Murkowski legislative address

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski spoke on a number of topics ranging from state and national legislation to the recent impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate during her annual address to the Alaska Legislature on Tuesday morning.

The senator made immediate note of the impeachment at the beginning of her speech, pointing to partisanship in both the House and Senate throughout the process.

“The division in Washington, D.C, is an embarrassing portrayal of what we have become,” Murkowski said. 

The senator proceeded to call out President Donald Trump for executive overreach — noting former President Barack Obama was guilty of that as well — and emphasized the need for Congress to stand up for themselves. 

“Congress must assert itself as a co-equal branch of government,” she said. 

In shifting from discussions from congressional failure to successes, Murkowski noted the recent efforts to further address the statewide — and indeed, nationwide — epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

“We learned that most — especially in the Department of Justice — really had no idea the extent of the crisis,” Murkowski said, noting recent developments in federal taskforces and funding being directed toward the issue. 

On a more local level, Murkowski congratulated Gov. Mike Dunleavy on a recent plan to create tribal compacts for education funding. 

The senator was met with rousing applause during discussions of the importance of the state’s ferry system. 

“In Alaska, highways include the marine highway, it’s just as simple as that,” she said. 

The senator closed with a warning. On the heels of the ever-contentious impeachment trial in the Senate, Murkowski called upon Alaska lawmakers not to sink into partisan battles. 

“Do what’s right for Alaska,” she said.

Contact staff writer Erin McGroarty at 459-7544. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.