Panel advances bill aimed at service member PFDs

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division conduct a 20 mile ruck march through trails of Fort Wainwright, Alaska Aug 24. (U.S. Army Photo By: Sgt. Thomas Duval, 1/25 SBCT Public Affairs)

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division conduct a 20 mile ruck march through trails of Fort Wainwright, Alaska Aug 24. (U.S. Army Photo By: Sgt. Thomas Duval, 1/25 SBCT Public Affairs)

A House committee has advanced a measure that would allow active-duty military members who have maintained residency while living outside Alaska for more than 10 years to remain eligible for Permanent Fund dividends.

The House State Affairs Committee was the only committee scheduled to hear HB52. Its actions Tuesday clear the way for a floor vote.

Starting with the 2009 dividend, people who claimed allowable absences for the 10 preceding years and continued to be absent for more than 180 days in a year weren’t eligible for dividends.

The law doesn’t apply to members of Congress, their staff members or their families. It prompted at least one lawsuit.

Rep. Eric Feige, who sponsored HB52, says service members don’t get to choose whether they’ll physically be in Alaska during their service.