Priorities and Positions

2018.01.18 2018 Priorities and Positions Booklet Cover_copy2   Each fall, Alaska Chamber members gather at our annual Policy Forum to propose positions for the upcoming year. Based on proposals submitted by the general membership, Chamber members adopt positions on issues that impact Alaska's economy. Our Board of Directors selects the Chamber’s top state and federal priorities for the year. Below are the Chambers’ 2018 priorities and positions on critical issues affecting Alaska’s business climate.


2018 State Priorities

Support reduction of spending to sustainable levels
The Alaska Chamber supports reductions to Unrestricted General Fund Spending, including the capital budget and the permanent fund distribution, to $4.5 billion or less by FY 2019.

Support comprehensive workers’ compensation reform
The Alaska Chamber supports enactment of systematic changes to the Alaska workers’ compensation insurance statutes to reduce the cost of insurance for employers while emphasizing effective treatment programs that promote injury recovery and the return to full employment of injured workers.

2018 Federal Priorities

Support oil and gas exploration and development in Alaska’s federal areas including; the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA), Cook Inlet, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)
The Alaska Chamber strongly supports oil and gas exploration and production in Alaska’s federal areas; including the Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, NPRA, Cook Inlet, and the 10-02 area of ANWR. The Chamber encourages Congress to enact revenue sharing for Alaska and local communities. The Chamber also encourages the Alaska Congressional Delegation, the Alaska Legislature and Governor to support and strongly advocate for responsible development of these valuable resources, while the Chamber commits to actively support and participate in the education and advocacy efforts to open these areas.

Support repeal or reform of the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
The Alaska Chamber supports repeal or reform of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

2018 State and Federal Positions
(S) State – (F) Federal – (B) Both

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Budget, Taxes, and Revenue


1. (S Priority) Support reduction of spending to sustainable levels
2. (S) Support a series of annual reductions in the state operating budget and the creation of an endowment/sustainability model or similar framework to use Permanent Fund earnings to support essential state services and protect the PFD Program.
3. (S) Oppose a natural gas reserves tax
4. (S) Support a rigorous but efficient permitting process in Alaska
5. (S) Ensure mineral development benefits that should accrue to the entire state are not compromised by Municipal or Borough Taxation.
6. (S) Support a reasonable cruise ship passenger fee level and use of those fees consistent with state and federal law
7. (S) Oppose all new unfunded property tax exemptions as introduced on the state level
8. (S) Support streamlining fisheries landing tax regulations
9. (S) Support and encourage a positive investment climate that provides certainty and stability for statewide oil and gas activities; oppose efforts to increase oil and gas taxes.
10. (S) Support royalty oil sales


Employer’s Rights

11. (S) Support both employers and worker’s rights to determine the value of labor
12. (S) Support Alaska’s employers right to choose to be a marijuana free environment

Fisheries and Maritime

13. (B) Support alternative certification for Alaska seafood
14. (S) Support diversification of Alaska’s economy including development of a robust mariculture industry
15. (S) Support equitable funding and appropriate use of Alaska's 470 Fund


16. (B) Support for overturning the application of the Roadless Rule in Alaska
17. (F) Support for converting two million acres of the Tongass National Forest to a state forest
18. (B) Include a renewable energy plan in the Tongass Forest Management Plan

Health Care

19. (F Priority) Support repeal or reform of the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
20. (S) Support efficiencies and cost effective health benefits
21. (S) Support community health center system organization as patient centered medical homes
22. (S) Support reform of the 80th percentile rule in 3 AAC 26.110 

Legislative Action

23. (S Priority) Support comprehensive workers’ compensation reform
24. (F Priority) Support oil and gas exploration and development in Alaska’s federal areas including; the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA), Cook Inlet, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)
25. (F) Support the reauthorization of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act
26. (F) Support the U.S. Congress to secure a viable, long-term solution for the U.S. Federal Highway Trust Fund
27. (S) Support review of State Regulatory and Licensing Policy
28. (S) Support keeping Alaska state-chartered financial institutions competitive
29. (S) Supports for efforts to reduce the high cost of energy
30. (S) Support clarifying Alaska's credit scoring law
31. (S) Support a sustainable funding model for Alaska Tourism Marketing: An Alaska Tourism Improvement District (TID)

Natural Resources

32. (B) Oppose National Ocean Policy (NOP) implementation in Alaska, particularly Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP)
33. (F) Oppose any further federal land withdrawals in Alaska, other restrictive land management designations, and preemptive actions by regulatory agencies 
34. (B) Support for litigation reform relating to resource development projects in Alaska
35. (B) Oppose new vessel restrictions not based on science about harbor seals
36. (F) Support science-based Endangered Species Act listings and delisting
37. (F) Support increased responsible natural resource development by improving the efficiencies of the permitting process and gaining access to resources
38. (B) Support sustainable sea otter harvest and sale of handicrafts
39. (B) Support development of environmental policies and regulations based on sound scientific basis over the precautionary method
40. (S) Support policies that encourage and protect food freedom in Alaska

Private Sector Opportunities

41. (B) Support transfer or sale of land to private entities
42. (S) Support workforce development to increase the number of qualified employees needed to fill positions in resource industries
43. (F) Support Small Business Administration Native 8(a) Contracting Program
44. (S) Support to establish a state fund for transportation
45. (F) Support the Bypass Mail Program
46. (F) Support the expansion of the military presence in Alaska
47. (S) Support the University of Alaska
48. (S) Support in-state oil refining industry
49. (S) Support for privatization of construction projects
50. (S) Oppose State Competition with Private Business
51. (B) Support foreign and domestic private sector investments in Alaska’s resource and manufacturing industries
52. (S) Support the Iditarod Trail Committee in its efforts to preserve the rich tradition and future of the Alaska sled dog, mushing, and the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race