Reaction to HB 142 pushed measure to future hearing
State Director Denny DeWitt reports from Juneau on the small-business agenda for the legislative week ending February 16
The Alaska State Legislature is a third of the way through its 90-day session.
House Bill 142 by Rep. Chris Tuck, which would increase the unemployment benefit and thus the unemployment insurance tax, was scheduled to be debated on the House Floor February 16 but was delayed to February 19 thanks in part to the many phone calls and email by NFIB members indicating their opposition.
House Bill 38 was heard in the Finance Committee and held for further hearings. This measure by Rep. Andy Josephson would allow a $70,000 death benefit in workers’ compensation to go to the estate if there is no dependent. NFIB continues its opposition because that is not the purpose of the program. It is to assist injured workers and their dependents, not provide a healthier estate for the benefit of non-dependents. NFIB’s letter of opposition can be read here.
House Bill 264, also by Rep. Josephson, was heard twice last week and is scheduled for an additional hearing in the House Regional and Community Affairs Committee February 22. It would require a charge of $0.20 for each disposable plastic or other material bag used. NFIB will continue its opposition because of the difficulties member retailers would have complying with the bill. While it provides for exemptions for such things as newspapers and fruit, the costs, administrative problems, and its definitions are all problematic. For instance, is a hardware store covered if it sells paper towels, or a gift store because it sells Alaskan Smoked Salmon in a gift package? NFIB’s letter of opposition can be read here.
The NFIB-supported state spending cap, Senate Joint Resolution 2, has passed the State Affairs Committee and is now with the Judiciary Committee.
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[Tile photo courtesy of The Alaska State Legislature’s Capitol Updates]