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Alaskan Malamute Declared State Dog -- 04-18-10

Legislature passes school children’s proposal

(JUNEAU) – The Alaska Senate today approved House Bill 14, designating the Alaskan Malamute as Alaska’s official State Dog.  Bill sponsor Representative Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage) introduced the measure at the request of students from Polaris K-12 School in Anchorage.  The Alaska House of Representatives passed the measure last year; the bill now moves to the governor for final approval.

The project began three years ago when Kindergartener Paige Hill brought the idea to school. After some preliminary research, two first grade classes decided the Alaskan Malamute merited the designation and asked Rep. Gardner to carry the bill on their behalf.  By the time the bill was introduced in 2009, the project had grown into an all-school project.

“My goal was to support student learning about the legislative process,” Rep. Gardner said.  “The students did all the real work or researching, drafting documents, and collecting support.  I am really proud of them and believe they may know more about the legislative process than many adult voters do. “

"It was a good experience,” the now third-grader Paige Hill said. “It wasn't easy, but it was fun.  I am glad the Malamute is the state dog and my grandma Shirley is very proud of me.  It was very exciting to me to hear that the bill passed."

"I've been working on this bill, trying to make the Alaskan Malamute the state dog, for a quarter of my life,” Polaris student Maeve Wiley said.  “After some ups and downs, it's passed the House and the Senate; and for that I'm thankful."

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