The Alaska House of Representatives has approved a bill that would allow National Guardsmen to return to their jobs after deployment, even if they’re serving with a National Guard unit from another state.
House Bill 3, sponsored by Rep. Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, passed in a 39-0 vote and advances to the Senate. Rep. Mark Neuman, R-Big Lake, was absent.
Speaking on the House floor, Tuck said the bill is part of a nationwide push by the Department of Defense to ensure soldiers serving anywhere can come back to their jobs.
Bills advancing in committee:
• A measure legalizing the “ballot selfie” and allowing Alaskans to take pictures of themselves with their ballots is headed to the House floor as soon as Wednesday. On Saturday, the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee approved House Bill 7, sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, D-Sitka.
• Also Saturday, the House State Affairs Committee approved a bill allowing elected officials to conduct legally binding weddings. Already, any Alaskan can “solemnize” a marriage by obtaining a certificate from the state and becoming a marriage commissioner. Judicial officers and religious leaders don’t need such certificates, and if House Bill 20 is approved by the Legislature, politicians wouldn’t need them either. HB 20 is sponsored by Rep. Matt Claman, D-Anchorage, and advances to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.
At 11 a.m. Wednesday, the House and Senate will meet in joint session to hear the annual Congressional update from Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, will deliver his annual Congressional update in a joint session on Friday.