Senator Sullivan: Federal Government taking action in ‘positive direction’ for Alaska
President Donald Trump recently signed several bills into law. Senator Dan Sullivan said the National Defense Authorization Act and the Defense Appropriations Funding are important for Alaska and specifically the Interior.
"This is good news, it's good news for our economy, it's good news for our national defense. We're really building up our military -- just got our service members a 3% pay raise so we know that that's important for them and their families,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan has been working on legislation addressing veteran suicide prevention. Recently one of those bills, which focuses on supporting Veterans Affairs suicide prevention coordinators, was signed into law.
"These are the front line VA officials that are really working with our veterans, day in day out. That's a tough job -- to make sure that they're getting the resources that they need, that they're not overstressed as well," said Sullivan.
Another issue referenced in the funding passed was addressing PFAS firefighting foam contamination, "To make sure that there's funding to start the clean-up of these PFAS sites on military bases in particular, to have a deeper understanding of how this impacts health issues, and to look at in the military completely phasing out the use of these chemicals that are fire retardants -- that's what they've been used for -- in the next couple of years," said Sullivan.
He also mentioned some of the federal funding for public safety that has been directed to Alaska. "We've had historic progress from the Attorney General and the Department of Justice on directing federal resources to try to address some of our big challenges with public safety, with sexual assault, and domestic violence -- almost $60 million from the department of justice under Attorney General Barr to address some of our big challenges with public safety," said Sullivan.
Sullivan says while Alaskans do face challenges, he feels positive about the actions the federal government is taking.