JUNEAU, Alaska—With just one day left in the regular session, the Alaska State Senate finally passed a long-awaited measure to provide a substantial oil tax break for explorers.
The Bill -- an amended version of House Bill 276 -- leaves the old ACES tax system in place for existing fields. But it would extend a 30% tax credit for explorers who find and produce new fields.
Sean Parnell has been asking for. And those who back it say it will help re-fill the Trans Alaska Pipeline. Critics argued -- that by applying a 30% tax credit only to new finds -- it will take 10 years or more to bring any new oil to TAPS.
The measure now moves on to the House -- where it's fate is uncertain. It must first pass through the Rules Committee -- where it may be modified. Then it goes to the house floor.
Tomorrow will mark a dramatic finish to a session that moved quite slowly for 89 days, and then suddenly -- in the final 36 hours -- saw a big flurry of legislative activity.
Also on the agenda for tomorrow (Sunday) a film-tax credit extension..... and a measure which would require insurance companies in our state to cover autism.
Finalization of the budget -- with some additional money for schools -- is also on the House's agenda. The last-minute addition of $50 million to school budgets was simultaneously welcomed and criticized by the NEA, which said it was a step in the right direction... But less than adequate. The organization would have liked to have seen $100 million in added funding.
It all makes for an exciting ending to the regular session. An ending with oil tax changes still far from certain... And a proposal for some sort of in-state natural gas pipeline still unresolved.
One thing is clear: If the next 24 hours is anything like the last 24 hours, it will be a dramatic end to the 90-day session.