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KNBA News - Legislators to consider slow phaseout of most oil, gas tax credits

Apr 28, 2016

April 28, 2016

Most current oil and gas tax credits in Alaska would be phased out by 2020 under a draft rewrite of legislation pending in the House Rules Committee. The draft has yet to be formally introduced or heard by the committee, which took possession of the bill after a prior version appeared destined to fail on the House floor. Resolution on credits is seen as key to making progress on the budget and revenue measures as the Legislature continues working in extended session.

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Alaska legislators are moving into temporary digs due to ongoing renovation work on the state Capitol.

The building effectively needs to be cleared by Monday under the current construction schedule.

House Speaker Mike Chenault says legislators will move into the Bill Ray Center, which is a few blocks from the Capitol. He says floor sessions will be held in the gym of the Terry Miller Building, just up the hill from the Capitol.

The regular session was scheduled to end April 17 but lawmakers were unable to complete their work by then. Proposed changes to oil and gas tax credits have been a point of contention.

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The offices of Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott also are moving to an alternate space, about a block from the Capitol.An ice jam on the Yukon River has raised water levels at Eagle.  A few low-lying areas of the river-side community were reported flooded Wednesday morning from the jam about 9 miles downstream. National Weather Service hydrologist Ed Plumb says conditions are not conducive to serious flooding.

“It’s been quite warm with above freezing temperatures for the past month,” Plumb said. “Though a lot of the snow pack has melted off, especially all the low elevation snow, so there’s no big push of snow melt coming into the river.”

Plumb says the water has been slowly rising at Eagle through the day.

During an over flight yesterday, the ice jam appeared to have changed very little since Tuesday.

Plumb doesn't expect the water to go down until the jam releases.

He says downstream, there’s a 12-mile stretch of open water where the Kandik River flows into the Yukon. He adds there is some concern ice could hang up again as the Yukon spreads out and shallows near Circle.

“The ice is weaker and tin and rotting though we’re hoping this surge of water just kinda pushes the ice out past Circle and not be any problems,” said Plumb. “But we will be flying in the next couple days monitoring Circle and then also working our way down to Ft. Yukon.”

Plumb says this year’s break up is not happening in the more common upriver to downriver pattern, and areas of the lower Yukon are already open.

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Alaska legislators are moving into temporary digs due to ongoing renovation work on the state Capitol. The statehouse needs to effectively be cleared by Monday under the current construction schedule. House Speaker Mike Chenault says legislators will move into the Bill Ray Center, which is a few blocks from the Capitol. He says floor sessions will be held in the gym of the nearby Terry Miller Building.