PUBLISHED: 5:48 PM on Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Five legislators named Heroes for Children

Five Alaska legislators were recognized as Heroes for Children by the Alaska Association of Homes for Children. At its annual meeting in Juneau on January 25, the state-wide association recognized Senators Fred Dyson (Eagle River) and Hollis French (Anchorage); and Representatives David Guttenberg (Fairbanks), Lesil McGuire (Anchorage), and Les Gara (Anchorage).

Senator Dyson has served for many years as Chair of the Legislative Children's Caucus. He sponsored bills related to pregnancy alcohol warnings, distribution of child pornography, victim compensation, and regarding repeat sex offenders and victim compensation.

Senator French was a major supporter on the Senate side to regulate non-alcoholic strip clubs, and along with Senator Dyson sponsored legislation related to repeat sex offenders, and victim compensation in sexual abuse and assault cases.

Representative McGuire played a leadership role in sponsoring legislation to regulate non-alcoholic strip clubs, and offered legislation relating to sex crims and pornography offenses as well as child endangerment driving offenses.

Representative Guttenberg sponsored a bill to prohibit soft drinks in schools, legislation relating to minimum wage health care deduction and increases in education funding.

Representative Gara was honored for his sponsorship of bills relating to maximum pupil/teacher ratios, victim compensation for sex abuse and assault cases, and the bill regulating non-alcoholic strip clubs.

Each of these legislators was honored at the Association's legislative reception in Juneau. Legislative Chair Kara Nyquist of Covenant House Alaska presented the awards, stating that these public servants have been a powerful voice for children and have worked to improve the lives of children and families in need.

The Alaska Association of Homes for Children was formed in 1986 to provide a forum to advocate and support children in out-of-home placements. Its eighteen institutional members are from throughout the State and each year serve thousands of children in need.