www.alaskasenate.org  which features Senate news, information, photos, social media, member information and more! Also, please “like” our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at AKSenMajority for breaking news throughout the day. 

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