Governor Dunleavy comments on 33rd Alaska Legislature’s accomplishments on carbon, crime, energy, food, hunting, and housing

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Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy noted the legislation that passed this legislative session that addresses the needs of Alaska’s present and future, including energy, carbon capture economy, food security, and public safety.

The bills he highlighted, indicating these are bills he will be signing, are:

HB 66 – Omnibus crime legislation containing Dunleavy’s plan to crack down on fentanyl dealers passed. Prosecutors will be able to charge a person with second degree murder who sells or manufactures fentanyl or methamphetamine if a person dies as a direct result of taking those or other controlled substances. The legislation also strengthens the crime of stalking in the first degree and has new sex offender registration requirements. It allows multidisciplinary child protection teams to investigate instances of sexual contact between young children. It also amends Criminal Rule 6 to allow witnesses to summarize testimony of other witnesses at grand jury, a section opposed by Sen. Matt Claman.

House Bill 66 is the most comprehensive victim-centric legislation the state has passed in many years, the governor noted: “It appropriately balances holding offenders accountable while focusing on victims.”

HB 50 – The governor’s carbon sequestration bill creates an opportunity for the state to earn revenue by storing carbon dioxide in depleted underground oil and gas basins. It also has provisions for the RCA regulated gas storage in Cook Inlet, AIDEA reserve-based lending for gas producers, and geothermal leasing.

HB 307 – House Bill 307 is a game changer for the Railbelt power grid, power utilities, and its business and residential customers, Dunleavy said. It streamlines the taxation and tariff policies to make new and existing electrical generation projects more affordable. “That in turn incentivizes independent power producers to move forward on renewable power projects like solar and wind farms along the Railbelt,” he noted.

HB 272 – Disabled Alaskans will have a new opportunity to go big game hunting under this bill, which authorizes the Alaska Board of Game to establish annual big game hunting seasons in areas specifically for Alaskans with physical disabilities.

HB 273 – This bill grants the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) board of directors the opportunity to adjust its loan-to-value ratios so homebuyers need to come up with less cash for a down payment on their home purchase. It also establishes a subsidiary to function as a Green Bank to leverage federal funds and other opportunities to advance sustainable energy development projects in the state.

HB 295 – Individuals or organizations will now be allowed to purchase salmon from a state hatchery for stocking a lake in Alaska. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will issue the required permit after evaluating the proposed salmon stocking plan to verify land ownership, and any possible impacts on wild fish populations.

HB 344 – Authorizes the Alaska Department of Health to apply for a section 1115 Medicaid waiver to explore demonstration projects focused on addressing health-related needs and support services for Alaska Medicaid recipients. Pursuing a waiver will enable the department to employ evidence-based, Alaska-specific strategies to improve health outcomes and lower the cost of Medicaid to the state treasury.HB 251 – The Food Freedom Act sponsored by Rep. George Rauscher included elements of Dunleavy’s CROP Act that make needed reforms to Alaska’s growing agriculture industry. It incorporates reforms to the Alaska Division of Agriculture’s Agriculture Revolving Loan Fund by updating loan limits, increasing categories of loans to include food manufacturing and shipping, and allowing refinancing of loans. This year the Board of Agriculture approved eight loans that reflect strong interest in the state’s agricultural sector.

HB 251 – The Food Freedom Act sponsored by Rep. Rauscher included elements of Dunleavy’s CROP Act that make needed reforms to Alaska’s growing agriculture industry. It incorporates reforms to the Alaska Division of Agriculture’s Agriculture Revolving Loan Fund by updating loan limits, increasing categories of loans to include food manufacturing and shipping, and allowing refinancing of loans. This year the Board of Agriculture approved eight loans that reflect strong interest in the state’s agricultural sector.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Incredibly modest list to show for all the commotion and falderal. But the main thing is that nothing was done that will hurt honest, hard-working Alaskans. If the Senate organization remains the same after the November election and the House flips to control by Democrats then we will see gun control bills, drag queen grants and recognitions, a state income tax, and recognition of ANILCA subsistence. So a session that does not harm is worth celebrating.

  2. Did Dunleavy say anything about the last minute education bill that (temporarily) fixed the correspondence school problem?

  3. Better than expected, considering the contentious nature of the legislature. But I suspect Geissel will be back with the retirement system and the other things that the unions want. It would be better to come up with an affordable plan like most industries have now that are basically personal investment plans with perhaps a small percentage of matching funds. The old style fully paid plans are a dead letter.

    • Shelia, believe it or not what you suggest as an affordable plan is exactly what state and municipal employees have now. The defined contribution tier, which covers everyone who began work on or after July 1, 2006, is a 401 K type plan in which employers (taxpayers) make a contribution that adds to the tax-deferred amounts set aside from the employees wages. It’s that very plan, the affordable one, that Senator Giessel wanted to replace/supplant. We need to thanks House Speaker Tilton, and Representatives Johnson, Representative Shaw, and a few others for heading this off. Alaskans cannot afford a luxurious new public employee plan designed by the public employee unions.

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