February 5, 2023

JUNEAU, Alaska (KINY) – Gov. Mike Dunleavy delivered his fifth annual state of the state address to a joint session of the Alaska state legislature Monday night, during which he presented his vision and optimism for Alaska’s future.

“Our history is always being written, including now,” Dunleavy said. “The question for all of us is what do we want to make of this story? Will we still be fighting about the PFD in 50 years? Or will we have solved this problem long before then by respecting Alaskan voices? Will history show that we missed opportunities or that we took them? Will we put politics and personalities ahead of people’s needs? Or will we move beyond politics and personalities, will we do what is right for the people we serve who have become cynical about what is going on in Juneau? I believe we are in such a time right now. That time is now.”

Governor Dunleavy’s address focused on his accomplishments and vision for growing the economy, capitalizing on new opportunities for investment and economic growth, improving the quality of life for all Alaskans, and supporting the next generation of Alaskans.
“Through the actions we will take together when people ask which of the 50 states values ​​children and families the most from the moment of conception? They will say Alaska. When people look for the safest place to raise a family, they say Alaska,” Gov. Dunleavy said. “When people are looking for the best education system for their family, they say Alaska. When people look for affordable housing, they say Alaska. When people look for economic opportunities, they say Alaska. When people are looking for the best quality of life, they say Alaska. That’s my goal, and I hope it’s your goal too. If not then what’s the point? Why are we here?”

Emphasizing collaboration and impartiality in efforts to improve education, increase public safety, combat the scourge of opioids and domestic violence, and improve Alaska’s social and economic prospects, Dunleavy urged his lawmakers to look to the future, to take the opportunity to write our history for the benefit of all Alaskans.

“I think we are in such a time right now. That time is now. I believe what we do now over the next four months will set Alaska’s course not just for the next four years but for the next generation,” Gov. Dunleavy said. “Tonight I’m not asking you to just acknowledge this moment in history. I ask you to take this moment as an opportunity to make our story, starting today. We can share this moment or let it pass us individually.”

Here are excerpts from Governor Dunleavy’s 2023 State-of-the-State Address:

Defense of Alaskan interests

“As governors and as legislators, we have a moral obligation to ensure that we are allowed to fulfill the promise of statehood and shape our own destiny for future generations.

“When federal agencies are clearly wrong, when they misinterpret the Statehood Act, ANILCA, or any other law that governs our relationship with the federal government, we have an obligation to stop them. When environmental extremists, NIMBYists and Luddites are wrong, they too must be fought.

“We have an equal right to exist with the other 49 states. That’s fact. We are no longer territory. We are no longer a district. We are the 49th state.”

north for the occasion

“For too long we have allowed others to tell our stories. The North to Opportunity initiative in my proposed budget will change that. We’re going to tell this story, our story, the real story, and it’s not the story the extremists want everyone to believe.

“Through multiple media channels and targeted industry outreach, we will promote our unmatched investment and development opportunities.

“From logistics to unmanned aircraft, from critical minerals to low and zero-carbon energy, and more, Alaska is a resource powerhouse in a strategic position around the world that has much more to offer than just our beautiful landscape and wildlife.

“Now is the time to share our story – not their fairy tales – with the rest of the world, and I urge members of the Legislature to support this initiative.”

People First Initiative

“My administration has introduced several sensible measures bills over the past year to increase protections for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, increase penalties for offenders and tackle sex trafficking.

“One of these bills expanded the definition of sex trafficking to include those predators who force the most vulnerable into the sex trade by enforcing threats such as deprivation of basic necessities such as food, clothing, or shelter…

“We will resubmit these bills because this issue is too important to wait another year.

“And I urge lawmakers to give survivors and their attorneys the opportunity to witness and shape these bills and send them to my desk for signature. They deserve nothing less.

“Protecting public safety, protecting our most vulnerable, is the most important task for any elected official.”

Declare war on the merchants

“As I announced in October, I will introduce legislation that will challenge those who ruthlessly traffic in fentanyl and fentanyl-laced drugs in our communities. The morally bankrupt drug peddlers know death is possible and they don’t care.

“So we’ll let you know tonight. I will introduce laws to increase the penalty for a merchant who sells poison that will cause anyone’s death.

“Currently, under current law, this act can only be charged as manslaughter with a maximum sentence of just 20 years. Under my legislation, we increase that sentence to second-degree murder, with up to 99 years imprisonment. These people deserve nothing less.

“To those people who don’t care about human life, you’re not just gambling with the lives of others when you peddle this poison. You play with your own.”

Build momentum for the future

“We will continue to be leaders in the production of oil, natural gas, conventional and critical minerals. At the same time, our potential will allow us to establish ourselves as a global leader in new forms of low-carbon and zero-carbon energy.

“We will develop our stranded North Slope gas to power Alaska, power our Asian allies, and generate carbon-free energy in the form of hydrogen and ammonia. We will harness Cook Inlet’s resources with nearly 20 percent of the world’s tidal energy and 50 gigatons of carbon storage potential for industrial and international customers. Through our forests, our shores, and our oil and gas basins, we will attract investment and generate new revenue.

“By supporting our carbon monetization law, we will change the conversation about new revenue from tired thinking of the past.”

Pro kids, pro moms, pro dads, pro families

“It’s no secret to anyone that I am a pro-life governor, and my administration stands ready to work with all of you over the next four years to achieve my goal of making Alaska the pro-life state nationwide.” close.

“Look, I like people, and more importantly, we need more people in Alaska. Not less. We need more people in our jobs. We need more people in our schools. We need more people to create wealth.

“We need more people to solve the problems of Alaska and the world. We need more families living the American Dream. Humans are not some nebulous, abstract concept. People are what it’s about. Everything we do is for the people, or should be.

“Government is about serving the people, and the people are why we are here: the Alaskan people of today and certainly the Alaskan people of tomorrow. It’s important to remember: there’s no tomorrow without more people. We must never lose sight of that.

“To that end, together, we can enact policies like the Healthy Families Initiative for our people that are for kids, for moms, for dads, and for families.”

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