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legislature Approves Bill Helping Seniors and People With Disabilities Have a better Voice in Transportation Planning

Sunday, April 15, 2012, Juneau, Alaska – The 27th Alaska Legislature passed a bill today to create an Alaska Community and Public Transportation Advisory Board to help seniors and people with disabilities have a better voice in state transportation planning.

House Bill 131, sponsored by Rep. Cathy Munoz, R-Juneau, would set up a 13-member board including three members with expertise in the transportation needs of senior citizens, persons of disability, those with low income, or people who rely on public transit. One member would be from a nonprofit organization that operates a mode of public transportation, one who represents a municipality that operates public transit, another who represents a transportation provider who gets federal funding available to Indian tribes, and two who are members of the public. The remaining five members would be from various agencies.

The measure is based on recommendations made in February 2010 by the Governors’ Coordinated Transportation Task Force.

“Tens of millions of dollars are spent on transportation services to support many vulnerable Alaskans such as seniors and those who are disabled,” Muñoz said. “House Bill 131 will help lead to a more cost-effective transportation system that better serves these people – especially those who need more reliable transportation to make doctor’s appointments, get to work, buy groceries, and be a vibrant member of Alaska society.”

The measure is supported by the Alaska Mobility Coalition, the Governor’s Council on Disabilities, the Alaska Commission on Aging, the Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, the Alaska Brain Injury Network, the Alaska Suicide Prevention Council, and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority.

HB 131 will now be transmitted to the governor for signature, and becomes law immediately once signed.

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