HB 44 (Ethics), HB 25 (insurance coverage for contraceptives, HB 115 (budget fix with income tax, PF restructuring)–No further hearings scheduled as of yet.  HB 31, sexual assault kit handling & database, has been advanced to House Finance.

Two bills that concern money for school funding  might be of interest and worth watching, particularly if nothing is done to raise revenue for the state.

  • HB 146: SCHOOL TAX; PFD PAYMENT FOR SCHOOL TAX, Sponsor Claman “An Act imposing a school tax on certain income of residents, part-year residents, and nonresidents; relating to a payment against the school tax from the permanent fund dividend disbursement; and providing for an effective date.” Bill link here: <http://www.legis.state.ak.us/PDF/30/Bills/HB0146B.PDF>
  • SB 78: PERM FUND DIVIDEND CONTRIBUTIONS/LOTTERY Sponsors: Bishop, Hoffman, Stedman, Meyer, Dunleavy, von Hoffman, Stevens, Hughes, Micciche. “An Act creating the education endowment fund and the dividend lottery fund; authorizing contributions from the permanent fund dividend to the dividend lottery fund; relating to transfers from the dividend lottery fund and the education endowment fund; relating to the definition of ‘gambling’; and providing for an effective date.” Bill link: <http://www.legis.state.ak.us/PDF/30/Bills/SB0078A.PDF>

HB 175: US PRESIDENT ELECT. POPULAR VOTE COMPACT Sponsors: Rep. Fansler, Gara, Parrish, Drummond, Kawasaki. “An Act ratifying an interstate compact to elect the President and Vice-President of the United States by national popular vote; and making related changes to statutes applicable to the selection by voters of electors for candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States and to the duties of those electors.” Bill Link: <http://www.legis.state.ak.us/PDF/30/Bills/HB0175A.PDFHearing on HB 175: Mar 16Thursday3:00 pm Room 120, Teleconferenced. There is no public testimony listed at this point, but the bill has been referred to House State & Judicial. 

The hearing for HB 175 might be interesting to watch via BASIS or to sit in on if you are in Juneau. This bill, should it pass, would join the State of Alaska with other states which have agreed to cast all of their Electoral Votes for the winner of the popular vote in a Presidential and VP election. Once states with a total of 270 electoral votes agree, then the popular vote would be the determining vote. The League of Women Voters of the United States has advocated for an amendment that would abolish the Electoral College and a change to a popular vote. In 2008, the LWVUS revised their Position to include the NPV until such time as the Constitution was amended to abolish the EC. Currently 11 states and DC, with a total of 165 electoral votes, have enacted the NPV. There seems to be some new interest in this compact. You can read more here: <http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/> In addition, you can read more about the topic in other Blog posts under the Election Laws category on the Blog page