Leadership Council Digs In On Legislation

Date: February 22, 2014

Recapping the week of February 17 to February 20, NFIB/Alaska State Director Denny DeWitt says there wasn’t room to walk in the halls, so busy were legislators who even met on President’s Day.

Business Licensing
PeggyAnn McConnochie, a member of NFIB/Alaska’s Leadership Council, testified in support of House Bill 32, which would change the business licensing law from requiring a license for every line of business to one business license for all. Several questions were raised by legislators on the House Finance Committee, so the bill was held there to get expert answers. Working with the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Mia Costello, NFIB worked to get all the committee’s questions answered. The bill will be heard again on February, and NFIB expects it will be passed out of committee that day.
Felony Theft Monetary Threshold
Senate Bill 64, Sen. John Coghill’s omnibus crime bill, passed on to the Senate Finance Committee for its consideration. It is scheduled for a hearing February 25. The current monetary level separating a misdemeanor theft from a felony one is $500. Supporters of SB 64 wanted that raised to $2,000, but NFIB succeeded in its lobbying efforts to reduce the proposed increase to $750. Your NFIB/Alaska Leadership Council will be meeting with Senator Coghill via teleconference on February to continue discussions on the implications for the threshold dollar of felony crimes. 
Return of Stolen Property
Senate Bill 110 by Sen. Fred Dyson had its first hearing in the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee. 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. We expect the measure to pass out of the committee after its second hearing next week.
Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is back on the radar with the introduction of House Bill 316 by the House Labor & Commerce Committee. This bill will change the reimbursement system for medical care from “usual and customary” to resource-based relative value scale as used by the Medicare program. This will help reduce medical costs in the program. The medical folks aren’t going to be happy, but everyone who pays workers’ comp. premiums will be supporting this bill.
Previous 2014 Legislative Reports
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Newly appointed Rep. Sam Kito introduces himself to the media.

On February 21, Gov. Sean Parnell appointed Sam Kito III to fill the House District 32 seat that was held by Rep. Beth Kerttula, who resigned.

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