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Toll-Free (866) 465-2095
716 W. 4th St., Ste. 370
Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 269-0242 fax
State Capitol Bldg. Rm. 426
Juneau, AK 99801
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EMAIL: Gov. Sean Parnell
Senator Mark Begich,
EMAIL: Sen. Mark Begich
Congressman Don Young,
EMAIL: Rep. Don Young
Senator Lisa Murkowski,
February 2, 2011
Day 17 of the Legislative Session
73 Days Remaining
When I entered public office I took the following oath: “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Alaska, and that I will faithfully discharge my duties as Representative to the best of my ability."
I am grateful to have these constitutional principles to guide me as I represent you in the Alaska Legislature. Among my duties are to ensure that government is instituted solely for the good of the Alaskan people, we maintain a system of public schools open to all children of the state, our right to keep and bear arms is not infringed upon, and our right to privacy is protected. I take very seriously the constitutional mandate that Alaska’s natural resources be developed “for the maximum benefit of its people” and not for private interests. As your public servant, I will always keep my oath to put the needs of the people of Alaska first and foremost and protect our constitutional rights.
Rep. Tuck outside the House of Representatives in the State Capitol.
Victim’s Rights Bill Introduced
Last week I introduced House Bill 293: “An Act relating to the rights of crime victims; relating to the duties of prosecuting attorneys; and amending Rule 45, Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure.”
This requires prosecutors and judges to consider a victim’s right under the Alaska Constitution to a timely disposition of their case when deciding whether to allow continuances. It will also notify victims of any requests or motions that could substantially delay speedy prosecution of the case.
Currently, Alaska is one of 27 states with constitutional provisions to protect a victim's rights; however, there is no statute in place to implement them. Repeated delays prevent victims from reaching emotional, physical, and financial closure from the trauma they suffered as a result of the crime perpetrated against them. Delays in prosecution can also affect the availability of witnesses, a victim’s ability to recall important details, and it can create other impediments to a successful trial.
New Legislation Introduced
Several bills were introduced in the State House on the first day of session, including the following which I signed onto as a Co-prime Sponsor:
House Bill 244 establishes that corporations are not “persons” for the purposes of influencing public elections.
House Bill 253 outlaws cathinone “bath salts,” an amphetamine-like drug that is highly addictive and has been linked with violent behavior and suicide.
House Bill 255 clarifies an existing law prohibiting texting while operating a motor vehicle.
House Bill 260 makes it easier for Alaskans who cannot easily get to the polls to vote by automatically mailing an absentee ballot to them, if they choose. It will help senior citizens, persons with disabilities, rural residents, and members of the military to vote more easily.
House Bills 263 and 268 together require oil or gas producers applying for a tax deduction to report if expenditures were used for increased exploration or to create jobs for Alaskans.
House Bill 266 protects the right of licensed naturopaths to give, prescribe, or recommend natural medicines as long as they are not a controlled substance.
House Bill 270 requires airports to post warning signs outside of Transportation Security Agency screening areas where passengers are subject to electronic devices that emit radiation and searches of their bodies by physical touching. If people are going to be subjected to invasive and unnecessary treatment they should at least be warned in advance.
House Bill 272 lowers student loan interest rates for students who stay in, or return to, Alaska. Currently students with an Alaska student loan are paying up to eight percent interest whereas car loans are frequently as low as three percent. It doesn’t make sense that we are gouging citizens who are trying to better themselves and contribute to our state.
Recently Passed Legislation
So far this year the State House has passed three bills that are now sent to the Senate for further consideration.
House Bill 131 creates an advisory board which will continue efforts to improve public transportation and help find ways to improve transportation for those with specialized travel needs such as senior citizens, those with disabilities, and people who are dependent on public transportation.
House Bill 247 establishes July 30 of each year as Alaska National Guard Day in Alaska.
House Bill 282 applies military education, training, and service credit to occupational licensing and certain postsecondary education and employment training requirements.
Election Workers Needed
For part-time work or if you would like be of service to our democratic process, the Office of the Municipal clerk is seeking applicants to be election workers for the April 3, 2012 municipal election. Workers earn $9.50 per hour and may be needed for future elections. More information can be found at www.muni.org/elections or 243-VOTE.
Alaskans Wanted for the Ocean Rangers
Ocean Rangers are Coast Guard licensed marine engineers or individuals who hold a degree in marine safety and environmental protection, or an equivalent course of study. They use a checklist to monitor the compliance of large cruise ships with state and federal requirements pertaining to marine discharge and pollution and sanitation while the vessels are in Alaska. The program is currently seeking qualified applicants. For more information please go to:
Thank you for taking the time to read this update. If you need any further information about what is happening in the Alaska Legislature or if I can assist you in any other way, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office any time at (907) 269-0240.
I'm here for you,
Alaska State Representative
District 29 – Anchorage