by Rep. Zach Fansler
May 24, 2017
The Legislature has begun a special session by an order from Governor Walker. During a special session the Legislature focuses specifically on items in the order initiating a special session. Read more below to learn more about the special session and other updates.
Bills in Special Session
HB 57 – Appropriations: operating budget, loans, and funds, This appropriations bill encompasses the operating budget for the State of Alaska. It is currently in a conference committee which includes three senators and three representatives.
HB 59 – Mental Health Budget. this appropriations bill is the budget for the Alaska Mental Health Trust. It is currently in conference committee with HB 57.
HB 111 – Credits against the oil and gas production tax. This bill would restructure the oil and gas tax credits in a way that helps ensure oil companies contribute their fair share for developing our resources. The House and Senate have failed to agree on the same version of the bill so it is currently waiting for conference committee members to be selected to collaborate and find agreement on the bill.
HB 159 or SB 79 – Prescription of opioids, the controlled substance prescription database, and the Voluntary Nonopioid Directive Act. These bills seek to address the recent surge in opioid overdoses by implementing additional measures to control access to prescription opioids. HB 159 is currently being debated on the House Floor. SB 79 is in the Senate Finance committee.
SB 23 – Capital budget and supplemental appropriations. This bill is the capital budget bill and is currently in the House Finance committee.
SB 26 – Appropriations limit, the Alaska Permanent Fund, and the use of the earnings reserve account. This bill would restructure the Alaska Permanent Fund draws to allow a payment of at least $1250/person and allows some of the funding to be used for the state budget. This bill is currently in a conference committee to negotiate the differences between the House version and the Senate version.
On May 16th, the House and the Senate held a joint session to confirm Governor Walker’s appointments to various executive branch positions. 100 of the 101 appointments were confirmed, with the sole exception of Drew Phoenix, appointed to the state commission protecting human rights. Many of the positions have already been occupied by their appointees, but required approval from the House and Senate to continue in their positions.
As soon as my duties are finished here in Juneau and the legislative session comes to a close, I look forward to heading home to District 38. The best part of my summer, though, will be visiting communities across the region. No matter where you live, please contact my office at [email protected] and let me know when community events are happening in your area. I am eager to discuss your thoughts, concerns, and ideas, so do not hesitate to reach out.
Have a good one.
Rep. Zach Fansler, Alaska State Representative District 38 – Bethel.