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Passage of House Bill 126 is the Result of a Lengthy Bipartisan Effort to Reform the National Guard

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 3, 2016

JUNEAU – Today, the Alaska State House of Representatives passed legislation that reforms the Alaska National Guard by creating a Code of Military Justice.  House Bill 126 provides a framework of processes and consequences for members of the Alaska National Guard who violate military rules and orders. 

“This bill will go a long way in changing the culture of the Alaska National Guard and ensuring that the scandals that have plagued the Guard in recent years are not repeated,” said Representative Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage), who worked closely with the House Judiciary Committee to reach bipartisan support for HB 126.  “I want to express my sincere thanks to those who serve our great state and the nation.  Every lawmaker understands that the actions of a few do not reflect the service of the National Guard as a whole.  The Alaska Code of Military Justice is long overdue for an overhaul and I look forward to this bill being passed in the Senate and signed by the Governor.  This will restore honor and integrity to our National Guard.”

Rep. Tuck sponsored a separate piece of legislation last year to update the Code of Military Justice and many of the specific provisions in that bill ended up being included in HB 126.  This bill is in response to mishandlings of sexual assault cases in the Alaska National Guard through the summer and fall of 2014. HB 126 received hearings in the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee worked extensively on this bill throughout last year’s regular session and the interim.

“We have gone through this bill with a fine toothed comb, and the result is a solid piece of legislation that will protect and rightfully prosecute members of the Guard,” said Rep. Max Gruenberg (D-Anchorage), who is a member of the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee and the Judiciary Committee.

“Alaskan civilians and members of the Alaska National Guard demanded reform to the Guard’s procedures,” said Rep. Matt Claman (D-Anchorage), who is also a member of the House Judiciary Committee.  “The House of Representatives came together and passed a bill that moves Alaska forward. HB 126 is an example of the Legislature working together to come up with the best solution for Alaska.”

HB 126 now goes to the Alaska Senate for consideration.

For more information, contact Kendra Kloster in Rep. Tuck’s office at (907) 465-3579.

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