Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124

05/10/2019 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 103 STATE GAMING COMMISSION; CARD ROOMS TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
+= HB 127 DENTAL HYGIENIST ADVANCED PRAC PERMIT TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ HB 93 MILITARY SPOUSE COURTESY LICENSE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 113 MILITARY FAMILY EMPLOYMENT PREFERENCE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
          HB 113-MILITARY FAMILY EMPLOYMENT PREFERENCE                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:06:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WOOL  announced that the  final order of business  would be                                                               
CS  FOR HOUSE  BILL NO.  113(MLV),  "An Act  relating to  private                                                               
sector  and  state  employment  preferences  for  active  service                                                               
members, veterans,  and spouses and dependent  children of active                                                               
service members and veterans;  relating to employment preferences                                                               
for surviving  spouses of deceased service  members and veterans;                                                               
and relating to employment preferences  for disabled veterans and                                                               
former prisoners of war."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:06:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SHARON  JACKSON,  Alaska  State  Legislature,  as                                                               
prime sponsor,  introduced HB 113.   She paraphrased  the sponsor                                                               
statement [included in  the committee packet], which  read in its                                                               
entirety as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The  purpose of  House Bill  113 is  to extend  current                                                                    
     hiring  preferences to  military spouses  and dependent                                                                    
     children  in  the  State  of  Alaska  and  the  private                                                                    
     sector.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Military families fall into two categories: Blue Star                                                                      
     or Gold Star Families. Blue Star families are military                                                                     
     spouses and  dependents of  active service  members and                                                                    
     veterans. Gold  Star families are spouses  and children                                                                    
     of a deceased service members  who died while in active                                                                    
     duty.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     A recent  report from the  Department of  Defense found                                                                    
     that a  quarter of  military spouses are  unemployed or                                                                    
     underemployed. There are several  efforts being done in                                                                    
     all  50 states,  but Alaska  is one  of the  few states                                                                    
     that do  not extend employment preferences  to military                                                                    
     spouses.  There are  roughly  151,881 military  spouses                                                                    
     and  dependents  in  Alaska  according  to  the  Alaska                                                                    
     Department of Military & Veteran Affairs.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     This  is  a small  but  significant  way to  honor  our                                                                    
     service  members and  their  families,  who often  fall                                                                    
     between  the cracks  while also  making a  sacrifice to                                                                    
     serve their country.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:10:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ERIC  CORDERO,   Staff,  Representative  Jackson,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  presented the  changes made  to CSHB  113 (MLV)  on                                                               
behalf  of  Representative  Jackson,   prime  sponsor.    It  was                                                               
clarified  that active  duty service  members, as  well as  their                                                               
spouses   and   dependents   qualify  for   hiring   preferences.                                                               
Stepchildren  were also  added to  the definition  of dependents.                                                               
The CS added definitions to the  State Personnel Act in section 3                                                               
for  consistency   and  removed   redundant  language   in  other                                                               
sections.   He continued  by explaining  that another  change was                                                               
adding the words "disabled veteran"  to section 4 for consistency                                                               
with  federal definitions.   The  CS also  clarified that  HB 113                                                               
should  not be  interpreted to  amend the  terms of  a collective                                                               
bargaining agreement.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:11:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. CORDERO turned attention to  the sectional analysis [included                                                               
in  the  committee  packet]  and  read  the  following  [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1. AS 18.80.200(c)                                                                                               
     This section does not prohibit  a private employer from                                                                    
     having  hiring  preferences  for persons  described  in                                                                    
     Section 2 of this bill.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2. AS 23.88.010                                                                                                  
     This section  repeals and reenacts the  current statute                                                                    
     by  adding  definitions  removed  from  Section  1  for                                                                    
     clarity.  This  section  does not  prohibit  a  private                                                                    
     employer  from  having  hiring preferences  to  active-                                                                    
     military,  veterans  and  families. This  section  adds                                                                    
     language to  include spouses and dependent  children of                                                                    
     deceased service members to the list.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:12:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS sought  clarification  on  the meaning  of                                                               
"preference."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JACKSON  explained  that some  businesses  use  a                                                               
point  system  for  hiring  and this  bill  gives  preference  to                                                               
veterans during that process with the addition of 5-10 points.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. CORDERO added  that the State of Alaska  uses different tools                                                               
to make hiring  decisions.  When there is a  numerical tool being                                                               
used,   veterans  and   members  of   the  national   guard  will                                                               
automatically  get   10  points   once  they  pass   the  minimum                                                               
requirements to qualify  for that position.  If  a numerical tool                                                               
is not  being used, the  benefit is that they  will automatically                                                               
be selected for an interview.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:15:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. CORDERO  continued with the  sectional analysis and  read the                                                               
following:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3. AS 39.25.150(19)                                                                                              
     This  section   amends  the  State  Personnel   Act  to                                                                    
     reference  definitions  as  stated  in  Section  4  for                                                                    
     consistency.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Section 4. AS 39.25.159(a)                                                                                               
     This  section  amends  the  employment  preference  for                                                                    
     veterans  or  former prisoners  of  war  by adding  new                                                                    
     language to include families  of an active-duty service                                                                    
     member,  veteran,  or  former  prisoner  of  war.  This                                                                    
     section  clarifies the  type  of  preference given  the                                                                    
     hiring process  and whether  the applicant  is disabled                                                                    
     or not. Subsection (B) is removed for consistency                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section 5. AS 39.25.159(d)                                                                                               
     This  section clarifies  that a  person may  receive an                                                                    
     employment preference under only  one of the categories                                                                    
     described in  sections 3  and 4. A  person may  use the                                                                    
     preference  without  limitation when  being  considered                                                                    
     for a position for which  persons who are not currently                                                                    
     state   employees   are   being  considered.   If   the                                                                    
     recruitment  for   a  position  is  limited   to  state                                                                    
     employees, preference under (a)  or (c) of this section                                                                    
     may  not  be counted.  This  section  adds language  to                                                                    
     include spouses  or dependent children  for consistency                                                                    
     with other sections.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 6 AS 39.25.159 (e)                                                                                               
     This section clarifies that this  bill does not involve                                                                    
     interpreting  amendments  of  a  collective  bargaining                                                                    
     agreement and  makes a reference  to subsection  (a) of                                                                    
     Section 4.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section 7 AS 39.25.159(f)                                                                                                
     This section defines a dependent child.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section 8 AS 39.25.159(c)                                                                                                
     This section  removes language  that has  been included                                                                    
     in Section 4 of this bill.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:17:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN sought clarification  on the preference for                                                               
a surviving  spouse.  She  asked when  that benefit is  given and                                                               
how long it lasts.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. CORDERO offered his understanding  that currently there is no                                                               
limit to how long that benefit lasts.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:20:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TERRE GALES,  Director, Division  of Labor Standards  and Safety,                                                               
Department  of  Labor  & Workforce  Development,  asked  for  the                                                               
question to be repeated.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  repeated  her previous  question,  asking                                                               
when  preference for  a surviving  spouse is  given and  how long                                                               
they receive it for.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. GALES said it appears to be permanent.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:22:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REVAK   questioned  whether  the   Department  of                                                               
Military & Veterans'  Affairs (DMVA) has a position  on this bill                                                               
and asked about the unemployment rate in the veteran community.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:22:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VERDIE BOWEN,  Director of Veterans  Affairs, Office  of Veterans                                                               
Affairs,  Department of  Military &  Veterans' Affairs,  said the                                                               
DMVA  is  in full  support  of  this bill.    He  added that  the                                                               
unemployment rate for veterans in this  state is the same as non-                                                               
veterans.   He noted that  the unemployment rate for  active duty                                                               
military spouses is  generally much higher than  spouses of those                                                               
that do not serve.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:23:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS  asked if  the  nature  of preference  for                                                               
state  employment is  typically put  into place  with statute  or                                                               
regulation.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JACKSON said currently, it is in statute.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CORDERO noted  that it  is put  into place  with statute  in                                                               
other states as well.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:26:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  pointed out that  when she was  checking on                                                               
military preference  and points for  a Senate bill,  the division                                                               
of personnel  said they do  not currently use  preference points.                                                               
She asked if  that is true and questioned whether  this bill adds                                                               
a point system.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   JACKSON   said   the  federal   government   has                                                               
preference points and  the intent of this bill is  to implement a                                                               
point system for the state of Alaska.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WOOL sought  clarification on the conditions  under which a                                                               
dependent  or spouse  qualifies for  benefits.   He asked  if the                                                               
benefits only become available when the veteran is deceased.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. CORDERO  answered yes, if  he or  she died while  in service.                                                               
According to  the bill, he  said, if  the spouse is  disabled the                                                               
percentage would be  higher.  He added if the  tool being used is                                                               
numerical  versus  nonnumerical,   the  nonnumerical  benefit  is                                                               
getting an interview.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.   CORDERO,   responding   to  a   follow-up   question   from                                                               
representative   Wool,  explained   that  according   to  current                                                               
statute,  the  hiring  benefit  for  nonnumerical  tools  is  the                                                               
assurance  of an  interview if  the veteran  applicant meets  the                                                               
minimum qualifications.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WOOL surmised  that hiring preferences are  required by the                                                               
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CORDERO said  correct, adding  that  hiring preferences  are                                                               
optional to the private sector.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:29:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. GALES acknowledged  that the top qualified  applicant will be                                                               
selected for  an interview; however,  a veteran will  be selected                                                               
for   an  interview   as   long  as   they   reach  the   minimum                                                               
qualifications.  He noted that  if a spouse remarries after their                                                               
partner  dies  in  service,  he  or she  will  cease  to  receive                                                               
preference from the federal government.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WOOL asked if the process is the same for dependents.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. GALES  said yes, adding that  once an adult is  married, they                                                               
lose those benefits.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WOOL  questioned whether  there  was  an age  cut-off  for                                                               
dependents as well.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:30:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JACKSON answered 23 years old.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:32:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY mentioned that  her research on veterans has                                                               
shown that not having employment is  one of the biggest hurdles a                                                               
family can face.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:33:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WOOL announced HB 113 was held over.                                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 127.Sponsor.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 127
HB 127.Sectional.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 127
HB 127.Fiscal DHHS.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 127
HB 127.Fiscal DCCED.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 127
HB 127.Fiscal DHHS2.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 127
HB 127.Backup Alaska Dental HPSA.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 127
HB 127.Backup State by State.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 127
HB 127.Backup Support ADHA.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 127
HB 127.Backup Support Jeff Kilgore.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 127
HB 127.Backup Support Letters May 1.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 127
HB 127.Backup Support Letters.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 127
HB 127.Backup Support Melissa Davis.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 127
HB 93.Sponsor.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 93
HB 93.Bill Version A.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 93
HB 93.Fiscal DCCED.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 93
HB 93.Backup REACH Portability Examination.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 93
HB 93.Backup Military Spouse Occupations.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 93
HB 93.Backup Professional Liscensing for Military Spouses.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 93
HB 93.Backup DOD Memorandum.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 93
HB 93.Backup Chamber of Commerce Letter.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 93
HB 93.Backup Evaluation of Liscensure Implementation.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 93
HB 93.Backup How Alaska is Meeting Guideline for Licensure.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 93
HB 93.Backup Military Spouse Flyer.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 93
HB 93.Backup Military Spouse Liscence Statute.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 93
HB 113.Sponsor.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 113
HB 113.Summary of Changes to Version S.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 113
HB 113.Bill Version S.PDF HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 113
HB 113.Sectional.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 113
HB 113.Fiscal Note DOL.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 113
HB 113.Fiscal Note MLV.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 113
HB 113.Backup Atlantic Article.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 113
HB 113.Backup DOD Memorandum.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 113
HB 113.Backup Blue Star Family Survey.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 113
HB 113.Backup Military Spouse Challenges.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 113
HB 113.Backup Military Spouse Employment Plight.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 113
HB 113.Backup Office of US Military Spouses.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 113
HB 113.Backup People Analytics Survey.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 113
HB 113.Backup State Hiring Preference.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 113
HB 113.Military Family Lifestyle.pdf HL&C 5/10/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 113