Priorities and Positions

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’ 2019 priorities and positions on critical issues affecting Alaska’s business climate.

2019 State Priorities

Support reduction of spending to sustainable levels
The Alaska Chamber supports a reduction in spending from the General Fund, excluding both the capital budget and Permanent Fund Dividend, from the previous fiscal year's spending level until the State reaches a sustainable level of spending.

Support a meaningful cap on operating budget expenditures
The Alaska Chamber supports a meaningful cap on operating budget expenditures. With an ever-growing State operating budget, the business community will live in constant fear of large tax increases. Either a spending cap or a tax cap allows elected officials to make tough calls on spending. They work relatively well in many communities at the local level.

Support comprehensive workers’ compensation reform
The Alaska Chamber supports enactment of systemic 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.

2019 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 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.

2019 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 Priority) Support a meaningful cap on operating budget expenditure
   
3. (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.
   
4. (S) Oppose a natural gas reserves tax
   
5. (S) Support a rigorous but efficient permitting process in Alaska
   
6. (S) Ensure mineral development benefits that should accrue to the entire state are not compromised by Municipal or Borough Taxation.
   
7. (S) Support a reasonable cruise ship passenger fee level and use of those fees consistent with state and federal law
   
8. (S) Oppose all new unfunded property tax exemptions as introduced on the state level
   
9. (S) Support streamlining fisheries landing tax regulations
   
10. (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.
   
11. (S) Support royalty oil sales

 

Employer’s Rights

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


Fisheries and Maritime


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


Forestry

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


Health Care


20. (F Priority) Support reform of the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
   
21. (S) Support private sector solutions for delivering cost-effective health benefits
   
22. (S) Support community health center system organization as patient centered medical homes
   
23. (S) Support reform of the 80th percentile rule in 3 AAC 26.110 


Legislative Action


24. (S Priority) Support comprehensive workers’ compensation reform
   
25. (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)
   
26. (F) Support the reauthorization of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act
   
27. (F) Support the U.S. Congress to secure a viable, long-term solution for the U.S. Federal Highway Trust Fund
   
28. (F) Support the U.S. Congress to secure a viable, long-term solution for the Federal Airport & Airway Trust Fund (Aviation Trust Fund)
   
29. (S) Support review of State Regulatory and Licensing Policy
   
30. (S) Support keeping Alaska state-chartered financial institutions competitive
   
31. (S) Supports for efforts to reduce the high cost of energy
   
32. (S) Support a sustainable funding model for Alaska Tourism Marketing


Natural Resources


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


Private Sector Opportunities

42. (B) Support transfer or sale of land to private entities
   
43. (S) Support workforce development to increase the number of qualified employees needed to fill positions in resource industries
   
44. (F) Support Small Business Administration Native 8(a) Contracting Program
   
45. (S) Support to establish a state fund for transportation
   
46. (F) Support the Bypass Mail Program
   
47. (F) Support the expansion of the military presence in Alaska
   
48. (S) Support the University of Alaska
   
49. (S) Support in-state oil refining industry
   
50. (S) Support for privatization of construction projects
   
51. (S) Oppose State Competition with Private Business
   
52. (B) Support foreign and domestic private sector investments in Alaska’s resource and manufacturing industries
   
53. (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
   
54. (S) Support the Port of Alaska and its strategic importance