Thank You For Letting Me Represent You; We’ve Done A Lot Together!

This is one of the harder newsletters I’ve ever written, about the most gratifying job I’ve ever had. I’ve enjoyed representing you the past decade and a half, and working with so many of you around the state to try to make life a little better for people. I have a term to complete and will keep working hard for you until mid-January. But I’ve chosen, after going back and forth many times, not to run for re-election. It was a hard decision. Waking up every morning knowing you have the chance, and obligation, to try to make someone’s life better is an amazing privilege. Many of you know this from your own jobs….

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The (Really) Good, The Ugly & The Meh – 2018 Legislative Session Wrap Up

It’s Over. The world is a better place than it was before session – and way better than it could have been with one-party rule. With a very Conservative GOP-led Senate, a moderate House Bi-Partisan Majority Coalition whom I served with, and an Independent Governor, we drove the middle line, found consensus or compromise (which often involved hard-nosed negotiations) to make many things better for people. We stopped extreme measures.

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Comprehensive Bill to Improve Lives of Alaska Foster Youth and Families Passes with Strong Bipartisan Support

Juneau – Yesterday, the Alaska Legislature passed comprehensive legislation sponsored by Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) to improve Alaska’s foster care system. House Bill 151 establishes new training and workload standards for caseworkers in the Office of Children’s Services. Lower caseload levels are widely recognized to lead to better health and outcomes for children and families. HB 151 has broad support from children’s advocacy groups and adopts major, comprehensive national best practice standards. The bill passed the Alaska State Senate Wednesday by a unanimous 18-0 vote. The bill was co-sponsored by 18 members of the Senate.

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