Governor Sean Parnell today visited the Kenai Peninsula where he addressed the need for fiscal restraint and economic growth in Alaska. Highlighting many of the accomplishments of the past legislative session, the governor also touched on the passage of oil tax reform, in-state gasline, and permitting legislation. Governor Parnell signed three pieces of legislation sponsored by the Kenai Peninsula delegation including House Bill 30, House Bill 198, and Senate Bill 7 at a joint meeting of the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce.
"This package of bills will improve government accountability and continue our commitment to growing economic opportunity for Alaskans," Governor Parnell said. "I commend the Kenai delegation for their commitment to growing Alaska's economy, and thank them for their hard work in Juneau this past session."
HB 30, sponsored by Speaker Mike Chenault, provides a tool for fiscal restraint through performance reviews of all state agencies, boards and commissions. The performance reviews will examine authority, accountability, effectiveness, efficiency and necessity of departments and their associated programs.
HB 198, sponsored by Representative Kurt Olson, authorizes the commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources to grant a one-time extension to the primary term of an oil and gas or gas-only lease if such an extension is in the best interests of the state, rather than force a company to relinquish acreage and be subject to the leasing process again.
SB 7, sponsored by Senator Cathy Giessel, provides significant relief for small and medium-sized Alaska businesses by reducing taxes. Specifically, the bill adjusts the business income tax brackets so that the top bracket starts at $222,000, and it also adjusts the lowest tax bracket from 1 percent to zero. Additionally, the bill contains language that will allow for a seamless transition for the issuance of Alaska Film Tax Credits under the Department of Revenue.