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House Majority E-News for Jun 4, 2010 ANS Crude: $71.01 Henry Hub: $4.61


Military Child Custody Reform Bill Enacted

(Eagle River) - Representative Bill Thomas, R-Haines, released the
following statement today regarding the enactment of his and Senator
Charlie Huggins's House Bill 334. The governor signed the bill into
law this morning at a ceremony in Eagle River. HB 334, the top
priority of the Joint Legislative Veterans Caucus, includes the
following changes to equalize a deployed military member's standing in
child custody and divorce proceedings: defining a military absence;
assuring that military duties cannot be considered when determining
child custody; allowing for expedited hearings, with some
restrictions; granting the right of a deploying service member to
designate visitation to another family member; allowing electronic
testimony; and, placing limitations on temporary custody orders. The
Act takes effect immediately.


"Senator Huggins and I, along with the support of the Veterans Caucus
and our staff, are proud to see this bill become law. We hope our new
standards for child custody proceedings involving deploying or
deployed servicemen and women can be used as a template for other
states to follow. We're now leading the way in terms of protecting the
rights to fair access and flexibility when these events overlap with a
deployment. Those protecting and serving our country overseas and at
home don't need another significant stress on their lives as they
prepare or work; they don't deserve to have their voice in the custody
proceedings silenced due to their job. We worked hard to ensure that
the best interests of the child was still the major determining factor
in these proceedings while explicitly stating that a deployment or
assignment cannot be used against a party to deny custody. Our
soldiers should not have to fight a battle on two fronts. They deserve
to know that, while serving our country, they will still be afforded
equal access to our justice system at home and that their service is
appreciated, not seen as a deterrent when it comes to child custody
matters. HB 334 will provide some much-needed relief."

The full text of this press release can be found below:



Veterans Procurement Preference Signed into Law

(Eagle River) - Representative Anna Fairclough, R-Eagle River,
released the following statement today regarding the enactment of
House Bill 24. The bill offers qualified veterans a five percent
procurement preference up to $5000. Qualified veteran bidders under
the new law must be a sole proprietorship owned by an Alaska veteran,
or the majority partners of a company, LLC, or corporation are Alaska
veterans. The preference may not exceed $5000 but can be cumulative to
any other qualified preferences.


"The purpose of the State's bidder preference is to encourage local
industry and small business involvement for goods and services, and we
believe it's only right to allow veteran-owned businesses to
participate. They've given and sacrificed so much in service to our
state and country, so giving back to them is the right thing to do."

The full text of this press release can be found below:



Gatto Comments on Veterans Legislation

(Palmer) - Representative Carl Gatto, R-Palmer, released the
following statement today regarding the enactment of House Bill 24,
legislation establishing a five percent State bidder preference for
Alaska veteran-owned businesses, and his own House Joint Resolution
16, which calls on the federal government to implement the 2003
Veterans Benefit Act that creates a three percent federal procurement
preference for service-disabled veterans.


"When veterans muster out of service, retire, or � God forbid � get
injured and return to civil life, they can find it hard to re-adjust
or transition into the next career. And that's where these two bills
come in. HJR 16 asks the federal government to do what Congress told
them too: write the rules and guidelines to create the
service-disabled veterans preference carried within the VBA of 2003.
I've heard from some Alaska veterans who've told me federal agencies
in Alaska aren't complying with the law. That is unacceptable. We
mustn't further hinder our veterans. We should, and can, help them
transition and start a business. That's what HB 24 does; creating a
State bidder preference for veteran-owned Alaska businesses. That's a
start. Both bills are small ways to say thanks to our veterans,
honoring their sacrifice and helping them build family-sustaining
civil lives."

The full text of this press release can be found below:



Rep. Millett Applauds Parnell Administration

for Challenging Beluga ESA Listing

(Anchorage) - Today's decision by the Parnell Administration to sue
the federal government over its decision listing Cook Inlet beluga
whales as endangered under the Endangered Species Act was applauded by
Representative Charisse Millett, R-Anchorage.

"The numbers speak for themselves," Millett said. "The number of
belugas increased four percent a year from 2005 to 2009. The National
Marine Fisheries Service appears to have ignored the facts presented
by the state against an endangered listing, so taking the federal
government to court is our only chance to reverse a poor decision."

The full text of this press release can be found below:


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