Legislature(2011 - 2012)BARNES 124

04/13/2012 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 3:30 p.m. Today --
+ SB 25 AIDEA: SUSTAINABLE ENERGY/ INTEREST RATE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 136 INCOME TAX CREDIT FOR EMPLOYING A VETERAN TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
           SB 136-VETERANS DRIVERS LICENSE, TAX CREDIT                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:51:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON  announced that the final  order of business  would be                                                              
CS  FOR SENATE  BILL NO.  136(FIN)  am, "An  Act  providing a  tax                                                              
credit  for  employing a  veteran  that  may be  taken  against  a                                                              
liability for  the tax  on corporation income;  and providing  for                                                              
an effective date."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:51:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BILL  WIELECHOWSKI, Alaska  State Legislature,  introduced                                                              
himself.  He thanked  members for taking time to hear SB  136.  He                                                              
introduced his staff.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:52:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KENDRA  KLOSTER, Staff,  Senator Bill  Wielechowski, Alaska  State                                                              
Legislature,   on   behalf   of   the    sponsor,   Senator   Bill                                                              
Wielechowski, stated  that as of  June 2011, one million  veterans                                                              
were unemployed  and the jobless rate  for post 9/11 veterans  was                                                              
at 13.3 percent.   She reported that young male veterans  ages 18-                                                              
24 have  an unemployment rate  of 21.9 percent.   She pointed  out                                                              
that  some  Google  searches  are  showing   unemployment  figures                                                              
closer to  30 percent unemployment for  veterans.  She offered  to                                                              
confirm the figures with the U.S. Department of Defense.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:53:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KLOSTER  related that  the sponsor  held a  town hall  meeting                                                              
and  veterans expressed  concern about  finding jobs.   This  bill                                                              
would create  $2,000 corporate  income tax  credit for a  business                                                              
who hires  a veteran  and a  $3,000 credit for  hiring a  disabled                                                              
veteran.   The veteran must  be employed for  12 months, or  1,560                                                              
hours, which is about  30-hours a week.  This bill would  also set                                                              
up  a $1,000  tax  credit for  seasonal  employment, which  was  a                                                              
provision  requested  by  the  hotel industry.    She  reported  a                                                              
number  of  organizations   support  this  bill,  including   Vets                                                              
Helping   Vets,  Vietnam   Veterans  of   America,  and   numerous                                                              
businesses.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:54:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON asked whether this is per employee.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. KLOSTER  answered yes,  the tax credit  is per veteran  hired.                                                              
She explained  that for seasonal employment  it is limited  to the                                                              
first season.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:55:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  asked whether the  credit for fulltime  is                                                              
per year or one time.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. KLOSTER agreed it is a one-time tax credit.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:55:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  referred  to  page 2,  line  29,  to  the                                                              
requirement that  the veteran be  honorably discharged.  He  asked                                                              
whether  the sponsor  has  considered  extending this  to  general                                                              
discharge.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KLOSTER  answered  that the  sponsor  is  specific  that  the                                                              
discharge should  be an  honorable discharge.   She indicated  the                                                              
sponsor  has worked  with  other senators  in  the body  who  have                                                              
served  in   the  military  before   deciding  on  the   honorable                                                              
discharge.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  related some  state benefits are  extended                                                              
to  those honorably  discharged  and  those who  received  general                                                              
discharge, as well.   He characterized this bill as having  a high                                                              
threshold.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:56:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  OLSON inquired  as to  whether there  is  a mechanism  that                                                              
prevents  stacking of  veterans,  such as  hiring  a veteran  then                                                              
firing him/her and hiring another veteran.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. KLOSTER pointed  out the bill requires hiring the  veteran for                                                              
at least  12  months prior  to tax  credit, per  veteran, and  the                                                              
veteran must work a minimum of 1,560 hours.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:57:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  commented  that hiring  veterans  can  be                                                              
good  business sense.   He  strongly suspected  that the  business                                                              
will not only obtain  the credit, but will double their  money due                                                              
to productivity.  He  offered his belief that these men  and women                                                              
work hard and have a good work ethic.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:57:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALBERT  HOWARD,  Mayor,  City  of Angoon,  stated  that  he  is  a                                                              
veteran and approximately  20 percent of the 480 people  in Angoon                                                              
are veterans.   He  expressed appreciation  for the  work the  men                                                              
and women have  given.  He said that  in many ways the  state says                                                              
welcome  home and  SB 136  does just  that since  it ensures  that                                                              
community, state, and  nation shows appreciation for  the military                                                              
personnel who  have protected our country.   Most veterans  do not                                                              
want handouts,  but giving  them a better  than equal  opportunity                                                              
will  allow them  to  continue the  American  dream that  men  and                                                              
women joining  the armed  forces believe will  be there when  they                                                              
come  home.   He offered  his  belief that  a person  joining  the                                                              
military gives up  some rights while serving in the  armed forces.                                                              
He offered  his belief that  SB 136 is  positive on their  behalf.                                                              
He offered  his  support for  SB 136.   He  encouraged members  to                                                              
keep in mind  that our men and women  are in harm's way  and trust                                                              
that  the  legislature  is  doing  what is  right  for  all.    He                                                              
suggested that  supporting SB 136   will protect and maintain  the                                                              
same  or better  quality  of life  for  veterans that  have  given                                                              
time, sweat,  blood, and at times,  tears with their "get  it done                                                              
attitude" so everyone can continue the day-to-day business.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON  remarked that  a third  of the  committee qualify  as                                                              
veterans.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:02:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  OLSON,  after  first determining  no  one  else  wished  to                                                              
testify, closed public testimony on SB 136.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:02:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  asked whether anything in the  bill limits                                                              
a  corporation in  Alaska  from employing  a veteran  outside  the                                                              
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. KLOSTER referred  to page 1, line 6, which specifies  veterans                                                              
must be hired and working in the state.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON pointed  out that  being  hired in  Alaska                                                              
does not necessarily mean they are working in Alaska.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:03:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  OLSON suggested  they might  be hired  in  Alaska, but  are                                                              
working in North Dakota.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KLOSTER  explained she  held  a conversation  with  the  bill                                                              
drafter to  ensure the language meant  the veteran would  be hired                                                              
and working in  the state.  She  offered to confirm this  with the                                                              
bill drafter and get back to the committee.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:03:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON related  his understanding  that a  person                                                              
would  be hired  in Alaska,  but he  was unsure  that the  veteran                                                              
would  need to  work in  Alaska.   He  further  asked whether  the                                                              
business  would be eligible  for credit  if the  business hired  a                                                              
person who is  not an Alaska resident  who comes to Alaska  and is                                                              
hired.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. KLOSTER  responded that the  distinction does not require  the                                                              
veteran  to  be  an Alaska  veteran  due  to  some  constitutional                                                              
issues.   Some  of the  language was  revised to  reflect "in  the                                                              
state" with  the intention  that the  veteran would  be in  Alaska                                                              
and would  be working  in Alaska;  however, constitutional  issues                                                              
arose  with  language that  specified  the  person  had to  be  an                                                              
Alaska veteran or to use that type of terminology.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
5:05:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  asserted that  he  would  love to  go  to                                                              
court defending Alaskans  hiring Alaskans to fight for  the rights                                                              
of Alaskans.  He welcomed the challenge.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. KLOSTER, in response  to Chair Olson, stated that she  did not                                                              
have  any  legal  documents,  but offered  to  address  it.    She                                                              
remarked  that Senator  Wielechowski  is  very dedicated  and  his                                                              
intention is  also to  ensure Alaska  veterans are  hired.  He  is                                                              
committed to Alaskans getting the jobs.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:06:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  related  his  understanding   the  Alaska                                                              
Office of  Veterans Affairs  wants to be  sure veterans in  Alaska                                                              
are signed  up to obtain the  U.S. Department of Veterans  Affairs                                                              
(VA) benefits.   He recalled that  veterans have been offered  the                                                              
opportunity to  register.  He asked  whether the sponsor  would be                                                              
amenable to  an amendment  to require employers  who receive  this                                                              
credit must  have their  employees who are  veterans apply for  VA                                                              
benefits.    He  suggested  such  an  amendment   would  help  the                                                              
employer  by  possibly   reducing  medical  costs  and   help  the                                                              
veterans  maintain   closer  contact   with  the   VA  to   obtain                                                              
information.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KLOSTER offered to discuss this with Senator Wielechowski.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
5:07:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KLOSTER  reported   that  Mr.  Bullock,  the   bill  drafter,                                                              
indicates  that  the   employer  receives  the  credit   when  the                                                              
employer hires a military veteran in Alaska.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLMES  referred  to  page  1,  lines  5-6,  which                                                              
reads, "a  taxpayer that hires a  veteran and employs the  veteran                                                              
in the state...";  which she interpreted to mean the  veteran must                                                              
be hired in the  state and working in the state.   She interpreted                                                              
that  to mean  the  bill  drafter wanted  it  to  be as  clear  as                                                              
possible that the military veteran must be working in Alaska.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:09:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMPSON  referred  to  page  1,  line  10,  which                                                              
requires the  veteran be unemployed in  Alaska for more than  four                                                              
weeks.  He  suggested that if the  veteran has been unemployed  in                                                              
Alaska for  more than  four weeks implies  residency since  Alaska                                                              
has a residency requirement of 30 days.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER  was unsure whether  the language fixes  the                                                              
problem.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SADDLER  suggested   one   solution  to   address                                                              
residency.   He  referred to  page 2,  line  5 to  insert, "for  a                                                              
veteran employed in  Alaska for 1,560 hours ... and on  line 9, to                                                              
add, "for  a veteran employed  in Alaska for  600 hours ...  which                                                              
would ensure the veteran would be hired and working in Alaska.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
5:10:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KLOSTER  concluded  by sharing  a  soldier's  statement  that                                                              
conveyed a  conversation he had held  with a governor.   She read,                                                              
"He didn't say he  was the most worried about facing the  enemy in                                                              
the night.  He  looked at me in the eyes and said,  'Governor, I'm                                                              
worried  about whether  there will  be a  job  for me  when I  get                                                              
home.'"   She said  she thought  that was really  telling and  the                                                              
reason the  legislature is  doing a variety  of things to  support                                                              
Alaska's  veterans when  they are  coming home.   She  appreciated                                                              
the committee hearing the bill today.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
[SB 136 was held over.]                                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB25 Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 25
SB25 ver S.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 25
SB25 Fiscal Note-1-2-022412-CED-Y.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 25
SB25 Fiscal Note-3-2-041112-FIN-Y.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 25
SB25 Supporting Documents-2011 AIDEA Annual Report.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 25
Changes to SS SB 25 in CS SS SB 25 version S.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 25
SB25 Supporting Documents-Assorted Letters.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 25
SB25 Supporting Documents-Legislative Research Report AIDEA.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 25
SB25 Supporting Documents-SP AIDEA Rating Report.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 25
SB136 Ver R.A.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 136
SB136 Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 136
SB136 Sectional Analysis.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 136
SB136 Fiscal Note-Senate Finance 3.5.12.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 136
SB136 Fiscal Note-Dept. Revenue 2.1.12.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 136
SB136 Summary of Changes.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 136
SB136 Supporting Documents-Article AK Business Monthly.Hiring Military Veterans is Good Business.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 136
SB136 Supporting Documents-Leg Research.Vet Tax Credit Report.12.28.11.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 136
SB136 Supporting Documents-Letter Dixie Banner.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 136
SB136 Supporting Documents-Letter Vets Helping Vets.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 136
SB136 Supporting Documents-Letter Vietnam Veterans of America Support Letter.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 136
SB25 Power Point Presentation H L&C.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 25
SB25CS Fiscal Note-EED-ESS-4-12-12.pdf HL&C 4/13/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 25