Volume 9: Issue 8                               March 27, 2017 

Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Today is the 53rd anniversary of the Good Friday Earthquake, when 139 Alaskans lost their lives.  It was the second largest earthquake in recorded history.  Beyond those who lost their lives, countless Alaska families lost everything they owned.  But it also led us to pull together as a young state, and as Alaskans. We could stand to pull together like that right now - just without the natural disaster.
Ridesharing Companies Bill
I voted against a bill on the floor last week to exempt 'ride-share' companies like Uber and Lyft from most Alaska laws, and really any local control.  I've used these 'tranportation network companies' Outside. As long as they compete on an even playing field, I think they could do a good job in Alaska.  I just can't vote to give them an unfair advantage over everyone else.  Or to gut local government's role in making local transportation work.  I hope the House fixes the bill.
Seward's Day Today
 
Nearly 150 years ago the United States purchased Alaska from Russia.  We will celebrate that landmark later this year.  Today in particular, we honor the memory of U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward who signed the Alaska Treaty of Cession on March 30, 1867.
 
Former OMB Director Says Hello
 
Karen Rehfeld stopped by the office last week, preparing for Juneau-area Rotary Clubs to bring visitors to the Capitol this week.  It's always great to see Karen - especially now that she's not the one bringing bad news about the budget anymore.  I'm also excited to meet the members of Mongolia's parliament the Rotarians are hosting this week!
 
AASG Comes to the Capitol
Juneau welcomed hundreds of high school student leaders this week from all across the state for the Alaska Association of Student Governments conference. I had the privilege of meeting with many student government leaders and their sponsor teachers.  I took a lot of great questions from students - they really did their homework!  After we talked, former Commissioner of Education & Early Development Mike Hanley came by my office with Thunder Mountain High School's Darrian Roosma to say thanks.  I think they have it backwards: we legislators should be thanking them for everything they do!
Mettle at Gold Medal
 
The Juneau Lions Club just finished the 71st Gold Medal Basketball Tournament. It was a huge success!  Three Lions co-chaired this year's tournament, and I really want to thank Sasha Soboleff, William Andres, and Carmaleeda Estrada for all their work.  I also want to congratulate the winning teams!  Haines women won their bracket from among four teams.  The Hoonah Master's team came out on top of their four-team bracket.  Haines men took the eight-team B bracket, and Klukwan was the top team from among the eight in the C bracket.  That was an amazing week of basketball! 

 
Thanks to these community members for
helping make Southeast a great place to live!
  • Legendary Customer Service - Martha Penrose has been the heart, soul, and friendly face of AEL&P's customer service office for decades.  She's a problem-solver, a hard worker, and a fixture in our community.  She's also incredibly active in her church, and the matriarch of an amazing family.  Martha retires next week, and I can't think of anyone who's earned it more than she has!
  • Tops - The Alaska Society of Professional Engineers named Carl Uchytil Alaska engineer of the year. He's been active in his professional association, helped design and manage a lot of harbor rebuilds and dock expansions, and done a lot for our region's maritime economy. Recognition well earned, Carl! 
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.
Sincerely,
 
 
 
Dennis Egan
Alaska State Senator
District Q
Sen. Dennis Egan, State Capitol, 4th Avenue & Main Street, Juneau, AK 99801