JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles signed into law on Friday a bill that casts the Alaska Veterans Advisory Council into state law.
The council had been created by Knowles through a 1996 executive order to advise the governor and the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs on matters affecting veterans and their families.
The Legislature approved a bill during special session this year to set the council's duties into state law. Since it is state law, only the Legislature can now eliminate the council when Knowles leaves office in December.
Knowles signed the bill during a ceremony in Juneau on Friday attended by retired Marine Corps Col. Pat Carothers, who is chairman of the council.
In passing the law, the Legislature reduced the 17-member council created by Knowles by four seats and also assigned its chairman additional duties. The council chairman will also sit on the Pioneers' and Veterans' Home Advisory Board and select grant recipients for the Alaska Veterans Memorial Endowment fund.
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