Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205
03/24/2016 09:00 AM Senate STATE AFFAIRS
Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.
Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 175-ESTABLISH MILITARY FAMILY DAY 9:03:55 AM CHAIR STOLTZE announced the consideration of HB 175. 9:04:01 AM ESTER MIELKE, Staff, Representative Bob Lynn, Alaska State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, read the sponsor statement for HB 175 as follows: Military families are the folks back home who help keep our warriors at peak effectiveness, be it stateside duty or combat duty. Worrying about your kid's homework, getting the bills paid on time, or worrying about anything at all back home is not something that is safe to do when the enemy is attempting to kill you. The military family is major source of morale and the foundation of what's good about our military. The day someone joins the military is the day that the family virtually joins the military too. When we support the military family, we support the military member. Many service members transfer from one place to another about every two years, this means the family also moves to somewhere else. The kids change schools, maybe in their senior year; churches are changed; the spouse may have to give up their job; and of course the curtains don't fit the new place. The spouse, some say, has the toughest job in our military. The military deserves having a day set aside to honor their military families and to recognize a major source of their morale and strength. HB 175 establishes "Military Family Day" to honor and support families of our service men and women in Alaska every year on November 1st. Nationally, November is designated as National Military Family Month. The President of the United States typically makes an annual announcement to inform the public about this month. We thought it was fitting to have our Alaskan Military Family Day to coincide with the beginning of the nationally designated month. 9:06:33 AM SENATOR COGHILL noted that November 1 was "All Saints' Day" and asked if there was any correlation. MS. MIELKE answered no. SENATOR COGHILL remarked that military families quite often could be nominated for sainthood. CHAIR STOLTZE commented that the committee members represent communities that support veterans and their families. He noted that two committee members were veterans and guessed that the bill would have a lot of receptivity. SENATOR HUGGINS commented that his wife asked to thank Representative Lynn for his thought and consideration put into the bill. He noted that his wife was the mother of three children that were in the military. 9:09:26 AM COMMISSIONER LAURIE HUMMEL, Department of Military & Veterans' Affairs (DMVA), Anchorage, Alaska, testified in support of HB 175. She stated that while she was always prepared to publically acknowledge the patriotism, dedication, and skill of Alaska's military men and women, she was especially pleased to focus on the enormous contributions made by the military families that the public rarely sees. She revealed that she understood the importance of service members' families because her father was in the military for 24 years and noted that she, as well as her spouse, have been deployed soldiers as well. She remarked that the spouse left behind has the harder job with twice the work, all the worry, more time to think about it, and none of the credit. He said there were a lot of families whose service members' deployments resulted in life-altering injuries and the family members' lives were just as effected as those of the service members. She added that when a member of the military loses his or her life in service, the "Gold Star" families left behind find a way to move forward; but really, they never fully heal. She disclosed that 74,000 veterans call Alaska home and the state has the highest veterans per capita in the country. She said Alaska was lucky to keep the experience of its veterans and fortunate that their families follow suit. She set forth that Alaska's veterans and their families deserve the state's unwavering support. She asserted that Alaska's veteran success was not sustained by what they had already done, but what more they would provide. She set forth that HB 175 shows the state's appreciation, especially to the military families, the backbone of the military. She said she agreed with Senator Coghill that recognizing military families on All Saints' Day was appropriate. CHAIR STOLTZE asked Mr. Bowen if he had attended all of the Alaska Veterans Advisory Council (AVAC) meetings. 9:14:15 AM VERDIE BOWEN, Director, Office of Veterans' Affairs, Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Anchorage, Alaska, answered yes. CHAIR STOLTZE asked if AVAC had any discussions regarding HB 175. MR. BOWEN answered no. 9:16:16 AM At ease. 9:17:05 AM CHAIR STOLTZE called the committee back to order. He asked Senator Huggins, the senior veteran committee member, to make a motion on HB 175. 9:17:34 AM SENATOR HUGGINS moved to report HB 175, [29-LS0814\A], from committee with individual recommendations and attached zero fiscal note. 9:17:45 AM CHAIR STOLTZE announced that hearing no objection, HB 175 moves from committee.