NFIB/Alaska State Director Denny DeWitt reports from the State Capitol on the legislative week ending May 13, 2016
The Legislature is still lumbering toward adjournment. The constitutional limit of 121 days occurs on Wednesday, May 18. The Legislature can vote to extend 10 days beyond that date. There seems to be growing hope that adjournment can happen sooner rather than later.
The House passed House Bill 247 dealing with oil and gas taxes and credits May 13. The House had been struggling to find a version that could gain 21 votes. The Senate Finance Committee began hearings on HB 247 the day after and held public testimony May 14.
On Friday the Senate passed the Capital Budget, Senate Bill 138. The House will begin its consideration shortly.
On May 11, Senate Bill 921, the omnibus crime bill, passed the House on reconsideration. The Senate concurred with House amendments, May 13. It is on its way to Gov. Bill Walker and is expected to be signed into law.
NFIB fought successfully to include several amendments:
- Changing the increase of the felony theft threshold from the originally proposed $2,000 to the $1,000 level
- Consumer Price Index adjustment of felony threshold every five years
- Increase in the maximum fine for misdemeanor theft from $10,000 to $25,000
- Language stating that common law civil forfeiture actions are abolished if used instead for a criminal proceeding.