Legislature(2003 - 2004)

2003-03-05 House Journal

Full Journal pdf

2003-03-05                     House Journal                      Page 0427
HB 158                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 158 by the House Rules Committee by request of                                       
the Governor, entitled:                                                                             
     "An Act eliminating the longevity bonus program and making                                     
     related conforming changes; and providing for an effective date."                              

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was read the first time and referred to the State Affairs and Finance                               
The following fiscal note(s) apply:                                                                 
1.  Fiscal, Dept. of Administration                                                                 
The Governor's transmittal letter dated March 5, 2003, follows:                                     
"Dear Speaker Kott:                                                                                 
Under the authority of art. III, sec 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am                           
transmitting a bill that would eliminate the Alaska Longevity Bonus                                 
In 1972 Alaska initiated a program to reward our long-term residents                                
(seniors) for their contributions and provide them with an incentive to                             
remain in Alaska for their retirement years. It was originally intended                             
to help those Alaskans who had been residents for 25 years and as                                   
stated in its original passage, was intended for those seniors who had                              
"molded Alaska as we know it through skillful application of their                                  
Since that time, the Courts ruled that the 25 year residency                                        
requirement was unconstitutional.  The new program instituted was                                   
expanded to all seniors residing in the state for one year.  By 1993, the                           
cost to the state was up to $65 million a year.  The legislature,                                   
recognizing that the cost would continue to escalate with the rapid                                 
growth of Alaska's senior population, implemented a phase out of the                                
The judiciary eliminated the longevity program for Alaska's pioneers.                               
The bill I transmit today ends its successor, eliminating a program that                            
has outlived its original purpose and no longer offers special                                      
consideration to those pioneers so deserving of our thanks.                                         
Alaska will continue to provide assistance and "safety net" programs                                
for senior citizens. Some are directed toward all seniors such as an                                
exemption from Hunting and fishing fees, the senior citizen property                                
tax exemption and Pioneers' Homes. Many are targeted at seniors with                                

2003-03-05                     House Journal                      Page 0429
limited means, including, adult public assistance, Medicaid assistance,                             
personal care attendant services, nursing home services, home and                                   
community based waiver services, senior housing assistance, nutrition                               
programs, and senior training and employment programs.                                              
I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure.                                            
                                 Frank H. Murkowski