31st AK Legislature

A host of extraordinary issues hangs over this session. The length of our recession, our state’s credit rating, the quality of our education system, and our natural resource management system all depend on our elected officials taking the time to produce a realistic fiscal plan Рand soon.

We at The Alaska Center still remain hopeful that the election year electioneering will not cancel out movement toward resolution of our fiscal problems. We see many bright spots this session.

To begin – the Governor has proposed $11 million in renewable energy projects in his FY 19 budget. These projects – seawater heat pumps, small hydro projects, wind intertie projects and others will benefit communities statewide.

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HB 173

HB 173 seeks to help fund climate change adaptation efforts by levying a small surcharge on oil produced in Alaska which would be routed to a Climate Change Response Fund. We support this legislation as a part of our broader Climate Action Plan.
-HB173 is sponsored by Rep. Andy Josephson and is in the House Resources Committee.

HB 81

HB 81 would expand eligibility to the Alaska Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund Program to include federally recognized tribes and certain non-profit organizations. The Alaska Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund Program provides financing for permanent energy efficiency improvements to buildings. The AK Center supports an expansion of this Energy Efficiency program as a way for Alaska to reach its Energy Policy Goals of a 15% energy efficiency per capita increase between 2010 and 2020. We believe the state of Alaska can reach the benchmarks defined in its energy policy.
-HB 81 is sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins and is in the Senate Finance Committee.

HB 1

HB 1 would increase the voting rights afforded to Alaskan citizens by creating a same-day voting registration requirement. We believe this a great step in making Alaska the most engaged voting population in the nation.
-HB 1 is sponsored by House Majority Leader Chris Tuck and is Senate State Affairs.

HB 199

HB 199 is a bill that promotes responsible resource development in addition to strong protections for salmon and salmon habitat. Currently, there are no specific rules limiting the amount of damage allowed to fish habitat during a development project, and no language defining what constitutes adequate protection of fish habitat. HB 199 is an attempt to modernize our fish protection laws to reflect changing attitudes in Alaska toward our salmon and ensure the longevity of the last great salmon runs on planet earth.
-HB 199 is sponsored by Rep. Louise Stutes and is in the House Fisheries Committee.