Looking for more state revenues on front burner, again
State Director Denny DeWitt looks ahead to the opening of the second session of The Alaska State Legislature
The second session of the 30th Alaska Legislature will convene on Tuesday, January 16. NFIB will be on the scene working to protect small businesses from legislative attempts to limit your freedom to function in a free marketplace.
This year will again focus on developing a fiscal strategy to bring expenditures and revenues in line. There will be:
- advocates for taxes to increase revenues
- advocates for using part of the earnings of the Permanent Fund to fill the gap
- those who feel spending should be reduced before any broad taxes are instituted
- those who think all of those options should be part of the resolution.
Small business also expects to see:
- attempts to mandate benefits in small-business health insurance plans,
- a drive to increase unemployment benefits by a corresponding increase in UI taxes
- a bid to increase the minimum wage,
- an attempt to prohibit retailers using plastic bags,
- proposals to place environmental limits on the use of private property
- and a seeking of union carve-outs in the workers’ compensation program.
NFIB will continue its opposition to these mandated cost increases to small businesses.
Governor’s Wage Tax
Gov. Bill Walker has not yet introduced his wage tax into the regular session, but his proposed budget assumes its passage. NFIB will continue its opposition to a tax that selects out only wage earners and small businesses for taxation.
Workers’ Compensation Reform
We expect to see attempts to reform Alaska’s workers’ compensation program with proposals from the state chamber of commerce and the governor. NFIB will be watching these closely to assure so-called solutions are not detrimental to small businesses.
There will be many other bills NFIB will be watching, not so much for policy reasons, but to assure the implementation of great ideas do not place added governmental burdens on small businesses.