Saturday, May 18, 2013
Legislative Session Progress
House and Senate leaders continue to negotiate the capital budget as the 2011 legislative session comes to a close.
Only 3 days remain until the 2011 legislative session reaches a close, and lawmakers are still negotiating the capital budget along with other bills still left on the back burner.
Governor Sean Parnell’s proposed oil tax structure bill which would lower the state's current oil tax structure know as ACES has been on the front burner since the beginning.
Lawmakers say because so much focus has been put on the oil tax bill, many other important issues have been ignored. Last week the House passed their version of the bill, and yesterday the Senate Resources Committee put the tax bill on hold until next year.
“ I just personally felt like we should have done the same, but again we got a different makeup in the Senate,” said Senate Majority Leader Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage. “The majority did not feel like that was the proper course of action to take, and so we didn’t.”
Out of the total 440 bills and resolutions introduced this session, only 9 bills and 26 resolutions have been passed, 5 were passed by the House, and 4 by the Senate.
Although very few bills have been passed so far, some Senate leaders say the focus was on the right issue.
“I think you know we've done the right thing, which is you focus on the most important issue, you devote what time you can to the other ones,” said Sen. Hollis French, D-Anchorage. “But you know the oil tax is such an overriding issue. It cuts across all lines, financial, economic, social."