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Bill Allowing State Assets for Compassionate Aid Passes - Ramras' HB 114

Ramras’ HB 114 offers option of state-owned and operated to help in during crises

Sunday, April 18, 2010, Juneau, Alaska – Legislation providing the governor the option to allow state-owned assets to assist in times of crises has passed the legislature. The Alaska State House today concurred in Senate changes to House Bill 114. House Judiciary Committee Chair Jay Ramras, R-Fairbanks, sponsored the bill, which passed the State Senate unanimously today. The State House originally passed the bill April 15 last year.

“I originally introduced HB 114 to send a message to the prior governor that compassionate aid – food, clothing, water, rudimentary supplies – relief in times of non-disaster crises won’t wait for convenience,” Ramras said. “This bill sets in statute that state assets – state-owned and operated planes, vessels, trucks, even the railroad – can be deployed instead of sit idly by while needy Alaskans wait for help.”

Current state law doesn’t allow the state to assist unless an emergency or disaster occurs in the state. Economic or cultural crises fall under compassionate aid, like the situation last winter in Emmonak and Northwest Alaska.

HB 114 now heads to the governor for signature.

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