Bad Bill of the Week – A poison pill Alaskans shouldn’t swallow

As we wind up the last week of the regular session with no adjournment in sight, we reflect on the creation of Bad Bill of the Week and hope it has both informed and horrified loyal Headlamp readers.

The majority of our Bad Bills have been easy to pick. They have offended us at Headlamp for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which were they don’t solve our financial situation or strengthen the private sector. But this bill has EVOLVED into Bad Bill of the Week. It is CSSB 26.

SB 26 was originally Governor Walker’s bill that included a percent of market value (POMV) approach to the Permanent Fund. When the Senate considered the bill, it added a spending cap and other levers to help address Alaska’s fiscal crisis. But SB 26’s story didn’t end there.

Last week, the House Majority got ahold of CSSB 26 and in Headlamp’s opinion, destroyed it and likely the chances of its passage. Anyone who follows politics in Juneau isn’t surprised by the gamesmanship that takes place at the end of session. Broadly titled bills have been known to end up with entire pieces of legislation added in the waning hours. But the actions of the House Majority this week take the cake.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the House Majority, acting like a petulant child, hijacked CSSB 26, adding “conditional language” amounting to extortion in Headlamp’s view. The leaders in the House are trying to jam bad legislation down the throats of the Minority and the Senate, and they’re being met with vocal resistance.

The latest version of CSSB 26 that passed the House says the POMV will only go into effect if the Legislature enacts a broad-based tax dedicated to education and the House version of HB 111 (oil taxes) is passed into law. HB 111 was already Bad Bill of the Week in late March, and let’s just say, if we thought the earlier version of HB 111 was bad, the final version passed by the House earlier this week would be the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Bad Bill of the Week.

Headlamp is concerned, to say the least, with the poison pill the House Majority has added to SB 26. It’s clear they did it because they can’t get their economy killing, anti-private sector garbage passed on merit, so they’re resorting to extortion. We’ll pass CSSB 26 if you give us what we want. It’s like we’re in an appalling real-life episode of the Sopranos. Well, House Majority, Headlamp believes Alaska deserves better. That said, it’s clear we won’t be getting it from the so called “leadership” in the Alaska State House.

Don’t let the evolution of this bill from good legislation to Bad Bill of the Week fool you – it most definitely deserves the designation. Headlamp will keep you posted as we head to extra innings.