- Associated Press - Thursday, April 14, 2016

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Latest on issues the Alaska legislature is handling during its final days of session (all times local):

1:15 p.m.

A bill aimed at strengthening Alaska’s Military Code of Justice has advanced from the Senate State Affairs Committee.

Currently the Alaska National Guard cannot prosecute members for crimes that can be tried in civil court. The legislative proposal would change that.

The newly amended version prohibits the guard from forcing members to accept non-judicial punishments in lieu of court martials. Non-judicial punishments are typically used for less serious offenses and can result in suspensions, fines or reductions in rank. A court martial, meanwhile, more closely resembles a trial and can result in stiffer penalties of imprisonment or discharge from service.

Guard leadership argued that court martial proceedings were prohibitively expensive, but the amendment’s drafter Sen. Charlie Huggins said the need for justice for accused guard members outweighs financial concerns.


9:10 a.m.

The Alaska House has kicked back to committee a rewrite of Gov. Bill Walker’s oil and gas tax credit bill.

Speaker Mike Chenault announced on the House floor Wednesday night that the bill would be sent to the House Rules Committee.

Bills scheduled for a floor vote that do not have enough votes to pass sometimes are sent to Rules to keep them alive.

Members of the House - including within its Republican-led majority - have been split on how far to push changes to the system.

Credits have become a major spending item at a time when the state faces a multibillion-dollar deficit. But some are concerned about the impacts changes will have on an industry also hit by low oil prices.

The Senate is working on its own rewrite of Walker’s bill.

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