by Senator Lyman Hoffman
Day 67, week 9 of the 31st legislature. Senate Finance had a productive week, on Monday the Finance committee received an update of the Spring Revenue Forecast from Commissioner Tangeman. On Tuesday, Finance moved CSSB 38(FIN) out of committee. The bill addresses recovery funds going to transportation damages that happened during the Earthquake in January. Six million dollars of state funds will be used to match 60 million dollars total of federal aid. CSSB 38(FIN) will go to the Rules committee next before making it to the floor for a vote.
On Thursday, Finance heard from Bill Falsey the Municipal Manager for the Municipality of Anchorage on the estimated cost to repair the Port of Anchorage. This is a big ticket item, cost estimates have fluctuated around the $2 billion range.
In other news around the capital Senate Education Committee heard and held one of my bills. SB 74 raises the minimum amount of megabytes per second that school districts get, who qualify for a discounted rate for Internet services under the federal universal services program. Right now, school districts that apply get a minimum of 10 megabytes per second. SB 74 is trying to bring that minimum threshold to 25 megabytes per second.
Community and Regional Affairs met on Thursday to take up SB 63. This bill was brought forth by request of the Governor. SB 63 repeals the fisheries business tax split to municipalities, repeal the refunds to local governments of fisheries business taxes, also repeal revenue sharing for the fisheries resource landing tax. If the bill makes it out of Community and Regional Affairs, it will then go to Finance before making it to the floor for a vote.
March Madness started this week. You know what that means… PFD’s are almost due!! The deadline to fill for a PFD is the end of March. When filing for your PFD, you can “Pick, Click, Give” and you also have an opportunity to play the Alaska Education Lottery.