Alaska Chamber Sets Legislative Priorities

The Alaska Chamber of Commerce held their annual meeting in Fairbanks this week where they discussed and voted on the legislative priorities to lobby state and federal officials on in the coming year. 

The 2016 federal priorities are:
Support oil and gas exploration and development in Alaska’s federal areas including; the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS),  National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA), Cook Inlet, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)
The Alaska Chamber strongly supports oil and gas exploration and production in Alaska’s federal areas; including the Beaufort Sea,  Chukchi Sea, NPRA, Cook Inlet,  and the 10-02 area of ANWR. The Chamber encourages Congress to enact revenue sharing for Alaska and local communities. The Chamber also encourages the Alaska Congressional Delegation, the Alaska Legislature and Governor to support and strongly advocate for responsible development of these valuable resources, while the Chamber commits to actively support and participate in the education and advocacy efforts to open these areas.

Support Repeal or Mitigation of the ‘Cadillac Tax’ Provision of the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
The Alaska Chamber supports repeal of – or efforts to mitigate – the negative effects of the ‘Cadillac Tax’ provisions contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The 2016 state priorities are:
Oppose a natural gas reserves tax
The Alaska Chamber opposes punitive taxes aimed at any Alaska business, including a natural gas reserves tax. Punitive taxes will negatively affect Alaska’s economic future, make Alaska less competitive, and sends a message to investors that Alaska is not open for business.

Support comprehensive workers’ compensation reform
The Alaska Chamber supports enactment of systemic changes to the Alaska workers’ compensation insurance statutes to reduce the cost of insurance for employers while emphasizing effective treatment programs that promote injury recovery and the return to full employment of injured workers.

Support reduction of spending to sustainable levels
The Alaska Chamber supports limiting total FY 2016 Unrestricted General Fund, spending to $4.5 billion or less.

For comparison, here are the Chamber’s legislative priorities for 2015:

State Priorities
Support comprehensive workers’ compensation reform
The Alaska Chamber supports enactment of systemic changes to the Alaska workers’ compensation insurance statutes to reduce the cost of insurance for employers while emphasizing effective treatment programs that promote injury recovery and the return to full employment of injured workers.

Support reduction of State spending to sustainable levels
The Alaska Chamber supports limiting total FY 2016 Unrestricted General Fund spending to $4.5 billion or less.

Federal Priorities
Oppose any further federal land withdrawals in Alaska, other restrictive land management designations, and preemptive actions by regulatory agencies
The Alaska Chamber opposes any further federal land withdrawals, marine protected areas, Antiquities Act designations and wilderness studies on federal lands in Alaska. The Alaska Chamber will further oppose unreasonable critical habitat designations under the Endangered Species Act and other restrictive land management areas. The Chamber also opposes preemptive actions by regulatory agencies that make premature decisions outside the context of a well-established permitting process.

Support oil and gas exploration and development in Alaska’s federal areas including; the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA), Cook Inlet, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)
The Alaska Chamber strongly supports oil and gas exploration and production in Alaska’s federal areas; including the Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, NPRA, Cook Inlet, and the 10-02 area of ANWR. The Chamber encourages Congress to enact revenue sharing for Alaska and local communities. The Chamber also encourages the Alaska Congressional Delegation, the Alaska Legislature and Governor to support and strongly advocate for responsible development of these valuable resources, while the Chamber commits to actively support and participate in the education and advocacy efforts to open these areas.

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