PUBLISHED: 5:18 PM on Wednesday, April 6, 2005
Olympic athletes may get to keep dividends
Bill also allows exemption for Peace Corps service

JUNEAU - Rep. Eric Croft succeeded Friday in getting the state House to allow Alaskans on the United States Olympic Team to get an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend even if they are out of the state longer than the law generally allows.

"That $1,000 could make a real difference to an amateur athlete trying to train herself," Representative Croft, D-Anchorage, told his fellow House members.

The amendment passed 28-5.

Representative Croft added Olympic team membership to House Bill 127 by Rep. Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage. McGuire's bill puts membership in the Peace Corps on the list of allowable absences. Current law allows absences for a variety of reasons, including education, membership in the military and certain family emergencies.

The bill passed the House 37-0.

"This is bipartisan cooperation at its best," Representative Croft said. "Representative McGuire helped get good language in her bill to help our Olympic athletes."