Legislature enters final days of regular session in Juneau

Legislative session nears end without budget resolution
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 6:06 PM AKDT|Updated: May. 16, 2023 at 10:33 PM AKDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - The race is on for lawmakers in Juneau as the regular legislative session is scheduled to come to a close at midnight Wednesday. The Senate and House floors convened Tuesday to take up a number of bills still circulating in the capital building.

The Senate did pass four bills consecutively Tuesday afternoon, including HB 61; a limitation on firearms restrictions, SB 95; license plate registration for specialty organizations, and HB 51; and a bill that regulates the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl, which are chemicals used in firefighting substances.

Both HB 61 and 51 were passed to the House for concurrence, while SB 95 was transmitted to the House.

The Senate also passed SB 89, a bill that raises the age for tobacco, nicotine, and e-cigarette sales from 19 years old to 21 years old, as well as taxes on electronic smoking products. A portion of revenues generated from the tax will go toward tobacco use education and cessation.

Senator Jesse Kiehl of Juneau said the move is aimed at reducing a growing addiction in the younger generations, specifically high school-aged children.

“This is an important health measure,” Kiel said. “It is not a revenue raiser.”

As lawmakers set to enter into the last day of the regular session, the state’s operating budget is still being held in the Senate which adjourned at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. It is set to convene again at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.