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HJR 61: Opposing the proposed changes in the functions of the federal Office of Veterans Affairs in Anchorage.

00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 61                                                                                           
01 Opposing the proposed changes in the functions of the federal Office of Veterans                                        
02 Affairs in Anchorage.                                                                                                   
03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
04  WHEREAS, with roughly 73,000 veterans, Alaska ranks second among the states for                                        
05 its proportion of veterans and that proportion is increasing more than in any other state                               
06 because of the downsizing of  the state's military installations and the relocation of discharged                       
07 military personnel within the state; and                                                                                
08  WHEREAS the veterans in Alaska deserve to have personal access to and consultation                                     
09 with federal personnel when they file and process claims relating to their veteran status,                              
10 including the claims of their families; and                                                                             
11  WHEREAS the processing time for veterans' claims in the Anchorage office currently                                     
12 ranks sixth among 57 regional offices; and                                                                              
13  WHEREAS that processing time and personal access would be disastrously affected                                        
14 by federal proposals to downsize the Anchorage office by moving the function of adjudicating                            
01 compensation and pension matters to Reno, Nevada, and Phoenix, Arizona, which are                                       
02 thousands of miles away from where the Alaska veterans live;                                                            
03  BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature strongly opposes federal                                              
04 proposals to downsize the Anchorage office by shifting some of its functions to other states.                           
05  COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Ted Stevens and the                                           
06 Honorable Frank Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S.                                             
07 Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress; Mr. Carroll Williams, Director,                           
08 Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission, Washington, D.C.; and Mr. Alonzo M.                                     
09 Poteet III, Director, Veterans Affairs and Medical Regional Office Center, Anchorage, Alaska.