• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 23s

Natural gas pipeline and education legislation introduced

By Rhonda McBride 9:21 PM January 24, 2014

Senate Bills 138 and 139 were introduced on the Senate floor Friday morning

JUNEAU – Gov. Sean Parnell introduced two major pieces of legislation Friday. One is a road map for the building of a liquefied natural gas pipeline. The other is a package of education reform bills he promoted during his State of the State address Wednesday.

Both were introduced on the Senate floor Friday morning, marking the end of a hectic first week for lawmakers.

The roll out of the governor’s natural gas pipeline legislation, Senate Bill 138, has been low key, upstaged by his education bills. But what’s outlined in this 49-page, highly technical piece of legislation could have a far-reaching impact on the state treasury and jobs for Alaskans.

The measure sets the stage for the state to partner with natural gas producers to build the pipeline. It would create a state-owned company to work with natural gas producers, as well as change the tax structure for gas by switching from a “net” to a “gross” system of taxation.

It would also authorize the Department of Natural Resources commissioner to negotiate with producers.

The cost of building a pipeline could range from $45 billion to $65 billion. The Parnell administration said the state’s share of the investment should range from 20 to 25 percent, or about $9 to $11 billion dollars.

Some lawmakers want the state to have a bigger share of the ownership, so the state can have more control of the project. Others warn that more investment means more risk.

Hearings on this measure will begin next week. Both Republicans and Democrats were slow to react. They said they needed time to go over the bill to understand its implications.

The governor’s education bill generated more controversy. Senate Bill 139 includes an increase in the Base Student Allocation (BSA) — the amount of money the state sets aside for each Alaska student’s education.

The governor has been resistant to raising this rate, but said he would increase the BSA by about $200, spread out over the next three years.

Democrats reacted angrily and said this would not stem the massive layoffs planned in school districts across the state because the governor is only providing a quarter of what is needed.

A number of Republicans weren’t sure about their support for the BSA increase, but for different reasons. Some believe  the legislature has already done enough by steadily increasing funding for education in other areas.

Earlier the governor said the BSA would be subject to negotiation and tied to some of the other reforms in SB 139, such as more support for vocational and technical education, charter schools and regional boarding schools. It also scraps the high school exit exam and sets money aside for digital innovation.

The governor also wants the legislature to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would clear the way for students in private schools to receive public money for their education.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Anchorage Fire Department holds deep-fried turkey safety demo

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 23, 13:30

    Thanksgiving is around the corner. For many residents, deep-fried turkey is on the planned menu. Anchorage Fire Department battalion chief Mark Hall says deep fryer fires are responsible for about $15 million in damage to homes. Hall and other firefighters from the department held a demonstration Saturday of what could happen if deep frying a […]

  • News

    Downtown street party, multiple shootings overnight keep Anchorage police busy

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 23, 12:00

    Anchorage police responded to multiple incidents early Sunday morning, including an unruly street party and two isolated shootings. Downtown street party The first occurred at around 2:30 a.m., according to a release from the Anchorage Police Department. Police responded to a call that shots had been fired in the downtown area. Officers discovered a crowd […]

  • News

    UAF computer science students seek software proposals

    by Associated Press on Nov 23, 10:45

    Computer science students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks are looking for software design proposals as part of their learning process. UAF officials say the projects allow public service and private organizations, as well as governments, to get free software while students get experience. Officials say more than 65 successful projects have been developed by […]

  • News

    Diversity a theme at Walker transition conference in Anchorage

    by Shannon Ballard on Nov 22, 18:42

    It would be easy to have a closed-door discussion about the critical issues that face Alaska, but Gov.-elect Bill Walker says the conversation should belong to all Alaskans. “We get the best input the more people we have involved in the process,” said Walker. There is some risk associated with doing that. The bigger risk […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Nov. 22

    by KTVA Weather on Nov 22, 18:20

    Clouds have invaded our space for the weekend with little moisture here in the Anchorage area. Daytime highs remain in the mid 30s with light winds as we head into Saturday night. Sunday brings more of the same conditions with increasing clouds across the Bowl. We’ll remain under this dry spell going into Thanksgiving. Sunshine […]

  • Sports

    UAA volleyball signs 2 Dimond players

    by KTVA Sports on Nov 22, 18:02

    A pair of Dimond Lynx are heading to the level of volleyball, but the trip is a short one.

  • News

    Government Hill gives back, continues holiday tradition for one resident

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 22, 17:02

      Putting up Christmas lights and decorations is a holiday tradition for Government Hill resident Jeff Fowler. “It started when we lived on the south end of town,” said Fowler. “One at a time, started buying them and when we moved here, new and more stuff just started showing up.“ Over the years, the grand […]

  • News

    Obama highlights Sitka School District’s efforts in technology

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 22, 13:00

    This week, the Sitka School District got a shout-out from President Barack Obama. Superintendent of Sitka Schools Mary Wegner was in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, joining more than 100 superintendents from across the country gathered together at the White House for the ConnectED to the Future conference. The day-long event recognized some of the nation’s […]