Governor Dunleavy Signs Purple Heart Trail, Military Spouse Hiring, and Alaska Coordinate System Bills – Mike Dunleavy
Today at the American Legion Jack Henry Post 1, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy signed into law two bills to support Alaska’s military and veteran community, and a third bill aimed at modernizing the state coordinate system. Bills signed include Senate Bill 203 (SB 203) sponsored by Senator Josh Revak, expanding the Purple Heart Trail designation; House Bill 125 (HB 125) sponsored by Representative David Nelson, adding employment preferences for military spouses and their dependents; and House Bill 148 (HB 148) sponsored by Rep. Laddie Shaw, updating Alaska’s coordinate system.
With approximately 65,000 resident veterans and approximately 21,000 active duty military personnel, Alaska is home to more resident veterans per capita than any other state. The Purple Heart Trail System, a nationwide project to designate portions of the Interstate Highway System in honor of servicemen and women who have been awarded the Purple Heart Medal, spans across the country, including Alaska-Canada border at Fairbanks. Senate Bill 203 extends the designation from Fairbanks to Homer and along the Alaskan Marine Highway System. The legislation also recognizes Alaska’s Gold Star families with a memorial and dedicates an Anchorage bridge to Insook Baik, a Korean-American business owner who has dedicated much of her time to the Mountain community. View.
“We owe everything to our military families and veterans. By signing these bills, we are doing more than just thanking them for their service – we are taking meaningful steps to show that Alaska stands with our service men and women and will continue to support them,” said the Governor Mike Dunleavy. “I am proud to sign Senate Bill 203 to honor our Purple Heart veterans and Gold Star families, and Bill 125 to ensure our military families have every opportunity to succeed. By supporting our military families, we make our state and our country stronger. I thank Senator Revak, a Purple Heart veteran, and Rep. Nelson, a second lieutenant in the Alaska National Guard, for their service to our country and their work on these bills to support the military population of the ‘Alaska.
“Alaska has more resident veterans per capita than any other state. The Purple Heart Trail is a tangible demonstration of Alaska’s appreciation for the sacrifices made by our wounded and fallen soldiers,” the senator said. Josh Revak “It has been an honor to work with my brothers in the Military Order of the Purple Heart, my colleagues and the Governor on this legislation and an even greater honor to serve those who paved the way for our freedom.”
Military families experience higher than average spousal unemployment and underemployment rates due to the non-permanent residency that often accompanies military service. House Bill 125 amends state law to extend private sector hiring preferences to spouses and dependent children of military personnel, including spouses and children of military personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice .
“Governor Dunleavy signed House Bill 125, demonstrating the state’s strong commitment to our service members and their families. HB 125 will extend the state’s veteran employment preference to military spouses,” said Rep. David Nelson. “I was honored to sponsor this legislation and add Alaska to the growing list of states — now 35 — that are helping transitioning military spouses to Alaska.”
The third bill signed today, House Bill 148, modernizes Alaska’s coordinate system to reflect changes to the federal datum used as the basis for the coordinate system. The updated system will reduce distortion in the projection currently used, improve the display of statewide geographic data, and significantly improve the ability to measure elevations in Alaska. HB 148 benefits Alaska’s infrastructure and development through scientists, surveyors, design professionals, GIS specialists, and the geospatial community.
“Legislative work isn’t always glamorous, and it’s easy to forget how crucial small, unbiased legislation like this is to our state. Without House Bill 148, Alaska could not pass the latest federal mapping regulations released in March of this year. This bill benefits our citizens and our economy by allowing our surveyors, engineers and hobbyists to access the most accurate map data available – and guarantees that it will do so by enabling updates to the ‘coming. I want to thank the unified support of both bodies for the passage of this legislation,” said Rep. Laddie Shaw.
“Accurate surveying and mapping are essential for planning and estimating new projects, both military and civilian. I appreciate Representative Shaw’s work in ensuring that Alaskan surveyors, scientists, and geographers have access to modern enhancements to the United States National Spatial Reference System,” Governor Dunleavy said.