Dear friends + neighbors,
Between the ongoing threat of COVID-19 and the State's budget challenges, we have quite a hill to climb for the work ahead. However, I feel privileged to continue representing my home district in the Alaska House and have rolled up my sleeves to get to work.
Late last week, Representative Louise Stutes from Kodiak was elected to serve the 32nd Legislature as Speaker of the House. I am honored to be a member of the bipartisan coalition who voted for Speaker Stutes. Congratulations to my friend and colleague, Rep. Stutes! I'd also like to take a moment to say quyana, thank you, to Rep. Bryce Edgmon of Dillingham for his incredible service as Speaker of the House these past four years. As the first Alaska Native speaker in the Legislature, Rep. Edgmon has been a wonderful mentor in our shared goal of protecting rural Alaska and expanding the state's relationships with Alaska Tribes.
This week the House also adopted the Committee on Committees report, a critical step in organizing our chamber and moving the legislative process forward. I will continue to Co-Chair the House Health & Social Services committee and Chair the House Special Committee on Tribal Affairs. I will also continue serving as a member of the House Education and Energy committees.
I am grateful various COVID-19 precautions have been implemented around the Capitol complex, but remain cautious and concerned about the continued risks to the health and wellness of everyone working here. Whenever possible, my staff and I will conduct our business virtually to limit in-person contact. Please reach out to my office if you'd like to schedule some time with us!
While vaccines continue to be distributed throughout Alaska, we are not out of the woods of this pandemic. Continue to remain vigilant with safety precautions recommended by infectious disease experts, including wearing a mask around anyone who does not reside in your household, limiting non-essential travel, social distancing and practicing routine hand hygiene.
Please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff with any questions or concerns. All of our contact details can be found at the bottom of this e-newsletter.
Have a wonderful weekend,