I’ve served in the Alaska State Legislature before, and I have a number of accomplishments that I’m proud of that were signed into law:
Safe Surrender for Infants Under 21 Days Old
Babies are a blessing in our lives, and children are the future. However, not everyone sees it this way. This bill, signed into law in 2008, permits parents to safely and without legal repercussion to place their infant (less than 21 days and unharmed) with a peace officer, emergency services, or hospital. This was supported by the Catholic Conference of Bishops and Planned Parenthood alike. No one wants to see a baby without a parent-but it’s better to have a baby placed in the care of a trusted official or in medical care than hurt or abandoned with the chance of death.
40-80 Hours of Leave for State Employees Donating Organs
The gift of life is precious, and when it’s at stake, friends and family will rally around to help and do what they can. People who literally give a part of themselves to those who are critically ill should have time to rest up and recuperate. This effort was put forth in memory of my colleague Richard Foster, who represented Nome for many years, and Stanley Robbins. We need to make sure that it’s easier, not harder, to help those who are sick.
Seismic Hazards Safety
Alaska is on the Ring of Fire, and experiences multiple “shakes, rattles and rolls” periodically. One wrong move by the earth, however, and Alaska could experience colossal damage, such as the 1964 earthquake in Southcentral Alaska that devastated Anchorage, and outer-lying areas like Valdez. Emergency Management is a big deal in this state, and we can’t afford to let our state officials get blindsided by a potentially nasty surprise. I was instrumental in assuring the continuation of the Seismic Hazards Safety Commission.
I also supported the following:
- Increased Funding for Vocational Education
- Student Loans for Alaskans in Medical School
- Home Weatherization and Energy Conservation Programs