Bill Wielechowski

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Bill Wielechowski
Bill Wielechowski portrait.jpg
Member of the Alaska Senate
from District H
District J (2009-2013)
Assumed office
January 16, 2007 (2007-January-16)
Preceded by Gretchen Guess
Personal details
Born (1967-12-07) December 7, 1967 (age 49)
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Laura
Children One daughter
Residence Anchorage, Alaska
Alma mater Seton Hall University (B.S.)
Seton Hall University (J.D.)
Profession Attorney
Religion Roman Catholicism

Bill P. Wielechowski is a Democratic member of the Alaska Senate representing District H. District H is located in Anchorage, Alaska and includes Spenard and the University of Alaska at Anchorage.[1] Prior to the 2012 redistricting process, he represented District J from 2007-2013.

Early life[edit]

Wielechowski was born December 7, 1967, in Ridgewood, New Jersey to a Polish-American family (his grandfather immigrated from Kraków in 1910). He attended Seton Hall University earning a bachelor of science in business management and finance and graduating magna cum laude. He then attended Seton Hall University School of Law earning his juris doctor in 1992.[2]

After moving to Anchorage, he became a volunteer with the Northeast Community Council, as a Commissioner on the Anchorage Planning & Zoning Commission and as chair of the Creekside Town Center. In 1999 he was the designated chair of the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board.[2]

In 2003, he served on the mayoral transition team for Mark Begich and went on to serve the city as a member of the 2003 Anchorage School District Budget Review Team and the Mayor’s Task Force on Obesity and Health. In 2004, he stepped down as designated chair of the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board to become associate general counsel for IBEW Local 1547.[3]

Alaska Senate[edit]

In 2006, he was elected to the Alaska Senate to replace retiring Democratic incumbent Gretchen Guess in District J, which included the neighborhoods of Mt. View, Muldoon and Russian Jack in Anchorage. In the 2010 election, he defeated Ron Slepecki winning 58% of the vote to Slepecki’s 42%.[4]

He was a majority member of the Senate Bi-partisan Working Group from 2007 through 2012. He then joined the Minority Caucus.

In 2013, Senator Wielechowski led an assemblage to repeal SB 21.

SB 21[edit]

In 2013 a movement to repeal SB21 was starting to build traction. SB21 was an Alaska Senate Bill, introduced January 16, 2013. The Bill was, according to the Alaska State Legislature website, "An Act relating to the interest rate applicable to certain amounts due for fees, taxes, and payments made and property delivered to the Department of Revenue; relating to appropriations from taxes paid under the Alaska Net Income Tax Act; providing a tax credit against the corporation income tax for qualified oil and gas service industry expenditures; relating to the oil and gas production tax rate; relating to gas used in the state; relating to monthly installment payments of the oil and gas production tax; relating to oil and gas production tax credits for certain losses and expenditures; relating to oil and gas production tax credit certificates; relating to nontransferable tax credits based on production; relating to the oil and gas tax credit fund; relating to annual statements by producers and explorers; establishing an Oil and Gas Competitiveness Review Board; relating to the determination of annual oil and gas production tax value including adjustments based on a percentage of gross value at the point of production from certain leases or properties; and making conforming amendments."[5]

The bill was signed into law, June 24, 2013, after passing both the senate and house in the previous months.

Senator Wielechowski opposed the bill and looked for an alternative approach to work with oil and gas companies. Senator Wielechowski found what he was seeking across the Atlantic, in Norway. Wielechowski, a strong opponent of the bill, wrote a "Call to Arms" of sorts, titled Compass: Repeal SB 21, in, The Alaska Dispatch News,

“For decades, we have attempted to influence oil production by giving massive tax breaks. That policy has been a massive failure. Under the old ELF tax structure, 15 of 19 oil fields paid zero production taxes, and the four that did paid a paltry 12.5 percent or less. After decades of low taxes and record oil prices, production plummeted by more than 50 percent. And Alaska lost hundreds of billions of dollars. One need only look at Norway to see how our poor tax policies have cost Alaskans. Norway started its Permanent Fund 19 years after ours. Alaska's Permanent Fund has roughly $48 billion. Norway's has more than $800 billion. Imagine what we could do with a Permanent Fund of even 20 percent of Norway's. We could create the best education system in the world, eliminate property taxes, provide affordable energy for all Alaskans and increase our PFDs by thousands per year. Instead, we made a policy call decades ago to give that money to the oil companies -- for more promised production that never came. SB 21 brings us right back to that failed policy. Let's not make that same mistake again. Let's repeal SB 21 and forge a new relationship with the oil industry. How was Norway able to do it? It partners directly with the oil industry. This creates alignment between the government and industry and has allowed Norway to charge a staggering 78 percent rate -- much higher than Alaska's ever was. Yet business is booming and companies still make huge profits.”[6]

Ballot Measure 1[edit]

The opponents of SB 21 gained a victory by having it placed on the 2014 ballot. All the picketing and mass protesting seemed as it was for naught, for in November 2014, the voters chose to keep SB 21, and voted no on Ballot Measure 1.[7]

Committee assignments[edit]

In the 2015-2016 legislative session, Wielechowski serves as a member of the following standing committees; Judiciary, Resources and State Affairs.[3] He also serves on the Special Committee on Federal Overreach, the Joint Committee on Armed Services [8][9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Community/District List: April 5, 2012 Amended Proclamation of Redistricting" (PDF). State of Alaska Division of Elections. 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2015-11-01. 
  2. ^ a b "Alaska State Legislature". Akleg.gov. 1967-12-07. Retrieved 2017-02-27. 
  3. ^ a b "Bill Wielechowski's Biography - The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved 2017-02-27. 
  4. ^ "State of Alaska 2010 General Election - November 2, 2010 - Official Results without US Senate Race" (PDF). State of Alaska Division of Elections. 2010-11-02. Retrieved 2015-11-01. 
  5. ^ "SB 21 - Alaska 28th Legislature (2013-2014) - Open States". Open States. Retrieved 2015-12-16. 
  6. ^ "Compass: Repeal SB 21 and start real partnership with oil industry". Alaska Dispatch News. Retrieved 2015-12-16. 
  7. ^ "'No' votes hold narrow lead in Ballot Measure 1". Alaska Dispatch News. Retrieved 2015-12-16. 
  8. ^ "Alaska State Legislature". Akleg.gov. 2016-12-31. Retrieved 2017-02-27. 
  9. ^ "Alaska State Legislature". Akleg.gov. 2015-02-17. Retrieved 2017-02-27. 

External links[edit]