- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 2, 2016

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Latest on a bill to establish a contest for license plate designs in Alaska (all times local):

9:45 a.m.

An Alaska lawmaker is working to capture the excitement of “American Idol” and spotlight Alaskan artists with a bill establishing a contest for specialty license plate design.

Democratic Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, of Sitka, saw his bill advance from the House State Affairs committee on Tuesday after he clarified the concept of the reality television show to several of its members.

Kreiss-Tomkins says he sees the potential for the contest to bring viral-level visibility to Alaskan artists.

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2:11 a.m.

An Alaska lawmaker says a contest among artists to design a specialty license plate in Alaska could have the excitement of “American Idol.”

Democratic Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins of Sitka has introduced a bill to open up a contest for artists to design a special-issue, limited run plate to commemorate the arts.

Kreiss-Tomkins envisions the plates becoming collector’s items because the plate would only be produced for four years, and then the competition would start all over again for the next plate.

The bill proposes that a portion of the revenues, after costs, would help support programs benefiting the arts.

The bill, HB 217, is scheduled for a hearing Monday morning before the House State Affairs Committee.

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