Legislature(1995 - 1996)
01/30/1995 05:10 PM MLV
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AND VETERANS AFFAIRS January 30, 1995 5:10 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Pete Kott, Co-Chairman Representative Ivan Ivan, Co-Chairman Representative Eldon Mulder, Vice Chairman Representative Richard Foster Representative John Davies Representative Ed Willis MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Gail Phillips COMMITTEE CALENDAR * HCR 5:Commemorating the attack on Pearl Harbor by establishing Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE (*First public hearing ) WITNESS REGISTER None PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HCR 5 SHORT TITLE: PEARL HARBOR REMEMBERANCE DAY SPONSOR(S): SPECIAL CMTE MILITARY & VETERANS AFFAIRS JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/23/95 115 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/23/95 115 (H) MLV 01/30/95 (H) MLV AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL ROOM 17 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 95-1, SIDE A Number 003 The House Special Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs was called to order by CO-CHAIRMAN PETE KOTT at 5:10 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Ivan, Mulder, Foster, Davies and Willis. Absent member was Representative Phillips. Number 038 CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT commented that there hadn't been a committee organization meeting as of yet. He said he would try to schedule it for next week if possible. Number 045 HMLV - 01/30/95 HCR 5 - PEARL HARBOR REMEMBRANCE DAY CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT introduced HCR 5 (Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day). He said Sunday, December 7, 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack against the United States forces located at Pearl Harbor and nearby military facilities. This attack came without warning and without a declaration of war. Over 2,000 Americans were killed, and many others suffered grievous injuries. A major portion of the United States Pacific Fleet was decimated, leaving many other Americans in the Pacific exposed to attack and capture. Japan's action on this date ushered in our involvement in World War II. Thereafter, for over four years, the United States was engaged in a great global conflict, marked by the unimaginable suffering of untold millions, both military and civilian. The lives of an entire generation were disrupted, and many still bear scars from this conflict. Over 50 years have elapsed since the attack on Pearl Harbor. Those Americans who were then old enough to remember that day are aging, and many are no longer with us. Someday, that generation will be gone, and no one will be available to bear witness to that pivotal event in our history. As a people, we can not afford to forget what happened. Lessons were learned which remain relevant to this day. Suffering was endured for our freedom, and this cries out for recognition. Blood was spilled by a heroic generation so that we, today, can enjoy freedom. It would be a sacrilege to fail to acknowledge our continuing debt to the who gave so much to us. Accordingly, it is proper-- indeed, necessary-- to continually remind ourselves, and future generations, of the events of December 7, 1941. HCR 5 does just that, by designating that day as Pearl Harbor Day and calling on the Governor to issue and appropriate proclamation. Your support is appreciated. Number 093 REPRESENTATIVE RICHARD FOSTER stated that resolutions like this were good ones. He also wanted to know what it would take so we wouldn't have to bring this before committee every year because the number of veterans in the House and Senate was dwindling, and he was afraid there wouldn't be enough push to get it through in following years. REPRESENTATIVE KOTT thought it would take a bill. REPRESENTATIVE RICHARD FOSTER suggested introducing one. REPRESENTATIVE KOTT stated that if it was the will of the committee, that would be fine. He commented that he had a constituent notify the office that would've liked to have seen this, a statute calling upon the state to recognize it as a state holiday. REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES also felt it would be a fine idea to make this an annual event but felt it would take another step to make it a state holiday because of the financial implications, and the fact that there's other events in history that would warrant making them holidays also. Number 132 CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT agreed with Representative Davies. To make this a bill, we would have to re-draft this and bring it back before the committee. At this point we would have to table this resolution. Number 147 REPRESENTATIVE FOSTER pointed out that the committee could keep this going as a committee sponsored resolution. He then moved to pass HCR 5 out of committee, with unanimous consent. He followed that up with a motion that they sponsor a bill to make this a yearly event. CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT addressed the first motion to move HCR 5 out of the Military and Veteran Affairs Committee. He asked, "is there unanimous consent?" Hearing no objection, it was so moved. The second motion was to tie this measure into statute and make it an annual event. There was no objection to this motion, Representative Kott indicated that a bill would be requested and brought to committee. Number 112 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked if there was any further business. Number 180 REPRESENTATIVE FOSTER brought up the idea that there might possibly be a meeting during the interim, whether it be inspecting the rural guard facility in Nome or Kotzebue. Maybe something on the base closure getting a briefing in Fairbanks or somewhere down here in between sessions. Number 191 REPRESENTATIVE ED WILLIS concurred and described a tour they went on years ago that took them all over the state, and stated this was a very informative trip. Number 201 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT felt that there was something underway to have the committee meet in Ketchikan or somewhere in southeast to tour a submarine. Number 213 CO-CHAIRMAN IVAN IVAN supported this plan to have the committee meet somewhere other than Juneau, because it gives veterans in other parts of the state the opportunity to see the legislators and talk with them, and it gives the legislators the opportunity to see some of the conditions in rural Alaska, so we can better understand what goes on with our military veterans in the bush. Number 231 REPRESENTATIVE ELDON MULDER referred to something they had done in past years which was to invite the commanders of the Air Force and the Army down to make presentations. He suggested the Representative Kott's staff contact them and invite them down. Number 243 CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT thought that was an excellent idea in light of the new commanding general taking over. It's important that we develop a good relationship. Number 252 REPRESENTATIVE FOSTER wondered if they would consider inviting General Lestenkof so they could talk about the downturn with the guard membership, also the problem with trying to match his budget with the federal dollars coming in. He said he would like to talk to him before the session gets to far underway that we all might be too busy. Number 262 CO-CHAIRMAN IVAN stated that February 15, 1995, had been set for his presentation. REPRESENTATIVE MULDER stated that the commander of Alaska Command was General Larry Bosey and the commander of the army is General Tom Needham. Representative Mulder said his office has their phone numbers if need. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business to come before the House Special Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs, Co-Chairman Kott adjourned the meeting at 5:25 p.m.