Alaska state lawmakers pass two bills in 78 days

The Anchorage Daily NewsApril 6, 2011 

JUNEAU — Twelve days remain before Alaska's legislative session ends for the year and just two bills have passed, one of which is a set of guidelines for how to best handle the state flag.

Legislative leaders say not to expect the usual blizzard of bills passing in the final days, either. There aren't that many things lawmakers say are priorities to get finished before they head home.

The House wants to cut oil taxes but the Senate won't. The budgets need to be finished and there's a dispute over giving more money to schools. Arctic coastal communities are pressing for more oversight of development projects in their areas.

Top lawmakers say those are the major things remaining and other issues are optional for this year.

"I don't think we're going to see a big flurry of bills passed," said House Speaker Mike Chenault, a Republican from Nikiski. "I think we'll see more legislation passed but not a whole bunch."

Senate President Gary Stevens agreed.

"We're all just stuck on this issue of oil taxes. That has really sucked the life out of the Legislature this year," said the Republican from Kodiak.

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