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Senate Vote Disappoints Small Business

Date: March 16, 2014

Stolen property measure advances

The Legislature is moving into high gear, reports NFIB/Alaska State Director Denny DeWitt, now that the House passed its version of the state’s operating budget on March 13. The Senate is expected to pass its budget bill by March 21.


The following were actions taken on bills of importance to small business.

Felony Theft

House Bill 64, which would raise the felony threshold to $1,200, passed the Senate—over strong NFIB objections. NFIB-member Chris Nettles made a strong case for not going above $750. NFIB made it a Key Vote. We will fight to get the threshold back down to a reasoned increase of $750, which is an increase of $250 over the current $500 level.

Stolen Property

Senate Bill 110 passed the Senate 17 to 0 and is waiting in the House Judiciary Committee for hearing. This bill clarifies that the Office of Victims’ Advocate can appeal a decision of a law enforcement agency not to return stolen property being held as evidence.

Regulations

House Bill 140, which would require regulators to estimate the cost to the public for proposed regulations, was heard in the House Finance Committee and held for amendment.  The reception to it was positive, but there a few minor issues to be resolved before it moves any further. The committee co-chairman indicated a desire to get it to the floor so it has a chance of passing both houses this year.

Workers’ Compensation

House Bill 316, which would change the basis for paying workers compensation health services from the outdated “usual and customary” method to the “resource based relative value scale” method, was not heard but there is much discussion going on to get it in shape to move. Rep. Kurt Olson still intends to get it done this year.

Previous 2014 Legislative Reports
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