​​​​​​Representative Matt Claman's Alaska Matters 

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Protecting Your Rights: Serving Sand Lake, Spenard, and Turnagain


February 23, 2018

In this issue:

•  Olympic Gold Moment for Alaskan Skier

•  Judiciary Committee to Consider Gun Violence Protective Order Bill

•  Legislation Updates

•  Anchorage Caucus & Mid-Session Constituent Coffee

•  Last Week to Take the Survey!

•  Community Events

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The past week has marked highs and incredible lows for our state and our nation. As finance subcommittees continue steady progress toward a budget, discussion in Juneau has turned to how to prevent future tragedies like the shooting in Parkland, FL. During her address to the legislature, U.S. Senator Murkowski acknowledged the need to have tough conversations about gun violence. My office is taking a lead in these discussions and the House Judiciary Committee will be considering a gun violence protective order bill next week.


Olympic Gold Moment for Alaska’s Kikkan Randall

Anchorage skier Kikkan Randall and teammate Jessie Diggins of Minnesota made Olympic history when they won the gold medal in the women’s cross-country team sprint in Pyeongchang. The pair earned U.S. women their first-ever medal in cross-country skiing. Kikkan, who is competing in her fifth Olympics said, “It’s what I’ve been working on for 20 years and with this team for the last five years, and wow, it’s just so fun to put it together tonight, finally.”

US Olympic athletes Jessica Diggins (left) and Kikkan Randall (right) celebrate their Olympic gold medal victory in the women's team sprint in Pyeongchang.

We extend a huge congratulations to the teammates who will bring home the second ever US cross-country skiing medal. We’re very proud of Kikkan Randall and all of our homegrown Olympic athletes!


House Judiciary Committee to Consider Gun Violence Protective Order Bill

Last week’s Parkland, Florida school shooting highlights the need for meaningful, substantive discussions about reducing gun violence nationwide. Yesterday, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski addressed the House and the Senate in a joint session, during which she remarked that the way we have historically dealt with mass shootings is not enough: “We cannot have continued congressional impasse, where we have a tragedy happen and all of us express our condolences and then lock into our political stances and nothing is done until the next tragedy hits, and then we express our outrage all over again. We cannot become numb to the violence that is around us.”

Senator Lisa Murkowski addresses the legislature on Thursday.

Next week, the House Judiciary Committee will hear Representative Tarr’s House Bill 75: Gun Violence Protective Orders, legislation that creates protective orders to remove guns from individuals with heightened risk of endangering themselves or others. The bill allows law enforcement, or the families of high risk individuals who pose significant danger to themselves or others, the right to petition the courts for a protective order prohibiting the possession or ownership of firearms or ammunition. If the court finds that an individual poses a significant risk to themselves or others, the court can issue a protective order requiring the individual to surrender all firearms or ammunition that they possess. The bill also requires health care providers to notify the Department of Health and Social Services of all gun threats that they have been made aware of.

The House Judiciary Committee will take public testimony on HB 75 on Wednesday, February 28th. Click here for more information about testifying.

Legislation Updates

Here in Juneau, we’re working hard to finish our work by the 90 day mark. The budget remains our top priority as we continue to work on other important legislation.

In the last week, the Alaska House of Representatives passed two pieces of legislation sponsored by my office. House Bill 312 addresses the problem of increased assaults in health care facilities. The bill allows arrest without a warrant for a fourth degree assault in a health care facility. This narrow exception to the warrant requirement gives law enforcement the tools needed to swiftly remove perpetrators and allows medical professionals to focus on safely administering care to those in need. The House passed HB 312 by a vote of 31-1. The bill now heads to the Senate.

Rep. Claman speaks with Rep. Millett and Rep. Ledoux on the House Floor on Monday.

The House also passed House Bill 20, which allows elected officials to solemnize marriages. The bill amends Alaska Marriage Code to include elected officials among the group of people with authority to officiate weddings. With recent court closures, adding elected officials to this list provides Alaskans an accessible alternative to the time-consuming process of arranging for a marriage commissioner appointment. This change particularly improves access to marriage solemnization in rural areas with fewer officials pre-approved by the state. The bill passed the House by a vote of 29-6. The next stop for the bill is the Senate State Affairs committee.

Looking ahead to next week, the House Finance Committee will begin taking public testimony on the operating budget and the mental health budget on Thursday, March 1st. Public Testimony will take place from 10:15-11:45 a.m. from the Anchorage Legislative Information Office at 1500 W. Benson Blvd. For more information on public testimony, click here.


Anchorage Caucus & Mid-Session Constituent Meeting

Many Anchorage legislators will be in town early next month to meet with constituents for our annual Anchorage Caucus event. The legislators will meet constituents at the UAA Rasmuson Hall for an “open house” meeting. Attendees can talk with legislators and share feedback on our work. We look forward to seeing you there!

When: Saturday, March 3rd from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Where:  UAA Rasmuson Hall, 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508

Visit the Facebook event page for more information and to RSVP.

For those of you who are unable to attend Anchorage Caucus in the afternoon, I will be hosting additional constituent hours on Saturday morning at City Diner from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. We’ll have tables reserved and you are welcome to come join me for coffee. I welcome the opportunity to see you. 

When: Saturday, March 3rd from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Where:  City Diner, 3000 Minnesota Drive, Anchorage, AK 99503


Last Week to Take Constituent Survey!

Don’t miss the opportunity to take our constituent survey! This is the last week our online survey will be open and we’d be grateful to hear your thoughts. If you haven’t taken it yet, follow this link or click on the box below.




Community Events

Mark your calendar for these upcoming events:

Anchorage Fur Rendezvous

It's Fur Rondy time again! Here are some of the highlights from the first weekend (to see a full schedule, click here).

Open World Championship Sled Dog Races

Voted “Best Event” by the International Sled Dog Racing Association, the race pits sprint mushing teams against each other over three days of the same 25-mile route for a total of 75 miles. Starting from the corner of Fourth Avenue and D Street in downtown Anchorage, the course winds through the city’s forests, across major roads and back downtown. The races kick off at noon on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The ‘low-snow’ route that will be taken by mushers during the Open World Championship Sled Dog Races.

When: Friday – Sunday, February 23rd - 25th beginning at noon.
Where:  The races begin at the corner of Fourth Avenue and D Street and wind throughout town.

Visit the Facebook event page for more information and to RSVP.

Frostbite Footrace & Costume Fun Run

Runners partake in the annual Fur Rondy Frostbite Footrace & Costume Fun Run.

Rain or snow, sunshine or clouds, hardy Alaskans get out of bed early on the first Saturday of Fur Rondy to participate in this annual favorite. The Frostbite Footrace offers two opportunities for fun: The Frostbite Footrace 5K and the 2.5K Fun Run, open to all ages and athletic abilities. 

The route begins at the Fifth Avenue Skywalk (between the Egan Center and the Performing Arts Center) and finishes at Sixth Avenue and H Street. Footrace (5K) is 2 laps of the course; Fun Run (2.5) is 1 lap of the course. Click here to register.

When: Saturday, February 24th at 9:30 AM.
Where:  The race begins on 5th Avenue between the Performing Arts Center and the Egan Center.

Fireworks Extravaganza

Pyrotechnic artists will paint the sky with blasts of blazing rockets, bigger than any others used in Alaska! Anticipated as one of the highlights of the festival, this year’s family fun Fireworks Extravaganza will be visible to watchers throughout downtown and beyond. The winter sky over Anchorage will never be brighter!

When: Saturday, February 24th at 6:55 PM.
Where:  Downtown Anchorage

Visit the Facebook event page for more information and to RSVP.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

signed: Matt Claman 

    Rep. Matt Claman

    P.S. follow me on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Contact Information

(907) 465-4919


State Capitol Bldg. Rm 118
Juneau, Alaska 99801


Contact the Governor

550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1700
Anchorage, AK 99501
T (907) 269-7450 F (907) 269-7461
Governor Bill Walker

State Info (907) 269-5111

Serving the Anchorage Neighborhoods of
Sand Lake, Spenard, and Turnagain

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