During the second session of the 27th Legislature several business and natural resources-related legislative bills moved through the House and Senate, and some didn’t find their way out.
This wrap-up covers the outcomes of some of these, and other related bills.
Two health related Senate sponsored bills moved through committees right up to the end, but finished without passing out of House Labor and Commerce Committee.
The bills were Senate versions of bills sponsored by local legislator Rep. Cathy Muñoz.
Co-sponsors Rep. Cathy Muñoz, R-Juneau and Rep. Peggy Wilson, R-Wrangell, wrote House Bill 259 to address a number of the grievances pharmacists have with the benefit management industry — the go between for pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies. The auditing practices of benefit management companies have been onerous, Alaskan pharmacists said. HB 259 did not pass the House.
However Senate Bill 217 moved through Senate Labor and Commerce and Finance Committees with committee substitutes and was passed to the House one day before the end of the second session. It was referred to House Labor and Commerce Committee on Sunday but was not heard.
Naturopaths in Alaska have found it harder to procure remedies they’ve traditionally offered thief patients. Senate Bill 175 was written to strengthen naturopaths hand by codifying current regulations pertaining to what is considered a naturopathic medicine and naturopaths right to obtain their remedies.
Its House version was House Bill 266, sponsored by Rep. Muñoz, did not leave its first committee. (bit.ly/JCop2V)
These bills did not pass in time:
• House Bill 168 short titled Injunction Security: Industrial Operation was introduced by Rep. Feige early in the first session. (bit.ly/IZk2md)
Rep. Feige’s bill would have advised judges considering whether to require a bond and where to set the amount of the bond when issuing an injunction, to “include an amount for the payment of wages and benefits for employees and payments to contractors and subcontractors that may be lost if the industrial operation is wrongfully enjoined," according to the bill text.
It was referred to House Judiciary Committee and was heard and amended being moved out of committee in April 2011. The House of Representatives passed the bill to the Senate several days later. In the Senate, HB 168 was referred to Labor and Commerce and Judiciary Committees. It was moved to Judiciary on March 20 and heard and held once before the session ended.
• House Bill 118 Research and Development tax credit was introduced early in the first session. (bit.ly/JdRbKv) It was written to incentivize certain types of research and development through tax credits. Only increased amounts of research would be rewarded and unused portions of the credit can be used within 7 years.
• HB 118 worked its way through the House of Representatives before moving to the Senate. The Senate Resources Committee moved the bill with one vote of due pass and a committee substitute. The bill was in Senate Finance Committee when the session ended.
• SB 175, a bill that defines naturopathic practice in state law, was introduced early in the second session by Sen. Lesil McGuire R-Anchorage. It passed the Senate on April 13 and was referred to House Labor and Commerce Committee, but was not heard before the session ended.
The Alaska Legislature is split into two sessions, currently each 90 days long.
A bill introduced at any time during session, or in pre-file a few days before, must be passed by the Legislature before the end of the second session unless the governor calls a special session — which Governor Sean Parnell did for certain bills.
• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.