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The 28th Alaska Legislature in plain English

Posted: May 6, 2014 - 11:01pm
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  Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire

Ninety-five days, 116 bills.

It’s not easy to know what the Alaska Legislature is up to, even if it’s your full-time job. There’s barely enough time to count the numbers, let alone figure out what’s behind them. Fortunately, the Capital City Weekly is here to help.

We’ve compiled a list of every bill and resolution passed by the 28th Alaska Legislature’s second session and summarized what each bill does, in a sentence or three. Allow us to cut through the smoke and give you what each bill means — with a handful of that Capital City snark.

Keep in mind, Gov. Sean Parnell has not signed all of these bills yet, and he could use his veto power to nix any.

•••

House bills (HB) start in the House of Representatives, but they can change form quite a bit before they’ve passed the House and Senate on their way to the governor.

HB 1

DURATION OF DRIVER’S LICENSE

Driver’s licenses are supposed to last for five years. Some foreign workers stay in the U.S. less than five years. This allows DMV to issue licenses to those workers.

HB 19

PERM. MOT. VEH. REGISTRATION/TRAILERS

You can now get a permanent license plate if your car is at least eight years old or you don’t live in a borough. You can also get a permanent license plate for your trailer. Anyone crippled or older than 65 can be exempted from license plate renewal fees.

HB 23

KNIK ARM CROSSING

The big bridge across Knik Arm north of Anchorage would be built by the state and given to the Knik Arm Bridge And Toll Authority after construction. KABATA can’t do any planning, bonding or take out any loans — the state has to.

HB 32

LINES OF BUSINESS ON BUSINESS LICENSE

If your business does a bunch of things, you only need one business license. If you’re a disabled veteran, you can get a free business license.

HB 47

INJUNCTION SECURITY: INDUSTRIAL OPERATION

If you sue to stop a mine or drilling operation and a court stops the operation so the case can go to trial, the mine or drilling company can require you to compensate them for their lost time if they win the lawsuit.

HB 60

UNIFORM REAL PROPERTY

TRANSFERS ON DEATH

If you die, this bill creates a standard form to give your things away.

HB 71

AK REGIONAL ECONOMIC

ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

There’s a Bering Sea hair crab fishery now.

HB 75

CONTRIBUTION FROM PFD:

AUDITS; UNIVERSITY

If you give money from your PFD to charity under Pick. Click. Give., 7 percent of that gift will be taken by the state to run Pick. Click. Give. You can now give money to the University of Alaska or a particular campus program (if they participate).

HB 116

PERS CREDIT FOR

MILITARY SERVICE

If you are a firefighter or police officer who served in the military, you can get a bonus in the state’s public employee retirement system. This defines how much of a bonus.

HB 121

COMMERCIAL FISHING

& AGRICULTURE BANK

The state’s Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank can now loan money to Alaska tourism-related businesses, even if their owners don’t live in the state. Fishing business owners receiving loans don’t have to live in Alaska, as long as they do their business in the state and they’re an American company. Loans can exceed $1 million. Anyone serving on the bank’s board has to be a state resident.

HB 127

OMBUDSMAN

This sets the state ombudsman’s pay and contracting rules.

HB 135

PETERSVILLE RECREATIONAL

MINING AREA

If you want to mine for gold south of Denali State Park, you can — and in a slightly larger area.

HB 140

REGULATIONS: NOTICE, REVIEW, COMMENT

If the federal government requires Alaska to write a new rule, state workers have to identify what law requires them to write the rule and say how much the new rule will cost the state and people who have to follow the new rule.

HB 141

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

MEDICAL FEES

If you’re injured on the job and have to fly to another state for treatment, your employer isn’t required to pay more than that other state’s workers’ compensation law requires.

HB 143

COMMERCIAL FISHING

CREWMEMBER LICENSES

If you buy a seven-day tourist commercial fishing license, you have to be a tourist. You can’t be a commercial fisherman buying a bunch of seven-day licenses because they’re cheaper than a regular crewmember license.

HB 154

NATURAL AND CULTURAL HISTORY REPOSITORIES

The state can designate state museums that aren’t the state museum in Juneau.

HB 160

LICENSING OF ATHLETIC TRAINERS

You can’t call yourself an athletic trainer without a license. This says what you need to do to get a license.

HB 161

AUCTIONS FOR BIG GAME

HARVEST PERMITS

Fish and Game can donate a lot more big game hunting permits for charity auctions, and those charities get to keep more of the money from the auction.

HB 167

ARCHITECTS, ENGINEERS,

SURVEYORS

If you’re a registered engineer, architect or surveyor, you can only sign stuff that’s in your field of expertise.

HB 169

RCA REGULATION OF TELEPHONE DIRECTORIES

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska doesn’t regulate phone books. (It still regulates all other aspects of telephone service.)

HB 193

MUNICIPAL TAXATION OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS

If a city or borough taxes tobacco, it can work with the state so both can collect taxes together.

HB 199

VPSO FIREARMS

Village public safety officers can carry guns.

HB 206

MOTOR VEHICLE SERVICE

CONTRACTS

Car service contracts (where the manufacturer pays for all maintenance in a set period) aren’t insurance. In fact, they’re really not insurance, and here are 10 pages of rules saying how they’re not insurance.

HB 210

SCHOOLS: RESTRAINT,

SECLUSION, CRISIS TRG

A school can lock up or tie down a kid who’s acting up, but only if it has rules saying how it can detain the kid. Those rules have to follow some state guidelines.

HB 211

EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONS

WITH DISABILITIES

The main goal of the Alaska Mental Trust Health Authority’s job training programs are to keep a disabled person “gainfully employed.” Here are five pages of what that means.

HB 212

DRIVER’S LICENSING EXEMPTION: MILITARY

Soldiers’ spouses aren’t required to get an Alaska driver’s license after they move here. You, on the other hand, still have to get one no more than 90 days after you move here.

HB 216

OFFICIAL LANGUAGES

OF THE STATE

The state’s official languages are English, Inupiaq, Siberian Yupik, Central Alaskan Yup’ik, Alutiiq, Unangax, Dena’ina, Deg Xinag, Holikachuk, Koyukon, Upper Kuskokwim, Gwich’in, Tanana, Upper Tanana, Tanacross, Hän, Ahtna, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian. It’s a ceremonial change — the state won’t start printing ballots in 20 languages.

HB 217

DR. WALTER SOBOLEFF DAY

Nov. 14 is Walter Soboleff Day.

HB 218

SENTENCING;AGGRAVATOR/

DEPORTATION STATUS

Just because a person can be deported, it doesn’t mean they can be eligible for a lesser jail sentence that keeps them from being deported.

HB 223

MUNI TAX EXEMPTION:

MIL. FACILITY ZONE

A borough or city can exempt an area from taxes for up to 10 years to attract military business.

HB 231

CATTLE BRAND REGISTRATION

The state doesn’t register cattle brands anymore.

HB 234

EXTEND REGULATORY COMMISSION OF ALASKA

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska will be around until at least 2022.

HB 239

EXTEND BOARD OF EXAMINERS IN OPTOMETRY

The Optometry Board of Examiners will be around until at least 2022.

HB 240

EXTEND BOARD OF CHIROPRACTIC EXAMINERS

The Chiropractic Board of Examiners will be around until at least 2022.

HB 241

EXTEND BOARD OF MARITAL

& FAMILY THERAPY

The Board of Marital and Family Therapy will be around until 2022.

HB 242

EXTEND PT & OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY BOARD

The state Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Board will be around until at least 2022.

HB 244

ADVISORY COMMISSION

ON FEDERAL MGT AREAS

The Citizens’ Advisory Commission on Federal Management Areas in Alaska will be around until June 30, 2021.

HB 246

CREAMER’S FIELD REFUGE;

WICKERSHAM HOUSE

This adds more land to the Creamer’s Field Waterfowl Refuge in Fairbanks and names the House of Wickersham the official home of the lieutenant governor. (It’ll still be a museum, too.)

HB 250

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ACTIONS

Doctors can’t be sued for saying sorry. If your doctor apologizes for leaving a sponge behind during heart surgery, it isn’t an admission of guilt.

HB 255

UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS

If you’re a police officer and fly a drone, you have to follow some rules. If you want to learn how to fly a drone, ask the University of Alaska.

HB 262

PROCUREMENT EXEMPTION:

PDA, OPA

The Alaska attorney general is no longer in charge of hiring lawyers to fight him. (Before, the attorney general was in charge of hiring lawyers for the Public Defender Agency and Office of Public Advocacy, which defend people who can’t afford to hire a lawyer.)

HB 263

EXTEND SENIOR BENEFITS

PAYMENT PROGRAM

The state’s senior benefits program won’t expire until 2018.

HB 266

APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS

Here’s $9.1 billion to run the state from July 1 to June 30, 2015. (It’s 2.2 percent less than last year.)

HB 267

APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET

This is the portion of the budget devoted to mental health. It’s broken out from the rest of the budget because Alaska is crazy and needs all the help it can get.

HB 268

BIG BULL MOOSE DERBIES;

SNOW TOWN ICE CL.

Charities can run moose derbies: Shoot a big moose, win a big prize. (Think a salmon derby for Interior Alaska.) Also, Valdez gets its version of the Nenana Ice Classic.

HB 269

IMMUNITY FOR VOL. HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

If you volunteer to help a sick person, it’s tougher to get sued.

HB 276

MOTOR VEHICLE DEALER

EMPLOYEES

If you’re a car salesman, you’re not covered under the state’s minimum wage law.

HB 278

EDUCATION

This is a big one: If you’re a kid in school, have a kid in school, know a kid in school or have seen a school, this bill affects you. It raises the amount the state pays schools for each student (disabled kids get more) from $5,680 to $5,830 next year, $5,880 in 2016 and $5,930 in 2017. Schools also get millions more in special one-time grants. If you’re a teacher in a low-performing school, you get out of jury duty. There’s more scholarship opportunities for students and a helping hand for charter schools, among other things.

HB 281

PRESCRIPTION WITHOUT PHYSICAL EXAMINATION

It’s OK if a doctor provides a prescription (for most drugs) without a physical exam.

HB 284

COMPACT FOR A BALANCED

BUDGET

The Legislature thinks the federal government should balance its budget.

HB 287

OIL ROYALTIES; TAX CREDIT

Alaska refineries can get up to $10 million in tax credits per year through 2020.

HB 292

2014 REVISOR’S BILL

Even the Legislature makes mistakes. This bill fixes a handful of grammatical mistakes and minor errors in statutes.

HB 293

LICENSE PLATES

There’s going to be a new license plate — with a BEAR on it. Also, firefighters and ambulance workers can get a special license plate.

HB 297

HOME ENERGY RATING SYSTEMS

The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority can borrow money for two mines in Southeast, and the Alaska Energy Authority can loan Sitka money for its Blue Lake dam.

HB 298

CONFIDENTIALITY OF

PERFORMANCE REVIEWS

State employee performance reviews are confidential now.

HB 301

STATE MED EXAMINER

POST MORTEMS AUTOPSIES

After an autopsy, the state will pay to send the body back home for burial.

HB 302

PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS

Accountants are so organized, they only need 30 days to respond to rule changes affecting them.

HB 305

JUNK DEALER & METAL SCRAPPER LICENSING

Despite the vocal objections of the meth lobby, scrap dealers are now required to record who sells them scrap.

HB 306

EVAL. INDIRECT EXPENDITURES; TAX CREDITS

Legislators will get more information on who’s spending money in government.

HB 308

ALASKA SECURITIES ACT

EXEMPTIONS

If you sell a share of an Alaska Native corporation, you don’t have to register that transfer with the state. If you’re a small business and you sell shares to fewer than 25 Alaskans, you don’t have to register, either.

HB 309

DISTILLERY LICENSES

Distilleries are now treated like breweries and wineries — they can offer tastings, sell liquor over the counter and let you tour the place.

HB 316

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

MEDICAL FEES

If you’re injured on the job, Medicare and Medicaid standards limit how much you’ll be paid to treat your injuries. (Hint: It’s less than the previous law.)

HB 328

BOARD/LICENSING OF MASSAGE THERAPISTS

If you give massages, you have to be licensed — and there’s a board of five people to make sure you are.

HB 357

ACCESS TO LICENSED PREMISES

If you’re the spouse of a soldier who goes to an American Legion or VFW bar, you can buy alcohol.

HB 361

LICENSING OF BEHAVIOR ANALYSTS

If you’re a behavior analyst, you have to be certified.

HB 366

INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT; FIREARMS

If an Alaska court says you’re too crazy to own a gun, it will tell the federal government. That makes it tougher to buy guns in other states (if you’re crazy).

HB 369

DRUG OVERDOSE: IMMUNITY

FROM PROSECUTION

If you’re found with drugs while getting help for a friend who’s overdosing on drugs, you can’t be prosecuted — assuming you cooperate with police.

HB 378

MOTOR VEHICLES: REGISTRATION, COMMERCIAL

If the federal government bans your company from operating, the state won’t license your business’ truck. If you drive a vehicle that’s been taken out of service, you can lose your commercial driver’s license. Oh, and having a learner’s permit at age 14 doesn’t mean you can drive a big rig. (The old law didn’t exclude commercial vehicles from the learner’s permit.)

HB 383

AK GASLINE DEVELOPMENT

CORP. BD MEMBERS

Residents of the Lower 49 can serve on the board of the company that intends to build a trans-Alaska gas pipeline.

HB 385

PERS/TRS STATE CONTRIBUTIONS

Here’s $3 billion from state savings to serve as a down payment on the state’s $11.9 billion pension debt. (This reduces annual payments on the debt to $369 million per year in the near future.)

•••

House Concurrent Resolutions (HCR) don’t have much binding power. They say what the Legislature thinks on topics it can’t act upon — federal law, for example. We’ve written these in first person to help you understand what the Legislature is thinking.

HCR 15

TASK FORCE ON UNMANNED

AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS

The group looking at rules for drones in Alaska can keep working until June 30, 2017.

HCR 18

BABY-FRIENDLY HOSPITAL

INITIATIVE

We like breast-feeding.

HCR 19

SUPPORTING EFFORTS OF

RECOVER ALASKA

Drinking too much alcohol is bad. Recover Alaska is a group trying to stop people from drinking too much and therefore is good.

HCR 21

CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH

April 2014 was Child Abuse Prevention Month.

HCR 22

IN-STATE REFINERIES;

TAPS QUALITY BANK

The state should sell its royalty oil below cost to help Alaska oil refineries make money, and the state should clean up the pollution caused by those oil refineries as they try to make money.

HCR 23

SUSPEND UNIFORM RULES

FOR SB 49

We’re running out of time to talk about abortion, so we’re going to ignore the rules that normally slow things down.

HCR 24

SUPPORTING DOG MUSHING

We like mushing. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals hates mushing.

HCR 28

SUSPEND UNIFORM RULES

FOR SB 138

We’re running out of time to talk about state funding for a trans-Alaska gas pipeline, so we’re going to ignore the rules that normally slow things down.

HCR 31

SUSPEND UNIFORM RULES

FOR SB 71

We’re running out of time to talk about fishery taxes, so we’re going to ignore the rules that normally slow things down.

HCR 32

SUSPEND UNIFORM RULES

FOR SB 157

We’re running out of time to talk about fire service areas, so we’re going to ignore the rules that normally slow things down.

HCR 34

SUSPEND UNIFORM RULES

FOR SB 99

We’re running out of time to talk about loans for two mines in Southeast, so we’re going to ignore the rules that normally slow things down.

HJR 15

FEDERAL CONTAMINATION OF ANCSA LANDS

The federal government should clean land before it gives the land to Native corporations.

HJR 19

BASE F-35 AIRCRAFT

AT EIELSON OR JBER

We want the military’s new $181 million fighters based in Alaska, because it’ll keep the military from closing our bases.

HJR 20

MEDICAL DEVICE TAX

We don’t like the federal tax on medical equipment.

HJR 22

FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL

CONVENTION

We think there should be a Constitutional convention so Americans can limit the power of the federal government.

HJR 23

GOOD FRIDAY EARTHQUAKE

REMEMBRANCE DAY

We think North America’s largest earthquake is worth remembering for a day, and that day was in March.

HJR 24

ARCTIC COUNCIL

When the United States chairs the international Arctic Council, don’t forget about Alaska, federal government!

HJR 25

VETERANS: AGENT ORANGE,

TOXIN EXPOSURE

If you were in the Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard during the Vietnam War, we think you should be compensated if you were exposed to Agent Orange.

HJR 26

OFFSHORE OIL & GAS

REVENUE SHARING

We think the federal government should give Alaska money for oil and gas it takes from federal waters off Alaska.

HJR 30

IZEMBEK LAND EXCHANGE

We think Cold Bay and King Cove should be connected by road.

•••

Senate bills (SB) start in the Senate, but they can change form quite a bit before they’ve passed the House and Senate on their way to the governor.

The Senate tends to work a bit slower than the House, since the margin between Democrats and Republicans is smaller. That means more compromise.

SB 49

MEDICAID PAYMENT FOR

ABORTIONS; TERMS

Because the Alaska Supreme Court said the state has to pay for “medically necessary abortions” under Medicaid, this is what “medically necessary” means.

SB 58

CANCEL INS. ON CERTAIN

ABANDONED PROPERTY

If you abandon your house or car, your insurance company can cancel your policy.

SB 71

FISHERY RESOURCE LANDING TAX, TAX CREDIT

Fish taxes are due later, and if you’re a herring fisherman, you can use a loan fund intended for salmon fishing improvements.

SB 74

UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA

BUILDING FUND

The University of Alaska needs to fix its buildings from time to time, so here’s a special savings account dedicated to that purpose.

SB 77

BIG GAME HUNTING

WITH CHILDREN

If you’re a grandparent, you can take your grandkids hunting for moose, bear and other big game during the special hunting season for kids. (Kids are doing the hunting, not being hunted.)

SB 99

AIDEA: DEVELOPMENT LOANS

Some legislation passed last year was vague, so the legislature made it less vague. Also, the state can loan money to two mines in Southeast.

SB 106

STATE LAND DISP./LEASEHOLDER PREFERENCE

If you lease state land, build a building on that land, and the state decides to sell the land, you get a chance to buy it before anyone else does.

SB 108

CONFIDENTIALITY OF CRIMINAL CASE RECORDS

If you’re acquitted of a crime or charges are dropped against you, the court records will be removed from online viewing 120 days later.

SB 110

RETURN OF SEIZED PROPERTY

A victim’s advocate can ask for a court hearing to get your stuff back if it was stolen from you and recovered by police during an investigation.

SB 116

SERVICE OF CITATIONS

Police can leave parking tickets on your car’s windshield. (A bill passed in 2010 accidentally made this practice illegal.)

SB 119

BUDGET: CAPITAL

Here’s a few billion dollars to spend on construction projects across the state. (Gov. Sean Parnell could still veto projects from the list.)

SB 124

EXTENDING COUNCIL

ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

The Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault will keep working through at least 2022.

SB 125

REJECT RECOMMENDATION OF COMP. COMMISSION

The legislature turns down raises recommended by the state compensation commission.

SB 128

ELECTRONIC BULLYING

If you insult someone younger than 18 online, you can go to jail. (Technically, they have to fear that you’ll physically harm them.)

SB 129

REAL ESTATE APPRAISERS

The Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers will keep working through at least 2018, and appraisers have to keep five years of records, not three years.

SB 132

MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION FEES SENIORS

If you’re 65 or older when your license plate fee is due, you don’t have to pay it. (Assuming you’ve filled out the official exemption form — you did that, didn’t you?)

SB 135

EXTEND ALASKA HEALTH CARE COMMISSION

The Alaska Health Care Commission will keep working through at least 2017.

SB 137

EXTEND SEISMIC HAZARDS

SAFETY COMMISSION

The Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission will keep working through at least 2020.

SB 138

GAS PIPELINE; AGDC;

OIL & GAS PROD. TAX

This is one of the big ones. Or, it may turn out to be nothing, as past trans-Alaska gas pipeline ideas have been. This bill allows a gas pipeline from the North Slope to Nikiski to advance to pre-engineering and design, it says the state will own a quarter of the pipeline, and it puts the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. in charge of the project.

SB 140

AIDEA: ARCTIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM/FUND

This creates a special savings account devoted to loaning money for construction of facilities north of the Arctic Circle. It’s supposed to be used to help develop an Arctic deep-water port, and it will be run by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, which provides state support to private projects.

SB 145

VETS’ RETIREMENT/LOANS/

HOUSING/EMPLOYMENT

If you serve in the military and die on duty but qualified for Alaska’s public retirement system, your family still gets your public employee death benefits. Also, this defines the term “veteran” when it comes to veterans benefits.

SB 148

KACHEMAK BAY CRITICAL

HABITAT AREA

Homer’s port and harbor have been removed from the Kachemak Bay Critical Habitat Area.

SB 156

DIRECT-ENTRY MIDWIVES

If you’re a midwife, you have to deliver 50 or more babies before becoming certified to train other midwives. You also have to follow a bunch of other policies set by the midwives’ board.

SB 157

FIRE PROTECTION SERVICE AREAS

Cities and boroughs can now remove homes from a fire protection area without holding an election.

SB 159

AIR AMBULANCE SERVICES

Medevac companies can offer membership programs. If you’re a member, you can get flown to treatment without paying the actual cost of the flight — just the monthly membership fee.

SB 162

HYDROCODONE PRESCRIPTION BY OPTOMETRISTS

Optometrists can prescribe drugs containing hydrocodone. (Hydrocodone is normally a controlled drug.)

SB 166

BOARD OF NURSING; NURSES

If you serve on the Board of Nursing as one of its nurse representatives, you have to be actively working as a nurse. There’s also a whole bunch of qualifications for education and employment.

SB 167

MULTIPLE VEHICLE INSURANCE POLICIES

If you have two cars and insure them with two separate insurance policies, you’re treated the same as if you insured them under one policy.

SB 169

IMMUNIZATION PROGRAM;

VACCINE ASSESSMENTS

The state will buy vaccines in bulk, then sell them at cost to hospitals and clinics, reducing the cost of your shots.

SB 171

MULTIDISCIPLINARY CHILD

PROTECTION TEAMS

This defines who will investigate cases of child abuse and neglect.

SB 173

SYNTHETIC DRUGS

Spice, synthetic drugs, and things not advertised as drugs but which are really drugs — are illegal. The problem lies in the definition: the legislature spends a few paragraphs here making its best effort.

SB 175

OFFICIAL STATE BOLT-ACTION RIFLE

The state’s official bolt-action rifle is the Winchester pre-1964 Model 70.

SB 183

EXTEND EMERGING ENERGY

TECHNOLOGY FUND

The state’s Emerging Energy Technology Fund will keep working until 2020. (It gives money to experimental power projects.)

SB 186

CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The Controlled Substances Advisory Committee will meet twice a year. (It recommends what drugs should be considered controlled substances.)

SB 187

CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION: MISCONDUCT, RLS

If you post a YouTube video (or photos or audio recordings) of a kid being interviewed for a child abuse investigation, you can be charged with a crime. (Yes, someone actually did this — posted a video of a kid describing how he was abused.)

SB 190

DELEGATION OF GUIDE-OUTFITTER DUTIES

Hunting guides can now pay unlicensed people to serve as laborers to haul meat, trophies or equipment in the field.

SB 191

GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND FUND TRANSFER

The state can temporarily loan itself money to cover construction costs, if bonds don’t make enough money.

SB 193

CONTRACTORS: BONDS; LICENSING

A building contractor can make a cash deposit in place of a surety bond. Also, a project worth less than $2,500 doesn’t need property and liability insurance.

SB 194

TOURISM MARKETING BOARD

The state now has a 21-person board to provide advice on marketing Alaska to tourists. You can’t join it unless you’re already a member of the state’s “leading statewide nonprofit tourism association” or a politician.

SB 195

POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION LOANS/GRANTS

The Alaska Student Loan Corporation can give more money to students, and at lower interest rates than the open market. The corporation can also consolidate student loans for residents. The bill requires undergraduates to take at least 15 credits per semester to stay “on time” and adjusts the dates of loans.

SB 200

WRONGFUL DEATH OF AN UNBORN CHILD

If someone kills a pregnant woman’s child, she or the father may sue the killer.

SB 201

NOTICE AGAINST TRESPASS

This repealed the regulations defining how a “No Trespassing” sign should be displayed.

SB 206

VEHICLE REGIS/LICENSING/

ACCIDENT REPORTS

You can renew your driver’s license, report a car accident and renew your license plate online.

SB 213

MUNICIPAL ELECTION BOARDS

Communities no longer have to create election boards for elections held by mail.

SB 214

PORTABLE ELECTRONICS INSURANCE ADJUSTERS

If you insure your cellphone, this bill outlines the rules the cellphone company has to follow. (For one, it doesn’t have to be an Alaska company.)

SB 218

MUNI BOND BANK; UAF HEAT & PWR PLANT

The Alaska Municipal Bond Bank (which borrows money and lends it to cities and boroughs) can borrow $1.5 billion (its old limit was $1 billion). It now lend money to the University of Alaska, too.

•••

Senate Concurrent Resolutions (SCR) don’t have much binding power. They say what the Legislature thinks on topics it can’t act upon — federal law, for example. We’ve written these in first person to help you understand what the Legislature is thinking.

SCR 2

ACQUIRE TONGASS NATIONAL

FOREST LAND

We think Congress should give Alaska more of the Tongass National Forest so we can log it.

SCR 9

SUSPEND UNIFORM RULES FOR HB 71

We’re running out of time to talk about creating a Bering Sea hair crab fishery, so we’re going to ignore the rules that normally slow things down.

SCR 13

FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDER

We think Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is bad, and the governor should do something about it.

SCR 14

H&SS REGIONAL BEST PRACTICE MODELS

We think Alaska has a lot of problems with alcohol, rape, drug abuse and suicide, and somebody should do something about it.

SCR 17

150TH ANNIVERSARY OF ALASKA PURCHASE

The 200th anniversary of the Alaska Purchase is coming up in 2017; we should do something to celebrate.

SCR 18

SUSPEND UNIFORM RULES FOR HJR 15

We’re running out of time to talk about asking the federal government to clean land it gives to Native corporations, so we’re going to ignore the rules that normally slow things down.

SCR 19

SUSPEND UNIFORM RULES FOR HJR 19

We’re running out of time to talk about asking the federal government to send F-35 fighter planes to Alaska, so we’re going to ignore the rules that normally slow things down.

SCR 20

SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH

We think sexual assault and rape are bad, and we think you should be aware of it in April.

SCR 21

SUSPEND UNIFORM RULES

FOR HB 23

We’re running out of time to talk about the Knik Arm Bridge, so we’re going to ignore the rules that normally slow things down.

SCR 22

SUSPEND UNIFORM RULES

FOR HJR 25

We’re running out of time to talk about asking the federal government to recognize Navy and Air Force veterans’ Agent Orange claims, so we’re going to ignore the rules that normally slow things down.

SCR 23

SUSPEND UNIFORM RULES

FOR HB 75

We’re running out of time to talk about adding the University of Alaska to Pick. Click. Give., so we’re going to ignore the rules that normally slow things down.

SCR 25

SUSPEND UNIFORM RULES

FOR HB 193

We’re running out of time to talk about simplifying tobacco tax codes, so we’re going to ignore the rules that normally slow things down.

SCR 26

SUSPEND UNIFORM RULES

FOR HB 47

We’re running out of time to talk about lawsuits affecting drilling and mining, so we’re going to ignore the rules that normally slow things down.

SCR 27

SUSPEND UNIFORM RULES

FOR HB 246

We’re running out of time to talk about naming a lieutenant governor’s house, so we’re going to ignore the rules that normally slow things down.

SCR 28

SUSPEND UNIFORM RULES

FOR HB 385

We’re running out of time to talk about adding $3 billion to the state employee pension system, so we’re going to ignore the rules that normally slow things down.

SCR 29

SUSPEND UNIFORM RULES

FOR HB 278

We’re running out of time to talk about education reform, so we’re going to ignore the rules that normally slow things down.

SCR 30

SUSPEND UNIFORM RULES

FOR HB 306

We’re running out of time to talk about tax credits, so we’re going to ignore the rules that normally slow things down.

SCR 31

SUSPEND UNIFORM RULES

FOR HB 287

We’re running out of time to talk about tax credits for oil refineries in Alaska, so we’re going to ignore the rules that normally slow things down.

SJR 15

OPPOSE INTERNATIONAL

DESIGNATING OF LAND

We really want the federal government to stop creating parks in and near Alaska. There’s too many already.

SJR 22

OPPOSE WARRANTLESS

DATA COLLECTION

We read what Edward Snowden said, and we think what the NSA is doing is bad.

SJR 24

VETERANS HEALTH

ADMINISTRATION POLICIES

We believe the Veterans Health Administration is fighting a War on Christmas.

 

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