Sen. Lisa Murkowski returned to Juneau on Thursday for her fifteenth speech to the Legislature touching on topics ranging from oil discoveries on the North Slope, expanding mining projects and the state’s growing tourism industry.

The state’s senior senator later addressed the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

She reflected on the 1999 Columbine, Colorado shooting while she served in the Legislature while discussing the Florida shooting.

She said Congress needs to take action but she never used the word gun when talking about either shooting.

She did stress a focus on background checks and helping those with mental illnesses.

“We cannot have continued Congressional impasse where we have a tragedy happen, we all express our condolences, we then lock into our political stance and nothing is done until the next tragedy hits and then we express our outrage all over again,” she told lawmakers.

“We cannot become numb to the violence that is around us,” she said. “If the senseless death of children cannot bring us together to find solutions, I don’t know what can.”

Murkowski later met with reporters for about 20 minutes.

She revisited the subject of gun violence while also talking about opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), marijuana laws and the investigation into whether the Russians meddled into the 2016 election.

“Knowing what we know now, after this information that has been released, it is very clear that the Russians were meddling,” she said. “Meddling, interfering, I don’t know what you want to call it, but it has been made clear that they have had their fingers in our elections.”

Murkowski added that Mueller needs to continue the investigation without outside interference.

“I’m a firm believer that this investigation needs to proceed,” she said. “It needs to proceed without directive from the outside. This is what we have tasked them to do, so give them the ability to follow the information where it may take them.”

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