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THE 24TH ALASKA STATE LEGISLATIVE 2ND SESSION

House Majority Newsletter
Issue 3
Feb. 28, 2006

It is day 80 of the second session of the 24th Alaska State Legislature, and lawmakers are busy trying to get a budget passed and a new oil tax agreed upon, in addition to all of their other legislation.

The legislature has been working diligently on producing a sustainable budget, while also maintaining programs and saving a substantial portion of the surplus. The House Finance Committee has produced an Operating Budget that the members believe achieve this in the best way possible.

The House Resources Committee spent the better part of March examining the Governor's proposed Petroleum Production Tax plan, House Bill 488. A committee substitute was drafted and passed out of committee Friday, March 17th. HB 488 is currently being heard in the House Finance Committee.

The Resources Committee Co-chairs, Representative Ralph Samuels (R-Anchorage) and Representative Jay Ramras (R-Fairbanks), worked hard to achieve a balanced and progressive plan to benefit all Alaskans. Representative Samuels has written an Opinion Editorial that may offer new insight into the process and goal of this new oil tax system.

With the link between a natural gasline and new oil tax system still unclear, the House Republican Majority has continued their campaign to educate all Alaskans about the opportunities that face the state. The Majority hosted an open Caucus on March 2nd, featuring representatives from TransCanada. Another open caucus of this nature was held on Thursday, March 23rd, with Harold Heinze, CEO of Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority.

Despite the busy legislative session, a few members were able to attend the Federal Energy and Environmental Matters Conference in Washington, D.C., in early March. Representative Norman Rokeberg (R-Anchorage), a member of the Energy Council's Executive Committee, was one of the Alaskan lawmakers to make the trip. The council focuses on the issues surrounding oil production, providing insight for the decisions our lawmakers are facing.

In their time off, a few legislators have helped raise money for charities, while others have welcomed new additions. Representative Gatto (R-Palmer) raised more than $2,500 for children's cancer research by shaving his head at a fundraiser known as St. Baldrick's. Several legislative staff joined the Representative in going bald for a good cause, at the March 17th event, held at Juneau's Hanger on the Wharf. Last week, however, the attention of the Majority has been on another bald man, Grayson David McGuire Anderson. Grayson, son of Representatives Tom Anderson (R-Anchorage) and Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage) was welcomed to Juneau on March 21st.

Family issues seem to be a recurring theme this session. House Bill 408, The Family Rights Act 2006, sponsored by Representative Coghill (R-North Pole) passed the House last week; the Senate is now considering it.


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