Alaska asserts our ownership of navigable lakes and rivers, my veterans bill passes the Senate, and I perform a song for the Folk Festival...
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April 12, 2021
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope you all had a blessed Easter weekend. I was able to spend some family time with Marta and the girls before hitting the ground running back at the capitol.
My office has been very busy working hard for you and the rest of our neighbors. This email outlines a few of the things we've been working on.
I want to hear from you! Please feel free to email me (mailto:[email protected]
) anytime or call my office at 907-465-3879 (tel:907-465-3879) to share your thoughts, questions, and concerns.
As always, I'm honored to serve you and I hope you have a fantastic week!
The Governor Moves to Exert Control over State Waters After Decades of Delay
I recently joined the governor and fellow Alaskans ([link removed]) in asserting Alaska's right to manage the more than 800,000 miles of navigable rivers and 30 million acres of navigable lakes, given to Alaska at statehood, in ANILCA, and through a unanimous Supreme Court decision. After 62 years of federal delay and obstruction, Alaska will move aggressively to promote the responsible use of our waters.
This action came on the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Sturgeon v. Frost, which unanimously ruled that John Sturgeon had the right to cross navigable waters to access state hunting grounds, even if the waters passed through federal land. The ruling made clear that Alaskans have the right to use navigable lakes and rivers even in federally conserved areas created by Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).
This issue is important to all Alaskans. For instance, access to traditional lands for Alaska Native Corporations and their shareholders has been continually limited to locations designated by the federal government. The title to and ownership of lands beneath navigable waters was one of the promises made to Alaskans at statehood. Past administrations and bipartisan legislatures fought hard to fulfill this right and other promises made to Alaska. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously reaffirmed our rights to these waters in the Sturgeon ruling. Asserting the right of Alaskans to access our navigable waters is a step toward the fulfillment of promises dating back to statehood.
Watch my comments in the video below:
Full Press conference here ([link removed]) .
My Bill Protecting Veterans Passes the Senate
My veterans bill passed the Senate unanimously on Friday. Senate Bill 40 ([link removed]) protects veterans from predatory individuals and businesses who charge for veteran benefit services without letting the veterans know that many state and nonprofit organizations provide the same services for free.
After making sacrifices to serve our country, it is unacceptable that so many veterans are being taken advantage of by these predatory for-profit groups. I am honored to carry legislation that helps my brothers and sisters get the affordable services they deserve.
I'm grateful to my colleagues for the outpouring support for this veteran protection measure.
You can view my comments in the video below.
If you are a veteran or active duty service member in need of legal, medical, or other assistance with veteran services, you can visit the Anchorage VA website for information or to book an appointment with a Benefits Counselor ([link removed]) .
The 2021 Alaska Folk Festival
I've always loved music. I was encouraged to play one of my original songs for the virtual Alaska Folk Festival this year. My friend, John Bitney, and I submitted a song I wrote during my second deployment to Iraq. I don't get to play music as much as I'd like, so the Alaska Folk Festival was a welcome opportunity to play a song and participate in a great show! I loved listening to the other artists in the program as well. I always encourage folks to pick up an artistic hobby. I hope you enjoy our song!
Performed by Josh Revak and John Bitney
You can find all of the mainstage concerts on the Alaska Folk Festival Youtube channel ([link removed]) . ([link removed])
Find Municipal Election results here ([link removed])
Track bills by texting a bill number to 559-245-2529 or visiting akleg.gov ([link removed]) .
Rep. Laddie Shaw (District 26): 907-465-4945
Rep. Calvin Schrage (District 25): 907-465-4931
Find your Community Council: Online here ([link removed]) or call 907-277-1977
Municipality of Anchorage website ([link removed])
Assembly-member contacts ([link removed])
Anchorage School District: 907-742-4000
Anchorage School Board: 907-742-1101
COVID-19 Vaccine information:
Book an Appointment ([link removed]) (16+ y/o eligible)
Frequently Asked Questions ([link removed])
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Session: State Capitol, Room 125, Juneau, AK 99801
Interim: 1500 West Benson, Room 410, Anchorage, AK 99503
** [email protected]
| ** Senate District M ([link removed])
| 907-465-3879 | ** Website ([link removed])
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