Blogs by Rep Bob Lynn

Blog site of Representative Bob Lynn, Alaska House of Representatives,District 31 Anchorage, Alaska. Blogs consist of public comments during legislative sessions, speeches, political commentary, as well as personal observations, and some journal type entries. Comments are invited.

Location: Anchorage, Alaska, United States

Member of the Alaska State House of Represeentatives since 2003. US Air Force, Retired; military bandsman; F94C interceptor pilot; Vietnam service as radar controller (Monkey Mountain), radar site commander(Pleiku); Government Contract Management; Public school Teacher, Retired. Married 55 years to Marlene Wagner Lynn, 6 children, 20 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild. Member St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Church. Former Tucson Arizona policeman, Ambulance Driver and Mortician's Assistant, Realtor (currently on referral status).

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Committee Comments on Longevity Bonus MAY 8, 2003

Member of House State Affairs Committee comments on May 8, 2003.

The Governpr Murkowski's Commissioner of Administration (chaired by Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch) came before the House State Affairs Committee, and presented the Governor's bill for eliminating the Longevity Bonus. Immediately after the commishion er's presentation, I made the first response in the Legislature to eliminating the Longevity Bonus, and it was before this State Affairs Committee.
Rep. Bob Lynn speaking:

"Two disclosures: I am 70 years old – and everybody who looks at me can believe that. Secondly, I don’t get the bonus longevity bonus.

I support Murkowski’s intent and courageous plan to cut budget/raise revenue, but I also support keeping my personal campaign promises.

I believe the longevity bonus is a de factor contract between Alaska and its pioneer citizens. That’s what I said during my campaign, and that’s what I say now. I made a campaign promise to protect the longevity bonus, and I’m a promise keeper. Folks need to be able to trust their government, and trust those they elect.

In the world of politics, old folks are too often a target of fiscal opportunity, because 18,000 isn’t very large compared to the state constituency of 650,000 - it’s only about 2 or 3 percent. It’s an easy place to pick up 47 million.

Do we need 47 million more revenue? Obviously we do. Could we raise 47 million by a cruise ship tax? Of course we could. Could we raise revenue with a car rental tax”? Sure. Could we raise money from - - well, the list goes on, and on. But in the world of realpolitik, the pickings are easier from the elderly than it is from the big guys.

I was taught to keep my promises and respect my elders, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do!

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

When Horrific Experiences Occur May 6, 2003

This House floor speech was in response to Rep. Weyhrauch's "Five Wishes" HB 25 bill.
Rep. Weyhrauch is a fine legislator, I just happen to disagree with his heartfelt position on this issue. Note: As of March 2005, I am no longer a member of the Alaska Right to Life Board of Directors.

Mr. Speaker:

I need to declare a conflict of interest. I’m a Past-President of Alaska Right to Life, and a current Board member.

Before I say another word, I here to tell you how much I appreciate the sponsor of this bill, the representative from Juneau – the tall one! He has worked very hard on this bill, both in this body, and in the other body. I’m pleased to tell you that HB 25 is much improved from the version I looked at last session. Many of the concerns I had previously have been addressed – and I want to thank the sponsor for listening and acting.

Mr. Speaker, this bill addresses subjects that are uncomfortable to all of us. If they were not uncomfortable, we wouldn’t be normal. I’ve personally suffered the pain of seeing my mother come down with cancer as the result of smoking. She had to suffer a larynxtomy – the removal of her voice box - so that she had to breathe through a hole in her neck, and when she cried, her cries were silent. Eventually she lapsed into a coma, and during that coma she received intravenous food and hydration and, of course, she eventually died, and I was at her bedside when her last faint pulse stopped – and then, and only then, we removed the tubes that delivered the comfort of food and water. Many of us, especially people my age, have been through that kind of personal experience. I don’t recommend the experience. But most of us will experience it, at one time or another, or our spouse will experience it.

When those horrific experiences occur, if we have any humanity at all, we question our core beliefs, we question our ethics, our morality, our education, our religion, our common sense, we question everything, and all those questions battle each other for an answer. If we’re normal, we suffer very mixed emotions. We want to be true to our loved one, and be also true to right and wrong, as God gives us the ability to determine such things.

This bill, HB 25, attempts to guide us through these horrific end-of-life decisions. As I said previously on some other bill, we don’t make perfect law here, because we’re not perfect. The Perfect Lawmaker isn’t a member of this body – but of course, many of us do believe there is in fact, a Perfect Lawmaker. But He’s “up there,” not “down here.” This bill is the result of an honest and sincere attempt, by an honest and sincere representative, to craft a – “quote” – “good” bill. And much of the bill is, in fact, good. And I thank the sponsor for that.

I wish I could vote for HB25, but I can not - because I can not, personally, within my belief system, condone removing nutrition and hydration from a dying person, or inflict $10,000 in civil damages to someone who refuses to stop providing food and water.

We cast some tough votes down here. Good people, for whatever reason, can understand things differently, and reasonable people know that. That’s why there are forty of us elected to this chamber, not just one. I have to vote where my conscience is, and I’ll be voting no. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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