House Acts to Bring Back Iconic Bear License Plate (HB293/Whip Wilson)
Monday, April 14, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska House of Representatives yesterday unanimously passed a bill by Majority Whip Peggy Wilson to bring back the iconic bear license plate as a primary option. Wilson, R-Wrangell/Ketchikan, sponsored House Bill 293 after hearing from constituents and learning Alaska was ranked 48th out of all 50 states and both territories for its license plate design.
“Bears are indelibly linked to Alaska,” Whip Wilson said. “Our state deserves better recognition than 48th place. The bear insignia was one of the most popular we’ve run. There’s nothing wrong with the plain yellow with blue type we currently use, of course. This bill simply gives Alaskans the choice to pick a more Alaskan looking license plate.”
The bill was amended in committee to include language allowing all firefighters and emergency medical personnel, regardless of their paid or volunteer status, the opportunity to purchase the commemorative plate that is currently only for active or former professionals. Retired or former firefighters or EMTs will be eligible to purchase these plates after 5 years of service versus 10 years.
HB 293 now moves to the Alaska Senate for consideration.