Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

03/07/2019 01:00 PM MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
01:01:13 PM Start
01:02:01 PM HB56
01:25:50 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 56 ESTABLISH HMONG-AMERICAN VETERANS DAY TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 56 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
          HB 56-ESTABLISH HMONG-AMERICAN VETERANS DAY                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:02:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR LEDOUX announced  that the only order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL NO. 56 "An Act  establishing May 15 of each year as                                                               
Hmong-American Veterans Day."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:02:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR LEDOUX opened public testimony on HB 56.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:03:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VERDIE BOWEN,  Director, Office  of Veterans  Affairs, Department                                                               
of  Military and  Veterans Affairs,  stressed  the importance  of                                                               
identifying  and honoring  Hmong-American veterans.   He  said he                                                               
supported  establishing May  15 as  Hmong-American Veterans  Day.                                                               
He noted  that the  community has  celebrated on  that day  for a                                                               
number of years.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR LEDOUX said  May 15 has been a day  of celebration since                                                               
the  passage of  House  Concurrent Resolution  3  [passed in  the                                                               
Twenty-Eighth   Alaska   State   Legislature].      She   thanked                                                               
Representative  Tarr   for  introducing  HB  56   to  permanently                                                               
establish the holiday.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:05:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PASERT LEE,  Founder, Hmong Alaska Community,  Inc., testified on                                                               
behalf of Hmong-American  veterans in support of HB 56.   He said                                                               
that  after   40  years,  Hmong-American  veterans   want  to  be                                                               
recognized  for their  service alongside  American soldiers.   He                                                               
said  HB 56  would  recognize  them and  the  sacrifices made  on                                                               
behalf of the  United States by the Hmong people.   He added that                                                               
permanently putting  Hmong-American Veterans Day on  the calendar                                                               
would honor those Hmong-Americans who chose to settle in Alaska.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:09:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SAMAK  VONGVILAY, his  testimony  translated from  Lao by  Pasert                                                               
Lee, testified in  favor of HB 56.   He asked for May 15  to be a                                                               
permanent recognition of Hmong and Lao veterans.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:11:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
XAI  SHOUA  VANG, his  testimony  translated  from Hmong  by  Mai                                                               
Xiong, testified  as a  Hmong-American veteran  in support  of HB                                                               
56.  He said he supported making  May 15 a permanent day to honor                                                               
Hmong-American veterans.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:13:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WILSON VANG testified in support of  HB 56 and a permanent Hmong-                                                               
American Veterans Day.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:16:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MAI XIONG Hmong  Alaska Community, Inc., testified  in support of                                                               
HB  56.   She said  she wanted  May 15  permanently added  to the                                                               
calendar  as Hmong-American  Veterans Day.   She  noted that  the                                                               
community has celebrated on May 15 for several years.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:17:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KANG YANG  introduced herself as  the daughter  and granddaughter                                                               
of two  Hmong Vietnam War veterans.   She said she  spoke for the                                                               
younger  generation  of  the  Anchorage  Hmong  community.    She                                                               
relayed that her grandfather died  without any recognition during                                                               
his lifetime.  She said HB  56 represents an opportunity to honor                                                               
those  veterans  still  living.    Ms. Yang  said  when  she  was                                                               
younger, she  did not  know how  to answer  the question  "who or                                                               
what are the Hmong?"  She  said her confusion about Hmong history                                                               
made her feel ashamed.  She  said when she was older, she learned                                                               
about Hmong  participation during  the Secret War  in Laos.   She                                                               
said her father  was born into a warzone and  fought side by side                                                               
with American soldiers  at the age of 14.   She expressed support                                                               
for HB  56, reaffirmed the importance  of honoring Hmong-American                                                               
veterans, and thanked the bill's sponsors.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:18:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR LEDOUX  thanked all the  testifiers.  She  closed public                                                               
testimony on HB 56.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:19:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP thanked Representative  Tarr for bringing the                                                               
bill forward.   He remarked  that the Hmong have  remained absent                                                               
from the written  narrative of the Vietnam War  for many decades.                                                               
He compared it  to the absence of  Alaska's indigenous population                                                               
from Alaska's written  narrative.  He said he was  pleased to see                                                               
the Hmong  recognized.  He  said, "We owe  a great debt  to these                                                               
people we can never repay."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:20:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  summarized  what  he  saw  as  positive                                                               
aspects of HB 56.   He shared his appreciation for Representative                                                               
Tarr and Chair LeDoux.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:21:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE THOMPSON said he would like to co-sponsor HB 56.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:21:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR LEDOUX  said she expected multiple  representatives will                                                               
co-sponsor HB 56.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:21:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  thanked the testifiers and  acknowledged the                                                               
coordination required to translate from Lao and Hmong.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:22:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JACKSON asked  Mr. Bowen if there is  a book about                                                               
Hmong veterans.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOWEN referenced a book titled  The Tragic Mountain.  He said                                                             
the Office of Veteran Affairs has not produced its own title.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JACKSON  said  she   recalled  a  book  available                                                               
through the Office of Veterans Affairs.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:23:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOWEN said  his office has a book  commemorating the fiftieth                                                               
anniversary of  the Vietnam  War.   He said  the office  has four                                                               
copies remaining of 1,500.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:23:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  LEDOUX  shared her  experience  getting  to know  Hmong                                                               
people  in  Anchorage.    She  called it  a  tragedy  that  their                                                               
sacrifices have  gone unknown.   She thanked the  legislature for                                                               
efforts to  recognize them.   She said more  needs to be  done on                                                               
the federal level.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:25:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK moved  to report HB 56 out  of committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  zero  fiscal                                                               
note.  There being no objection, HB 56 was moved from the House                                                                 
Special Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs.                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB056 ver A 2.26.19.pdf HMLV 3/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HMLV 3/7/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 56
HB056 Sectional Analysis ver A 2.26.19.pdf HMLV 3/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HMLV 3/7/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 56
HB056 Sponsor Statement 2.26.19.pdf HMLV 3/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HMLV 3/7/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 56
HB056 Supporting Documents- Article ADN -Hmong veterans honored in Anchorage 2.26.19.pdf HMLV 3/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HMLV 3/7/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 56
HB0056 Ver A 3.11.19.PDF HCRA 3/28/2019 8:00:00 AM
HMLV 3/7/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 56
HB056 Fiscal Note 3.11.19.PDF HCRA 3/28/2019 8:00:00 AM
HMLV 3/7/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 56
HB056 Sectional Analysis ver A 2.26.19.pdf HCRA 3/28/2019 8:00:00 AM
HMLV 3/7/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 56
HB056 Supporting Document - Legislative Research.pdf HCRA 3/28/2019 8:00:00 AM
HMLV 3/7/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 56
HB056 Supporting Documents- Article ADN -Hmong veterans honored in Anchorage 2.26.19.pdf HCRA 3/28/2019 8:00:00 AM
HMLV 3/7/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 56
HB056 Supporting Document-Support Letters 3.06.19.pdf HMLV 3/7/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 56
HB056 Sponsor Statement 3.26.19.pdf HCRA 3/28/2019 8:00:00 AM
HMLV 3/7/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 56
HB056 Supporting Documents - Letters of Support 3.29.19.pdf HCRA 3/28/2019 8:00:00 AM
HMLV 3/7/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 56