Their official christening is months away, but the parents have given their blessing on a name.
On Friday, the Alaska House of Representatives voted 38-0 to name the state’s two newest ferries the Tazlina and Hubbard.
The names were selected months ago in a contest for high school and middle school students, and Gov. Bill Walker introduced Senate Bill 33 at the start of the legislative session to make it official.
The Senate approved the names with a 19-0 vote on Feb. 27, and the House followed suit.
Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, D-Sitka; and Rep. Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River, were absent from the vote.
SB 33 is the first bill to pass both the House and the Senate in the 30th Legislature; it now heads to the governor for his signature.
Bills on the move:
• The House Education Committee gave its blessing on Friday to a proposal that would make the Alaska State Council on the Arts a public corporation instead of a division within the department of education. House Bill 137 was proposed by the committee and advances to the House Finance Committee. A companion bill is advancing in the Senate as well.
• The education committee also on Friday approved House Bill 64, by Rep. Harriet Drummond, D-Anchorage, which would establish a task force assigned to help students with dyslexia read better. That bill advances to the House floor for a vote.
• The House Finance Committee on Friday approved the state’s operating budget and the budget for the Mental Health Trust. Those budgets will meet floor discussion Monday, and debates will continue through the week.
• The Senate Finance Committee on Friday approved Senate Bill 26, which calls for using 5.25 percent of the average earnings of the Permanent Fund on government services and Permanent Fund dividends. The proposal, which has been explained in other Empire reports, will reach the Senate floor Monday.
• A bill changing last year’s criminal justice reform effort advanced from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday. Senate Bill 54, sponsored by Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole, makes violating conditions of release a misdemeanor (not a violation), among other revisions to last year’s proposal. SB 54 goes to the Senate Finance Committee for further review.
• The House Labor and Commerce Committee approved three bills on Friday: House Bill 2, sponsored by Rep. Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, allows employers to prefer hiring veterans. HB 2 goes to the House floor. House Bill 108, which allows wills to determine what happens to your Facebook page and other “digital assets” after you die, advances to the House Judiciary Committee. That bill is sponsored by Rep. Matt Claman, D-Anchorage and chairman of the judiciary committee. House Bill 141, sponsored by Rep. Zach Fansler, D-Bethel, extends the Alaska Workforce Investment Board to 2022. It goes to the House Finance Committee for consideration.
• Contact reporter James Brooks at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 419-7732.