In front of a packed Senate Floor Session the legislature passed House Bill 216, a bill aimed at acknowledging 20 Alaska Native languages as languages of the state.
Sen. Fred Dyson(R) of Eagle River sponsored the bill and spoke in support of it at 3 am this morning.
Sen. Dyson: “Here is a chance that we have to show respect for these language groups. I was surprised at how the testimony, at how intrinsic a group and their culture having a language is.”
Supporters of HB216 filled the Senate Floor Session in order to urge legislators to pass the bill otherwise it would die with adjournment of session.
Senate Secretary Liz Clark read the votes.
Sec. Clark: ” 18 yeas, 2 nays.”
Sen. Pres. Charlie Huggins: “By a vote of 18 yeas, 2 nays, committee substitute for House Bill 216 has passed the Senate. We have brief at ease.”
Senators Pete Kelly(R) and John Coghill(R) voted against the bill.