Legislature(2005 - 2006)BELTZ 211

03/23/2006 03:30 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Location Change --
Moved CSSCR 21(STA) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 274(STA) Out of Committee
Moved SB 214 Out of Committee
Moved SB 215 Out of Committee
            SCR 21-VIETNAM WAR MEMORIAL:MOVING WALL                                                                         
CHAIR GENE THERRIAULT  announced SCR 21 to be  up for discussion.                                                               
He noted  that a  proposed committee  substitute (CS),  Version G                                                               
was in the packets.                                                                                                             
3:45:11 PM                                                                                                                    
JOSH TEMPEL, Staff to Senator  Charlie Huggins, presented SCR 21.                                                               
He explained that  this issue is a big one  for numerous veterans                                                               
across the  state.   The memorial  will go  to seven  cities, and                                                               
people are ecstatic.  Noting  that many of Alaska's veterans have                                                               
seen  extreme combat,  Mr. Tempel  suggested  this memorial  will                                                               
provide a chance for closure.                                                                                                   
He  said this  will be  educational, not  just about  the Vietnam                                                               
War,  but  also about  America's  veterans  in general  and  what                                                               
they've given  for our  country.  Although  the memorial  came to                                                               
Alaska about  a decade ago, this  time it will go  to communities                                                               
where  it   has  never  been,   including  Bethel   and  Cordova.                                                               
Mr. Tempe  offered  his  belief  that  Cordova  has  the  highest                                                               
percentage of any city in the nation of fallen Vietnam veterans.                                                                
He explained that  in honoring veterans across the  state, it was                                                               
thought an appropriate  title for this summer would  be "a summer                                                               
of honor and a season of  gratitude."  He expressed hope that the                                                               
state would adopt that title for this summer.                                                                                   
3:47:57 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  CHARLIE   HUGGINS,  sponsor,  added  that   Vietnam  War                                                               
veterans, including  himself, are  now the majority  of veterans,                                                               
since  those  who  served  in  World War  II  are  passing  away.                                                               
Unfortunately, there  are many scars  from the Vietnam  era, both                                                               
physical  and  mental.    Thus  he  believes  the  wall  will  be                                                               
therapeutic.  For some, it  will bring closure, while others will                                                               
see it  as a  harsh reminder.   What SCR 21  requests is  a voice                                                               
from  the  Senate  in  recognition  that the  wall  is  going  to                                                               
communities where it hasn't yet been, including the Matanuska-                                                                  
Susitna area, Eagle River, Kodiak, and other places.                                                                            
He mentioned teleconferencing with  various communities about how                                                               
to make it  happen.  Senator Huggins surmised it  will be a grand                                                               
occasion, though  a somber one.   He  expressed pride in  being a                                                               
small  part  of this,  and  commended  Representative Thomas  for                                                               
having a  big part on behalf  of Southeast Alaska.   He concluded                                                               
by saying this is well deserved by veterans.                                                                                    
3:50:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT asked for a motion to adopt the \G Version.                                                                    
SENATOR BETTYE DAVIS moved [to  adopt the proposed CS, Version G,                                                               
labeled 24-LS1682\G,  Bannister, 3/14/06, as the  work document].                                                               
Without objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                           
3:50:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BILL THOMAS informed members  that he is a Vietnam                                                               
veteran   from   1968.     He   thanked   Senator   Huggins   and                                                               
Representative  Stoltze  for  helping  him get  the  memorial  to                                                               
Cordova, where people were overwhelmed  when they found out about                                                               
this; four  of them  were classmates with  three young  men whose                                                               
names are  on the  wall.   Representative Thomas  expressed great                                                               
pleasure  that this  is happening,  agreeing  there is  a lot  of                                                               
emotional scarring.                                                                                                             
3:51:57 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE THOMAS  suggested a conceptual amendment  [page 2,                                                               
line 3], to  replace "a" with "the" after "2006";  thus the title                                                               
for  the time  period  would begin  "the summer  of  honor".   He                                                               
offered  his belief  that this  would be  stronger language,  and                                                               
asked if Senator Huggins agreed.                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS concurred.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE THOMAS  expressed support for the  resolution.  He                                                               
said he's also working on getting  the names on a citation, which                                                               
could be  taken to  each community.   He  noted that  the platoon                                                               
sergeant for  one young man  who is  listed on the  memorial wall                                                               
lives  in Skagway,  and  two  soldiers in  Haines  and Sitka  had                                                               
served with the young men  he'd mentioned.  Representative Thomas                                                               
said he is  trying to find a  way to take them  to Cordova, where                                                               
the memorial will be on June 23.   He thanked Senator Huggins and                                                               
Representative Stoltze for their assistance in Southeast Alaska.                                                                
3:53:01 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT moved  to adopt Amendment 1, on page  2, line 3,                                                               
after "2006", to change "a" to "the".   Thus it would read:  "the                                                               
summer of  honor and a season  of gratitude".  He  added that the                                                               
drafters  would  be  asked  to  put  it  into  whatever  form  is                                                               
necessary  to clarify  that the  observance is  to be  given that                                                               
title.  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                            
3:54:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DAVIS moved  to report  CS for  SCR 21,  Version G  [24-                                                               
LS1682\G, Bannister,  3/14/06], as amended, from  committee [with                                                               
individual   recommendations   and  attached   fiscal   note(s)].                                                               
Without  objection, CSSCR  21(STA) was  reported from  the Senate                                                               
State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                               

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