- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Latest on the lawmakers’ efforts to update the state’s Military Code of Justice (all times local):

12:55 p.m.

Members of the state House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill designed to strengthen the state’s Military Code of Justice.

It passed on a 39-0 vote with one member absent, and now goes to the state Senate.

Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux says the revisions create a state code which is similar to the federal code. The code would apply to military members in Alaska not covered by federal regulations, such as many members of the Alaska National Guard.

The approval in the House comes 17 months after a scathing report on Alaska’s National Guard highlighted substantial issues with favoritism, misconduct and a lack of confidence in the organization.

LeDoux, who is a Republican representing Anchorage, says the state’s National Guard needed a way to punish misconduct within its ranks. The revisions will allow the organization to maintain good order and discipline.

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9:17 a.m.

Lawmakers in the House are expected to vote Wednesday on a bill to update Alaska’s Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Proponents of the bill say the changes will strengthen the code.

Alaska’s code was established in 1955 and has remained largely unchanged since then.

An issue with the state’s current code has been a lack of enforcement capability for the Alaska National Guard for any crime that could be tried by civil authorities.

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