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Governor Signs Rep. Gatto's Final Bill

Press Release

Location: Palmer, AK

Governor Sean Parnell today signed legislation sponsored by the late Representative Carl Gatto. House Bill 56 adds first and second degree arson to Alaska's conspiracy statute, providing stronger deterrents to committing arson. Under HB 56, if arson is committed, the conspiring arsonists can be charged with arson and conspiracy, rather than just arson under the current law.

Governor Parnell signed HB 56 at the Palmer Fire Station with members of the Mat-Su legislative delegation, the Palmer and Anchorage Fire Departments, and the Mayor of Palmer.

"HB 56 is part of Representative Gatto's indelible legacy," Governor Parnell said. "This bill reminds us of his work in emergency services and his unwavering commitment to ensuring local departments had the resources needed to keep communities safe. HB 56 resulted from his 25 years as an Anchorage firefighter and paramedic, and his time in public office working for Alaskans."

Governor Parnell also signed Senate Bill 136 which provides corporate income tax credits to employers who hire veterans. The legislation also requires the Division of Motor Vehicles to provide a veteran designation and United States flag replica on a state issued identification card or driver's license of a veteran. This provision sponsored by Representative Dan Saddler, both honors our veterans and eliminates the burden of carrying additional paperwork such as copies of discharge papers when seeking certain benefits.

A third piece of legislation, House Bill 129, was signed into law. HB 129 provides copies of a death certificate to families of a deceased veteran at no charge.

The governor also signed legislation designed to better prepare Alaskan communities for disasters. House Bill 366, carried by Representative Eric Feige, creates an intra-state mutual aid system that enables communities to collaborate before disasters strike. It allows local governments to arrange operation details in each other's jurisdictions. This will produce quicker and more efficient disaster responses.

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