2019 Challenges in The Alaska Legislature

Date: May 14, 2018

Worker’s compensation reform limiting attorney fees while protecting independent contractors to be a high issue on the small-business agenda

The first half of a new, two-year session of The Alaska Legislature starts January 15, 2019, and NFIB is preparing for the return of perennial proposals and a few new ones

Fighting for Workers’ Compensation Reform of Attorneys’ Fees
Last year, Senate Bill 112, by Sen. Cathy Giessel, was sent to the Senate Finance Committee too late in the session to be acted on. An omnibus workers’ compensation reform bill, it included limitations on attorney fees, reform of the rehabilitation and return to work process, and it contained NFIB-supported language protecting independent contractors. NFIB supported is expecting this proposal to come up again in the 2019 legislative session and will fight for passage of elements beneficial for small business.

There will also be another push to expand benefits, increase current benefit levels, and inserting inflation adjustors so benefits keep growing without legislative control.

Stopping State Income Tax
The past session had a heavy push for an income tax and it will be an issue next year. Those who believe in big government will continue to push for an increase in the size and scope of government. They will try to sell more benefits to more people then use their support to push for a broad-based tax to pay for government growth.

Preventing Shopping Bag Fee
There is a growing opposition to the use of plastic shopping bags. Legislation is likely to force retailers to charge for the bags and remit the fees to the state as a tax.

Pushing for State Spending Limits
NFIB expects continued concern with the growth of state government. Several of the sponsors and advocates of establishing a spending limit will return to the next Legislature and are likely to continue to press for spending limits.

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