Energy, education, tax laws have inside track for passage 

By Tim Bradner at the Alaska Journal of Commerce: The countdown to April 18 is under way in the state Legislature. That’s the 90th day, when lawmakers must adjourn and all bills not yet approved will hit the dumpster. Meanwhile, bills are piling up in the finance committees in both the House and Senate. All legislation with financial implications, which covers the majority of bills, must be reviewed by the finance committees to consider their budgetary implications. More than 200 bills are now in both finance committees and wagers are being made as to how many will actually emerge from those committees, most likely quite few.

Senate Finance co-chair Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, said his committee will give priority to three sets of issues besides the capital and operating budgets, which are the Legislature’s constitutional responsibilities. These include several bills related to energy, several related to education — including some form of Gov. Sean Parnell’s university scholarship proposal — and a change in the way the state oil and gas production tax is administered, Stedman said in a March 16 briefing by Senate leaders. Read more

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