From Senator Jesse Kiehl <[email protected]>
Subject Welcome to the Real Deal With Kiehl!
Date March 5, 2022 5:13 AM
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The Whirl and the Suck The Whirl and the Suck March 4, 2022 Dear Friends and Neighbors, Happy First Friday! I really want to thank everyone who testified on the budget in House Finance this week. As a reminder: folks in Haines, Skagway, Gustavus, and Klukwan can call (844) 586-9085 tomorrow (Saturday) at 11am. The Senate is piloting bills through committee at quite a clip. Some days it's a challenge to keep the fore ahead of the aft. Read on for some high- and low-lights. Speaking at the last week's Juneau rally in support of Ukraine. Address Protection I wrote a few weeks ago about my bill, SB 115, to create a safe mailing address to protect survivors of domestic violence and members of law enforcement. Yesterday, the Senate State Affairs Committee advanced the bill unanimously. Forty other states already have a program like it. This is a small step that can make a big difference for vulnerable Alaskans. I hope we can get to work on this bill in the Judiciary Committee soon! You can write in support the bill by emailing [email protected]. Juneau Girl Scouts delivered in the Capitol today. I'm stocked up for the winter! (Or, y'know, until the next Scout asks me to buy a box.) Dialing 911 We’ve been working on some big, complex crime bills in the Senate Judiciary Committee. While we've been at it, we also moved a smaller, more straightforward fix. Sen. David Wilson brought forward a bill requested by Alaska 911 operators. These are the public safety pros who answer our calls when we’re in crisis and dispatch first responders to the scene. They struggle to do that when people abuse the 911 system. Sometimes it's repeated prank calls or programming auto dialers to tie up the lines. Other times it's threatening 911 operators or calling over and over even after being told to stop. SB 182 creates a penalty for those behaviors so on the rare occasion it's needed, law enforcement can step in to keep the 911 lines open for real emergencies. We fine-tuned the bill in committee so it can't be used when someone is just in a panic. But with this bill, someone deliberately disrupting 911 can be stopped. Introducing Dr. Linda Birnbaum & Chief Randy Krause, who helped educate the Legislature on the problems with PFAS & safer alternatives for firefighting. School Sports It wasn't all good bills this week. There’s some alarming regression, too. The Senate Education Committee heard SB 140, which would ban transgender girls from playing on girls' sports teams in school. The committee heard from a lot of folks from Outside—bemoaning what they called “male bodied athletes” participation in girls' sports and spinning a nightmare fantasy of a “zero sum game” which will end women’s sports. They cited legal cases from 30 + years ago as justifying discrimination against transgender girls. But none of that stuff is true. We can support all Alaska children, while respecting their gender identities. Sen. Begich pushed back in the hearing, pointing out that the US Supreme Court has ruled discrimination based on gender identity is discrimination on the basis of sex. He also argued powerfully that laws like the one proposed in SB 140 harm children's mental health and are linked to increased suicide. That's something we can't afford to do. I’ll work to stop this proposal. I hope you'll join me in that. There will be public testimony on Saturday, March 12 at 10 am. Please attend or call in and let the committee know Alaskans care about all our kids. On the steps of the Capitol with Victor Tkachenko before today's rally supporting Ukraine. Slava Ukraini The whole world sees the horrifying events unfolding in Ukraine. Russia has invaded a sovereign neighbor in a war of aggression, the likes of which Europe hasn't seen since 1968. We all stand with the people of Ukraine, and with our Ukrainian Alaskan neighbors who fear for friends and family trapped in the conflict. The president and our allies are taking the right steps with both unprecedented sanctions and support of Ukraine's military. I appreciate the governor's call to welcome Ukrainian refugees. We also need to take a hard look at Alaska's investments in Russia. A relatively small percentage of the Permanent Fund and our state retirement funds are invested in Russian companies. But Sen. Wielechowski’s office did a deep dive into those investments—and they include several directly run by and benefiting people in Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. Perhaps needless to say, these are just about the highest risk investments we own, and they're losing value with every day of the war and the sanctions. I’m pleased to say that after initial resistance, the governor changed course and started investigating these ties as well, with an eye toward divesting. Alaska should not support an armed invasion of an American ally. All my best, Did someone forward you this newsletter? Did you fall into it through the series of tubes? Want more? SUBSCRIBE Events & Happenings Around District Q Juneau Pour the Love: Cabin Fever The four Juneau breweries are joining forces in another bid to bring goodwill and support community projects! All through February, stop by and enjoy special brews to help build a new public use cabin at Eaglecrest. Juneau Tax Aid AARP is hosting a free tax preparation session at St. Paul’s Catholic Church—schedule an appointment and get some help getting your taxes in order! Juneau Weeds Join the Southeast Alaska Master Gardeners for their free “weedy” Wednesdays talk. They’ll provide some good tips and answer your questions! Juneau Parks Clue #3 Was it Professor Chinook with the filet knife in Treadwell Arena? Join this free and fun spin on the classic game. This time the clues are along the Outer Point Trail. Juneau Mudrooms It’s back! The first show’s theme is “under construction.” Reserve yourself a seat for the first one on March 8th. Grab one quick! Juneau Innovation JEDC’s annual innovation summit is ON! Be a part of Talent Transformation in a Dynamic Economy. March 16-17 at Centennial Hall. Haines Snowburners Get out and enjoy the great outdoors with the Chilkat Lake 100 or Hill Climb! Haines River Talk Come listen to stories on the theme “Saved by a Song.” Seven speakers, seven stories, seven minutes, 7:00, for $7. Plus live music and more -- happening March 17th at the Chilkat Center for the Arts. Skagway Buckwheat Classic! The theme is Toga Toga Toga! This years slimmed-down but still happening Buckwheat Classic registration is open. Don't miss the March 10th deadline! Skagway Live It’s not a Buckwheat Classic without a festive night of dancing and live music with “Bad Hombres Badder Mujer” join them in the fun at Skagway Brewing Company! Skagway Babies Stories, songs, and fun with Ms. Anna! The Windy Valley Babies get together every Wednesday in the library at 10 am. Skagway Teens Get out of the house and go to the library for a weekly night when your parents aren’t allowed to come bug you - Fridays at 6:30 pm! Gustavus Teens Try the Wii, ping-pong, games, and more! (Plus, there's popcorn.) It's all free and fun—stop by the Gustavus Community Center after school on Mondays. Is there an event in our district I should know about? Please call or email! Snail Mail? Alaska State Capitol Room 419 Juneau, AK 99801 Call: 800 550 4947 907 465 4947 Email Me! ‌ ‌ ‌ Contact My Staff, the people who power the work: Edric Carrillo 907 465 6419 [email protected] Cathy Schlingheyde 907 465 6827 [email protected] Senator Jesse Kiehl | Alaska State Capitol, Rm. 419, 4th Avenue & Main Street, Juneau, AK 99801 Unsubscribe [email protected] Update Profile | Constant Contact Data Notice Sent by [email protected]
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