A Provision of SB 204 Creates a Specialized Alaska License Plate to Honor Medal Recipients
Fairbanks – Today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed Senate Bill 204 into law during a ceremony in Fairbanks. The bill, sponsored by Senator Dennis Egan (D-Juneau), allows Alaska chiropractors to sign Division of Motor Vehicle (DMV) forms proving that a person is disabled. This will help disabled persons obtain specialized license plates and parking permits. During the legislative process, the bill was amended by Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) to honor Alaskans who earned medals for valor in combat by creating license plates reflecting those medals.
“Existing law did not allow combat veterans to receive license plates for medals they received for many of the highest orders of sacrifice,” said Rep. Gara. “We wanted to rectify that and honor the sacrifice and heroism of those individuals.”
The Division of Motor Vehicles currently provides a license plate for the military’s highest honor, the Medal of Honor. DMV also recognizes veterans with a veteran’s plate, and honors veterans who qualify for a Purple Heart, Gold Star Family, POW, Pearl Harbor survivor, and unit-specific specialty license plates. However, DMV did not have the authority to provide recipients of other medals with license plates that reflect their sacrifice. These honors include the Navy Cross (also awarded to Marines), the Distinguished Service Cross, the Air Force Cross, the Coast Guard Cross, the Silver Star, and the Bronze Star for Valor.
“With this bill, the DMV can now appropriately acknowledge and honor these individuals. I am proud we were able to make this small change for Alaskans who have given so much,” said Rep. Gara.
Senate Bill 204 passed the Alaska House of Representatives on May 10th by a vote of 37-1. The Alaska State Senate unanimously concurred with the changes to the bill by a vote of 19-0. Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed the bill into law today during a ceremony in Fairbanks.
For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.