JUNEAU — Gas, guns and oil taxes are among the highlights on this week’s legislative agenda. Here are three things to watch for:
The House and Senate Judiciary committees are set to take up resolutions aimed at the executive actions on guns taken by President Barack Obama last month. HJR4, by Rep. Charisse Millett, R-Anchorage, urges Obama to rescind his orders and Congress to not pass legislation restricting gun ownership rights. SJR6, by Sen. Fred Dyson, R-Eagle River, urges Congress to not relinquish to the president the legislative duty “to safeguard our most fundamental right.”
Following a deadly shooting at a school in Connecticut in December, Obama announced 23 executive actions aimed at reducing gun violence, including launching a national dialogue on mental health, calling for a campaign on responsible gun ownership and addressing issues related to background checks. His actions have been referred to as executive orders, a term of art for a document the president signs. The White House says they’re more correctly referred to as executive actions.
On Wednesday, along with HJR4, House Judiciary is set to hear HB24, which would allow for use of deadly force in self-defense, in any place the person has a right to be. Rep. Mark Neuman, R-Big Lake, has tried for years, without success, to get the bill passed. Debate over his proposal last year came amid controversy over “Stand Your Ground” laws following the deadly shooting of a Florida teenager.
House Resources is scheduled to hold its first hearing Monday on HB4, a measure Reps. Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage, and Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, aimed at advancing an in-state natural gas pipeline project. The bill is a priority for Chenault, Alaska’s House speaker, who has said the in-state project looks to be the only pipeline project moving forward in Alaska. A different version of the bill died last year in the Senate, where concerns were raised about the power that would have been given to the group behind the project, the cost and what customers would pay.
Industry representatives have been invited to testify Tuesday before a special Senate committee on the oil flow through the trans-Alaska pipeline. Committee co-chair Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, has said he hopes to advance the measure by Thursday, sending it on to Senate Resources for further review, but his committee has issued public notice for a Saturday meeting, in case that target isn’t met.