• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 20s

State gun bill raises questions about legislators’ priorities

By Bonney Bowman 8:29 PM July 31, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

It’s bill-signing season for Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell.

But as the legislation becomes law, it’s raising questions about how the lawmakers spend their time.

Earlier this week, Parnell signed a bill designating an official state bolt-action rifle.

The law itself isn’t what’s raising ire. It’s that lawmakers took the time to debate and vote on the state gun, rather than other bills some say are more important to Alaska and its residents.

Lawmakers passed a little more than 100 bills this session.

“I think our legislators do a good job with paring it down and passing what’s essential,” Parnell said.

Not everyone agrees with him.

The state gun bill went through several committees.

The bill’s sponsor, Senate President Charlie Huggins, says each committee spent 30 minutes to an hour asking questions about the bill before passing it.

“I think symbols of our past and remembrances of our history are important,” Parnell said.

But another piece of legislation, House Bill 54, never even got a hearing.

It would have required social workers to look for relatives within 30 days of a child entering foster care, quickly placing them with family instead of bouncing them from place to place.

“The bill was heard in a few committees, but it didn’t make it out of the house,” said Amanda Metivier, executive director for Facing Foster Care in Alaska.

Current and former foster kids talked to lawmakers in Juneau about why the bill mattered.

“We got a lot of, ‘oh yeah, that’s really interesting, we want to help’ but no movement,” Metivier said.

KTVA 11 News wanted to know what you thought, so we asked you about the issue on Facebook.

Deb Patrick said simply: “are you kidding me?!!”

Robert Haus said he agrees with the choice of state gun, but says the bill was a waste of time. Dennis Frank agreed, saying there are more important issues.

None of the commenters on Facebook thought the state gun law was a good use of the lawmakers’ time.

But the governor says the state gun matters because it’s part of Alaska’s heritage, saying, “it all ties together with the Alaska life and who we are as a people.”

Metivier says it’s unlikely the foster care bill will be brought up again.

“It’s kind of disheartening when those things don’t pass, but you know there were some good things that did pass the session in the way of children’s services,” she said. “But it’s just frustrating. You never know what’s going to happen but it’s really about what people’s priorities are.”

Metivier says one of the bills passed provides funds to increase the number of social workers in the state.

She says this will help speed up the family search process by easing the workers’ burden, but still doesn’t put a time limit on when those searches happen.

Latest Stories

  • APD names suspect who allegedly stole car with toddler inside

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 17, 12:57

    The Anchorage Police Department has identified the man who allegedly stole a vehicle with a toddler inside earlier this month as 37-year-old Bruce Allen King. Police are now asking for the public’s help in locating him. King allegedly stole a running car from McCarrey Road on Jan. 1 while a child was still buckled in a car seat, […]

  • APD: Son charged with killing his mom’s boyfriend at Anchorage motel

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 17, 12:11

    Anchorage police have arrested and charged a 23-year-old man with killing his mother’s boyfriend following an incident at an Anchorage motel Sunday. A woman called police shortly after 6 a.m. Monday to report that her boyfriend would not wake up, according to a Tuesday release from the Anchorage Police Department (APD). A short time later, […]

  • DayBreak

    Recipe Box: Beet hummus

    by Sierra Starks on Jan 17, 11:26

    Over the years, hummus has become a mainstay on American appetizer menus. As the Mediterranean spread’s trend factor has increased, so have its variety of flavors, from roasted red pepper to sun-dried tomato and basil. In this week’s Recipe Box, we’re taking it one step further, and we’re breaking out the beets. Amanda Cash, Anchorage […]

  • News

    2 survive plane crash between villages in Southwest Alaska

    by KTVA / AP on Jan 17, 7:57

    Last updated at 1:39 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17 Two people in a small airplane survived a crash between southwest Alaska villages. Alaska State Troopers say a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter spotted the downed aircraft early Monday night. Investigators say the airplane left Dillingham on a flight to Port Heiden but landed in Pilot Point […]

  • News

    Anchorage drivers weigh in on proposed red light camera ballot initiative

    by Daniella Rivera on Jan 17, 7:46

    What can be done about red light runners in Anchorage? Vice Chairman of the Anchorage Assembly Dick Traini says it’s a question he frequently hears from constituents. That’s why he and Anchorage Assembly Chair Elvi Gray-Jackson have submitted an ordinance that would let voters decide whether to allow the municipality to use cameras to ticket […]

  • Politics

    Interior nominee Zinke to be questioned on public lands, coal

    by Associated Press on Jan 17, 6:54

    Click to watch live stream of the nomination hearing. WASHINGTON (AP) – Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke says he would never sell, give away or transfer public lands, an important stance in the West where access to hunting and fishing is considered sacrosanct. But Zinke’s commitment to public lands has come into question recently and is […]

  • News

    Alaska’s population climbing despite net migration loss

    by Associated Press on Jan 17, 6:41

    Alaska’s population is climbing despite the fact that more people are moving away from the state than moving in. KTOO-FM reports that according to a Department of Labor report released Thursday, Alaska’s population has grown slightly due to births, though net migration remains down. Net migration – the number of people moving two Alaska minus […]

  • Esteban Santiago ordered held without bond

    by Associated Press on Jan 17, 6:37

    Last updated at 7:50 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17 The man suspected of fatally shooting five people and wounding six others at a Florida airport has been ordered held without bond. During a Tuesday morning hearing in Fort Lauderdale, an FBI agent confirmed that the 9 mm gun used in the Jan. 6 shooting rampage […]