JUNEAU - Alaskans will have a new holiday to celebrate under a bill approved by the state House.
State representatives voted 38-0 Saturday to celebrate Feb. 2 as Marmot Day.
The bill was sponsored by state Sen. Linda Menard, a Republican from Wasilla. Her husband, the late Sen. Curt Menard, argued for a similar bill 20 years ago.
State Rep. Bill Stoltz spoke in favor of the bill. He said Curt Menard wanted to upstage Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvania groundhog famed for his winter weather forecasts, on Groundhog Day.
Stoltz joked that the measure sparked tension between Sen. Linda Menard and another Mat-Su senator, Charlie Huggins.
He said one wants to honor marmots and the other wants to make sure Alaskans can still hunt them.
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