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Alaska State Senate


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Petitioning Alaska Governor

Anti-cruelty protections for sled dogs

I used to be a fan of the great Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race. It seemed like a truly noble event; a throwback to when man and man's best friend worked together to defy the odds and conquer nature. But then I learned the truth: under Alaska law, sled dogs are exempt from animal cruelty protections. Since the race began in 1973, at least 140 dogs have died during the event, because of injuries and strain from overwork. But even off-season, sled dogs can endure cruel conditions: those that are kept in unregulated commercial kennels are too often tethered on short chains, unable to play or even move freely, forced to eat where they defecate. At these nightmare kennels, when a dog is no longer profitable, it is often destroyed. We must remove the clause in the current law that exempts competition sled dogs from anti-cruelty protections. Until we do, the animal abusers in the mix will too often get off scot-free, without fear of prosecution, and will have no reason to change their ways. The Iditarod has turned into a massive event with many corporate sponsors, and a lot of money at stake. Because of this, the race will not police itself -- uncovering animal abuse could hurt sponsorship and attendance. And even if the event did work to protect dogs, this current law limits the charges they could file against known abusers. Changing the law is the first step to ensuring that sled dogs are treated humanely. Moreover, removing the anti-cruelty exemption would also help limit “over-driving” of sled dogs, which happens when they are overworked to the point of irreparable harm, including internal hemorrhaging, broken bones, internal organ damage and fatal injuries. Let’s bring the nobility back to Alaska’s Iditarod, and change the animal cruelty laws to reflect the respect these sled dogs deserve. Please sign my petition asking Alaska lawmakers to remove the anti-cruelty exemptions for sled dogs.

David Moeller
189,259 supporters
Petitioning Donald Trump, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Department of Veterans Affairs, Alabama State Senate, Alabama State House, Alabama Governor, Florida State Senate, Florida State House, Flo...

Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members unite with their families!

I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy veteran, who served for 10 years, one-third in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand that I first encountered amerasian children, and descendants, of U.S. service members and civilian contractors previously stationed overseas. Filipino Amerasians are abandoned and neglected biracial children of Filipino mothers and American fathers (mostly members of the US armed forces). In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were born and left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t legally recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. The Philippine Embassy won't help them either. As a former US colony between 1898 and 1946, the Philippines was home to millions of US soldiers and their dependents, even after its independence. Until 1992, the country hosted two of the largest US military facilities outside the US – Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base, which played major roles during the Vietnam and first Gulf wars. In 1982 US Public Law 97-359, or the Amerasian Act of 1982, allowed children from Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, or Thailand to move to the US and eventually become American citizens, but those who were from the Philippines were excluded from the law, an exclusion which was upheld by the US Senate on the basis that many Filipino Amerasians were “conceived from illicit affairs and prostitution”, and were born during peacetime. Today, there are estimated to be more than 250,000-plus children. Many amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. service members who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to unite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. service members. Today, all John wants is to be united with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to unite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2018, HR 1520, creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Currently, blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to connect, or in some cases, reconnect with their own children. John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently unite with her father. There is a PBS documentary, "Left by the Ship" (2010), documenting a day in the life and the personal struggles as a Filipino amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggles to connect to their American military families. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017, HR 1520, now!

Jenifer Bass
33,483 supporters
Closed
Petitioning President of the United States

Remove the penalty that prevents people with disabilities from marrying!

When we think of marriage equality, we think about the ongoing fight LGBT couples face, but another minority group must deal with the stark reality that they are better off living in long-term committed relationships, without marriage. Like LGBT couples, these couples are denied the right to over 1,100 rights afforded to married couples. They have been denied access into their loved ones hospital rooms, faced family disputes over wills and have been denied spousal benefits from their partners workplace or the government in the event of their partners death. These are people with disabilities. Many people rely on the government for medical and financial assistance. Without medical insurance they would have no way to live independently. They would be forced into nursing homes (some already are), which would cost the government significantly more than getting Medicare and/or Medicaid does. At the same time, this assistance comes with a price. The government expects married couples to share income and that affects any assistance the couple receives. For many, their spouse makes too much (even if they make meager SSDI payments). This cuts into the healthcare services these couples receive. For some, their able-bodied partners make too much to allow them to qualify for medical assistance, if married, but not enough to pay out of pocket for costly medical equipment, medicine, or any other needs the disabled partner has. Add in the fact that even when a person with a disability can work, the opportunity for quality medical insurance is hard to find, due to their pre-existing condition and you will understand why many couples with disabilities are forced to live in domestic partnerships. Also, if two people with disabilities marry and they are on SSI or SSDI, their payments are CUT significantly, making it hard for them to maintain independence and afford their own food, shelter, clothing or other necessities. The time to stand up is now!! Let your Senators and Representatives know you want to remove the income caps placed on individuals with disabilities, so they can keep the government assistance and still be able to get married. Every loving couple deserves the right to marry. No one should have to choose between their wheelchair and their love, their therapy and their love, their medication and their love, their ability to eat or have a roof over their head and their love!! Those are not choices!! Help make it possible for those with disabilities to share their love without being penalized!Join our fight for marriage equality for people with disabilities:https://www.facebook.com/MarriageEqualityForPeopleWithDisabilities

Dominick Evans
6,844 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Alabama State Senate, Alaska State Senate, Arizona State Senate, Arkansas State Senate, California State Senate, Colorado State Senate, Connecticut State Senate, Delaware State Senate, Florida Stat...

Require Amazon to Collect and Remit Sales Tax For All FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) Sales

Please require Amazon to collect and remit sales tax for all FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) purchases. Requiring the hundreds of thousands of small businesses to register in every state and collect and remit in all applicable states is not practical -- it is a complex, heavy financial burden on small businesses and it is causing states to lose billions of dollars in tax revenue each year. With E-commerce now playing such a big role in the local economies, and with Amazon being THE major player, it is time for new legislation to be passed so that these matters can be properly addressed, removing any doubt regarding State sales tax liability and nexus -- especially as it relates to Amazon FBA and similar programs. If Amazon FBA was recognized as consignment, from a sales tax perspective, as it should be, then this would solve a lot of the associated issues that we are currently seeing. Laws vary from state-to-state, but most states require that the consignee (the store, or, Amazon in this case) should collect and remit sales tax. Arguments regarding consignment, who the seller really is and who the 'supplier' is: 1. FBA 'Suppliers' (as they should be called, and not FBA 'sellers') do not choose how/where their products are stored/shipped. 2. Commission is paid to Amazon on each unit sold. 3. FBA 'suppliers' must adhere to Amazon policy. Suppliers do not have the right to refuse sale/shipment without consequence and do not collect any money on transactions (all transactions are handled and controlled by Amazon, the store owner, with the supplier having no participation in said transactions). 4. FBA 'suppliers' have no real relationship with the customer as nearly all communication is prohibited as per Amazon (this relationship is owned and controlled by Amazon, the real seller). 5. Amazon provides advertising for products that they sell, including FBA products. Suppliers have no say in that message or how it's presented. 6. Amazon charges a 'monthly, rental fee' (FBA subscription fee) to display FBA products at their property, as well as additional fees for special exposure (e.g. special ad types or brand page vs. window or end-cap at front of store), as well as additional fees for how the product may be presented (e.g. videos on listing vs. in-store display). 7. Product ownership does not transfer to Amazon (the store owner), but sits on Amazon's shelves until a buyer is found...at which point, the buyer should pay the appropriate sales tax (Amazon/the store owner, is responsible for collecting and remitting this, as they handle all transactions with the end-buyer and own the property where all merchandise is stored and sold). 8. et al. Amazon should be charging and then remitting the sales tax to all applicable states -- not the FBA seller. Not only would this eliminate any argument about complexity or what constitutes nexus amid the varying, questionable and ever-changing interpretations that each state has established, but convincing the States to get behind it should be easy if they only had to pursue one entity (Amazon), in lieu of the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that currently operate within the US marketplace. It is estimated that the majority of the FBA sellers that sell on the Amazon-US marketplace are operating on foreign soil, and do not have a legal entity that is locally established inside of the United States. How are the states going to force compliance if a foreign seller, using a foreign bank account, is operating outside of the jurisdiction of local law? This poses serious problems and creates an environment of unfair competition if foreign sellers can offer products 10% cheaper due to not having to collect and remit sales tax. If Amazon were required to collect and remit on all FBA sales, not only would this reduce costs, man hours and complexity etc., but it would be a lot easier to ensure compliance and remittance. States could get the tax dollars that they desperately need, instead of missing out as they do now. If things continue as they are, States will waste tons of money auditing individual sellers and pursuing legal action, all, unnecessarily. Since Amazon has decided to take full custody of its customer base and is essentially acting as consignment, this should put sales tax liability on Amazon's shoulders, not on FBA sellers. Since FBA sellers are currently required to collect and remit for all states where they are deemed to have a substantial nexus, then, in order to do that, they must first register their business in that State, apply for permits etc., and admit to having a substantial nexus. Just having a single box of inventory in one of Amazon's warehouses will be sufficient for establishing nexus for most applicable states. Amazon may move inventory around, however they see fit, and in doing so, will force FBA sellers to have nexus in those states, oftentimes, unknowingly. Once nexus is established for a particular state, it applies to ALL subsequent sales to that State -- so, if a seller wants to sell something on Ebay, and the buyer is located in the nexus state, then that seller would need to collect and remit sales tax, even if that inventory was stored in and shipped from their home. If FBA sellers are required to register in all of the applicable states and admit that they have a substantial nexus, they would then potentially be subject to Corporate/State income taxes for that state, use-tax for all products/services, franchise taxes, non-resident taxes, opportunity taxes and other, associated fees/taxes etc.. If non-local businesses have to admit that they have substantial nexus due to a single box of inventory, and if they have to remit in the same way (or worse) as a local business that is actually operating out of that state, then what other tax implications and responsibilities will they be subjecting themselves to? And wouldn't this put undue burden on FBA sellers? And isn't that illegal? Please require Amazon to collect and remit sales tax for all FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) purchases. Thank you.

American Citizen
3,141 supporters
Closed
Petitioning The Alaska State Legislation., Alaska State Senate

Brandy's Law. The petition to change the laws on Domestic Violence and Protective Orders.

Hey Friends My name is Lindsey Collins and I am the childhood friend/sister of Brandy Marie Greenwood Sullivan. My dear friend was the victim of Domestic Violence in Alaska February 16th 2017. She was shot multiple times by her estranged husband while their children were home. My friend is and was the kindest, happiest most loving soul that you could ever imagine being around. Brandy was always the person to make you smile without even saying a word. Her smile was infectious. Growing up together she was our little beauty queen. Always so sweet, poised, pretty and most of all the most gentle. We had many laughs together singing songs trying to record our voices with our also very close friend Chrissy Dixon. The three of us even though we all lived very separate lives had a close bond that we could just pick up where we left off. We were each others first best friends. All three of us girls would get jealous of one another if one was hanging out without the other, just like sisters fighting over the same dress.   We all recently had planned and reunion trip to commence this April 22 2017. All of us were so very excited to be in California where I live on the beach catching up about our lives but also being with and showing our support for the recent split between Brandy and her husband. Calling this trip the New Beginning Trip , even to include her younger sister Tina we were so happy she could be making the trip as well. Just us four girls back together again. Brandy and I had many long conversations of life and where we are and what we wanted to achieve as mothers and sisters. We vowed to start traveling a lot more and being in each others lives more consistently. That night I will never forget getting a phone call that would change my life forever. On the other end was Tina telling me that Brandy had been murdered. It was the most shocking thing ever and I was at a loss for words. I couldn't even cry or comprehend what she was telling me. Completely Numb I quickly got on a plane to Alaska. In finding out more details of what happened I vowed to make a change in Brandy's Name. She had a protective order that wasn't worth the paper it was written on. Brandy had explained to me prior that the order had been broken when Adam her estranged husband had destroyed her home and followed her around even as much as to spitting in her face in public. This treatment was not deserved nor would it have been in process if the order was taken seriously. I and many others feel that it is crucial to make changes to the protective orders for domestic violence right now. More extensive punishment when broken and more detailed requirements when enlisting one. I feel these protective orders need to be taken more seriously for the prevention of this very horrific act that was bestowed upon Brandy. I do feel that if action would have been taken more aggressively when Brandy's home was destroyed by Adam she may be still with us today and soon sitting on a beach with her sisters. I would like for everyone to sign this petition so that I may be able to present it to the Alaska State Legislation for a my bill that I will be filing called { Brandy's Law }.I would like to make sure that this can be prevented on happening to any other family ever again. We can not predict the future but what we can do is make an effort to change the outcome. Please for Brandy, her daughters, her mother, the rest of the family and friends help me make this possible so that I may be able to give a little light of sunshine to her daughters. Tina said it the best. We are still here and we will be her voice. I appreciate every last one of you for your help and cherish your time. Thank You Lindsey Collins

Lindsey Collins
1,657 supporters