Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/20/1995 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 March 20, 1995 5:10 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Ivan M. Ivan, Co-Chairman Representative Pete Kott, Co-Chairman Representative Richard Foster Representative Ed Willis MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Eldon Mulder Representative Gail Phillips Representative John Davies COMMITTEE CALENDAR * HJR 9: Requesting the governor to file suit in the United States Supreme Court against the United States government alleging violations of the civil rights of Americans listed as prisoners of war or missing in action in Southeast Asia, demanding that documents concerning these individuals be released; and requesting the other states to join in this suit. PASSED CSHJR 9(MLV) OUT OF COMMITTEE WITNESS REGISTER REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 102 Juneau, AK 99801-1183 Telephone: (907) 465-3743 Position statement: Provided Sponsor Statement SAM GRISWOLD, Legislative Secretary Representative Jeannette James State Capitol, Room 102 Juneau, AK 99801-1183 Telephone: (907) 465-3743 Position Statement: Provided information on HJR 9 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HJR 9 SHORT TITLE: SUIT RE POWS & MIAS AGAINST U.S. & OTHERS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) JAMES, Kubina, Therriault JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/16/95 18 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/16/95 18 (H) MLV, STA, JUD 01/19/95 87 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KUBINA 03/15/95 757 (H) COSPONSOR(S): THERRIAULT 03/20/95 (H) MLV AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 17 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 95-6, SIDE A Number 001 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, Kott, Willis, and Foster. Members absent were Representatives Mulder, Phillips and Davies. HMLV - 03/20/95 HJR 9 - SUIT RE POWS & MIAS AGAINST U.S. & OTHERS Number 005 REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES, Sponsor, stated HJR 9 requests the Governor to file suit against the U.S., and others, over Prisoners of Wars (POWs) and Missing in Action (MIA) from Alaska. There is continuing controversy concerning the presence of American servicemen, who were listed as POWs or MIAs and may be being held against their will in the Southeast Asian nations of Vietnam, Laos, and Kampuchea (formerly Cambodia). REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said the United Stated government has stated that all of our POWs have been returned from Vietnam. A top secret Vietnamese report, dated 1972, by General Tran Von Kwang, Deputy Chief of Staff for the North Vietnamese Army, reported that in September, 1972, Hanoi held 1,205 American prisoners. Only 591 American Prisoners of War have been released under the 1973 Peace Settlement. There are two missing and unaccounted for servicemen in Southeast Asia from Alaska. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she requested that the Alaska State Legislature hereby require the Governor of the state of Alaska, on behalf of the people of this state, to file in the United States Supreme Court a cause of action against the government of the United States. Defendants in this suit would include the Department of Defense and the intelligence agencies, the ambassadors or other public ministers and consuls of the governments of Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, Russia, and China, alleging violation of civil rights of the people of Alaska. Especially, alleging the violation of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of the following named citizens of the state of Alaska, Thomas E. Anderson, United States Marine Corp, Spenard; and Howard M. Koslosky, United States Navy, Anchorage. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES stated it is very distressing and she understands the intention of putting closure of the POWs and MIA issue, but there are real people out there that have not been accounted for. The previous problems we have had in addressing anything for POWs and MIAs is that the POW or the MIA themselves are the only ones that has any standing in court. As they are not here to stand for themselves, there has been nothing anybody can do. She believes that we, as a state, can go before the Supreme Court in representing the people from our state as an interest of the state. She said available in her office is a map of the United States that indicates which states have already passed a resolution and the states that are currently in the process of working on a resolution. She expects that a group of states would join together in this law suit to pursue the POWS and MIAS from this terrible war in Southeast Asia. Representative James requested the committee to move the bill. Number 098 CO-CHAIRMAN PETE KOTT asked if a sponsor substitute for the bill has been introduced? REPRESENTATIVE JAMES replied affirmative and the sponsor substitute has been read across. SAM GRISWOLD, Legislative Secretary to Representative James, stated the sponsor substitute was not read across with the intent that it would be transferred to a committee substitute (CS) title, same bill but change the title. Number 125 REPRESENTATIVE ED WILLIS made a motion to adopt the CS for HJR 9 based upon the language contained in the CS. CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there were any objections to adopt the committee substitute for HJR 9 numbered 9-LS0243\F. Hearing none, the motion passed. The Committee addressed CSHJR 9(MLV). REPRESENTATIVE RICHARD FOSTER made a motion to move CSHJR 9(MLV) out of committee with the attached fiscal note and asked for unanimous consent. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS stated, for the record, the American Legion supports HJR 9. CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there were any objections. Hearing none, CSHJR 9(MLV) moved out of committee. 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 5:17 p.m.