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Senate Majority Night Note: Highlights and Previews - March 21, 2014

Here is what happened in the Alaska State Senate today, Friday, March 21, 2014:

(S) Floor Session – Legislation considered:

SB 106 passed the Senate by a vote of 18 to 0. SB 106, sponsored by Senator Meyer, provides for certain individuals who have erected a building on land leased from the state to receive a preference right to purchase certain state land without competitive bid,

SB 116 passed the Senate by a vote of 18 to 0. SB 116, sponsored by Senator Egan, fixes an unintended problem with Alaska law that made law enforcement less effective and less fair when it comes to minor offenses. 

SB 132 passed the Senate by a vote of 18 to 0. SB 132, sponsored by Senator Fairclough, allows any resident who is 65 years old at the time of registration to qualify for the vehicle registration fee exemption.

SB 169 passed the Senate by a vote of 18 to 0. SB 169, sponsored by Senator Giessel, establishes a Statewide Vaccination Program and creates a vaccine assessment council in the Department of Health and Social Services.

SB 171 passed the Senate by a vote of 18 to 0. SB 171, sponsored by Senator Coghill, relates to multidisciplinary child protection teams; and relating to investigation of child abuse or neglect.

SB 186 passed the Senate by a vote of 18 to 0. SB 186, sponsored by Senator Dyson, seeks to bring the State into compliance with current drug statutes established by the Alaska Legislature in 1982.

SCR 17 passed the Senate by a vote of 18 to 0. SCR 17 commemorates the 150th anniversary of the purchase of Alaska and encourages all Alaskan communities to participate in celebrations statewide.

Legislation introduced:

SB 214, which relates to insurance adjuster licensing, was referred to the Labor and Commerce Committee.

HB 239, sponsored by Representative Reinbold, which extends the termination date of the Board of Examiners in Optometry, was referred to the Labor and Commerce and Finance Committees.

HB 241, sponsored by Representative Reinbold, which extends the termination date of the Board of Marital and Family Therapy, was referred to the Labor and Commerce and Finance Committees.

HB 284, sponsored by Representative Keller, which proposes an interstate compact to amend the Constitution of the United States with a Balanced Budget Amendment via the Constitution’s Article V process, was referred to the Judiciary Committee.

HB 301, sponsored by Representative Herron, which relates to duties and procedures of the state medical examiner and the Department of Health and Social Services, was referred to the Health and Social Services Committee.

(S) Education Committee – Members considered:  

SB 107, sponsored by Senator Stevens, which seeks to improve our efforts at the state, district, and school level of fostering every K-3 student’s reading skills. SB 107 was heard & held.

Members also conducted confirmation hearings to the Professional Teaching Practices Commission, the State Board of Education & Early Development, and the University of Alaska Board of Regents.

(S) Finance Committee – Members considered:  

HB 244, which extends the termination date of the Citizens' Advisory Commission on Federal Management Areas in Alaska. HB 244 was moved out of committee and is on its way to the Rules Committee.

SB 182, sponsored by Senator Dyson, which will save $7.6 Million or more per year by eliminating cost of living payment differences for Marine Highway vessel employees who live within the state of Alaska. SB 182 was heard & held.

HB 266, submitted by Governor Parnell, which makes appropriations for the operating and loan program expenses of state government and for certain programs, capitalizing funds, and makes reappropriations. HB 266 was heard & held.

HB 267, submitted by Governor Parnell, which makes appropriations for the operating and capital expenses of the state's integrated comprehensive mental health program. HB 267 was heard & held.

(S) Health & Social Services Committee – Members considered:  

HJR 25, sponsored by Representative LeDoux, which urges the United States Congress to restore the presumption of a service connection for Agent Orange exposure to United States Veterans who served in the waters defined by and in the airspace over the combat zone in Vietnam.   HJR 25 was moved out of committee and is on its way to the State Affairs Committee.

HB 263, sponsored by Representative Hawker, which extends the Alaska senior benefits payment program. HB 263 was moved out of committee and is on its way to the Finance Committee.

(S) Judiciary Committee – Members considered:  

SB 176, sponsored by Senator Coghill, which allows law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms while pursuing a higher education in Alaska. SB 176 was moved out of committee and is on its way to the Rules Committee.

HB 292, which makes corrective amendments to the Alaska Statutes as recommended by the revisor of statutes. HB 292 was moved out of committee and is on its way to the Rules Committee.

SB 170, which relating to a defense to the crime of prostitution for victims of sex trafficking. SB 170 was moved out of committee and is on its way to the Rules Committee.

(S) Resources Committee – Members considered:  

SB 28, submitted by Governor Parnell, which relates to the sale of timber on state land and establishes the Susitna State Forest. SB 28 was moved out of committee and is on its way to the Finance Committee.

HB 161, sponsored by Representative Gattis, which expands the scope of this program by allowing more permits to be issued for more species. It further incentivizes the program by giving the non-profit organization a greater share of the proceeds from the auction of the permit. HB 161 was heard & held.

SB 160, sponsored by Senator Coghill, which authorizes the commissioner of natural resources to implement a hunting guide concession program or otherwise limit the number of individuals authorized to conduct big game commercial guiding on state land. SB 160 was moved out of committee and is on its way to the Finance Committee.

Here is the preview for Monday, March 24, 2014:

8:00 a.m. – (S) Education Committee – Beltz 105 – Members will conduct confirmation hearings to the Professional Teaching Practices Commission and consider bills previously heard.

9:00 a.m. – (S) Finance Committee – Senate Finance 532 – Members will consider: 

SB 194, sponsored by Senator McGuire, which creates the Alaska Tourism Marketing Board and relating to tourism marketing.

HB 266, submitted by Governor Parnell, which makes appropriations for the operating and loan program expenses of state government and for certain programs, capitalizing funds, and makes reappropriations.

HB 267, submitted by Governor Parnell, which makes appropriations for the operating and capital expenses of the state's integrated comprehensive mental health program.

11:00 a.m. – (S) Floor Session

1:30 p.m. – (S) Judiciary Committee – Beltz 105 – Members will consider:

HB 47, sponsored by Representatives Feige and Chenault, which requires a party seeking a restraining order, preliminary injunction, or order vacating or staying the operation of certain permits affecting an industrial operation to give security in the amount the court considers proper for costs incurred and damages suffered if the industrial operation is wrongfully enjoined or restrained.

HB 218, sponsored by Representatives Chenault and Millett, which relates to the aggravating factor at felony sentencing of multiple prior misdemeanors when a prior misdemeanor involves an assault on a correctional employee, provides that deportation is not a proper factor for referral of a case to a three-judge panel for sentencing for a felony, was referred to the Judiciary Committee.

SJR 25, which urges the Alaska Department of Law and the United States Department of Justice to file a motion in United States District Court to compel the ExxonMobil Corporation to honor the commitment to pay additional damages for the Exxon Valdez oil spill under the "Reopener for Unknown Injury" provision of the 1991 Agreement and Consent Decree and to collect the full demand for payment the state and federal government submitted to the ExxonMobil Corporation.

3:30 p.m. – (S) Resources Committee – Butrovich 205 – Members will discuss Upper Cook Inlet salmon with the user groups and stakeholders and consider bills previously heard.

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.

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