Rep. Peltola addresses legislators in Juneau

Rep. Peltola addresses legislators in Juneau
Published: Feb. 18, 2023 at 10:36 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola’s first in-person address to a joint session of the Alaska Legislature in Juneau covered a range of topics from renewable energy to outmigration and fish.

Peltola spoke for just under 20 minutes, and then took questions from legislators before hosting a press conference. Peltola applauded the legislature for its commitment to bipartisanship.

“It’s strange, to hear that something we take for granted here at home is so foreign in the rest of the country,” Peltola said. “But it’s also inspiring because it gives me faith that for all the challenges Alaska faces, we’re doing something right — we’ve sparked the interest of Americans who are tired of a broken system in DC that too often highlights gimmicks over policy.”

After talking about the challenge of outmigration, during the question-and-answer period, Anchorage Rep. Alyse Galvin asked about legislating beyond the next election and making “legacy decisions” for the state of Alaska. Peltola discussed Alaska’s retirement system, calling it a “very big issue.”

“I applaud the governor for ratcheting back on some of the requirements for four-year degrees, but that’s not going to address the teacher shortage, and I think that many teachers are looking at that retirement issue,” Peltola said.

Peltola announced that Gov. Mike Dunleavy invited her to meet and discuss policy matters later that day. Peltola said that a part of that conversation will include carbon management plans for the state of Alaska, a pillar of the governor’s platform this year.

Rep. Peltola said she felt “hopeful” and “optimistic” that carbon management can be a source of revenue for Alaska.

Click here to view a recording of the address.