Governor Addresses Bethel Chamber of Commerce, Signs Legislation
July 17, 2014, Bethel, Alaska – Recognizing Alaska’s critical role in the Arctic, Governor Sean Parnell today signed House Joint Resolution 24, urging the U.S. Department of State to consider the State of Alaska’s priorities as it holds the position of chair of the Arctic Council. Those priorities include creating jobs and economic opportunity for Arctic residents, preventing suicide, developing safe and sustainable sanitation facilities for small, isolated Arctic communities, and securing safe and reliable shipping. HJR 24 was sponsored by Representative Bob Herron.
“America is an Arctic nation because of Alaska, and Alaska’s priorities must be considered,” Governor Parnell said. “From jobs and economic opportunity to investment in infrastructure, each decision we make as a state deals with the Arctic. I look forward to continuing to work to expand Alaska’s influence in this critical area, and I appreciate Representative Herron’s diligence in ensuring Alaskans’ voices are heard.”
While in Bethel, Governor Parnell also signed two other important bills:
House Bill 301, sponsored by Representative Bob Herron, better supports Alaska’s grieving families. HB 301 fosters collaboration between the State Medical Examiner and local jurisdictions in order to set standards for conducting remote post mortem exams. By eliminating the need to transport a body back to Anchorage, this will help reduce associated delays and separation issues that create additional difficulties for grieving families. The bill also clarifies the State Medical Examiner’s practice of transporting bodies back from the Anchorage office to the community most convenient for the family, rather than back to the place of death.
House Concurrent Resolution 19, sponsored by Representative Bob Herron, prompts the Alaska Legislature to support Recover Alaska and its work to reduce the harm caused by excessive consumption of alcohol in the state. Recover Alaska is a public-private partnership made up of concerned Alaska business, government, and independent leaders.