Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/20/1995 05:10 PM MLV

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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,                    
 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.                                    
 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.                                            

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