3 things to watch for in the Legislature this week

JUNEAU — State legislative committees have wasted no time delving into issues such as oil taxes and the budget since the Legislature convened earlier this month. Here are three things coming up this week:


Public Testimony

The public is getting a chance to weigh in on Gov. Sean Parnell’s oil tax plan during Senate hearings Tuesday and Thursday.

The Senate special committee on oil flow through the trans-Alaska pipeline met twice last week, hearing from the administration and the consulting firm that advised the administration.

Co-chair Peter Micciche had said he expected to hear from industry this week, but the schedule was rearranged, and the committee is now set to hear from the administration again, on Tuesday, and from the Legislature’s consultant on oil taxes, PFC Energy, on Thursday, before taking public testimony each day. The panel is set to meet late both days — until 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and 7 p.m. Thursday — to hear from the public.


Lawmakers are scheduled to get updates on the proposed Knik Arm bridge project on Tuesday before a joint meeting of the House and Senate Transportation committees and the new Goose Creek prison on Wednesday in House Judiciary.

Bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate to help advance the bridge project, which would connect Anchorage to land near Point MacKenzie.

Supporters have argued the project would create new opportunities for business development and could pay for itself.

But questions were raised last session about the project and obligation to the state.

Meanwhile, the Judiciary hearing also is slated to include discussion of recidivism rates in Alaska and prison rehabilitation.

Weekend get-together

Saturday committee hearings, in recent years at least, have been the fallback for legislators pressed for time near the end of session.

This year, the first Saturday hearing of the Legislature is scheduled for this weekend, with Senate Resources taking up two of the governor’s bills, related to state lands and permitting authority for dredge and fill operations.

The bills are SB26 and SB27.


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