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Thursday, October 19, 2017
HomeAlaska Journal of CommerceHouse Majority has lost. They just don’t know it yet.

House Majority has lost. They just don’t know it yet.

Art work depicting the income tax in a casket, with legislators surrounding it.

ANDREW JENSEN
ALASKA JOURNAL OF COMMERCE

Here’s hoping House Speaker Bryce Edgmon hasn’t gotten too attached to his gavel.

The once high-riding Democrat-led Majority in the House had a stake driven through its heart on June 5 when it was abandoned by Gov. Bill Walker, its one-time ally on raising oil taxes and bringing back a state income tax.

Andrew Jensen, Alaska Journal of Commerce

By immediately rejecting Walker’s compromise package that did not include an income tax, increased oil taxes or their preferred amount for the Permanent Fund Dividend, the rookie leaders of the House have set themselves up as the fall guys if the government shuts down with no budget by July 1.

It may be just posturing, as Senate President Pete Kelly mused while his caucus took a more measured and conciliatory attitude toward Walker’s proposed compromise that came down heavily in favor of its position.

Are the House Democrats really so wedded to their demand for an income tax that they are willing to push the state to the brink of a shutdown?

So far, they sound like it.

Not that it was ever a great idea to hitch their policy wagon to raising taxes on an economy in recession, but House Democrats are quickly becoming Ahab to the white whale of taxes.

With the governor now essentially aligned with the Senate on the greatest issues facing the Legislature — including its plan to pay off nearly $300 million in old oil tax credits using the Statutory Budget Reserve — the House has set itself up as the odd man out.

No doubt it must be a bitter pill to swallow considering it was just seven months ago the new Majority held a celebratory press conference following the November election as Democrats took the reins of power in the House for the first time in more than a decade.

[Read more at the Alaska Journal of Commerce]

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • The real reason the House Majority MUST abandon their stance is that there is no chance in Heaven that Bryce, Tuck and the two ladies from Kodiak represent districts that contain a couple of the largest Seafood landing ports in the U.S. and half a dozen of the top ten largest Seafood landing Ports in the State. The first day a Fisherman cannot catch a fish because the House Majority held their line is the last day one of those folks can step foot in their district, much less run for office. Gabby exception… maybe.

    • If there is no ADF&G and few or maybe even no F&W Troopers, who’s to stop them from fishing; things could get really lawless, really fast.