The final vote was 22-16 and caps off several weeks of intense debate.
HB 110 was the only bill on the House of Representatives' calendar Thursday morning, and with so much to say, they were forced to return for a rare evening session.
The measure was supported by most Majority members, who think Alaska's tax regime is driving investment elsewhere, and who believe Parnell Administration and industry claims that tax breaks will mean more oil in the Trans-Alaska pipeline.
“This is an all-hands-on deck moment. We need to act and we need to act urgently,” said Rep. Mike Hawker (R-Anchorage) in a lengthy speech right before lawmakers cast their votes.
Minority Democrats worry HB 110 amounts to a multi-billion dollar giveaway to the oil industry that doesn't promise anything in return. So they offered numerous amendments – last-minute attempts to change the bill, to ease some of their concerns.
"Mr. Speaker, sometimes I just think this bill should be carried by Bernie Madoff," said Rep. David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks), "there's no accountability."
The first amendment argued Thursday was one that was already considered in the House Finance Committee and would have created a 2014 sunset for the tax breaks.
"It says come back and we'll see if you did anything," said Guttenberg.
"We don't need a certain date," responded Rep. Tammie Wilson (R-North Pole), "in fact it is our duty to evaluate it all along the way."
The House defeated the amendment 26-11.
A second amendment would have required oil companies to increase production by 10 percent by 2017 - if not, they would lose the tax breaks. It was voted down 24-13.
Another defeated amendment sought to make oil company tax credit information public, and provided to lawmakers on a regular basis. Lawmakers who opposed the measure argued it would harm business on the highly competitive North Slope, where proprietary information is a necessity.
In total, the House voted down six amendments before it passed HB 110.
Gov. Parnell thanked the House late Thursday for its vote of approval, saying it "provides us with significant momentum."
The measure now moves on to the Senate, where there's considerably less support. Senate President Gary Stevens (R-Kodiak) has said the Governor's proposal, as it's written, is unlikely to pass. The Senate is more interested in advancing a version that offers credits for new oil and gas drilling - but not tax breaks on production.
Parnell told the Associated Press he has no plans to call a special session if the Legislature as a whole doesn't pass his bill, but that he'll view inaction as lawmakers setting the state up for a future of declining oil production. He says in that environment, he'll have no choice but to curb spending, most likely from the capital budget, which traditionally includes projects for legislators' districts.
Here's how lawmakers voted on HB 110 Thursday evening:
Chenault, Costello, Dick, Fairclough, Feige, Foster, Gatto, Hawker, Johansen, Johnson, Keller, Lynn, Millett, Munoz, Olson, Pruitt, Saddler, Stoltze, Thomas, Thompson, P. Wilson, T. Wilson
Austerman, Doogan, Edgmon, Gara, Gardner, Gruenberg, Guttenberg, Herron, Holmes, Joule, Kawasaki, Kerttula, Miller, Petersen, Seaton, Tuck
Democratic minority leader Rep. Beth Kerttula (D-Juneau) asked that the vote be reconsidered. That likely will take place Friday and could shift the tally.
Contact Ted Land at firstname.lastname@example.org