Alaska Legislature would be wise to capitalize on hot economy by resisting regulations
JUNEAU, Alaska, Dec. 19, 2017—Results from an annual survey of its Alaska members released today by the National Federation of Independent Business would seem to advise state lawmakers to resist ruining the hot national economy, while also revealing a divide over one issue in particular.
“Alaska will always have its variations from national trends,” said Denny DeWitt, NFIB’s Alaska state director, “but the thing that stood out to me the most from our poll is that lawmakers would be wise to capitalize on the good economic news by copying a key element of it: Reduced regulations.”
Every year the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s largest and leading small-business association, polls its members on state and national issues vital to their ability to own, operate and grow their enterprises. Results from the polls center NFIB’s lobbying positions in Juneau and in Washington, D.C. Results from the NFIB-member ballots are released after a statistically valid sample is reached. The 2018 Alaska state ballot asked four questions.
- Should Alaska regulate development and land use to protect fish habitat? YES—30 percent; NO—61 percent; UNDECIDED—9 percent.
- Should Alaska strengthen employee protections under the state’s Equal Pay law? YES—18 percent; NO—74 percent; UNDECIDED—8 percent.
- Should Alaska enact legislation requiring employers, including those with fewer than 15 employees, to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers, including time away from work? YES—18 percent; NO—78 percent; UNDECIDED—4 percent.
- Should Alaska update its workers’ compensation reemployment benefit system? YES—42 percent; NO—42 percent; UNDECIDED—16 percent.
“The result from our workers’ compensation question sends a message to the Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development that it will need to work in partnership with the business community if it wants to reform the reemployment benefit system,” said DeWitt. “As for the other questions, we as a state need to reduce costs on employers, like the federal tax bill does, and oppose the governor’s proposed 1.5 percent wage tax. The federal government is showing the way to a robust economy. Alaska would be foolish not jump on board.”
For 74 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.
National Federation of Independent Business/Alaska
P.O. Box 34761
Juneau, AK 99801