NEWS: Legislation to Honor Veterans with Bravery Award License Plates Passes First Committee of Referral

Rep. Les Gara

February 26, 2015

Juneau – Today, the House Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee passed House Bill 61 to allow the Department of Motor Vehicles to produce specialty license plates for recipients of the Bronze Star, Silver Star and other meritorious awards involving valor in battle.  Current law leaves out license plate designations for a number of important combat related medals.

The Silver Star medal is awarded to individuals who distinguish themselves with extraordinary heroism while engaged in combat. It is usually awarded in situations in which the recipient has repeatedly risked his or her life and emerged victorious. The Bronze Star-V medal is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated valor and merit while in combat related operations.  These and other awards for valor in combat operations are added by the bill.

The prime sponsors of HB 61 are Reps. Les Gara (D-Anchorage), Liz Vasquez (R-Anchorage), Bob Lynn (R-Anchorage), Gabrielle LeDoux (R-Anchorage) and Max Gruenberg (D-Anchorage). 
Rep. Gara offers his thanks to the cosponsors of HB 61 and the members of the House Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee for their support of legislation that recognizes Alaska’s recipients of Bronze Stars and Silver Stars.  Rep. Gara especially thanks Rep. Bob Herron (D-Bethel) for his work on the bill.

“As Democrats and Republicans, the cosponsors all believe veterans should be honored for risking their lives to protect us,” said Rep. Gara.

HB 61 prevents the need for future license plate bills and gives the Department of Motor Vehicles the power to add additional license plates for awards of valor.

HB 61 now moves to the House State Affairs Committee for consideration.



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