The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators recently announced its 2012 legislative award recipient, and it’s someone most Kodiak residents know. Representative Alan Austerman was presented with the legislative award on Thursday, recognizing his support of various boating safety efforts.
In an article from NASBLA’s magazine, the association said Austerman was selected for the award because of his work as the primary sponsor of House Bill 301. The billeliminated the termination date, or sunset laws, of the Statewide Boating Safety and Education Program and the Alaska Boating Safety Act. When the act was signed into law in 2000, provisions to repeal the bill were included in case the anticipated federal funds for the programs didn’t come through. HB 301, which did away with those provisions, was signed into law during the 27th Legislature, last year.
It was announced Austerman would receive the award last fall, but it was formally presented to him on Thursday in Juneau. Kevin Bergersen is the NASBLA awards chair and presented it. Austerman is the first state legislator to ever receive the legislative award, which is normally presented to U.S. Senators and Congressmen. In 2005 it was awarded to Congressman Don Young, the only other Alaskan to receive the award. It was first awarded in 1986 to Senator Mark Andrews of North Dakota.