Legislature(2011 - 2012)CAPITOL 120

03/10/2011 01:00 PM MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS


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01:34:11 PM Start
01:34:34 PM HCR7
01:42:45 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 1:30 pm Today --
*+ HCR 7 DECORATION OF HONOR TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                   HCR  7-DECORATION OF HONOR                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:34:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  THOMPSON  announced that  the  only  order of  business                                                               
would be HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION  NO. 7, Relating to awarding                                                               
the  Alaska  Decoration  of  Honor  to  certain  members  of  the                                                               
military.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:34:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SADDLER, sponsor, presented HCR 7, paraphrasing from                                                                   
the following written sponsor statement [original punctuation                                                                   
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     This resolution  awards the Alaska Decoration  of Honor                                                                    
     to thirty  individuals who were  killed in the  line of                                                                    
     duty  while honorably  serving our  state and  country,                                                                    
     between January 1, 2009 and February 15, 2011.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Established  in  2007 in  House  Bill  244, the  Alaska                                                                    
     Decoration  of Honor  is  awarded  to military  service                                                                    
     members from Alaska, or  those service members deployed                                                                    
     while stationed  in Alaska, who  were killed  in action                                                                    
     or in support of combat action.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The   Legislature   must   authorize   the   award   by                                                                    
     resolution, so  the decoration can be  presented to the                                                                    
     recipients'   survivors.  In   2008,  the   Legislature                                                                    
     awarded  the medal  to 171  individuals dating  back to                                                                    
     statehood.  In  2009,  it   authorized  the  award  for                                                                    
     another six individuals.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Passage  of HCR  7  will allow  the  families of  these                                                                    
     thirty individuals  to receive the decoration  in honor                                                                    
     of  their  loved  ones'  sacrifice.  While  it  is  our                                                                    
     fervent  hope that  all those  in  uniform will  return                                                                    
     home from their  service safely, the reality  is that a                                                                    
     few will not. It is  our obligation, and our privilege,                                                                    
     to authorize this decoration in their honor.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     I  respectfully  request  favorable  support  of  House                                                                    
     Concurrent Resolution 7.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:36:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER asked whether  there is a strict definition                                                               
of the language "killed in action."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SADDLER  advised the  language  also  applies to  those                                                               
killed while in  service - not in  combat per se -  such as those                                                               
killed during training or maintenance accidents.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:37:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO questioned the need  for the language "or in                                                               
support of  combat," and asked  whether anyone serving is  not in                                                               
support of combat.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLER  explained  that  there are  a  number  of                                                               
former  military troops  who are  now civilians  employed by  the                                                               
U.S.  Department of  Defense  (DOD), and  who  are deployed  with                                                               
military contingents in harm's way.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  THOMPSON  stated  the  civilians  are  called  Alaska's                                                               
Expeditionary Forces.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:38:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  pointed out  the Merchant Marines  in World                                                               
War II were civilians.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SADDLER  relayed that House  Bill 244,  which originally                                                               
authorized the Alaska Decoration  of Honor, includes "individuals                                                               
who  have  been killed  in  action,  who  are engaged  in  action                                                               
against  an  enemy,  engaged  in  military  operations  involving                                                               
conflict with  an opposing foreign  force, serving  with friendly                                                               
forces,  friendly  foreign  forces engaging  in  armed  conflict,                                                               
serving in  or deployed to  or from  a combat zone  designated by                                                               
presidential order."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER  clarified that  he did  not want  a strict                                                               
definition requiring death  occurring in a firefight,  but that a                                                               
recipient may have been in support  or behind the lines.  He said                                                               
he was satisfied.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:39:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO asked  if the language should  be "killed in                                                               
the line of duty."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SADDLER said "I don't think so."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  observed it  is members'  responsibility to                                                               
challenge the  language and ensure it  reflects the legislature's                                                               
intent.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:40:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR THOMPSON asked  for assurance that the  zero fiscal note                                                               
is accurate.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SADDLER advised there is  a zero fiscal note because the                                                               
Joint   Armed  Services   Committee  has   already  appropriately                                                               
expended  funds  for  an  inventory   of  200  medals,  which  is                                                               
sufficient to meet the present need.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SADDLER,  in response to Representative  Gatto, said the                                                               
medal is  approximately 2-3  inches in diameter.   The  medal was                                                               
designed by  Alaskan artist Jon  Van Zyle,  who is a  Vietnam era                                                               
veteran.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:41:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  THOMPSON,  upon  determining  no  one  else  wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:41:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SADDLER moved  to report  HCR 7  out of  committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations  and  the accompanying  fiscal  note.                                                               
There being  no objection, HCR  7 was  reported out of  the House                                                               
Special Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs.                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HCR 7 - Sponsor Statement.pdf HMLV 3/10/2011 1:00:00 PM
HCR 7 version A.pdf HMLV 3/10/2011 1:00:00 PM
Fiscal Note. LAA.pdf HMLV 3/10/2011 1:00:00 PM