Alaska Legislature votes to repeal five defunct programs, including one left from the Exxon Valdez oil spill

    Sen. James Kaufman, R-Anchorage, speaks Friday, April 28, 2023, on the floor of the Alaska Senate. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

    Juneau, Alaska (Alaska Beacon) - Several defunct state programs, including a fund established as a result of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, would be scrubbed from state law under a bill that passed the Alaska Legislature on Wednesday

    The Alaska House of Representatives voted 40-0 to approve Senate Bill 25, authored by Sen. James Kaufman, R-Anchorage. The bill previously passed the Senate by a 19-0 vote on March 31.

    If the bill passes a procedural vote in the Senate and is approved by Gov. Mike Dunleavy, it would require the director of the Legislative Finance Division — the Legislature’s nonpartisan budget analysis team — to regularly examine state law for inactive accounts and recommend their deletion to the Legislature.

    Five state programs have already been identified for deletion in SB 25. One, established in 1981, provided loans to rural electric utilities to build out their power grids. That program has since been superseded by others.

    A program that was established in 2018 to review school curriculum — but never funded — would be repealed, as would an emergency fund intended to allow the governor to pay for fuel in communities running short. 

    An account that accepts donations for the Alaska Historical Society would be dissolved, as would a fund that distributed Exxon Valdez oil spill penalties to unincorporated rural communities.

    Kaufman, in a written statement, said SB 25’s passage will reduce the administrative burden of maintaining accounts that are inactive but remain in state law.

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