The Alaska Legislature gavels in for special session No. 5 today. The Senate convenes at 11 am, and the House at 1 pm.
House Finance Committee is set to take up the governor’s tax legislation on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 9 am. Governor Bill Walker insists he’ll get his revenues, says Lieutenant Gov. Byron Mallott, who told the Kenai Chamber of Commerce, “This governor is dedicated to the proposition that he will keep dealing with the Legislature until that is done.”
Today is about caucusing. The Senate is staying in Anchorage for now.
LAST WEEK’S MESS: We didn’t have the heart to dig into the steaming pile last week, but here goes: Governor Walker dumped CACFA, the Citizens’ Advisory Commission on Federal Areas in Alaska. He simply defunded it.
The commission’s job? To be Alaska’s watchdog for ANILCA and other laws pertaining to Alaska lands. The commission was due to sunset in 2021 if for some reason the federal government went back in its constitutional cage.
It was a double whammy for the State. Also last week, a federal court ruled in favor of tribes placing their lands into federal trust, a leap forward for Indian Country, a leap backward for the actual law — the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act sought to prevent Balkanization.
The Citizen’s Advisory Commission on Federal Areas opposes Indian Country because it will likely lead to reservations in Alaska. And we all know how well those worked out.
Here’s your Xanax. Breathe into this brown paper bag for a moment. Now read the story on the federal ruling as brought to you by the Fairbanks NewsMiner.
CACFA is established by statute (AS 41.37.160) and its official function is to “consider, research and hold hearings on the consistency with federal law and congressional intent on management, operation, planning, development, and additions to federal management areas in the state. The commission shall report annually to the governor and the legislature within the first 10 days of a regular legislative session.”
SPECIAL SESSION, HO!
Senate and House will need to reconsider elements of the criminal reform legislation, SB 91, which Governor Bill Walker signed today. There’s evidently a loophole for pimps that needs to be patched.
PLAN OF DEVELOPMENT REVEAL?
Senate Natural Resources Committee is scheduled to meet next Tuesday at 1 pm at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office to discuss the governor’s cancellation of the Plan of Development for the Prudhoe Bay Unit. It will be teleconferenced, audio only. And testimony is by invitation.