Rep. Dan Saddler

When a southbound truck slammed its oversized load into the Glenn Highway’s South Eagle River Road overpass last week, it did more than interrupt traffic for thousands of local residents and commuters. It reignited public discussion about just how vulnerable Southcentral Alaska’s transportation system really is.

Thankfully, no one was injured directly. But the collision damaged the overpass such that engineers with the Department of Transportation &Public Facilities shut down traffic, fearing chunks of concrete might continue falling from the bridge into southbound traffic.

As a legislator representing a district with more veterans than any other in Alaska, I take very seriously my responsibility to look out for veterans’ interests. My legislative career has focused strongly on supporting veterans and their families, and my proudest duty has been as chair of the Military and Veterans Affairs, and Joint Armed Services committees.

By now, almost everyone’s got a smart phone. Even in Alaska, iPhones and Androids have become an indispensable part of life, helping us communicate, navigate, plan schedules, count calories, play games, and more. There is almost no aspect of life that smartphones don’t make easier and better.

So, as part of my work to make state government work better for Alaskans, I came up with a simple idea that will let us leverage modern technology to better enjoy the traditional Alaskan pleasures of hunting, fishing and trapping: digital licenses.

If there’s one thing I’m sure we can all agree on, it’s that there have been enough special legislative sessions this year!

At least the session that wound up Tuesday resulted in some important revisions to Alaska’s criminal justice reform effort. We passed Senate Bill 54 to fix some of the worst elements of Senate Bill 91, the big 2016 crime reform bill.