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Promoting Economic Development

The Republican-led Majority understands that the foundation of Alaska's economy is its natural resources, but that business and federal government activities also make a strong contribution. Accordingly, the Majority passed legislation that promotes development of our resources, improves the financial environment, and encourages continued federal investment in our state by both civilian and military agencies.

House Bill 24: Borough Revenues for Tourism Marketing
Sponsored by Rep. Jim Whitaker
House Bill 24 amends state law to allow boroughs to fund tourism marketing programs with revenues from a bed tax.

House Bill 154: Collection of Fishery Business Taxes
Sponsored by Rep. Drew Scalzi
House Bill 154 exempts certain fish brokers from certain state bonding requirements related to payment of fisheries business taxes. Under the bill, brokers who buy and sell but do not process, fishery products and who pay their annual tax liability on a monthly basis will be exempt from more stringent bonding required of fish processors, as long as they either post a $50,000 bond or prove to the state they own $100,000 worth of lienable real property in Alaska.

House Bill 156: Municipal Debt for Development Projects
Sponsored by Rep. Lesil McGuire
House Bill 156 eliminates a confusing element of the state's tax increment financing law that seemed to require developers of public facilities using that method of financing to obtain a separate fiscal analysis and potentially provide separate collateral for each project.

House Bill 194: Entry Permit Fees
Sponsored by Rep. Gary Stevens
House Bill 194 stops the state from charging non-resident commercial fishermen three times the resident rate for limited entry permits, as was struck down by the Alaska Superior Court, and instead lets the state set non-resident permit rates at the maximum amount allowed under whatever formula is approved by the courts following appeal of the issue to the Alaska Supreme Court.

House Bill 234: Bonds to Fund Public Facilities
Sponsored by Rep. the House Finance Committee
House Bill 234 authorizes the state to issue bonds secured by the anticipated future revenue stream from a national tobacco liability settlement, and use the funds to pay for construction and maintenance of public schools, purchase real estate for the university of Alaska-Anchorage, and provide for improvements in harbors and port facilities.

House Bill 244: Right-of-Way to Denali Borough for Railroad/Utility
Sponsored by Rep. Jeannette James
House Bill 244 authorizes the Department of Natural Resources to cooperate with the Denali Borough and private holding company to begin the process of establishing a railroad and utility corridor from near Healy to the eastern end of the Denali National Park and Preserve, to spur economic development in the Denali Borough.

">House Joint Resolution 6: Roadless Policy
Sponsored by Rep. Peggy Wilson
House Joint Resolution 6 declares Alaska's opposition to former President Clinton's inclusion of the Tongass and Chugach National Forests in a national ban on road construction in national forests.

House Joint Resolution 7: Endorsing ANWR Leasing
Sponsored by Rep. Beverly Masek
House Joint Resolution 7 expresses the continuing desire of the Alaska Legislature to see the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge opened to petroleum exploration and development.

House Joint Resolution 10: Groundfish Fisheries and Steller Sea Lions
Sponsored by the House Resources Committee
House Joint Resolution 10 endorses U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens' efforts to delay closure of Alaska's largest ground fishery and to provide more research funding so fisheries management decisions aimed at protecting Steller sea lion populations will be guided by sound science.

House Joint Resolution 19: Digital Orthoimagery and Elevation Data
Sponsored by the House Resources Committee
House Joint Resolution 19 calls on the federal government to fund a $100 million, comprehensive high-resolution digital orthoimagery and elevation survey of the entire state. Such imaging would replace the obsolete U.S. Geological Survey maps of Alaska with a highly accurate database, including geographic contours and elevations, that could provide wide benefits in land use, resource development, public access, public safety, transportation, land use planning and many other applications.

House Joint Resolution 26: Steller Sea Lion Research Team to Alaska
Sponsored by Rep. Gary Stevens
House Joint Resolution 26 calls on the National Marine Fisheries Service to relocate a team performing research into Alaska's declining Steller sea lion from Seattle to Alaska.

House Joint Resolution 28: Alaska Airlines Service to Washington
Sponsored by the House Rules Committee
House Joint Resolution 28 expresses the Legislature's request to the U.S. Department of Transportation to approve Alaska Airlines' application to obtain landing privileges at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, to allow the carrier to improve jet passenger service from Alaska into Washington, D.C.

Senate Bill 60: Farm Operations: Disclosure/Nuisances
Sponsored by Sen. Lyda Green
Senate Bill 60 adds protection to existing agriculture operations and would protect new property owners within one mile of the operation through full disclosure that they are buying property close to an agricultural facility.

Senate Bill 76: Right-of-Way Leasing Act: Term and Renewal
Sponsored by Sen. Gene Therriault
Senate Bill 76 increases the maximum term of right-of-way lease renewals from the current 10 years to 30 years. The bill would also allow for the extension of existing leases under current terms if the lessee has applied for renewal, but the terms of the lease are still under negotiation at the date of expiration.

Senate Bill 77: Net Profit Share Under/Over Payments
Sponsored by Sen. John Torgerson
Senate Bill 77 requires the Department of Natural Resources to calculate interest on small over or underpayments of royalty if the interest is $150 or less. The department is currently exempted from these calculations because it was not cost effective to track them. With the advent of a computer tracking system and electronic wiring of funds, these small amount transactions can be cost-effectively calculated and collected or repaid.

Senate Bill 84: Public Utility Joint Action Agencies
Sponsored by Sen. Robin Taylor
Senate Bill 84 clarified the status of the Joint Action Agency, created to purchase and own the Four Dam Pool hydroelectric facilities, with regard to taxes, regulation, and its relationship with the member utilities.

Senate Bill 121: Right-of-Way Leasing Act
Sponsored by Sen. Loren Leman
Senate Bill 121 clarifies Alaska's Right-of-Way Leasing Act and assist the permitting process for a North Slope gas pipeline. The bill identifies when design revision constitutes a "substantial change" in an application and requires restarting the entire administrative process.

Senate Bill 137: Alaska Human Resources Investment Council
Sponsored by Sen. John Torgerson
Senate Bill 137 extends allocations to several vocational education facilities around the state for program development and improvement.

Senate Bill 143: Right-of-Way Leasing Act: Application Cost
Sponsored by the Senate Resources Committee
Senate Bill 143 authorizes the State of Alaska to be reimbursed for work performed by the State Pipeline Coordinator's Office (SPCO) in preparing to receive and process an application for a gas pipeline right-of-way lease. It also clarifies that an applicant must reimburse the SPCO for costs incurred in processing an application whether or not the application is granted.

Senate Bill 152: DOTPF Related Contract Claims
Sponsored by Sen. John Cowdery
Senate Bill 152 requires that when a contract settlement with the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities in dispute is finally settled in favor of the contractor, that interest must be paid to the contractor on the settlement amount for the time the contract was in dispute.

Senate Bill 156: Best Interest Finding Under Alaska Land Act
Sponsored by the Senate Resources Committee
Senate Bill 156 amends the Alaska Land Act to clarify the requirement of a single written best-interest finding required for the sale, lease, or other disposal of state land or resources, or an interest in them.

Senate Bill 158: Report: State Participate in Natural Gas Pipeline
Sponsored by the Senate Resources Committee
Senate Bill 158 requires the commissioner of the Department of Revenue to present a comprehensive report, with recommendations, addressing ownership and financing options for the proposed gas pipeline to the legislature and the governor no later than Jan. 31, 2002. The report must also include how participation in the gas pipeline might affect the state's cash flow, its credit worthiness, and its ability to continue to pay for essential public services. SB 158 moves to the Senate Finance Committee.

Senate Bill 164: No Gas Pipeline Over Beaufort Sea
Sponsored by the Alaska Senate
Senate Bill 164 prohibits leases under the Right-of-Way Leasing Act on the State of Alaska's submerged lands in the Beaufort Sea. This would remove the proposed "over-the-top" natural gas pipeline route from consideration.

Senate Bill 218: International Airports: Bonds/Construction Funds
Sponsored by Sen. John Cowdery
Senate Bill 218 allows the State of Alaska to issue $450 million in revenue bonds over the next five years to fund construction projects at the international airports in Anchorage and Fairbanks. The bonds would be repaid by fees that air carriers pay to use the airports.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 14: Joint Committee on Natural Gas Pipelines
Sponsored by the Senate Rules Committee
Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 creates the Joint Committee on Natural Gas Pipelines. The committee, comprised of members of the House and Senate, will have the authority to act on behalf of the Legislature in protecting and advocating for Alaska's natural gas interests during the interim between the first and second session of the 22nd Alaska Legislature. The committee will be able to hold hearings and hire consultants as needed, and will propose any necessary legislation to be considered during the next session.

Senate Joint Resolution 3: F-22 Raptor Aircraft At Elmendorf AFB
Sponsored by Sen. Loren Leman
Senate Joint Resolution 3 encourages the Air Force to base the new F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft at Elmendorf Air Force Base.

Senate Joint Resolution 7: Reinstate Wilderness Study Prohibition
Sponsored by the Senate Resources Committee
Senate Joint Resolution 7 urges President Bush to reinstate the federal directive that Bureau of Land Management land in Alaska may not be considered for wilderness reviews in accordance with the "no more clause" of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). This directive was reversed by former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt in a last-minute action at the end of President Clinton's administration.

Senate Joint Resolution 9: National Missile Defense System
Sponsored by Sen. Loren Leman
Senate Joint Resolution 9 calls upon President Bush to begin construction of a National Missile Defense System (NMDS) to protect the United States from long-range nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Alaska has been identified as the preferred location to build the radar site and ground-based interceptors for a NMDS under a plan drafted by the Department of Defense.

Senate Joint Resolution 12: Eliminate Marriage Tax Penalty
Sponsored by Sen. Loren Leman
Senate Joint Resolution 12 urges the United States Congress to amend the federal tax code to reduce the marriage tax penalty. Under the current code, married couples pay an average of $1,480 more in taxes each year than two unmarried people with the same total income.

Senate Joint Resolution 15: Chilean Farmed Salmon
Sponsored by Sen. Alan Austerman
Senate Joint Resolution 15 urges the U.S. State Department to consider the negative impact imported salmon has on the Alaskan economy. The importation of Chilean farmed salmon into the United States has grown 120 percent in the last five years, and this salmon directly competes with Alaska salmon in the national market. The resolution also supports the imposition of import restrictions on salmon products from Chile during from May 15 through October and increased import tariffs on salmon products from Chile during the remainder of the year.

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