• 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

  • Sports

    UAA teams take in local honors

    by Dave Goldman on Aug 25, 21:51

    Coming off the success of a season ago, the UAA women’s basketball and volleyball teams were recognized by local lawmakers for their performances on the court. Proclamations were awarded at Alaska Airlines Center Wednesday. Alaska Senator Berta Gardener listed the basketball accomplishment, which were headlined by a trip the national championship game. State representative Andy […]

  • On-Air

    Alaska Fishing Report for Aug. 25, 2016

    by Carlos Faura on Aug 25, 21:28

    Anchorage Silvers are still spotty at Ship Creek, where there are some pinks and chums to catch. Some silvers are being caught at Campbell Creek in the sections open for fishing. Jewell Lake was stocked this week with rainbow trout and they are biting now. Mat-su All the rivers and streams have high water and […]

  • Lifestyle

    UAF opens HAARP to the public

    by Bonney Bowman on Aug 25, 21:03

    A site long rumored to have the power to control the weather and even people’s minds is opening its doors to show the public what really happens. The University of Alaska Fairbanks recently took over the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP, from the Air Force. The university decided to open the facility […]

  • News

    Alaska State Fair begins, celebrates 80 years of festivities

    by Lauren Maxwell on Aug 25, 20:50

    It’s a day that many people look forward to all year. Thursday, the Alaska State Fair opened it’s doors for it’s annual run at the fairgrounds in Palmer. Marketing manager Dean Phipps said the fair is celebrating it’s 80th anniversary this year. Phipps said there is something new to look forward to every year, but […]

  • News

    Police, SWAT responding to armed and barricaded person inside Spenard apartment

    by on Aug 25, 20:35

    The Anchorage Police Department and SWAT are responding to a barricaded person in the Spenard area. Few details were immediately available, but in a release from police they wrote that they were called to an apartment complex on the 3900 block of Northwood Drive around 5 p.m. for a disturbance, involving a weapon, between a […]

  • News

    At Goose Creek Prison, a program for second chances

    by Eric Ruble on Aug 25, 20:17

    Terral Wright has been a professional barber for about six months. A customer favorite at AK Fadez in South Anchorage, he prides himself on his attention to detail. “I’m turning this into a career path,” said Wright. His arrival at AK Fadez came after a long journey through the justice system. He was sentenced to […]

  • News

    Wasilla Library moves to new, multimillion-dollar facility

    by Heather Hintze on Aug 25, 19:01

    The Wasilla Public Library is on the move. The Main Street location will be closed for the next month while staff get settled into their new building on Crusey Street. With the help of AAA Moving and Storage they’re packing up all 55,000 books and loading them onto carts in a systematic order. “It’s a […]

  • Weather

    Garden Report: The art of bonsai at the Alaska State Fair

    by Rachael Penton on Aug 25, 17:13

    If you’ve ever been to the Alaska State Fair, then you’ve probably seen the exhibit a time or two. The Cook Inlet Bonsai Study Group has been displaying their bonsai trees at the fair for more than 20 years. Paul Marmora, a long time member of the group, has an extensive collection of his own. […]