Senators approve Alaska militia pay

Posted: Wednesday, October 07, 2009

ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Senate has approved a provision in its defense appropriations bill to resume retirement pay for World War II veterans who patrolled Alaska when it was a territory.

The Obama administration had objected to the measure - inserted by Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Mark Begich, D-Alaska - seeking to restore pay for about two dozen elderly members of the Alaska Territorial Guard.

The administration said it would establish a precedent of treating service by state employees as active duty to compute such pay.

Murkowski commended the Senate's action Tuesday, saying it was the right thing to do.

The pay was reduced in January after a law passed by Congress in 2000 was reinterpreted to no longer recognize the guard's service as federal active duty.

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