For Immediate Release: March 19th, 2013
On Eve of Historic Vote, Senate Democratic Caucus Denounces “Crapshoot”
Amendments offered tomorrow to protect Alaska
JUNEAU – Democratic members of the Alaskan Senate remain hopeful a series of amendments can prevent Alaska from falling off the fiscal cliff by passing a version of Senate Bill 21 that will lead inevitably to massive deficits, with no commitments from the oil industry to raise production levels or increase Alaska hire.
“Alaskans elected us to make a good business deal for them. The Governor’s giveaway in Senate Bill 21 was described as a “crapshoot” by a key supporter. We categorically reject that. We won’t support the sacrifice of our schools, roads, and public safety and the 17 billion dollars we fought so hard to save without solid commitments from the industry to drill in Alaska, rather than use our money to drill overseas,” said Senator Johnny Ellis (D-Anchorage).
“We have had zero audits under ACES. We have no information on capital credits except the two anecdotes from the Governor. The Legislature is being asked to rubber stamp a rush job,” stated Senator Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage).
Senate Democratic legislators plan to offer several amendments to retain Alaska’s share of windfall profits, correct deficiencies in audit requirements, and directly tie any tax reductions to increased production.
“As it stands now, Senate Bill 21 cheats the future. I maintain hope tomorrow my colleagues will join together as we have in previous years to stand up for Alaska. We can make this really bad piece of legislation better or failing that, vote it down,” stated Senator Hollis French (D-Anchorage).
“During the last election every candidate stated they would not give away billions with no strings attached. Tomorrow we will find out who keeps their promises to the people of Alaska and who caves to the pressure of the oil industry, against the interests of Alaska, because that is exactly what Senate Bill 21 does,” said Senator Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage).
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