This letter is being written in response to HB-547, proposed by Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer. To withhold the permanent fund dividend from Alaska residents living outside the state due to military call to duty and students in college is very unfair to those Alaska citizens.
When military personnel are called to duty it causes a severe financial hardship on the families as well as the military member being away from home. To withhold their PFD while they are defending our way of life is ludicrous. When a military member is called to duty they are still Alaskans and would not be leaving if it wasn't for our government. HB-547 should be put in the trash where it belongs. On the same subject, college students that have to attend schools outside of Alaska to study the subject of their choice or because of a scholarship are also citizens of Alaska and to withhold their PFD puts a hardship on the parents that are paying the tuition.
We have approximately 100 reservists and National Guardsmen and women that stand ready to be activated to help continue our nation's fight against terrorism. Denying them their PFD is an awful way to say thanks for putting your life on the line for your country. We must all remember freedom is not free. Please put HB-547 in file 13 where it belongs.
Section 1.1 of the state constitution states, "All citizens are equal." It does not say unless you are in the military or a student.
We leave no one behind.
Disabled American Veterans
Department of Alaska