Governor signs first bill of legislative session

Posted: Sunday, March 13, 2011

JUNEAU — Gov. Sean Parnell has signed the first bill of the legislative session. It allows members of the armed forces to choose which family members will act as next of kin should they die in the line of duty.

Sponsors of the measure included Democratic Sen. Bill Wielechowski and Republican Rep. Bill Thomas.

Parnell says service members deserve the “utmost respect” for their sacrifices in service.

Currently, Alaska doesn’t allow troops to designate who will handle their remains. That means, if the service member dies, his or her remains are administered by the next of kin predetermined by the military.

Parnell’s office says the new measure puts Alaska in line with U.S. military procedures.

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