Government's most important mandate is public safety. Over the last 20 years, government in Alaska made a decision to hold criminal offenders accountable for their crimes by creating meaningful prison sentences, thus crime rates have dropped by 42 percent. If we still had the same levels of crime as we had in 1995, an additional 15,000 Alaskans would be crime victims every single year. When we look back at that strong record of success, we need to be certain that any changes we make to the criminal justice system will improve the lives and safety of law-abiding Alaskans.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It gives us all the opportunity to show our support to survivors of sexual violence, and become part of the broader change we know needs to happen to reduce the epidemic of sexual assault and abuse in our state.
Juneau) -- While public interest in Alaska politics may focus on budgets, tax bills and fiscal gaps, the state Legislature has passed bills that attract less attention, but still improve life for thousands of Alaskans.
One of these is my House Bill 188, “The ABLE Account Act,” which has passed the House and Senate unanimously, and is awaiting the governor’s signature to become law.
One way or another, Alaskans will be taxed. The Legislature should decide how much.
On Wednesday, the Senate voted 17-3 to approve Senate Bill 210, which would significantly reduce state funding provided to Alaska’s larger cities. It’s a move intended to reduce the state’s $4 billion budget deficit, but it does nothing but push taxes from the state level to the local level.
It's unfortunate that legislation like Senate Bill 174 even needs to be debated. In a perfect world, there would be no threat of violence at institutions of higher learning. But the times we live in require unorthodox solutions to curb the trend of mass shootings on university campuses.
SB 174, which would allow for the concealed carry of firearms and knives on University of Alaska campuses, isn't a perfect solution, but it's a better solution than doing nothing.
I really enjoy the Eagle River Nature Center and the Chugach State Park (CSP) wild lands to the east. On almost every visit something extraordinary happens. Last October, my wife and I drove to the Nature Center to look for wildlife. A short distance down the trail, the vista opens up to a majestic view of the surrounding mountains and beaver built wetlands adjacent to a salmon spawning stream. Much to our good fortune, a brown bear was at the far end of an open area going in and out of view chasing fish.
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON – An uncontrollable cold chill bites your face, the dryness in your eyes increases with every stride and the occasional gust of wind sneaks past several layers of clothing and touches your skin like the cold water of a morning shower. But all of these unsettling sensations are merely part of the experience and excitement of playing pond hockey.
(JUNEAU) – When I consider Alaska’s budget situation, I remember my dad explaining what he called the First Rule of Holes: “When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.”
In the face of a budget shortfall now estimated at $4.1 billion, due to low oil prices, the Alaska Legislature has followed my dad’s rule. We’ve stopped digging a deeper fiscal hole, and reduced state spending as the essential first step in fixing our deficit.