Sitnews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska - News, Features, Opinions...


Governor Signs Bill to Keep Teen Drivers Safe
Other Bills Signed Create Citizenship Office, Address Administrative Reviews


July 26, 2004

Juneau, Alaska - At a bill signing ceremony today at Juneau-Douglas High School, Governor Frank Murkowski signed House Bill 213, creating a provisional driver's license; HB 379, creating the Office of Citizenship Assistance; and HB 533, addressing timely resolution of state permitting and licensing disputes or other administrative actions.

Representative Bruce Weyhrauch of Juneau joined the Governor at the event. Weyhrauch sponsored HB 213 and HB 379 and chaired the House State Affairs Committee, which sponsored HB 533.

HB 213 creates a program under which young drivers can receive provisional Alaska drivers licenses, so they can build driving experience under low-risk conditions before progressing to full driving privileges. Modeled after a system used by most other states, the provisional driver's license is designed to reduce accidents among teenage drivers. Statistics demonstrate that other states have significantly reduced accidents involving teenage drivers with the adoption of similar bills.

"Teenagers view a driver's license as a rite of passage," Murkowski said. "This bill helps make that passage a safer one. Keeping our children safe on our roads is a responsibility that we take very seriously, and I am pleased to sign this bill today to move our state forward in its efforts to reduce traffic accidents and help save the lives of young Alaskans."

HB 379 establishes an Office of Citizenship Assistance in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The new office will be tasked with the responsibility of assisting individuals who reside in the state but are not yet U.S. citizens.

"U.S. Citizenship is a precious right that we too often take for granted," Murkowski said. "This bill will help ease the way for thousands of individuals on their journey to become full members of the American family."

The Office of Citizenship Assistance will help immigrants find work and will advise the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development on how to help immigrants by improving their opportunities for work, and discouraging employment discrimination, Murkowski said.

"This office will help thousands of individuals who have relocated to Alaska to be near their families to find work, to navigate government bureaucracy more easily, and to become even more productive members of our society," Murkowski said.

HB 533 allows individuals with cases under state administrative review the option of petitioning the Superior Court to remedy an unreasonable delay.

"Government must be responsive to citizen concerns over regulation of their lives and activities," the governor said. "But if it is not, this bill provides them an opportunity for more timely resolution of those concerns, which is an important protection for citizens today and into the future."


Source of News Release:

Office of the Governor
Web Site



E-mail your news & photos to

Post a Comment
        View Comments
Submit an Opinion - Letter

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska