House creates Ways and Means Committee for Spohnholz to run - Must Read AlaskaQ
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Saturday, February 27, 2021
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House creates Ways and Means Committee for Spohnholz to run

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The Alaska House majority voted to create a House Ways and Means Committee today, which is a special committee that could slow down progress in the House of Representatives’ bill-moving process. The House is already a month behind in its work for the 90-day session.

The vote was along majority lines, with Rep. Kelly Merrick of Eagle River falling in line with the proposal that ended up putting Rep. Ivy Spohnholz as the chair of this special committee. Spohnholz spoke forcefully in favor of creating the committee; she is a pro-income-tax Democrat.

It’s unclear what the committee’s full responsibility will be. A Ways and Means Committee can be whatever the makers want it to be. In the U.S. House, the Ways and Means Committee is the chief tax-writing committee.

Although 103 bills were read into the House today and referred to various committees, none of those committees was the Ways and Means Committee, because that vote to create the committee came later. In actuality, however, the Speaker can add the Ways and Means Committee to a list of committees to which bills can get referred at any time.

Years ago, the Republican caucus in the Alaska House had a Ways and Means Committee that had the focus of “missions and measures,” setting up mission statements for departments and measurements for whether departments were achieving their missions.

In 2007-2008, the special committee was created and chaired by Rep. Mike Hawker, with vice chair Rep. Anna Fairclough (now MacKinnon).

Among bills that were referred to it that year were HB 57, Amerada Hess oil royalty settlement money into the Permanent Fund; HB 68, a long-range fiscal plan; HB 395, repealing an estate tax on residents; and HJR 1, 5, and 35, having to do with transfers, revenue, and state debt.

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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

  • I know money is money for some people, but an ad for a rino mayor? But just another day. We could have saved a lot of money if this session would have canceled. After all, there is an unprecedented pandemic. They should stay home and hunker down. And for gosh sakes, avoid super spreaders like restaurants. What the heck are they eating down there? MRE’S? I say send the useless idiots home.

  • Juneau is FUBAR and so is the Alaska GOP!

  • When you have legislators hell bent on enacting an income tax, creating a committee and putting a money grubbing democrat to chair it is the next logical step. Are there really any fiscal conservatives in Juneau?

    • We have many fiscal conservatives in Juneau but we’re vastly outnumbered. As in most capitals, the preponderance of public employees results in a majority left-leaning populace. Perhaps you would be interested in relocating the capital to Anchorage. We hear you may have a shortage of leftists up there.

      • Funny Wayne but that left-leaning populace is likely due to the education required of those public employees. They are educated and tend to be smart too-you’ll notice many have pretty good health insurance that’s lacking in many private sector jobs.
        You know that, of course, but you’ve not given your own reasoning for what is the case. Your turn here. Heheh!

        • Billy Boy, strange that you would cite Education as a factor for public employees being left leaning. I mean, last time I checked Alaska ranked dead last in that department while we spend the most. Say, isn’t this education thing fully administered by public employees? $mart , to be sure.

          As always William, your every utterance is truth from the gods, I again humbly stand in your shadow.
          Har Har!

          • If you look at what I said you’ll find I was speaking of public employees being educated in order to qualify for their govt. jobs. They may/may not have been educated in Alaska but I’m going to get in front of my skis here and suggest that you are severely lacking in any education. Your turn.

          • Billy, “the sage of Mendenhall”, kindly put down the pot pipe long enough to see the link between education so called and the state of affairs of the state of education…
            And yes William, even an uneducated dolt such as yours truly can connect the dots.
            I noticed no tough noogies or He He in your response? Evidently my Har Har has left you crestfallen? Come on Man! Get back in your game.

          • What does pot have to do with this Robert? Are you down to “stems and seeds” these days? Sure love it when the undeducated have issues with, what was that again, “education so called and the state of affairs of the state of education…”
            Now that was a mouthful. Heheh!

          • Billy, Education is the gutter of American academia, it is an institution wholly managed by “public employees” , whom you tout as being “highly educated”.
            Seems obvious to everyone else Billy. You vaping?
            I pulling for you Billy Boy!

          • Yessir Robert, spoken like someone without an education. Keep em coming as we need the laughs. You and Don Trump can keep us informed here. Maybe get some Majorie Green to fill in some blanks, too.

  • Alaska is the laughingstock in the lower 48.

  • The real scratching begins after you get out of the bushes with Poison Ivy.

    • The remedy is:
      don’t get caught in the bushes with Ivy.

      • ….believe me, that won’t be a problem for men I know…..

  • Wow, forget the story, the real focal point is that photo of this woman. She appears to take herself too seriously…

    • You’re right. It looks like the cover photo for a hard rock album she is releasing.

  • 31 days into the legislative session and they are just now”getting started”! They should not collect one penny including per diem fir those days!! Along with all the shenanigans going on, voters, especially republicans, are getting the shaft!!

  • Not to worry – if you say something that Representative Spohnholz doesn’t like at a committee meeting, she will simply accuse you of sexual harassment. She has done this sort of thing before and will do it again.

  • Special committee on “ income Tax”. RED Remove Every Democrat…
    Very Progressive

  • Rep Ivy Spohnholz is one of the best legislators in Juneau. She is smart, principled and a really good person. I’ve known her since she was a child, and she’s always impressed me with her upbeat attitude and desire to help her family, friends, neighbors and community.
    And when most of the people on this forum start to criticize Democrats about spending, check the facts. Make a list of all the legislators pushing for the Governor to maximize the PFD check, even though it’s fiscally irresponsible. You and yours would be the first to howl if your roads aren’t plowed, your potholes filled, firefighters at your service, or police unavailable, but a progressive income tax? Forget it. I think Republicans are socialists at heart.

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