Legislature passes bill to formally recognize Alaska tribes

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Alaska Legislature has passed a measure to formally recognize tribes in the state.

    The House voted 37-2 Tuesday to accept a Senate version of the bill that passed last week.

    The bill next goes to Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

    Supporters of the bill say it is an overdue step that would create opportunities for the state and tribes to work together.

    The measure is similar to an initiative that was slated to go before voters later this year.

    The campaign group behind the initiative says the bill and initiative are “functionally identical." Initiatives that qualify for the ballot can be bumped if the Legislature passes substantially similar legislation first.

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