Legislature(2013 - 2014)CAPITOL 120

03/12/2013 01:00 PM MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HCR 4 HMONG-AMERICAN VETERANS DAY TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+= HB 59 MISSING VULNERABLE ADULT RESPONSE PLAN TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 59(MLV) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
               HCR  4-HMONG-AMERICAN VETERANS DAY                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:08:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FOSTER announced that the  first order of business would                                                               
be HCR  4, HOUSE CONCURRENT  RESOLUTION NO. 4 Proclaiming  May 15                                                               
to be Hmong-American Veterans Memorial Day.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:08:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DIRK  MOFFATT,  Staff,  Representative Gabrielle  LeDoux,  Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  on behalf of Representative  LeDoux, sponsor,                                                               
explained that HCR  4 would proclaim May 15  to be Hmong-American                                                               
Veterans  Memorial  Day.    From 1960  to  1973  Hmong  tribesmen                                                               
rescued  downed  American  pilots   and  identified  targets  for                                                               
bombing  missions while  fighting  against  communist forces  and                                                               
suffering  heavy  casualties.     On  May  15,   1997,  the  U.S.                                                               
government declassified  its role  in the  war against  the North                                                               
Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong  communist forces in Laos, thus the                                                               
choice  of  May 15  as  the  day  of  commemoration.   The  Hmong                                                               
fighters are not recognized as  veterans of the U.S. military and                                                               
are not  eligible for benefits  for their service;  however, U.S.                                                               
Senator Lisa  Murkowski introduced  legislation that  would allow                                                               
6,900 former  Hmong soldiers living in  the U.S. the right  to be                                                               
buried in  national cemeteries.   Hmong  are people  of Southeast                                                               
Asia who  live in the highlands  of Laos, and who  were recruited                                                               
by the Central Intelligence Agency  (CIA) to fight a guerilla war                                                               
against communist forces in Laos  and North Vietnam, beginning in                                                               
the 1960s.   Mr. Moffatt  provided a  short history of  the Hmong                                                               
people  and their  long  involvement in  active  support of  U.S.                                                               
forces in Southeast Asia.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MOFFATT  explained  that about  40,000  Hmong  were  killed,                                                               
50,000  were  injured, and  3,000  are  missing in  action  while                                                               
defending democracy, but because the  U.S. war effort in Laos was                                                               
covert, accounts  of these sacrifices  remain untold.   After the                                                               
war,  thousands of  Hmong  were evacuated  to  Thailand to  avoid                                                               
reprisals  by the  communist  forces, but  even  so, hundreds  of                                                               
thousands of  Hmong families suffered atrocities  and were forced                                                               
to  flee their  homeland.   Approximately  50,000 Hmong  veterans                                                               
reside  in the  U.S. and  150,000 Hmong  children have  graduated                                                               
from  school, although  little is  taught  about their  honorable                                                               
service  to  the  U.S.    The passage  of  HCR  4  will  increase                                                               
awareness  of  the  important  role Hmong  have  played  in  U.S.                                                               
history, and will recognize their sacrifice.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:13:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD asked how many Hmong live in Alaska.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:14:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEVEN YANG said  he was not sure how many  Hmong families are in                                                               
Alaska,  however, the  parents  in most  families  served in  the                                                               
Vietnam War.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:15:39 PM                                                                                                                    
ARTHUR  YANG,  Anchorage,  Alaska,  added that  the  total  Hmong                                                               
population in Alaska is approximately 5,000.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. MOFFATT offered to research that issue further.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:16:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PASART LEE  provided statistics on  the Hmong.  He  expressed his                                                               
hope that  Americans will not  forget about Hmong, and  urged for                                                               
the passage of HCR 4.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  pointed out  that March 29th  is Vietnam                                                               
Veterans Day and  opined it would be appropriate  to have special                                                               
recognition  of   Hmong  veterans   recognized  along   with  the                                                               
activities of that day.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MOFFATT explained  that the  reason May  15th was  chosen is                                                               
that it is the day  the U.S. government recognized the sacrifices                                                               
of  the Hmong  people.   In  further  response to  Representative                                                               
Reinbold,  he  said  multiple   veterans'  recognition  days  are                                                               
acceptable.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  said her  concern is that  multiple days                                                               
of recognition may dilute their impact.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:21:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  asked  about  the  current  relationship                                                               
between Hmong living in Laos and their government.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. MOFFATT  has heard that  the Laotian government  continues to                                                               
hunt down Hmong and their descendants that remain in hiding.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER asked  whether this  type of  recognition                                                               
would ameliorate  the circumstances of Hmong  people still living                                                               
in Southeast Asia.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. MOFFATT opined  the purpose of the  resolution is recognition                                                               
in the  U.S. for  Hmong veterans  and their  contributions.    He                                                               
pointed out that  the general of the Hmong army  that fought with                                                               
the  U.S. was  not allowed  to  be buried  in Arlington  National                                                               
Cemetery, and one special day is "the right thing to do."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SADDLER   observed    that   formal   government                                                               
acknowledgment  of   sacrifice  does  have  an   impact  and  the                                                               
resolution might help.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:26:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  agreed that formal recognition  is good;                                                               
however,  there  are  many  groups  that  have  made  significant                                                               
sacrifices in  many past  wars that  do not  have a  special day,                                                               
such  as Alaska  Natives,  and she  expressed  her concern  about                                                               
picking one group.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  LEDOUX  relayed that  the  name  of the  aforementioned                                                               
Hmong  general was  Vang  Pao, and  he led  an  army that  fought                                                               
bravely for the U.S. during the Vietnam War.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES  confirmed that  the resolution  carries no                                                               
fiscal note.   She opined  additional days of recognition  do not                                                               
dilute  [recognition],  but are  beneficial  in  that they  raise                                                               
awareness and understanding for  Alaskans.  Representative Hughes                                                               
estimated about  2 percent of  the U.S. population of  Hmong live                                                               
in Alaska, and said she would support HCR 4.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HIGGINS said  he is  aware of  the help  given by                                                               
Hmong to the  U.S. Army Special Forces in Vietnam.   He expressed                                                               
his  belief this  distinction and  honor is  appropriate for  the                                                               
sacrifice of their  lives and families, and urged  passage of HCR
4.  He  asked whether any other states have  designated a similar                                                               
memorial day.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.   MOFFATT  advised   California  has,   along  with   several                                                               
municipalities.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:31:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  noted  that  before  redistricting  he                                                               
represented  the community  of Mountain  View, which  has a  high                                                               
population of Hmong.   Hmong families are  very highly education-                                                               
motivated, and provide much to  the community through gardens and                                                               
businesses.  As a co-sponsor, he  would like to see the bill move                                                               
from committee.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:32:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FOSTER opened public testimony on HCR 4.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LEE  expressed his  support  for  federal legislation,  "Lao                                                               
Hmong Veterans' Burial Honors Act"  U.S. House of Representatives                                                               
House Resolution 3192.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. ARTHUR YANG expressed his support for HCR 4.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. STEVEN YANG expressed his support for HCR 4.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:34:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FOSTER,  after ascertaining that  no one else  wished to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HCR 4.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:35:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES moved  to report  HCR 4  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.   There being no  objection, HCR  4 was reported  from the                                                               
House Special Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
[Later in  the meeting, Co-Chair  Foster noted  written testimony                                                               
on HCR 4 from Dr. Chang would be accepted.]                                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HCR 4 request.pdf HMLV 3/12/2013 1:00:00 PM
HCR 4
HCR 4 Sponsor Statement Hmong Veterans Day.pdf HMLV 3/12/2013 1:00:00 PM
HCR 4
HCR 4 Supporting Docment 1 Hmong Research Report.pdf HMLV 3/12/2013 1:00:00 PM
HCR 4
HCR 4 Supporting Docment 2 Article - Facts And Details - Hmong and the Vietnam War.pdf HMLV 3/12/2013 1:00:00 PM
HCR 4
HCR 4 Supporting Docment 3 Article - Minnesota’s Hmong veterans seek recognition.pdf HMLV 3/12/2013 1:00:00 PM
HCR 4
HCR 4 Supporting Docment 4 Article - Why Are the Hmong in America.pdf HMLV 3/12/2013 1:00:00 PM
HCR 4
HCR 4 Supporting Docment 5 Article - Lao Veterans of America.pdf HMLV 3/12/2013 1:00:00 PM
HCR 4
HCR 4 Supporting Docment 6 Article - Laos Secret War.pdf HMLV 3/12/2013 1:00:00 PM
HCR 4
HCR-4U Hmong-American Veterans Memorial Day.pdf HMLV 3/12/2013 1:00:00 PM
HCR 4
expected testimony hb 59.doc HMLV 3/12/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 59
HB 59 Supporting Documents- Letter Marianne Mills 3-1-2013.pdf HMLV 3/12/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 59
HB59 Explaination of Changes.pdf HMLV 3/12/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 59
HB59 Supporting Documents- Letter Patrick Cunningham 3-4-2013.pdf HMLV 3/12/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 59
HB59 ver O.PDF HMLV 3/12/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 59