Senator Dennis Egan's Newsletter
Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau

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       Juneau, AK 99801-1182

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Volume 8: Issue 3 February 19th, 2016

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

SB 187 - Don’t Burn Stuff

Fire BAD!
Fire BAD!

This morning I introduced a bill that closes a loophole in our arson laws.  Fire investigators pointed out that it’s arson to burn somebody’s car on state or city land, but not on private property.  That makes no sense.  A firebug who torches the boss’ car in the parking lot should be charged with arson, not criminal mischief.  Using fire as a weapon is unusually dangerous, and this law will deal with it that way.

Hearings Cancelled

In committee

Being a legislator ain’t easy.  During session it’s criminal law in the morning, insurance at lunchtime, transportation in the afternoon, and family law at night.  Then the next day it’s a whole new set of topics.  And always, always the budget.  Doing all those things at the same time is part of the job.  Lately, a lot of committee meetings on important issues have been cancelled. Usually, folks say it’s to focus on the budget.

At the same time, there are serious issues that need to be addressed.  I have bills that will save the state money over the long term, like the retirement changes in SB 88 which will be good for more than $70 million over 10 years and give public workers more options in these difficult times.  I appreciate my colleagues who can work on more than one issue at a time.

Ferry Budget Subcommittee

Speaking of the budget, on Thursday afternoon we heard from the Alaska Marine Highway System about their budget for next year.  I am very concerned the hearing was focused on the wrong way of looking at the costs and benefits of AMHS.  We spent too much time focused on the “fare box return” of the system and not looking at benefits to Alaskans and our economy.  I know I mentioned the recent McDowell study showing the benefits in a previous newsletter, but hear me out: More people from Anchorage book ferry reservations than any town but Juneau.  And it’s how commerce – and people – move from island to island here in Southeast.  Read ithere.

Farewell to a Friend

Farewell Max Gruenberg

Rep. Max Gruenberg was a friend of Southeast, and a friend of mine.  He died this past Sunday, and we’ll all miss the heck out of him.  A lot of people have made a lot of good hearted jokes about Max’s attention to detail – there was even an extra comma in a House Resolution honoring him just so there could be an amendment in Max Gruenberg style.  But nobody was more dedicated to getting legislation right, or to doing right for Alaska.  My condolences to his wife Kayla and all his family.  Alaska grieves with you.

Kudos from Juneau

Thanks to these community members for
helping make Southeast
a great place to live!

  • Italian Snow Sculpture – Kudos to the Skagway folks on Team Alaska who won a snow carving competition in the Dolomites region of Italy.  Ken Graham, Pete Lucchetti, and Michael Yee beat 9 other teams from Italy, Russia, France, and Mexico.  Next they’re on to a couple of contests in Canada before they come home for the Buckwheat.

  • Out of the cold – Juneau Police Sergeant David Wrightson stood a heartbroken man to a night out of the cold at the top of this month.  The man and his girlfriend broke up, and she asked him to leave the house.  With nowhere else to go and no money, the man was looking at a night on the streets when Sgt. Wrightson helped him out with a one-night hotel stay until the man could connect with supportive family members Outside. Thanks for your compassion and generosity!


Thanks for reading Legislative Corner.  I hope you'll always feel welcome to contact my office, just call, write, or use one of the links in this newsletter.

[signed] Dennis Egan

Dennis Egan
Alaska State Senator
District Q

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