2024 State Legislative Session Takeaways: Alaska

Written by Louis Messier

The Alaska Legislature adjourned just after midnight on May 16, bringing the biennium session to a close. A total of 666 bills were introduced, not including resolutions. Priority issues such as energy, carbon capture, food security, and public safety were all addressed.

Here’s what you may have missed:


Energy legislation was a key priority during this session, both in terms of production and sustainability. HB 50, which passed in the final hours of session, contains provisions related to carbon capture, natural gas production, and geothermal energy. Carbon capture, also called carbon sequestration, is an emerging technology that involves the injection of carbon gas into the earth. Alaska lawmakers see potential for huge investment as the carbon capture industry continues to develop and passed the bill to establish a commercial framework for its use. Many also touted the environmental benefits of carbon capture. Carbon capture permitting legislation recently passed in Illinois, and a bill to provide funding for carbon capture facilities is currently under consideration in the California Senate.

Another measure to note is HB 307, which restructures a key portion of the state’s electric transmission system in an effort to reduce costs for consumers. The restructured transmission system will be organized under the Alaska Energy Authority.

Not all of the governor’s energy priorities made it over the finish line. Following adjournment, Governor Mike Dunleavy (R) announced he will review certain pieces of legislation that did not pass, especially those that would have incentivized further natural gas production. There is speculation that a special session may be convened to address these topics.


The legislature passed the budget with minutes to spare after finalizing dividend check and energy relief payments, which, when combined, equal $1,650 per eligible Alaskan. The budget also includes a one-time $175 million increase for public-school funding - an increase the governor had vetoed earlier in the year in SB 140. That bill would have permanently increased the public-school funding formula. The legislature failed to override the governor’s veto of SB 140 by a single vote, and the one-time increase could potentially be the subject of a line-item veto when it again reaches the governor’s desk. Other significant appropriations include just over $1 billion to the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program, $159 million for wastewater infrastructure projects, and $30 million to the Department of Environmental Conservation for water quality, infrastructure support, and financing.

Looking Ahead

In a social media post, Dunleavy announced his administration will “spend the interim preparing new initiatives for next session on public safety, education reform, and expanding the agricultural sector.” Long-term changes to education funding will likely reemerge as priority next session along with proposed changes to the tax on marijuana, which passed the house but failed to gain traction in the senate.