Halftime in Juneau
Cruise ship bill signed into law; other major legislation still pending
ANCHORAGE - The Legislature entered the second half of its 90-day session Friday, and as usual, most of the big decisions are still pending.
So far, four bills have passed.
Although there's still a lot to do, legislators say they've been very busy, working days 12-to-14 hours long.
Parnell’s bill for a substantial cut in oil production taxes has cleared two Senate committees so far, and was heard Friday in the Senate Finance Committee.
Also on the energy front, the House Resources Committee Friday scrutinized a bill for a pipeline to deliver natural gas to Alaskan consumers.
The Senate today passed a bill to cut the corporate income tax for small- and medium-sized businesses. "So today we moved forward,” said Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage. “We reduced the amount that we are taking from those citizens that are taking those risks, working hard and producing value."
The House has passed a bill declaring all future federal gun laws null and void in Alaska.
And then there's the operating budget, up for public hearings next week. "We are faced with a situation where we don't have as much money to pay for what we have in the past, and we have to reduce," said Rep. Mia Costello, R-Anchorage.
On Sunday, the Legislature will mark one century of its own existence. "Beginning for a three-day celebration,” said Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak. “It should be just an enormous amount of fun for those of us who are history buffs."
And then for better or worse, they'll go back to making history.