Vice President Pence and Mrs. Karen Pence stopped in Alaska at Joint Base Elmendorf and Richardson (JBER) on their way to South Korea for the opening of the 2018 Olympics. Vice President Pence and I met with Major General Laurie Hummel and General Lori Robinson, NORTHCOM Commander for a security briefing about missile defense and Alaska’s strategic location.
This week, Lt. Governor Mallott along with Senator Dan Sullivan met with Senior Canadian Government officials on transboundary mine issues, water quality, and climate change. The joint meetings conveyed unity and action from the state government and federal government.
The Governor’s Office recognizes February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and First Lady Donna Walker shared her insights as a parent about an issue which impacts too many of Alaska’s youth.
First Lady Donna Walker, Lt. Governor Mallott and Mrs. Toni Mallott and I hosted China People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, officials from Sichuan Province as well as a delegate from Hainan Airlines at the People’s House in Juneau. China is Alaska’s biggest trade partner and trade with China directly benefits thousands of Alaskans, including fisherman and miners.
My administration continues to explore efficiencies and streamlining of services including, PFD Automatic Voter Registration Opt-Out Legislation, which would allow applicants the opportunity to opt-out of voter registration during the PFD application process rather than having to send an “opt-out” notice to each applicant. This legislation would allow the Department of Elections to more effectively manage the new program without costing the additional state funds by sending out expensive mailers and would register voters immediately, eliminating the 30-day requirement under current law. Office of Information Technology estimates that this would save the state $210,000 each year beginning in 2019.
Lt. Governor Byron Mallott and I look forward to addressing members of the Southeast Conference this week. We will discuss the challenges facing the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS), an integral part of life in Southeast Alaska and the valuable work of the AMHS Steering Committee.