Governor Sean Parnell signed several pieces of legislation today honoring and supporting our military personnel and their families.
"Our service members and their families are the pride of Alaska," Governor Parnell said. "Alaska has the privilege of counting upwards of 77,000 veterans as residents of our great state. We want to see that population flourish, and we want more of our active-duty military and their families to call Alaska home when they choose to retire."
Senate Bill 73, sponsored by Senator Kevin Meyer, allows a municipality to grant a property tax exemption to a military widow or widower whose spouse died while serving in the U.S. armed forces or in the National Guard. The legislation provides an exemption on the first $150,000 of the assessed value of the primary residence.
House Bill 46, sponsored by Representative Dan Saddler, allows the State of Alaska to waive the commercial driver's license road skills test for military personnel who earned their driving experience operating commercial-grade vehicles in the armed services.
House Bill 84, also sponsored by Representative Saddler, allows military service, training, and education acquired while on active duty service to count toward temporary occupational licensure in professions administered by the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing. It also directs the University of Alaska to accept credit toward degrees and vocational certificates if applicable.
HCR 2, sponsored by Representative Shelley Hughes, proclaims Alaska a Purple Heart State to honor the service and sacrifice of our nation's men and women in uniform wounded or killed by the enemy while serving to protect the freedoms enjoyed by all Americans.
HCR 5, sponsored by Representative Saddler, awards the Alaska Decoration of Honor to nine individuals who were killed in the line of duty while honorably serving our state and country in 2012. The Alaska Decoration of Honor is awarded posthumously to Dustin P. Napier, Jeffrey L. White, Jr., Thomas K. Fogarty, Brian L. Walker, Richard L. McNulty, Vincent J. Ellis, Nathan T. Davis, Carl E. Hammar, and Ethan J. Martin.