House and Senate approve three veterans bills

Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- The state House and Senate on Monday approved three bills that Gov. Tony Knowles has called part of his priority legislation this session.

Knowles, a Democrat, issued a statement after the three measures passed applauding the Republican-controlled Legislature for taking up the last of five measures he had supported.

The House approved approved a bill establishing an endowment with $125,000 in state money to repair and maintain veterans' memorials in Alaska. Private contributions would match the state funding. The bill also provides for credits against certain taxes for contributions made to the endowment.

The measure has been approved by the Senate. It now goes back to the Senate for concurrence with changes made in the House.

The House also approved a $500 million revenue bond package to finance home loans for veterans. Veterans' mortgage payments would repay the debt.

The measure is expected to come up for a reconsideration vote in the House.

The Senate approved a bill to give priority to eligible veterans in the state's Pioneers' Homes. It is designed to fill empty beds in the existing Pioneers' Homes. The bill would be contingent on participation and funding from the federal Department of Veteran's Affairs.

It passed 20-0 in the Senate and now goes to the House for consideration.

Minority Democrats said last week that passage of the veterans bills was one of their priorities before the close of the legislative session.

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