Seward Phoenix Log: Murkowski adds military benefits to appropriations bill

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said today that language she inserted into a military appropriations bill will reap benefits for Alaska's military community in the form of construction projects and a thorough vetting of health care for Alaska's veterans.

The new language in the 2012 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill raises the bar on the Department of Veterans Affairs and requires new benchmarks be considered when determining whether vets will be required to fly to Seattle, and calls for two reports in the next year on progress made to reduce the number of Alaska vets required to travel outside for medical care, Murkowski said.

Additionally, Murkowski has also asked the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to hold hearings in Washington on whether American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian veterans are being denied the access to veterans benefits because they reside in some of the most remote places in the country.

In addition to the progress being made in securing health care relief for Alaska's veterans, the Senate Subcommittee for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs directed $335 million dollars to needed military construction work statewide, including the next phase of the aviation task force complex at Eielson Air Force Base, the fitness facility at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson and the Cold Weather Maritime Training Facility.


Source: By Alaska Newspapers Inc. Originally published on June 30, 2011