With the newspaper headlines featuring legislators introducing bills targeting oil taxes, guns, and gas in the pipeline, it is heartwarming to read that Sen. Johnny Ellis has introduced a bill to add another layer of protection for Alaska’s vulnerable adult population.
Senate Bill 36, creating an alert system for missing adults who are at risk, is a proactive preventive program. Often tragedies, such as the shooting of children at a school in Connecticut have to occur before reactive policies take place. Sen. Ellis, in his advocacy, has the foresight to recognize that with Alaska’s rapidly growing population of elders and the insidious rise of Alzheimer’s disease, a safety net is essential so that newspaper headlines won’t report yet another tragedy of someone dying needlessly of exposure, such as an older woman did this summer in Anchorage.
— Patrick M Cunningham