Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124
03/16/2017 08:00 AM COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS
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SB 9-MILITARY FACILITY ZONES [Contains discussion of HB 4.] 8:03:50 AM CO-CHAIR FANSLER announced that the only order of business would be CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 9(FIN), "An Act relating to military facility zones; and providing for an effective date." CO-CHAIR FANSLER noted that CSSB 9(FIN) is identical to CSHB 4, which the committee heard previously; therefore, he anticipated brief discussion before passing the bill from committee, if no amendments were made. 8:04:39 AM CHAD HUTCHISON, Staff, Senator John Coghill, Alaska State Legislature, presented CSSB 9(FIN) on behalf of Senator Coghill, prime sponsor. He indicated that [CSHB 4] had been vetted on 3/2/17, and he echoed Co-Chair Fansler's remark that CSSB 9(FIN) mirrored CSHB 4. In response to Co-Chair Fansler, he reviewed that CSSB 9(FIN) would allow local communities to apply to the Department of Military & Veterans' Affairs for military facility zones through a local zoning ordinance rather than having to do a long and expensive comprehensive plan. He said a local zoning ordinance process is quicker. He noted that $861 million in military construction (MILCON) spending is flowing into the Interior. He said there are a lot of improvements being made to Eielson Air Force Base, Clear Air Force Station, and Fort Greely Military Base, and the proposed legislation would benefit communities by supporting infrastructure projects happening in conjunction with the military installations, as well as benefiting private industry and contractors and subcontractors - most of whom are Alaskans working on the installations. 8:07:07 AM REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE expressed gratitude for CSSB 9(FIN) and remarked there is "a whole bunch of us out there" that could benefit. 8:07:46 AM CO-CHAIR FANSLER opened public testimony on CSSB 9(FIN). 8:08:19 AM JEFF STEPP, Special Assistant/Economic Development Coordinator, Mayor's Office, Fairbanks North Star Borough, testified in support of CSSB 9(FIN) and expressed appreciation to the bill sponsor and the House Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee for "ushering it through the process." 8:08:51 AM ROBERT DOEHL, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Military & Veterans' Affairs, stated that as with CSHB 4, the department supports CSSB 9(FIN) for the following reasons: it would increase the effectiveness of the military in Alaska; it would increase the opportunity for Alaskans to participate in the economic benefits of the military in the state; and it would increase the military's ability to retain its presence in Alaska in the face of base realignment and closure discussions in Congress resulting in military base reductions [nationwide]. 8:09:39 AM CO-CHAIR FANSLER, after ascertaining that no one else wished to testify, closed public testimony on CSSB 9(FIN). 8:10:03 AM CO-CHAIR PARISH recommended that the committee pass CSSB 9(FIN), because it is identical to HB 4 and "serves the same worthwhile purpose." 8:10:27 AM REPRESENTATIVE PARISH moved to report CSSB 9(FIN) out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection, CSSB 9(FIN) was reported out of the House Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee.