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November 27, 2019
Help for Veterans and Military Spouses
Alaska is a military state. Because of our strategic location, the federal government continues to invest millions of dollars every year in bases and other infrastructure. Alaska is also a military state because we are home to more veterans per capita than any other state in the nation. In many ways, Alaska’s economy is shaped by the thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, veterans, and their families who call Alaska home. That’s why I have sponsored legislation to help military families in Alaska.
Every day, brave men and women from all over the country travel to Alaska to serve at one of the nine active military bases. Not unexpectedly, they often bring their wives or husbands with them. Unfortunately, too many military spouses have trouble finding work, especially if they must wait for new occupational licenses, which are required for lots of professions, including nursing, dental assistants, home health aides, and nail technicians.
The Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force say that the inability of spouses to obtain jobs and sustain careers is a drawback to military service. That’s why I introduced House Bill 93 to increase the use of temporary courtesy occupational licenses to allow military spouses to go to work quickly after relocating to Alaska. Courtesy licenses are used as a bridge while military spouses satisfy the requirements for their regular occupational license, which can often be time-consuming and expensive.
House Bill 93 is about helping military families make a living in Alaska. This pro-military and pro-jobs bill is supported by the Department of Defense because it’s good for the economy and shows that in Alaska, we welcome and support military men and women, their spouses, and their families.
House Bill 93 was unanimously passed out of the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee back in April, and I anticipate the bill will be taken up by the House Labor and Commerce Committee when the Second Session of the 31st Alaska State Legislature gets started in January. I think there is a lot of support for legislation to help military families in Alaska, so I am hopeful for the quick consideration and passage of either my bill, House Bill 93, or the companion bill in the Senate sponsored by Senator Scott Kawasaki.
Thanksgiving can be a busy holiday with family and friends gathered together to celebrate the harvest and blessings of the year.
As we enter the winter holiday season, please keep in mind those who are less fortunate and find ways to be a blessing to them. The more we do for one another, the better we will all be in our neighborhoods and community.
I speak for everyone in my office when I say that we are thankful for the opportunity to work with all of you to make Alaska a better place for everyone. May the next year be full of many blessings to you and your family.
Rep. Chris Tuck speaking at the Voices for Recovery rally on the Delaney Park Strip in Downtown Anchorage on September 22, 2019.
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