October 17, 2019 (Anchorage, AK) – Earlier today Alaska Governor Michael J. Dunleavy addressed the Alaska Federation of Natives 2019 Conference in Fairbanks, covering topics of statewide outcomes, public safety, education, Power Cost Equalization, and his commitment to Alaskans.
Key excerpts from Governor Dunleavy’s address to AFN. A full transcript can be read here.
We must insist on better outcomes
“Increased funding, without demanding better outcomes, has not and will not improve the lives of Alaskans. We know things can be better and we must insist upon better outcomes. We must insist our children, women, and elders are safe. We must insist all Alaskans have better economic opportunities. And we must insist on better educational outcomes for our children.”
Processing backlogged sexual assault kits
“All backlogged sexual assault kits, including those collected decades ago, are scheduled to be processed no later than September 2021. A prosecutor and an investigator dedicated to cold cases have been hired to bring justice to families related to the previously unprocessed sexual assault kits.”
Troopers in rural Alaska
“In the last ten months, DPS has focused on increasing the number of Troopers in rural Alaska – More Troopers were hired in 2019 than in any year in the past decade… DPS will continue to aggressively work to increase the number of Troopers statewide with a focus on rural Alaska. We expect to hire 35 new Troopers in 2020 to fill the positions mentioned above.”
Continued support of the VPSO program
“We will also continue to support the VPSO program. We will have funding available in the budget to fund every vacant position that an employer needs to fill in the VPSO program, and we will continue to work with stakeholder groups to continually improve our public safety outcomes in rural Alaska. If there are recruits for the VPSO program, we will provide the funding to support those positions.”
Make tribal compacting for education a reality
“Families and local communities need to be directly involved, making educational decisions for children that are tribal members. My administration will be introducing a bill this coming legislative session that will make tribal compacting for education a reality. I look forward to working with tribes and lawmakers to craft legislation to put tribal compacting into law.”
Ensure the long-term protection of Power Cost Equalization
“Although the budget we put forward last year did in fact have funds appropriated for PCE, a legitimate concern was raised about the long-term protection of the PCE endowment. As a result, I am committed to working with Senator Hoffman, Representative Lincoln and other lawmakers to ensure the long-term protection of the PCE fund so that affordable electricity for rural Alaska is never in doubt.”
Commitment to work with all Alaskans in moving Alaska forward
“…over the past 10 months I have heard from many Alaskans from all over the state regarding the budget, programs, services, and the future of our great state. I want you to know that I have not just heard what you have had to say, but have appreciated the direct and at times difficult discussions that you have brought forth. There is no doubt that we still have difficult decisions ahead of us. But together we can solve these difficult issues confronting us. As your Governor, I am committed to incorporating your thoughts, advice, and counsel as we head into the next legislative session. I truly wish to work with you, and all Alaskans, to move this great state forward.”