Senator Murkowski - eNewsletter 02-09-09
Sen. Murkowski appointed to the Senate Republican Leadership Team
Senator Murkowski meets with Senator McConnell earlier this month as part of his leadership team.
Sen. Murkowski Fights for Alaska Territorial Guard Veterans
Senator Murkowski speaks on the Senate floor about the service of the Alaska Territorial Guard.
I am deeply disappointed that the Army has revised its policy of crediting Alaska Territorial Guard (ATG) service towards military retirement. The Army recently announced that effective February 1, 2009, Alaskans who had served as part of the Alaska Territorial Guard would be unable to apply their years of service towards military retirement. While the Army regrettably stands by its decision, Secretary of the Army Peter Geren has authorized a two-month payment for each Elder, which will give Alaska’s congressional delegation time to find a solution. The Elders will receive payments for the difference in what they should have received from their military retirement versus what they will now receive under the Army’s revised policy. These payments, while appreciated, in no way lessen my resolve to ensure that the service of Alaska Territorial Guard members is respected as active duty service and fully credited toward military retirement. This is an earned benefit which must be restored.
Senator Begich and I have introduced S. 342 which restores the Army’s previous policy of crediting time served in the Alaska Territorial Guard towards Army retirement. Congressman Young has introduced a companion bill, H.R. 744, in the House of Representatives. The outpouring of support, not only from Alaskans, but from across the Nation, in support of our Territorial Guard members is most gratifying. I and the rest of the Alaska Delegation will continue to fight for our honored veterans, to whom we owe so much.
Sen. Murkowski applauds FAA action on Iditarod Air Force
Posing with a competitor, Senator Murkowski attends the 2008 Iditarod Race.
I have and continue to support the Iditarod Air Force in the vital role it plays as part of Alaska’s Last Great Race and have urged the FAA to find a long-term solution that will allow the Iditarod Air Force to continue operating while protecting participants and addressing the concerns of commercial carriers.
I look forward to being at the start of this uniquely Alaskan race next month.
Sen. Murkowski Votes for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
CHIP, commonly known in Alaska as Denali Kid Care, has been an important and effective program to insure that our children receive health care. There are more than 29,000 children currently enrolled in Denali Kid Care and the passage of this legislation allows the children of the working poor to receive the preventive healthcare that they need to stay healthy and to function well in school.
The reauthorization provides an additional $32.8 billion over the next 4 1/2 years and extends coverage for the seven million children currently enrolled. Under the legislation, Alaska would receive $22.3 million annually, roughly doubling the amount of money the state receives in CHIP funding.
Sen. Murkowski Salutes the Lady Seawolves
Senior Rebecca Kielpinski of the Lady Seawolves (Photo courtesy of UAA Athletics)