Governor calls Alaska Legislature into special session to deal with a variety of issues. NFIB not relenting on opposition to reinstating the income tax.
NFIB/Alaska State Director Denny DeWitt reports from Juneau on the small-business agenda for the legislative week ending May 19.
The Legislature adjourned its regular session May 17, and the governor called it back into special session the next day.
Gov. Bill Walker’s proclamation calling lawmakers back for a special session included the following issues he wants to be addressed:
- Opioids prescription and monitoring
- Operating budget
- Mental health budget
- Capital budget
- Oil and gas tax credit reform
- Permanent Fund Protection Act
- Motor fuel tax
- Broad-based tax
Although the governor’s call dodges the term, the “broad-based tax” in his special session proclamation is political spin for income tax. NFIB will continue its strong opposition to that tax.
On the final night of the regular session Senate Bill 55, the technical corrections to Senate Bill 91, last year’s major crime bill, passed and is on its way to the governor. But Senate Bill 54, which would have put some teeth back into the penalties for petty theft was blocked in the House State Affairs Committee by the House majority.
Rep. Lora Reinbold attempted to amend SB 55 to include many of the important provisions in SB 54, which NFIB members lobbied extensive for, but the House majority used procedural moves to block discussion of those amendments. NFIB appreciated that Rep. Reinbold and the House minority recognized the problems the changes made by last year’s crime bill are causing small businesses.
As the regular session adjourned, bills opposed by NFIB will rest in their current positions until next year when the fight begins again. House Bill 115, the personal income tax bill is the only bill NFIB expects to be fighting during the special session.
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[Tile photo courtesy of The Alaska State Legislature website.]