Legislature(2001 - 2002)

02/12/2002 03:11 PM MLV

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 305 - NONCOMPLIANCE WITH SELECTIVE SERVICE                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0324                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CHENAULT announced  the next order of  business, HOUSE BILL                                                               
NO. 305, "An Act prohibiting  certain state employment, a student                                                               
loan, or  a permanent  fund dividend  for a  person who  fails to                                                               
register for  the military selective  service; and  providing for                                                               
an effective date."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0338                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI, speaking as a  prime sponsor of HB 305,                                                               
explained  why she  believes the  bill should  be retitled.   The                                                               
title comes across as negative  or prohibitive, she told members,                                                               
but  the purpose  of  HB  305 is  to  raise  awareness about  the                                                               
selective service.   Several  other states  have looked  at their                                                               
legislation  as  it  ties  selective  service  registration  into                                                               
certain  state  benefits,  she   said,  and  have  titled  theirs                                                               
"selective  service registration  awareness and  compliance Act,"                                                               
which  she really  likes.   She  further  explained, "What  we're                                                               
attempting to  do with [HB] 305  is raise the awareness  of young                                                               
men, that  even though  we don't  have a  draft anymore,  you are                                                               
still required by federal law to register."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI referred to  a pamphlet in the committee                                                               
packet,  "What  young  men should  know  about  REGISTERING  WITH                                                               
SELECTIVE SERVICE."  She reminded  members that any eligible male                                                               
between the  ages of 18  and 26 is  required to register  for the                                                               
military selective service.   Substantial penalties under federal                                                               
law exist  for failure  to do  so; for example,  a person  can be                                                               
subject to  a fine  of up  to $250,000  and up  to five  years in                                                               
prison,  which  is  substantial.     Still,  young  men  are  not                                                               
registering.  Therefore,  this bill says someone who  wants to be                                                               
eligible for a  permanent fund dividend (PFD),  an Alaska student                                                               
loan,  or   certain  state  employment   must  comply   with  the                                                               
[Military] Selective Service Act.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI reported that  28 other states have some                                                               
variation  on this,  although only  Alaska  has a  PFD.   Several                                                               
states tie compliance  into a driver's license,  for example; for                                                               
someone between  the ages  of 18  and 26,  the application  has a                                                               
form that says,  in essence, "I consent that by  signing this, if                                                               
I am  eligible, that I  have applied for the  selective service."                                                               
Several  states have  a tie-in  as well  for their  state student                                                               
loans.  Currently,  under the federal system, a  person who fails                                                               
to [register]  is ineligible for  certain federal  employment and                                                               
federal student loans.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0646                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI concluded by  saying there are all kinds                                                               
of good reasons for encouraging  young people to [register].  She                                                               
noted that [Mr.  Van Horn] from the Selective  Service System was                                                               
on teleconference  from Sitka.   She said  she understands  it is                                                               
difficult  to   "get  out  to   everybody  in  ...   the  various                                                               
communities  across   the  state  and   let  them  know   of  the                                                               
requirement  that  still  exists  out  there."    Nor  are  there                                                               
recruiters  in  all  the  high  schools.    This  is  an  effort,                                                               
therefore, to make sure that people know their obligations.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0773                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GREEN  asked  what   happens  when  a  person  is                                                               
deliberately  trying  to  "throw   off"  [the  Selective  Service                                                               
System] with a bogus or no-longer-current address, for example.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI answered  that  the  person would  also                                                               
"throw off" the PFD.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN  asked whether  there is something  that the                                                               
[Permanent Fund  Dividend Division, Department of  Revenue] would                                                               
impose  if a  person in  that age  group documented  that he  had                                                               
registered, for  example, or just  stated that  he had.   He then                                                               
suggested perhaps Nanci Jones of that division could respond.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0878                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  pointed out that the  division's fiscal                                                               
note  provides comments  regarding  enforcement.   She then  read                                                               
statistics from  an unspecified document, saying  the information                                                               
[for  the  State of  Alaska]  was  collected February  28,  2001.                                                               
Statewide, the  nonregistration rate  was about 7.5  percent, she                                                               
reported.   In Anchorage,  however, "where  you would  think they                                                               
would have a relatively good  compliance rate because of the high                                                               
schools and  the counselors  in the schools,  it looks  like it's                                                               
... a  little over [a]  12 percent nonregistration rate,  which I                                                               
find very interesting," she said.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1002                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
NANCI  A.  JONES,  Director, Permanent  Fund  Dividend  Division,                                                               
Department of  Revenue, came forward  to testify.   She explained                                                               
that the division and the  Selective Service System already trade                                                               
information, so there will be no  cost to the division to get the                                                               
information  required  by  the  bill.   However,  on  a  customer                                                               
service basis,  there may  be problems if  the effective  date is                                                               
2003.  Anyone  who isn't registered for this  whole year wouldn't                                                               
know  about  the bill,  and  because  of noncompliance  would  be                                                               
denied a PFD; she characterized it as a "blindside."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. JONES explained a further  concern.  When the division trades                                                               
data with others,  there is a timing issue.   The division gets a                                                               
"tape" with  a cutoff date of  "X" and that someone  applied, and                                                               
why.   That person would be  denied because of not  being on that                                                               
"particular  tape that  we match."    So there  will be  clerical                                                               
issues.    Also, having  more  people  denied will  increase  the                                                               
number of appeals.  Furthermore,  because the division knows that                                                               
there are  timing issues  related to  data received  from various                                                               
organizations  such as  the Selective  Service  System, it  would                                                               
also increase the number of  reviews; before a person was denied,                                                               
the division would  look to see whether there is  a timing issue,                                                               
for example.   Or if, in haste, the person  slipped a wrong digit                                                               
into the social security number  and there wasn't an exact match,                                                               
the computer would reject that  application, again resulting in a                                                               
delay in receiving the dividend for the applicant.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1147                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CHENAULT  asked whether some problems,  such as [unmatched]                                                               
social security numbers,  would happen when anyone  applies for a                                                               
PFD.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. JONES answered in the affirmative.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1173                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI conveyed  appreciation for  Ms. Jones's                                                               
comment about how  the effective date ties in.   She acknowledged                                                               
that denying a  PFD is very different from what  other states are                                                               
able to  do, because it  can be a  couple of thousand  dollars [a                                                               
year].   She said she would  consult with others and  think about                                                               
perhaps  having a  delayed effective  date relating  to the  PFD.                                                               
She  commented  that she  believes  it  is important  that  young                                                               
people get  the word that  although [the consequence]  has always                                                               
been serious,  now it could  affect the pocketbook [at  the state                                                               
level].                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. JONES  clarified that  the effective date  "goes to  the next                                                               
dividend."   The  division is  always looking  at the  qualifying                                                               
year,  which is  the previous  year.   For  2003, therefore,  the                                                               
division would  look at  2002.  If  [the effective  date becomes]                                                               
2004, the division would look at 2003.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1264                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said it sounds  as though what Ms. Jones had                                                               
just explained would take care of  his own concerns.  Because the                                                               
division  exchanges address  lists,  a person  who  gave a  bogus                                                               
address would be "popped out" right away.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. JONES concurred.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1289                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CHENAULT suggested  perhaps having  the current  effective                                                               
date would only  delay [the PFD for] some  individuals who cannot                                                               
prove [registration] or  who haven't registered yet,  and that if                                                               
the information  were brought  to the division  or sent  in, that                                                               
person's check would be processed.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. JONES  pointed out that as  the bill is worded,  however, the                                                               
person must be in compliance.   If a person must be in compliance                                                               
for  calendar  year  2002,  someone   who  registered  [with  the                                                               
selective  service] on  January 3,  2003, would  be out  of luck.                                                               
"It's a  strict compliance:  either  you are or you're  not," she                                                               
added.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI acknowledged  that she'd  been thinking                                                               
the same  thing [that  Chair Chenault  had suggested],  that once                                                               
the  person got  the  notice  from the  division,  he could  just                                                               
register and  then send [proof]  to the division.   However, that                                                               
doesn't get the person into compliance for the eligibility year.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1363                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOTT  asked  whether  Ms.  Jones  envisions  some                                                               
coordinated  effort  by  the division  to  notify  the  Selective                                                               
Service  System regarding  individuals  who hadn't  [registered].                                                               
He  suggested ensuring  compliance is  really what  the Selective                                                               
Service System should be doing all along.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  JONES  explained  that every  year,  the  Selective  Service                                                               
System asks the division to compile  a list of people between the                                                               
ages of 18 and  26 who live in Alaska.   The division provides it                                                               
from  the rolls  for the  PFD, and  the Selective  Service System                                                               
then compares  it with  its "tapes"  to determine  the compliance                                                               
rate.  Now, the Selective  Service System would send the division                                                               
a tape, and the division would  do a match.  The division already                                                               
would know who isn't in compliance, she added.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1464                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
VICTOR VAN  HORN, Selective Service System  Detachment Commander,                                                               
Alaska  Army   National  Guard,  testified   via  teleconference,                                                               
stating support for HB 305.   A person who doesn't register loses                                                               
out  on federal  financial aid,  federal job  training, and  some                                                               
jobs  such  as  those  at   post  offices,  he  pointed  out,  so                                                               
consequences  go  beyond  those  at  the state  level.    Also  a                                                               
schoolteacher, he  said he'd  hate to see  students "miss  out on                                                               
this."  He told members:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     We try to ... have  registrars in the high schools, and                                                                    
     right now we're  about at 90 percent; so  we're doing a                                                                    
     pretty good  job of  that, but  it's still  not getting                                                                    
     out to everybody, and there  are some that are slipping                                                                    
     by the  wayside.   And those  are the  ones we  need to                                                                    
     affect,  that [10  to] 15  percent.   If  we could  get                                                                    
     schools at  100 percent,  at least  we would  cover all                                                                    
     the schools,  but there's  still some  that get  by the                                                                    
     wayside,  that don't  go all  the  way through  school,                                                                    
     that drop  out [for example]. ...  Those students still                                                                    
     have to register with the selective service.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VAN HORN  said  there  are a  lot  of  important reasons  to                                                               
register, and  many people  don't realize  that until  later when                                                               
they discover they've missed a  job opportunity at a post office,                                                               
for example,  after they turn  26.   They can still  register all                                                               
the way up to the age of 26, he pointed out.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN HORN described various ways  to register.  It can be done                                                               
by computer, which  is what most high schools use.   He remarked,                                                               
"You can  register 30 days before  you're 18, and we  catch a lot                                                               
of them  that way."   A person can  register at the  post office,                                                               
which  also has  a change-of-address  form, and  to his  belief a                                                               
person can change an address online  as well.  Mr. Van Horn said,                                                               
"Usually the  selective service  is pretty  good about  sending a                                                               
registration card  out to as  many 18-year-olds as  they possibly                                                               
can, and all they  have to do is send it back  and check it off."                                                               
He acknowledged that some people lose the cards.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1624                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VAN HORN  noted that  [HB  305] talks  about losing  certain                                                               
state employment, the Alaska student loan,  and the PFD.  He said                                                               
many states have provisions whereby  [those who don't comply with                                                               
selective service  registration] lose state employment  and other                                                               
benefits such  as state loans.   This isn't  a new thing,  but is                                                               
just coming to Alaska now.   He pointed out that the military had                                                               
downsized.  He said the Selective  Service System is "ready to go                                                               
into operation  mainly because of  medical personnel"  that would                                                               
be  needed  if  there  were  a  catastrophe.    That  is  another                                                               
important reason for having the Selective Service System.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1702                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VAN  HORN  reported  that there  are  only  three  selective                                                               
service  officers in  Alaska,  "and  only two  at  this point  in                                                               
time."   Although working  on it part-time,  he said  it consumes                                                               
most of  his extra time;  he teaches  full-time.  There  are only                                                               
two people  trying to make sure  there are registrars in  all the                                                               
schools and  so forth.  The  Selective Service System only  has a                                                               
budget of  $25 million to  run the whole system,  including full-                                                               
time people  in Denver,  Virginia, and Chicago.   "Those  are the                                                               
three regions  that we go under,"  he added.  He  noted that he'd                                                               
been the detachment commander for about three years.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1747                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CHENAULT   asked  what  happens   regarding  home-schooled                                                               
children.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN HORN answered that  Sitka, for example, has a home-school                                                               
program; [those students]  are contacted by the  registrar in the                                                               
high school  as soon as they  reach high school age.   Mentioning                                                               
the  alternative  high  school,  he further  indicated  that  the                                                               
registrar  sometimes must  do  "dual service."    Referring to  a                                                               
correspondence   school  in   Fairbanks,   he  remarked,   "We've                                                               
contacted them";  he explained that  a student who is  becoming a                                                               
senior [at  the high school  level] is contacted and  reminded to                                                               
register  with the  Selective Service  System.   Whether students                                                               
are in correspondence  or home-school study, he said,  "we try to                                                               
cover all of them,  if at all possible."  He  noted that there is                                                               
a list of  schools that they use, trying to  ensure that everyone                                                               
has had  some kind  of contact, through  the registrar,  with the                                                               
Selective Service System.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1845                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GREEN  referred  to the  statistics  provided  by                                                               
Representative  Murkowski; he  called the  numbers for  Anchorage                                                               
"startling."    He asked  whether  Mr.  Van  Horn knew  why  that                                                               
compliance has been so low, and what can be done to improve it.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN  HORN said  although Anchorage  has the  largest schools,                                                               
"we have  the hardest  time getting a  registrar in  those larger                                                               
schools or  in the schools  in Anchorage."  In  contrast, smaller                                                               
schools  are willing  to help  out "just  about as  well as  they                                                               
possibly  can,"  he said;  some  registrars  cover two  or  three                                                               
schools, rather than just one.   As a good example, he noted that                                                               
in  Southeast Alaska  only one  school -  Kake -  doesn't have  a                                                               
registrar; he expects  one there this year or next,  however.  In                                                               
the Anchorage  School District, though, perhaps  ten high schools                                                               
still don't have [a registrar].                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1925                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CHENAULT asked  whether that is due to the  district or the                                                               
schools themselves.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VAN HORN  answered that  some  is due  to the  school.   "We                                                               
contact  them at  least once  or twice  a year,  trying to  get a                                                               
registrar," he explained.  "And I  still haven't been able to get                                                               
them.    And  my  next  step is  to  contact  the  Department  of                                                               
Education [and  Early Development]  and see if  they can  help us                                                               
get some  of those schools to  get registrars in, and  get Alaska                                                               
up  to 100  percent."   He  offered that  four  [areas] have  100                                                               
percent compliance in Western Alaska.   "The schools in Anchorage                                                               
[are] where we're having the toughest time," he concluded.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1976                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI told  members  she would  get a  better                                                               
copy of  the chart [from  which she was reading  the statistics],                                                               
which was  difficult to read.   She then pointed out  that Kodiak                                                               
Island has  100 percent registration  compliance, as do  the Lake                                                               
and  Peninsula School  District, the  Matanuska-Susitna district,                                                               
North  Slope,  and Nome.    She  offered her  understanding  that                                                               
Representative Foster  was a selective  service officer  prior to                                                               
when he became a legislator;  she suggested that perhaps accounts                                                               
for the success in the Nome area.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2026                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOTT  asked  what   the  time  limitation  is  to                                                               
register once a person turns 18.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN HORN explained that a  person has from 30 days before his                                                               
18th birthday  until he turns  26.  Even  if a person  forgets to                                                               
register at  age 18, there is  plenty of time.   Most register by                                                               
the time  they are  19, if  they are  going to  register.   A few                                                               
string along until age 20 or  more.  He emphasized the importance                                                               
of registering before  age 26, at which point the  person loses a                                                               
lot of privileges such as federal job training.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2081                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT  inquired about  civil or  criminal penalties                                                               
for not registering.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN HORN said he believes it  is quite a large sum.  Although                                                               
there  is  some criminal  [penalty],  he  said, nobody  has  been                                                               
prosecuted by  the Selective Service System  because there hasn't                                                               
been a war  situation.  "It's hard to prosecute  somebody when we                                                               
don't  have something  that's pressing,"  he commented,  pointing                                                               
out  that since  the  United States  is  fighting terrorism  now,                                                               
things  may change.   He  said he  would obtain  that information                                                               
shortly.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2145                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  thanked Mr.  Van Horn, adding  that she                                                               
hadn't realized that only three  selective service officers cover                                                               
the whole  state, and  that there  are only two  right now.   She                                                               
acknowledged the  large number of  youths and territory  that Mr.                                                               
Van Horn must cover, in addition to his full-time job.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2168                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GREEN  inquired  about   the  difficulty  in  the                                                               
Anchorage schools, asking  whether Mr. Van Horn  has been talking                                                               
with the principals or counselors.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VAN  HORN  explained  that   the  contact  with  schools  in                                                               
Anchorage is  with both principals  and counselors.  He  finds it                                                               
is better  to get somebody to  be the registrar, he  said, to put                                                               
up posters  and so forth;  usually it  is the counselor  who does                                                               
that, "but  if we  go through  the principal,  usually we  have a                                                               
pretty good time of getting a registrar there."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked, "And you're getting shut out?"                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN  HORN answered,  "For a few  of them.   Most of  them are                                                               
pretty good, though."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2230                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI asked Mr.  Van Horn whether he believes,                                                               
if  HB 305  is enacted,  that he'd  receive more  assistance from                                                               
counselors,  who'd be  more motivated  to  encourage students  to                                                               
comply   with  selective   service  requirements,   knowing  that                                                               
students otherwise  might be ineligible  for state  student loans                                                               
and PFDs, for example.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN  HORN replied,  "I know  I would."   He pointed  out that                                                               
although counselors are  very busy, they try  to prepare students                                                               
before leaving  high school to  make sure they get  their student                                                               
loans.   If [HB 305] were  added, he said, counselors  would make                                                               
it a  point to  ensure that  students are  registered.   He noted                                                               
that the Alaska Guard Youth  Corps Camp actually puts students in                                                               
front of a computer and  has them register right there, resulting                                                               
in  100 percent  registration.   He concluded,  "I know  it would                                                               
help ... me in talking to  those counselors, in each one of those                                                               
schools that do  not have a registrar, to  help students register                                                               
for the draft."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2342                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT  asked what happens  after a person  turns 26                                                               
and still hasn't registered.  Has that person beaten the system?                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN  HORN replied  that the  person definitely  wouldn't have                                                               
beaten  the  system.    He recounted  stories  from  when  people                                                               
haven't registered  but have  falsely believed  they could  get a                                                               
post office job,  federal job training, or  federal financial aid                                                               
for  college, for  example.   He noted  that people  entering the                                                               
military must  register, and that  National Guard  recruiters are                                                               
registrars as well.  "We catch  them in many different ways prior                                                               
to the  26 [years of  age]," he said.   "But after that,  if they                                                               
haven't registered, then they can't  get some of the federal jobs                                                               
that  are   offered."    He   said  because  there   hasn't  been                                                               
prosecution [of those who fail  to register], he can't recall all                                                               
the  details regarding  that, but  it is  a substantial  fine and                                                               
imprisonment.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2450                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOTT  inquired  whether  there is  a  statute  of                                                               
limitations regarding when  a person can register.   He suggested                                                               
a person  from a well-off  family, who doesn't  require financial                                                               
assistance,  a post  office job,  or  any federal  or state  aid,                                                               
would  essentially  beat  the  system.   If  caught,  the  person                                                               
wouldn't be prosecuted.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN  HORN said most  people actually register, but  he'd hate                                                               
to see the few  who drop out miss a chance later  in life to work                                                               
at  a federal  job  or get  some federal  training.   "Those  are                                                               
important  people  to get  registered,"  he  remarked.   He  also                                                               
suggested that because [HB 305]  will "catch" those who apply for                                                               
a  PFD,  even  wealthier  people  will  be  caught  because  most                                                               
Alaskans apply for the dividend.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2537                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI advised members that  in the packet is a                                                               
memorandum from  the Selective Service System  dated December 27,                                                               
2001.   It indicates that 37  Alaskans over the past  three years                                                               
have been identified who failed  to register and then later tried                                                               
to get a federal  job or aid after they turned  26 years old; for                                                               
those people,  it is too late.   The memorandum [from  the Region                                                               
III  Director in  Denver, Colorado]  estimates there  is $185,000                                                               
[in  federal  funds lost  by  a  state  when  a person  fails  to                                                               
register].                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN  HORN noted that  Charlie Smith, the state  director from                                                               
Juneau,  had wanted  to  testify.   He  then  asked that  members                                                               
direct  questions to  either himself  or  the full-time  regional                                                               
director, Colonel  Lyle Wilkes.   He expressed the desire  to get                                                               
everyone registered  and to make  a fair and  equitable selective                                                               
service.   If the draft ever  is reinstated, the main  concern is                                                               
that it be  fair and equitable for everyone,  which requires that                                                               
everyone be in  the pool, not just those [who  need jobs and aid,                                                               
for example], he concluded.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CHENAULT thanked Mr. Van Horn.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2726                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT  asked Ms. Jones  whether a block on  the PFD                                                               
application form  would ask - yes  or no - whether  the person is                                                               
between the  ages of 18  and 26, and  if so, whether  that person                                                               
has registered  for the draft.   If  the person answers  no, [the                                                               
form would state  that] the applicant is not eligible  for a PFD.                                                               
He'd like to  see that included on the form,  he said, because he                                                               
wants  to see  100 percent  compliance, rather  than taking  away                                                               
someone's  PFD  or  ability  to  apply for  a  student  loan;  he                                                               
suggested that is  what the sponsor would like as  well.  "If the                                                               
schools are  letting us  down, maybe  we can  pick up  that small                                                               
percentage by  putting it  on the  [PFD] application  itself," he                                                               
added.  "If you say 'yes'  and you didn't [register], then you're                                                               
subject to other state penalties."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. JONES answered  that the division would  do something similar                                                               
to that.  She explained, however:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     We don't like to discourage  people from filing [for] a                                                                    
     dividend.  Legally, everyone has  a right to file for a                                                                    
     dividend.  So we would  put some language on there that                                                                    
     asks  that question,  "Are  you ...?"    We would  just                                                                    
     soften it  up and say, "You  may not be eligible  for a                                                                    
     dividend if  you don't [register],"  ... and  then have                                                                    
     something  in  the  explanation booklets,  rather  than                                                                    
     say,  "Don't even  apply,"  because  someone might  not                                                                    
     understand  that,   and  miss  the  deadline   for  the                                                                    
     dividend,  and wind  up in  appeals,  and there's  some                                                                    
     legal  thing,  "Well,  you encouraged  ...  me  not  to                                                                    
     file."   So  we  don't discourage  people from  filing,                                                                    
     even  though the  rules say  that they  probably aren't                                                                    
     eligible.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2825                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CHENAULT  asked whether  anyone  else  wished to  testify;                                                               
there was  no response.   He then asked  Representative Murkowski                                                               
whether she needed time to contemplate the effective date.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  answered that  the bill has  a referral                                                               
to  the  House  State  Affairs  Standing  Committee.    Based  on                                                               
testimony, she said,  the effective date is  something she should                                                               
look  at, as  it applies  to the  PFD, to  ensure that  "we don't                                                               
unwittingly reject  some permanent  fund applicants  just because                                                               
they didn't know."  She  emphasized, however, that people between                                                               
the ages of  18 and 26 should be [registering  with the Selective                                                               
Service System].  She concluded  that it wasn't necessary to hold                                                               
the bill in  committee, although the change could be  made at the                                                               
current hearing  and then  revisited, if  necessary, in  the next                                                               
committee.  She deferred to Chair Chenault.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CHENAULT said he would entertain a motion.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2888                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK explained why  she doesn't support the bill.                                                               
She  noted that  the sponsor  statement refers  to an  "effort to                                                               
encourage".  However,  from the bill and testimony,  she said, it                                                               
appears the  sponsor statement isn't  correct.  The  bill appears                                                               
to add  another layer of  requirements.  It prohibits  people who                                                               
don't register from getting [state]  benefits, including the PFD,                                                               
jobs, or  money for  college.   It's already  a federal  law, she                                                               
said, and she doesn't see why the state must debate the issue.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK  said she sees  [HB 305]  as a move  to gain                                                               
more  government control  in the  choices that  Alaskans want  to                                                               
make; it  says, "You'd better file  or else ... you're  not going                                                               
to  get any  of  this funding."   She  said  she understands  the                                                               
intent,  but  reiterated that  there  is  already a  federal  law                                                               
[requiring registration].   She questioned the need to  put it in                                                               
statute, saying it makes no sense to her.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2990                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  agreed that it  says, "Do it  or else."                                                               
At the federal level, it is  a requirement, and there are federal                                                               
consequences for [failure to comply].                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 02-8, SIDE B                                                                                                               
Number 3001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI  said although  [Representative  Masek]                                                               
may  see  it  as  overkill, obviously  [the  federal  law]  isn't                                                               
getting the attention of all  eligible Alaskans.  She stated, "My                                                               
purpose is  to get their full  attention.  And I  think that this                                                               
would."                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2977                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK responded that she believes it is too far-                                                                 
fetched and  is like blackmail:   "You'd  better do it  or else."                                                               
She tries to encourage youth to  get educated, she said, and this                                                               
seems like a  prohibition.  She suggested  the federal government                                                               
probably should do a better job  to encourage more people to sign                                                               
up.  She said this is "an encroachment that's gone way too far."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2945                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KOTT   remarked   that   he   appreciates   what                                                               
Representative  Masek   has  said,   but  believes   the  sponsor                                                               
statement  is  fairly accurate  because  there  is a  requirement                                                               
right  now that  a [male]  between  the ages  of 18  and 26  must                                                               
register.  He suggested the  sponsor is trying to encourage those                                                               
individuals to fulfill that requirement.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT  referred to the  testimony of Ms.  Jones and                                                               
said, "Again,  I'm not out here  trying to catch people.   I want                                                               
to  encourage people,  through whatever  mechanism, that  they do                                                               
sign up,  so they  don't lose  the benefits later  on."   He said                                                               
there can be  argument about the percentages, but  he would think                                                               
the  majority  of  adults  aren't draft  dodgers,  but  are  just                                                               
ignorant about the situation.   He suggested having the statement                                                               
on the PFD  [application] would solve the problem.   Based on Ms.                                                               
Jones's testimony,  he offered,  it is good  to get  those people                                                               
upfront, right at  the beginning, so they don't  fall through the                                                               
cracks and later,  when applying for a postal  position, find out                                                               
[it's too late], especially because  there hasn't been a draft in                                                               
effect.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2870                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK replied that if  it's a federal law that has                                                               
been on  the books awhile,  the federal government should  be the                                                               
entity to do the "imposing and  carrying it out" if people aren't                                                               
signing up and registering.   She reiterated her belief that this                                                               
bill  is further  encroachment, to  add control;  that this  is a                                                               
federal issue;  and that the  Selective Service System  should be                                                               
doing a lot  more to reach out to youths  who are graduating from                                                               
high school, to encourage them to  file.  She said [HB 305] isn't                                                               
a  good  way  to  get   people  to  [register],  by  using  these                                                               
"blackmail"  tactics, especially  for  employment and  education.                                                               
She said she wouldn't support it.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2782                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN  agreed with Representative Kott  that other                                                               
than for  the very small percentage  who are trying to  beat "the                                                               
system," this  is trying to  help "sometimes  forgetful teenagers                                                               
to  keep out  of trouble."   [Under  federal law]  they would  be                                                               
subject to five years in jail  and a tremendous fine, besides the                                                               
state  incentive.    He noted  that  sometimes  teenagers  aren't                                                               
thinking  clearly, but  affecting their  pocketbooks [may  help].                                                               
He suggested this bill would  help Alaska's teenagers [by keeping                                                               
them away from  the stiff federal sanctions].  He  said he'd like                                                               
to see  100 percent [compliance].   He added, "We go  to the feds                                                               
for a lot of  help up here.  It seems like the  least we could do                                                               
is kind of 'help back' a little."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2725                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOTT  encouraged Representative Murkowski,  as the                                                               
sponsor, to  look at the  effective date  regarding the PFD.   He                                                               
noted that  she'd also said  perhaps a  title change would  be in                                                               
order.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI acknowledged that.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2712                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN moved  to report HB 305  from committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the attached  zero fiscal  note.                                                               
There  being no  objection, HB  305 was  moved out  of the  House                                                               
Special Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HB 324-HOMELAND SECURITY APPROPRIATIONS                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
[Contains testimony in support of HB 305 by Major General Oates]                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2675                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CHENAULT announced the final  order of business, HOUSE BILL                                                               
NO.  324, "An  Act making  supplemental and  other appropriations                                                               
for homeland security; and providing for an effective date."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2670                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR  GENERAL  PHILLIP   OATES,  Adjutant  General/Commissioner,                                                               
Department  of Military    &   Veterans'    Affairs (DMVA),  came                                                               
forward to testify  on HB 324.  First, however,  he commended the                                                               
committee for passing  HB 305.  He remarked on  the importance of                                                               
reminding  young  men  and women  about  serving  their  country.                                                               
Furthermore,  he  said HB  305  is  a  reminder that  the  common                                                               
defense of the country is  not just a federal responsibility, but                                                               
a state responsibility and an  individual responsibility as well.                                                               
"Therefore, I  applaud your effort,  and I think you  did exactly                                                               
the right  thing," he concluded.   "And I'm proud ...  of you, as                                                               
the military  and veterans' committee,  to take that  approach to                                                               
service, and especially to military service."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR GENERAL OATES returned attention  to HB 324, noting that he                                                               
would  address the  Alaska  Land Mobile  Radio  (ALMR) system,  a                                                               
complex  topic.   He informed  members that  he would  go through                                                               
some frequently asked questions.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2549                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR GENERAL  OATES first asked:   What  is a land  mobile radio                                                               
(LMR) system and why do we need  it?  He explained that it is the                                                               
two-way system  in use today  nationwide by first  responders and                                                               
public    safety   officials    for    effective   and    private                                                               
communications.   It allows mobile  communications over  the two-                                                               
way  network.   It  is needed  because other  systems  - such  as                                                               
cellular  communications,  the  public telephone  system,  or  CB                                                               
[citizens band] radios - don't  provide, by law, the priority and                                                               
security required by first responders in public safety roles.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR GENERAL  OATES next  asked:   What is  a trunk  land mobile                                                               
radio system?  In two-way  radio communications, he told members,                                                               
"trunking"  refers to  automatic  sharing of  a  small number  of                                                               
radio channels among  a large number of radio users.   He pointed                                                               
out  that when  someone using  a CB  radio pushes  the button  to                                                               
talk, nobody  else can talk.   With  a land mobile  radio system,                                                               
however,  a person  can  push a  button to  talk,  and then  that                                                               
frequency  and  spectrum also  can  be  used for  other  purposes                                                               
because  there  is  computerized  switching.   It  is  a  limited                                                               
spectrum that allows multiple users.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2461                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR GENERAL OATES asked:  What  is the Alaska Land Mobile Radio                                                               
(ALMR) system?  He answered:                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     It  is a  land mobile  radio  system for  the State  of                                                                    
     Alaska,   for  the   Alaska   Municipal  League,   that                                                                    
     encompasses  all of  our communities,  for the  federal                                                                    
     Department of Defense [DOD]  and other federal agencies                                                                    
     that are  non-DOD.   And it is  designed to  identify a                                                                    
     solution for LMR, and to  establish a migration path to                                                                    
     that  solution  that  meets  the  needs  of  all  these                                                                    
     agencies.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR GENERAL OATES said it makes  it possible to use over a wide                                                               
area - all  of Alaska, ultimately, with all the  phases.  It adds                                                               
air  and maritime  communications to  land [communications],  and                                                               
allows  use   of  multiple  vendors  to   provide  solutions  and                                                               
technology for the system.  Furthermore, it allows transmission                                                                 
of data.  He explained:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     This  handheld  device,  through  the  benefits  of  IP                                                                    
     [Internet protocol] addressing -  which is what you use                                                                    
     with  a computer  and you  use  on the  Internet -  can                                                                    
     target,  to individual  users, the  ability to  receive                                                                    
     data or  transmit data  to certain users.   And  we can                                                                    
     also  identify   workgroups,  like   you  would   on  a                                                                    
     computer, in an e-mail system,  so when you push to ...                                                                    
     talk,  that workgroup  automatically hears  what you're                                                                    
     doing.   So  ... the  Alaska Land  Mobile Radio  system                                                                    
     ultimately will be ...  an integrated, wireless network                                                                    
     that  is  secure  and   interoperable,  that  is  cost-                                                                    
     effective and technology-sound.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2361                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR GENERAL OATES offered the next question:  Why can't we use                                                                
the current approach in systems, instead of changing to the ALMR                                                                
system?  He answered:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     We  can.   However, we  will ...  do so  at significant                                                                    
     cost.   It  will continue  to be  inefficient and  lack                                                                    
     full interoperability between  first responders.  Also,                                                                    
     the federal government  has been mandated to  move to a                                                                    
     new system that supports  narrowband technology.  There                                                                    
     is  wideband and  there's narrowband.   And  the reason                                                                    
     they've been mandated to go  to a narrowband technology                                                                    
     is that  technology permits that.   That narrowband can                                                                    
     be  analog  communications,  which are  these  ways  of                                                                    
     communications,  or  the  ones  and  zeros  of  digital                                                                    
     communications.  So you can  go with either system, but                                                                    
     the  federal agencies  have been  mandated, by  2005 to                                                                    
     2008, to go to those systems.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     So what happens to us  then?  They can't mandate [that]                                                                    
     the  state go  to  these  systems.   The  fact is,  our                                                                    
     systems here in  the state are old.   They're costly to                                                                    
     maintain.     And  many   of  them   are  in   need  of                                                                    
     replacement.   So ... if  you've got to pay  to migrate                                                                    
     but you've  also got to pay  if you don't migrate  - to                                                                    
     allow that  interoperability, to maintain  and continue                                                                    
     your existing  systems - why  not pay to  migrate along                                                                    
     with the  other players and have  a truly interoperable                                                                    
     and  higher technical  solution to  the dollars  you've                                                                    
     spent?   And the dollars,  ultimately, might ...  be as                                                                    
     much  if  you don't  migrate  as  they  are if  you  do                                                                    
     migrate.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Again, what  does "the  federal government  mandated to                                                                    
     go to  narrowband" mean?   It just means that  the U.S.                                                                    
     Department of  Commerce has  mandated the  migration of                                                                    
     all federal  land mobile  radio systems,  from wideband                                                                    
     to  narrowband, by  2005  and 2008  -  so, during  that                                                                    
     period.   This  doubles the  available radio  spectrum.                                                                    
     And  ...  it  will  require  all  federal  agencies  to                                                                    
     replace   their   existing   LMR   infrastructure   and                                                                    
     implement  that,  either  in  an analog  or  a  digital                                                                    
     solution.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2251                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR  GENERAL  OATES asked:    What  does "backward  compatible"                                                               
mean, and why is  that important to the ALMR system?   He said it                                                               
is    important because  not  everyone  will  be able  to  switch                                                               
systems on  a given date,  due to  the challenges of  funding and                                                               
the different agencies  involved.  Just as a  new computer system                                                               
is compatible  with previous  systems, part of  the ALMR  will be                                                               
compatible with  the old  systems in  order to  allow them  to be                                                               
used.   However,  with the  old systems  there will  not be  full                                                               
technical  interoperability, "a  solution that  will allow  us to                                                               
move  into the  future and  use the  full benefits  of narrowband                                                               
digital communications."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR GENERAL OATES asked:   What communications standard will we                                                               
use  for  the  ALMR  system?    He  answered  that  the  industry                                                               
standards for  LMR for public  safety use are prepared  under the                                                               
auspices  of  the  Association  of  Public-Safety  Communications                                                               
Officials (APCO) and  the Telecommunications Industry Association                                                               
(TIA).  He explained:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     The  APCO Project  25 standards  have been  selected in                                                                    
     this cooperative  partnership we  have here  in Alaska.                                                                    
     Again,  that's a  partnership with  the municipalities,                                                                    
     with  the  state,  with the  federal  non-DOD  and  the                                                                    
     federal  DOD, because  that  meets their  requirements.                                                                    
     If  we went  to  a different  solution,  some of  these                                                                    
     players ...  would fall out  because they  are mandated                                                                    
     among themselves to migrate to that solution.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 2151                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR GENERAL  OATES asked:   Why  use a  standard?   He answered                                                               
that  without  adhering to  a  standard,  the state,  local,  and                                                               
federal public  safety entities will essentially  be compelled to                                                               
implement system  solutions that  lack "full  interoperability of                                                               
security."   He further  asked:   Why would  a solution  like the                                                               
ALMR  solution be  difficult to  establish in  other states?   If                                                               
this is  a such a  good idea, why isn't  everybody doing it?   To                                                               
answer, he said:                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     I think we're  leading the way, and I  think Alaska ...                                                                    
     will be the  first state in the nation  - indeed, maybe                                                                    
     the  first place  in  the  world -  to  have a  totally                                                                    
     interoperable system.   But I  think it'll be  the wave                                                                    
     of the future.  And  I think you'll see enough emphasis                                                                    
     on  this,  because of  September  11,  that you'll  see                                                                    
     other communities,  in spite of their  large population                                                                    
     centers,  competing or  lack  of supporting  resources,                                                                    
     inability  of  different  government  agencies  in  the                                                                    
     government  levels to  work out  cooperative agreements                                                                    
     for their mutual [benefit] --  and I think you will see                                                                    
     us overcome those difficulties.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     And again, I think we'll  be an important model for the                                                                    
     nation.  And that's ...  not only important for Alaska,                                                                    
     but it's also  important in many, many  other ways, ...                                                                    
     to our  military, to our  interoperability.   But also,                                                                    
     to have  technical solutions up  here that  are leading                                                                    
     the nation  and the  world is only  good for  our other                                                                    
     technological inroads into the future.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2081                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR GENERAL  OATES asked:   What  happens if  communities don't                                                               
participate?   He answered that  they can continue  with existing                                                               
systems  that  don't  provide full  user  interoperability.    He                                                               
added, "But again, you pay to  migrate or you pay not to migrate.                                                               
And  then,  if  you  pay  not  to  migrate,  you  also  lose  the                                                               
advantages of the new technology."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR  GENERAL OATES  asked next:   What  happens if  we fiscally                                                               
support  the project  today and  it  is not  supported in  future                                                               
years by legislative appropriations at  the state level?  He said                                                               
the system is designed with  a building-block approach and can be                                                               
added to,  once more funding  is identified.  In  addition, money                                                               
won't be wasted because of the backward compatibility.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2035                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR GENERAL OATES asked:   What is the current funding strategy                                                               
for  the state,  and  how much  funding will  the  state have  to                                                               
commit to over the life of the project?  He answered:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Almost 90  percent of the  funding of the  project will                                                                    
     be provided  from federal funding.   Remember,  half of                                                                    
     that team is  ... federal agencies already.   But also,                                                                    
     because   of   homeland   security   issues   and   the                                                                    
     requirement for communications  and information sharing                                                                    
     and  intelligence sharing,  you'll  see  more and  more                                                                    
     dollars available  - if  we're smart  enough to  get it                                                                    
     and  have a  program on  the  ground here  to get  that                                                                    
     federal funding.  Currently,  the first three phases of                                                                    
     the  project  are  included  in  our  state's  homeland                                                                    
     security request.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Now, here's an important thing:   If federal funding is                                                                    
     appropriated,  as we  think it  will [be],  the state's                                                                    
     matching amount  over the course  of the  project would                                                                    
     be approximately $6.1  million.  Now, it's  easy to get                                                                    
     overwhelmed  by  the  huge  cost  of  all  the  federal                                                                    
     agencies and everybody else that  comes into this.  But                                                                    
     this is a bite-sized chunk  for the state, if you think                                                                    
     of it in terms of $6.1  million over all the phases ...                                                                    
     of the program.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1984                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR GENERAL  OATES asked next:   What was the plan  for funding                                                               
before September 11?  He answered:                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Since  September   11,  enabling   interoperable  radio                                                                    
     communications at a state and  local level has obtained                                                                    
     national   attention   and    prioritization.      More                                                                    
     specifically,   homeland   security   program   funding                                                                    
     appropriations,    and     other    related    national                                                                    
     initiatives,  which  will  be  funded -  which  is  now                                                                    
     currently the target for funding  the initial phases of                                                                    
     the ALMR project.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR GENERAL OATES concluded by  noting that Julie Stinson would                                                               
talk  about  the  project  team,  the  system,  and  the  concept                                                               
demonstration   project;  following   that,  Del   Smith,  Deputy                                                               
Commissioner, Department  of Public  Safety (DPS), would  wrap up                                                               
the presentation.  He offered to answer questions.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1928                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CHENAULT  informed members  that Wayne  Rush [of  the DMVA]                                                               
was online,  and that Mark  Johnson [of the Department  of Health                                                               
and Social Services] was present in support of the legislation.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1895                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked what security  could be employed for a                                                               
system like this, which is interactive nationwide.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR  GENERAL  OATES  surmised  that  Representative  Green  was                                                               
talking  about   the  secure   communications  themselves.     He                                                               
mentioned  the  use  of  industry  standards  and  public  safety                                                               
standards.  He  said an inherent requirement  in those standards,                                                               
and in this  new technology, mandates the  ability to communicate                                                               
in a secure fashion.  He added:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Although we are now  within those standards devising an                                                                    
     Alaskan  solution, ...  we ultimately  think this  same                                                                    
     solution will probably be taken  on by ... the lower 48                                                                    
     states, if  you will.   But part of  those requirements                                                                    
     in  those existing  standards,  and  the advantages  of                                                                    
     going  to  narrowband  and digital  communications,  is                                                                    
     also the  ability to  have more  secure communications,                                                                    
     so if you're not on  that IP address of that (indisc.--                                                                    
     coughing), you  cannot hear  it.   It's not  like where                                                                    
     you've  got  a  scanner  and  it  can  pick  up  police                                                                    
     broadcasts.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR  GENERAL OATES  indicated the  experts could  perhaps offer                                                               
further information.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1786                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  mentioned backward compatibility.   She                                                               
requested clarification  about why  the new  system is  needed if                                                               
the old one already allows communication.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR GENERAL OATES replied:                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     First  of  all,  we   are  always  updating  equipment,                                                                    
     especially as  it gets older and  the maintenance costs                                                                    
     go up  for that equipment.   And we're  always updating                                                                    
     equipment   to   hopefully   take  advantage   of   new                                                                    
     technology.   So one  is, across  the state  of Alaska,                                                                    
     when you  look at  a state perspective,  our equipment,                                                                    
     as a  ... general statement, is  approximately 25 years                                                                    
     old, when  you look at  the infrastructure that  we had                                                                    
     to communicate  across so many  of the devices  we use.                                                                    
     So,  again, we  will  pay  if we  go  with the  federal                                                                    
     government.  But we will  also have to pay in increased                                                                    
     maintenance costs  and the enhancements to  that system                                                                    
     if  we  don't  migrate,  but then  we  won't  have  the                                                                    
     advantages of the new technology.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Now, when  you talk about backward  compatibility, what                                                                    
     ...  you're  saying here,  in  this  land mobile  radio                                                                    
     context,  is  that we've  designed  the  system so  the                                                                    
     existing first-responder equipment could  be used.  But                                                                    
     it   will  not   have  the   advantage  of   ...  fully                                                                    
     interoperable, digital IP-addressing  equipment; ... it                                                                    
     will be  one radio  using one channel  to speak  to one                                                                    
     other  radio, as  opposed to  one radio  being able  to                                                                    
     talk  and  speak  to  air  or  ground  or  maritime  to                                                                    
     multiple users,  and pass  digital communications  in a                                                                    
     more secure mode.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     So,  we've designed  this so  you can  still talk,  but                                                                    
     that's  all you'll  be able  to do.   And  ... in  that                                                                    
     scenario,  it's  ...  more  like  a  CB  radio-type  of                                                                    
     system.   One person pushes  and one person  hears, but                                                                    
     you don't have the ability  to network in as many other                                                                    
     people as  you would  in this system.   So,  truly, you                                                                    
     can still speak, but you don't have the advantages.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     And when we think  in a homeland security [environment]                                                                    
     of huge events and  tremendous interagency response and                                                                    
     resourcing and  assistance, we need to  have an ability                                                                    
     to be  able to control  the situation better,  and that                                                                    
     requires much  more ability to communicate,  because in                                                                    
     the military,  you will always see  that any operation,                                                                    
     and the  success of  that operation,  is built  on your                                                                    
     ability to communicate.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1588                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  noted that in  terms of the  ability to                                                               
communicate statewide, one  argument she's heard against  it is a                                                               
questioning of the  need for a little, remote community  to let a                                                               
larger community in  Southeast Alaska, for example,  know what is                                                               
going on.   Referring to Major General Oates'  explanation of the                                                               
building-block approach  to funding,  she asked whether  it would                                                               
work if  key areas  have up-to-date  equipment, but  small, rural                                                               
communities use  older technology  for now.   She  explained that                                                               
she was trying  to get around the fiscal note  and still have the                                                               
system work.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1449                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR GENERAL  OATES said  the ALMR  is built  in phases.   First                                                               
will  be  the  concept  demonstration, which  Ms.  Stinson  would                                                               
address.   The next phase  will orient on the  population centers                                                               
on the  road system and  in the  Railbelt; other phases  will add                                                               
areas such  as Southeast Alaska  and outlying areas.   He further                                                               
said:                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     [In]  some cases,  part of  this system  will have  the                                                                    
     ability  to deploy  this  capability to  an  area.   In                                                                    
     other words,  those that don't  have it will  have some                                                                    
     deployable   ability   to   establish  this   type   of                                                                    
     capability wherever you are.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     The system ...  is not envisioned to allow  you to talk                                                                    
     from Nome  to, say, Bethel,  as much  as it is  to have                                                                    
     fully  interoperable  capability   in  that  geographic                                                                    
     area,  when  you  go  to that  geographic  area  for  a                                                                    
     significant problem.  So, in  other words, if we have a                                                                    
     situation that happens in Nome  - whether that would be                                                                    
     because  of severe  weather or  collateral damage  from                                                                    
     some  type of  biological  attack that  ended  up in  a                                                                    
     devastating  scenario in  Nome -  we could,  then, have                                                                    
     the ability to  have fully interoperable communications                                                                    
     and have the  ability to put other  resources there and                                                                    
     interact,  more so  than we  want  Nome to  communicate                                                                    
     with some other system.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     But the good thing about  this design is that there are                                                                    
     different phases  that we will  fund.  And  wherever we                                                                    
     end up  in that funding,  even if we take  a (indisc.),                                                                    
     that  funding  is  not  lost  and  we  still  have  the                                                                    
     capability  that  exists,  and  we'll  still  have  the                                                                    
     ability  for the  older systems  to at  least have  the                                                                    
     ability ... to function, although at less capability.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR GENERAL  OATES requested confirmation  that the  system was                                                               
designed  not so  much to  allow someone  in Nome  to communicate                                                               
statewide, but rather to be interoperable in a geographic area.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1280                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
[Julie  Stinson  responded  off-microphone that  the  system  was                                                               
designed for the  more populated areas, and that Phase  4 will be                                                               
for rural areas.]                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR GENERAL OATES concluded:                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     I  don't think  I can  overemphasize the  point of  the                                                                    
     value to the state to have  a system like this, that is                                                                    
     on  the technological  leading edge  and makes  us more                                                                    
     integrated  and  more   interoperable,  whether  that's                                                                    
     military purposes or it's  emergency response or public                                                                    
     safety.   The further  we ... push  the state  in these                                                                    
     areas, the  more advantages  and opportunities  we also                                                                    
     bring  to the  state.   So I  think, truly,  ... you're                                                                    
     fertilizing  the  ground  for  other  opportunities  to                                                                    
     grow, in addition to what we see here growing.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR GENERAL OATES turned the presentation over to Ms. Stinson.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1232                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JULIE  STINSON,  ALMR  Project  Manager,  Information  Technology                                                               
Group,  Department of  Administration, came  forward to  testify,                                                               
noting that she had prepared  a folder containing information for                                                               
the committee.  She told members  she would explain what is going                                                               
on with  the concept  demonstration project  in 2002,  talk about                                                               
timelines,  and  discuss funding.    She  noted that  the  packet                                                               
includes  funding information;  an overview  of requirements  for                                                               
different  participating  agencies;  funding  opportunities  from                                                               
various  sources;  a  map of  the  "full-phased  approach";  some                                                               
project  overview  information;  a  memorandum  of  understanding                                                               
(MOU) signed  in April by  the four  partners; and a  document in                                                               
support  of  the  project  from  the  City  of  Fairbanks  police                                                               
department.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1047                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GREEN  asked  if  there   is  a  reason  for  not                                                               
including support from Anchorage.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. STINSON  said no.  The  Municipality of Anchorage isn't  in a                                                               
situation to  change its system  yet, although in a  couple years                                                               
it will  be.   By contrast,  the City  of Fairbanks  currently is                                                               
requesting  $900,000 in  funding, and  has received  some of  it.                                                               
She explained:                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     They're  depending on  our  system  to implement  their                                                                    
     consolidated dispatch  system.  Their system  design is                                                                    
     based  on ...  the infrastructure  of the  ALMR system;                                                                    
     ...  they can  act  independently,  but they're  buying                                                                    
     equipment   that  is   totally   compatible  with   the                                                                    
     statewide initiative. ... And  some of the first phases                                                                    
     of our project are ...  with the Department of Defense,                                                                    
     ... in the  Fairbanks area.  So we can  truly show true                                                                    
     interoperability from  the City  of Fairbanks  with the                                                                    
     DOD's   presence  in   Fairbanks,   if   we  have   the                                                                    
     infrastructure  in place  in that  area.   So it's  ...                                                                    
     somewhat unique.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0953                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI asked whether the City of Fairbanks is                                                                 
requesting the $900,000.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. STINSON mentioned grant programs and said:                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     I think that they have  received the $900,000, or will.                                                                    
     I  know that  ... their  mayor  was back  in D.C.  with                                                                    
     [Major General]  several weeks ago, and  then to [U.S.]                                                                    
     Senator  Stevens' office  as well,  to talk  about this                                                                    
     money.  I think they were short some amount. ...                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     There's  many grant  programs available  for ...  local                                                                    
     governments and  equipment like this.   But there's not                                                                    
     an  awful lot  of  grant programs  that  will fund  and                                                                    
     support $67  million worth of infrastructure.   But for                                                                    
     $50,000 for a  whole bunch of radios, you  bet, but not                                                                    
     for  the  ...  bigger  picture.   But  ...  they're  in                                                                    
     support of the initiative because  ... they want to tie                                                                    
     into  the  system  as  soon   as  they  can,  for  full                                                                    
     features.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0880                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  referred to  a pie chart  for estimated                                                               
system  costs  that  shows  the local  government  share  at  $29                                                               
million.   She surmised  that Ms. Stinson  was suggesting  a good                                                               
portion of that could come from grants.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. STINSON affirmed that.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI added, "But not the state's."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. STINSON replied:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Not the grant programs.   But ... we are requesting for                                                                    
     federal   funds    through   the    homeland   security                                                                    
     initiative, at  this point,  and there's  other federal                                                                    
     appropriations   that  were   noted  on   that  funding                                                                    
     opportunity  sheet, in  this package,  of other  places                                                                    
     perhaps we could go for funding.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0822                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  asked whether  [the City  of Fairbanks]                                                               
is waiting to find out what the  state is going to do in order to                                                               
know what vendors to use; she  asked whether it is that specific,                                                               
and  whether several  vendors out  there have  the type  of units                                                               
that the city would be looking to convert to.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. STINSON replied:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     On  the vendor  side,  they've gone  out  for bid,  and                                                                    
     they've got a system design  that matches our ... total                                                                    
     system design  that I'll talk  a little bit  about here                                                                    
     in a minute.  But ...  they need to deploy because some                                                                    
     of their monies  will go away if they  don't start with                                                                    
     the implementation.   And so they're  [sharing] some of                                                                    
     the infrastructure  with us, as  far as the  Birch Hill                                                                    
     antennas and things like that.   And so they're anxious                                                                    
     for us to  get some of that site work  done so that ...                                                                    
     they can  operate their system.   They have alternative                                                                    
     plans, but it would be  money wasted, in their eyes, if                                                                    
     we're going to do it  eventually.  So, they are sitting                                                                    
     back and  saying ..., "When  should I buy  these radios                                                                    
     for this  new system?   How  should I plan?   If  I get                                                                    
     grant  money  today,  how  should I  spend  it  in  the                                                                    
     future?"                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     So, we're developing some  tools for those communities,                                                                    
     and it's  a radio matrix,  basically:  "Here's  all the                                                                    
     radios  that  are   available;  here's  the  timeframe;                                                                    
     here's  the area  you live  in;  and this  is what  our                                                                    
     implementation  plans   are,  if  everything   goes  as                                                                    
     planned."  ... The  local governments  are saying,  "We                                                                    
     have  to deploy  now because  we're going  to lose  our                                                                    
     money, and  we're going  to deploy  this way,  and then                                                                    
     put a cost  in to upgrade the system, to  make the tie-                                                                    
     in back to the statewide  system."  But the designs are                                                                    
     the  same.   At  least we're  co-planning. ...  Several                                                                    
     years ago, that wasn't occurring.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0662                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN  asked whether the "$16  million non-DOD" is                                                               
federal non-DOD or grants, for example.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  STINSON answered  that  on this  funding  chart, the  "local                                                               
government and  the non-DOD" are  for subscriber  equipment only.                                                               
She explained:                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     In non-DOD,  typically they have  a budget  cycle where                                                                    
     they budget  radios into  their standard  budget cycle.                                                                    
     With local governments, this isn't  a mandate that they                                                                    
     have  to  move  to  our  system.    But  with  all  the                                                                    
     different communities  that were surveyed, this  is the                                                                    
     amount   of  radio   and   user   equipment  that   was                                                                    
     identified, and the  ... estimated cost for  that.  And                                                                    
     typically,  on  the   non-DOD  side,  they're  [federal                                                                    
     agencies], so they don't typically apply for grants.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0585                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  asked whether there is  no share, then,                                                               
from local government in the infrastructure.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. STINSON said no.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI asked why.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. STINSON  said she could get  back with an answer.   She added                                                               
that  the  system  originally was  designed  several  years  ago,                                                               
before she [worked  for the department].  She asked  Mr. Smith to                                                               
address it if possible.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI remarked that  it seems local government                                                               
agencies  such as  the Fairbanks  police  department are  getting                                                               
great benefits from it.  She  noted that Fairbanks would have had                                                               
its own  infrastructure under an  old system,  even if it  were a                                                               
simple "trunking" system.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0504                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DEL  SMITH,  Deputy  Commissioner, Office  of  the  Commissioner,                                                               
Department  of Public  Safety, responded,  saying he  has been  a                                                               
"land  mobile  radio representative"  since  about  1996 for  the                                                               
State  of Alaska.    He said  a substantial  part  of the  system                                                               
"backbone"  involves  the   state's  existing  telecommunications                                                               
system; he  mentioned the microwave  towers around the  state and                                                               
the plan to use  those, as well as some DOD  sites.  He indicated                                                               
most municipalities  deal with what is  local, without "long-haul                                                               
capability"   or  dealing   outside   their  own   organizations.                                                               
Therefore,   there  isn't   one  voice   speaking  for   all  the                                                               
municipalities.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SMITH noted  that  ultimately,  when the  system  is up  and                                                               
running, how  to charge back  for maintenance will be  looked at,                                                               
for example.   An issue that  could arise is amortizing  what was                                                               
spent originally to create it.  He explained:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     We felt that - the  federal government and the State of                                                                    
     Alaska -  the DOD portion  was in the best  position to                                                                    
     provide the  infrastructure.  And because  the military                                                                    
     has a  mission up  and down the  highway, ...  and they                                                                    
     needed  that infrastructure,  we've added  some in  our                                                                    
     design  that [the]  military  is  not concerned  about;                                                                    
     it's not  part of  their mission  - certainly  down the                                                                    
     Kenai  Peninsula,  down  to Kodiak,  and  in  Southeast                                                                    
     Alaska.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0362                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI asked who does the maintenance.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. SMITH noted that Ms. Stinson was  going to talk about it.  He                                                               
said in this  test project, it hasn't yet been  determined how to                                                               
manage  it and  apportion it.   He  added, "Certainly,  you can't                                                               
build it and walk away and not ever maintain it again."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI responded,  "Oh, no, we do  that all the                                                               
time."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SMITH  said  he'd  like  to  break  the  cycle,  then.    He                                                               
acknowledged  that  it will  need  to  be determined  whether  to                                                               
charge per radio,  per subscriber, or a yearly  fee, for example.                                                               
He  cited Seattle's  King County  as a  place where  agencies are                                                               
involved but there  is also a per-unit  charge; Portland, Oregon,                                                               
by contrast,  built a  system and  charges people  for subscriber                                                               
units.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CHENAULT  asked whether  there is a  cost estimate  yet for                                                               
maintenance.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SMITH said no.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0224                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN  asked whether it  should be lower  than for                                                               
the existing system.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SMITH said  he  couldn't  guarantee it.    For the  proposed                                                               
technology, some sites will have to  be "hardened" - putting in a                                                               
system with  an uninterruptible power  supply - to  meet military                                                               
requirements and  24-hour [capability];  the cost  of maintenance                                                               
could rise.   He pointed out  that a few years  ago several sites                                                               
were "lost" for  a while because of avalanches; there  was no way                                                               
to get  fuel there.   He  said there  is no  way to  estimate the                                                               
maintenance cost  yet because  it depends on  how big  the system                                                               
becomes and how many other entities agree to sign on.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0090                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN  asked whether there is  any indication from                                                               
other states, or whether this proposal is "the leading edge."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. SMITH  answered that  there are other  locations such  as the                                                               
ones  he'd mentioned  in Washington  State  and Oregon;  although                                                               
physically  smaller, these  locations  have  more radios  because                                                               
there are so  many people and agencies involved.   He said Alaska                                                               
faces unique geographical challenges.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SMITH  returned   attention  to  Representative  Murkowski's                                                               
question about remote areas.   He said when discussions initially                                                               
began, it was  uncertain how to deal with Bush  Alaska because of                                                               
lack of infrastructure and the  substantial cost to put it there.                                                               
With the  involvement of federal  agencies, however, part  of the                                                               
pilot-project  testing will  be done  using the  Federal Aviation                                                               
Administration's (FAA's) [50-some sites].                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 02-9, SIDE A                                                                                                               
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. SMITH  explained that those ANICS  [Alaskan NAS Interfacility                                                               
Communications System] sites already exist;  the FAA uses them to                                                               
communicate with aircraft and for  other functions.  He mentioned                                                               
a portable  design that  had been considered,  one that  could be                                                               
flown to  remote areas, setting  up a small "trunk"  radio system                                                               
in case  of flooding or  some other disaster  that is out  of the                                                               
mainstream  of Alaska's  infrastructure.   However, he  expressed                                                               
hope that  this ANICS system -  part of the test  project - could                                                               
deliver at a relatively reasonable price.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0092                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR GENERAL OATES added that  part of the concept demonstration                                                               
is to  look at the business  model, "how we're going  to maintain                                                               
this system,  how well  does it  work together."   There  will be                                                               
multiple "players" besides  the state to pay  for the "backbone."                                                               
Furthermore, there are creative ideas  to pay for maintenance and                                                               
operations,  some  of  which  will  be  tested  in  this  concept                                                               
demonstration;  examples  are  making   part  of  the  "backbone"                                                               
available for  private users  at a  cost, having  some be  in the                                                               
form of a public corporation, or  having some people may pay more                                                               
because of getting  more use from the system.   After the concept                                                               
demonstration, [the  department] will  be able  to come  back and                                                               
answer these questions in more detail.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0221                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. STINSON drew attention to  the handout titled "ALMR Overview,                                                               
February 12,  2002," noting that the  "front-end" information had                                                               
been covered  earlier that day.   She turned to the  fourth page,                                                               
"Statewide  System Design  Basis."   She reported  that a  system                                                               
design was initiated by DOD,  which then consulted with the state                                                               
and decided to do a statewide  system design together.  There was                                                               
input from public safety users;  local agencies are listed in the                                                               
brochure titled "Alaska Land Mobile  Radio Project."  Ms. Stinson                                                               
indicated  the   list  would  grow   as  other   agencies  become                                                               
interested; before full  implementation, there will need  to be a                                                               
survey  of  "the locals"  again.    A  further design  basis  was                                                               
ensuring  both  backward   and  forward  compatibility  regarding                                                               
technology.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. STINSON pointed  out that the current design  covers the most                                                               
populated areas, but  that can change.  For  example, following a                                                               
meeting with Alyeska Pipeline [Service]  Company last week, there                                                               
may be  an exchange -  with the state's using  the communications                                                               
network on the  haul road going north [to Prudhoe  Bay] in return                                                               
for  Alyeska's  use  [of  the state's  network]  going  south  to                                                               
Valdez.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0456                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI  inquired  about having  private  users                                                               
ultimately share  costs.  She  said she doesn't know  whether the                                                               
need  for a  tight security  network precludes  that option;  she                                                               
asked whether it is possible.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. SMITH answered yes, potentially.   Since his involvement with                                                               
ALMR, he  said, private-sector  agencies have  "sort of  come and                                                               
gone at our  meetings," although Alyeska has been  there a number                                                               
of times.  He referred to  "talk groups" and "IP addressing."  He                                                               
related  his understanding  that it  could be  segregated.   "The                                                               
amount of people that can get  on a trunk system is mind-boggling                                                               
to me,"  he said.   In addition  to Alyeska, Mr.  Smith mentioned                                                               
the electric utilities and a gas  pipeline.  He suggested that in                                                               
a time of emergency, when the  utilities need to become part of a                                                               
talk group, it would be beneficial.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0612                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI asked  whether there  is any  reason to                                                               
include them in the current planning phase.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  STINSON  said  yes.   "That's  why  we've  actually  started                                                               
conversations with them again," she  added, "because before we do                                                               
full  implementation,  we  need  to  get  the  design  refreshed,                                                               
basically:   Here's the technology.   How  many new users  are we                                                               
going to have  on it?  Who  else is interested?  What  do we need                                                               
to  work  into  it?"    She suggested  there'd  be  two  computer                                                               
controllers, for redundancy, with many  users on the system.  She                                                               
added:                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Perhaps  they'd   just  pick  up   another  controller,                                                                    
     because  they  don't  want  to  be  too  close  to  the                                                                    
     regulating  agencies,  either,  is what  they  kind  of                                                                    
     indicated.  And  then also, ... in a  time of disaster,                                                                    
     they're very  much available and  online with  the rest                                                                    
     of the  system.   The system is  very secure  that way.                                                                    
     ... It  knows where you  are and  who you are,  and can                                                                    
     shut  you off  or turn  you on.   So  the conversations                                                                    
     have started in that regard.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     The system  also is a  phased approach, so that  if ...                                                                    
     we  receive  lots  of funding,  we  can  implement  the                                                                    
     system, by site.   And ... if we  have shortfalls, then                                                                    
     we can stop.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. STINSON continued  with the fourth page of the  handout.  She                                                               
said the  whole design  was based  off the  cost-sharing approach                                                               
and sharing  of resources and properties.   A new site  right now                                                               
would cost about $1 million, but  instead of building new sites -                                                               
locations for the repeaters and  all the equipment - the proposal                                                               
is for a $200,000 or  $300,000 upgrade, which will save everybody                                                               
money.  The  concept was to do shared  operations and maintenance                                                               
as well; that  was considered in the design and  in the equipment                                                               
identified for purchase or procurement for that design.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0789                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN  asked whether  the system will  be line-of-                                                               
sight or  use satellites,  for example.   He  asked, "How  do you                                                               
cover the broad distances that we have?"                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  STINSON  answered  that  LMR is,  by  nature,  a  land-based                                                               
microwave system;  that is for  the "mainstream" system,  and the                                                               
majority  is  based  on  the   existing  microwave  system,  also                                                               
referred to as  the SAT (ph) system.  For  "long hauls," however,                                                               
there are fiber, "T-1," and satellite connections as well.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. STINSON  continued with  the handout.   She explained  that a                                                               
standard [the APCO  P-25] was selected so that  a radio purchased                                                               
in  Kenai, for  example, would  work in  Anchorage as  well.   By                                                               
contrast, that  wouldn't happen  now; a person  would have  to be                                                               
issued a radio at the new site or perhaps carry two radios.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0896                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CHENAULT asked  how that  reprogramming would  occur so  a                                                               
Kenai policeman's radio would work in Anchorage.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. SMITH noted  that ultimately, for the most part,  it would be                                                               
an over-the-air-reprogrammable radio.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CHENAULT  asked  whether  it   would  be  done  through  a                                                               
programmer.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. STINSON mentioned software.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. SMITH added that if  it is software, rather than over-the-air                                                               
reprogramming, "equipment somewhere" would  be used to program it                                                               
for the appropriate frequencies.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0964                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CHENAULT  asked whether  it would be  the same  radio being                                                               
used in Kenai and Anchorage, then.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. SMITH  said ultimately, yes.   He explained that if  a person                                                               
has purchased a radio that  meets the APCO [P-25] standards which                                                               
Ms. Stinson had  referred to, and if it had  been manufactured by                                                               
a  particular   company  with  those   standards,  it   could  be                                                               
programmed to be compatible with a talk group.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR GENERAL OATES  noted that each radio would have  its own IP                                                               
address.   He  added, "When  that address  talks to  the computer                                                               
system,  if you  will,  it  recognizes where  that  is, and  then                                                               
somebody just adds in that IP  address to [the others]."  He said                                                               
the  person  wouldn't  have  to  program it;  it  would  be  done                                                               
centrally, to add that person to the group.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  STINSON added  that it  either could  be done  on demand  or                                                               
predefined and  preset.  For  this system, there could  be 20,000                                                               
different talk  groups.  For example,  a talk group could  be the                                                               
governor and  the mayors, or  General Schwartz and  the governor.                                                               
It all depends on the needs.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1094                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. STINSON returned to the  presentation, noting that the system                                                               
design  had allowed  a rough  estimate; it  also had  defined the                                                               
need for  a concept demonstration  project because  of unanswered                                                               
questions  such as  how  to  operate and  maintain  this, how  to                                                               
operate together as a consortium,  and whether the MOU is "strong                                                               
enough to  go out and procure  things together."  She  said there                                                               
are  some real  challenges when  bringing together  the DOD,  the                                                               
non-DOD  entities, the  state, and  the Alaska  Municipal League;                                                               
there are numerous opinions within each.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1150                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. STINSON brought  attention to the fifth page  of the handout,                                                               
"System  Concept."    She  pointed out  that  [with  the  current                                                               
system]  a  "bad guy"  who'd  obtained  an officer's  radio,  for                                                               
example, could listen to the  pursuit.  Referring to the proposed                                                               
system, she explained:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     If  they're  on  this  kind  of a  system,  as  far  as                                                                    
     security  goes, the  system would  just shut  them off.                                                                    
     It would  identify that radio  that was missing.   They                                                                    
     know  that that  officer  was assigned  the radio,  and                                                                    
     through the system control -  through [software] - it's                                                                    
     just turned off; it doesn't work anymore.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  STINSON further  noted that  when people  are on  a military                                                               
assignment or  exercise, part of  the system can  be "partitioned                                                               
off to  just go do the  military, because that's a  requirement -                                                               
the military doesn't  want us to know all their  business."  That                                                               
is all done through computers and software, she added.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1225                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. STINSON  turned attention  to the eighth  page, which  has an                                                               
Alaska  map  labeled "Phase  O:    Concept Demonstration."    She                                                               
explained that  although the concept  demonstration project  is a                                                               
pilot project, there is a  federal prohibition against calling it                                                               
that without an endorsement by the President, to her belief.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. STINSON reported that two types  of goals need to be achieved                                                               
through the concept demonstration.   One is to build the business                                                               
model discussed,  which includes  items listed  at the  bottom of                                                               
the  page under  "Business  Practices  Evaluation":   governance,                                                               
procurement,   ALMR   team   organizations   structure,   systems                                                               
maintenance   and    operations,   frequency    management,   and                                                               
cooperative  agreements  and  partnerships; the  latter  includes                                                               
"all the cooperative agreements that we  may or may not need with                                                               
the local governments."  She added:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     We're  also going  to  come  out of  it  with the  best                                                                    
     business practices  and a  full implementation  plan of                                                                    
     how that will be done.   The way we're going to do that                                                                    
     is  through outreach  and finding  out, with  the local                                                                    
     communities,  what their  tolerance is,  and what  they                                                                    
     need, and  what they can  do.  We have  to do a  lot of                                                                    
     interviewing  and finding  out a  lot of  research, and                                                                    
     then  finding out  what, ...  legally, as  far as  four                                                                    
     entities coming together, what we  can do and can't do.                                                                    
     So  that's  a big  portion  of  it, probably  than  the                                                                    
     technical   functionality  that   we're  going   to  be                                                                    
     testing.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  STINSON pointed  out that  an opportunity  exists with  some                                                               
local governments, such as in  the Fairbanks area, for some sites                                                               
to perhaps trade services so that no money will change hands.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1361                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  STINSON  brought attention  to  the  ninth page,  "Technical                                                               
Scope."   She noted that  it goes  over the different  areas that                                                               
will be touched on.  She said:                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Wide-area connectivity  is one  of the big  ones, where                                                                    
     we  have  two  controllers  - where  DOD  will  have  a                                                                    
     controller and we'll  have a controller -  and we check                                                                    
     redundancy.   When  the World  Trade Center  went down,                                                                    
     they lost all  their antennas on one  building and lost                                                                    
     an  awful lot  of communications  when that  went down.                                                                    
     So redundancy is ... a big issue.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. STINSON  indicated the airport  and municipality  are running                                                               
on an  800-megahertz system,  which is  different from  this one;                                                               
there  is a  need  for "connectivity"  in that  regard.   As  for                                                               
"remote FAA  ANICS connectivity," that  is a big issue  for rural                                                               
Alaska.    For some  areas  lacking  connectivity now,  satellite                                                               
communications are probably  fine, she said, but there  is a need                                                               
to check whether real-time performance is acceptable.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  STINSON mentioned  Anchorage-to-Juneau performance  testing,                                                               
but said  the "big  one" is  interoperability with  the Fairbanks                                                               
public safety  responders.  She  explained, "If Fairbanks  gets a                                                               
consolidated dispatch center up and  the military is online, then                                                               
we  can  try full  capabilities  and  features, and  run  through                                                               
scenarios of  terrorism, or  whatever, with  ... all  the players                                                               
involved."    Regarding  an   [evaluation]  of  "multiple  vendor                                                               
subscriber equipment," Ms.  Stinson said there has been  a lot of                                                               
interest in making sure "that we  don't sole-source in one way or                                                               
another."  She noted  that the goal is to have  the system up and                                                               
online by the end of summer/September.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1484                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. STINSON continued with the  eighth page, turning attention to                                                               
the bottom portion,  "State Funding Summary:   Project Phases And                                                               
Estimated Costs."   She pointed out that Major  General Oates had                                                               
discussed   this  already,   then  reported   that  the   concept                                                               
demonstration project [Phase 0] is  estimated to cost $5 million,                                                               
a rough estimate  until it is sent  out to bid in  the next month                                                               
or two.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1510                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI  offered  her  understanding  from  Ms.                                                               
Stinson's   testimony  that   communities  would   be  approached                                                               
regarding their tolerance levels and  what they would or wouldn't                                                               
support.    She  referred  to the  indication  that  the  concept                                                               
demonstration  project   may  be   determined  by  some   of  the                                                               
information  obtained  from  the business  practices  evaluation.                                                               
She  asked   what  the   state  is   seeking  from   this  public                                                               
interviewing process.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SMITH  clarified  that  Ms. Stinson  was  referring  to  the                                                               
community of users - police  officers, fire responders, ambulance                                                               
personnel, and  so forth.   He also suggested the  average person                                                               
would believe  the interconnectivity  is more  sophisticated than                                                               
it really is.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  STINSON  noted  that  people in  the  Fairbanks  North  Star                                                               
Borough had recently said they have  55 radios, and if the charge                                                               
is  $20  per radio,  per  month,  they  cannot  afford it.    She                                                               
explained  the  need to  see  what  the  tolerances are  in  that                                                               
regard, and then determine whether  the state is trying to recoup                                                               
the infrastructure  costs, for example,  or just  provide public-                                                               
safety-responder  communication gear  and  make sure  maintenance                                                               
can be  paid for.   She  mentioned an  exchange in  which perhaps                                                               
Fairbanks would maintain the site,  and then Fairbanks could have                                                               
its radios on there for free.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1663                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   MURKOWSKI   asked   whether,  based   on   these                                                               
conversations  with potential  users, the  scope may  be lessened                                                               
because of fiscal intolerance from various communities.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. STINSON specified that the  $5 million is money identified to                                                               
do the business model and  "secure initial equipment money."  She                                                               
added, "Based on  that, perhaps the other numbers  will change in                                                               
Phase 1, 2, 3, and 4."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1713                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CHENAULT thanked the testifiers  and asked that they attend                                                               
a further meeting.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1757                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR GENERAL  OATES requested guidance  on a  possible direction                                                               
or areas  of interest.   He offered  that the  basic presentation                                                               
had been covered.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. STINSON  added, "We are  working on a one-pager  that perhaps                                                               
will make it easier."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CHENAULT  agreed to  provide some direction.   [HB  324 was                                                               
held over.]                                                                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects