Here’s where the major bills stand in the Alaska Legislature right now

Tuesday, 27 June 2017, 03:19:40 PM. Wondering about the status of Alaska's operating budget and the proposed income tax? Or the legislation to restructure the Permanent Fund? Here's a quick walk-through.

Here's an overview of the status of each of the key bills still pending in the Alaska Legislature this year.

Operating budget
Passed both the House and Senate, but the two chambers haven't resolved all the differences between their different versions. Key disputes are over the Senate's 5.7 percent cut to schools and a similar reduction in the university budget, as well as a House plan to pay a Permanent Fund dividend of $1,150 and a Senate plan to pay $1,000.

Capital budget
Passed both the House and Senate, but like the operating budget, it's still in limbo because each chamber has approved a different version. Legislative leaders had suggested they were close to a deal on the capital budget, but then the House, in a surprise move, approved an amendment Wednesday to double Permanent Fund dividends, driving the two sides further apart.

[What the heck is going on down there?! From our reporter in Juneau, here's a Q&A on the Alaska Legislature and the looming shutdown]

Permanent Fund legislation — Senate Bill 26
The bill to formally restructure the Permanent Fund and use its investment earnings for government services — a central piece of both the House and Senate fiscal plans — passed both chambers, but it now appears to be dead. Both chambers are nonetheless planning to use more than $1.5 billion in the fund's investment earnings for the state's annual operating budget to help fill the $2.5 billion deficit.

Oil and gas taxes — House Bill 111
A bill to eliminate cash tax credit payments to oil companies has passed the House and Senate, but it's now held up in a dispute about whether to also increase taxes on the industry. Lawmakers say they're still negotiating but aren't encouraged by the direction of their talks.

Income tax — House Bill 115
The House passed legislation to raise $700 million for the state budget with a bracketed income tax, like the federal government's. But the Senate took the rare step of voting it down, rather than letting the legislation die in committee, and Senate leaders are still resolutely opposed. A modified proposal from Gov. Bill Walker to raise $100 million through a bracketed "head tax" has also gone nowhere.

Motor fuel tax — House Bill 60 and Senate Bill 25
Neither the House nor Senate has passed Walker's legislation to triple Alaska's gasoline tax. But both have included $35 million in gasoline tax revenue in their budgets, allowing them to spend $35 million less in unrestricted general funds — the metric that Alaska's deficit is usually measured by. If the legislation doesn't pass, lawmakers will need to spend an additional $35 million in general funds, or cut that much from somewhere else.

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