Legislature(2011 - 2012)CAPITOL 120

02/08/2011 01:00 PM MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS


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01:03:51 PM Start
01:04:53 PM HB27
01:17:33 PM Eo 115 - Realigning the Oversight Authority of the Alaska Aerospace Corporation
02:23:28 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 27 DISPOSITION OF SERVICE MEMBERS' REMAINS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 27(MLV) Out of Committee
+ SB 33 DISPOSITION OF SERVICE MEMBERS' REMAINS TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
(Companion Bill)
*+ EO115 - REALIGNING THE OVERSIGHT AUTHORITY TELECONFERENCED
OF THE ALASKA AEROSPACE CORPORATION
         HB  27-DISPOSITION OF SERVICE MEMBERS' REMAINS                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:04:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SADDLER  announced that  the  first  order of  business                                                               
would be HOUSE  BILL NO. 27, "An Act relating  to the disposition                                                               
of remains of  a member of the military if  the member dies while                                                               
in a duty status."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:05:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR THOMPSON  moved to adopt  the committee  substitute (CS)                                                               
for proposed  HB 27, Version B,  27-LS0191\B, Bannister, 1/26/11,                                                               
as the  working document.   There being  no objection,  Version B                                                               
was before the committee.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:05:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CECILE ELLIOTT,  Staff, Representative Bill Thomas,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  explained that  HB  27, Version  B,  would close  a                                                               
loophole  in statute  in  order to  acknowledge  and support  the                                                               
wishes of those  who are serving our country.   The Department of                                                               
Defense  requires  all  service members,  reservists,  and  guard                                                               
members  complete a  record of  emergency data  - DD  Form 93  or                                                               
CG2020D - which  directs and authorizes the  disposition of human                                                               
remains.   Alaska state law  does not currently  recognize either                                                               
form, and  this ambiguity can  add an additional layer  of stress                                                               
to  grieving  families.   Much  care  and  honor  is given  to  a                                                               
deceased soldier, and  CSHB 27 allows for a  smooth transition at                                                               
home and follows the service members' directives.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:06:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO asked  if there is a  difference between the                                                               
terms "armed services" and "armed forces."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ELLIOT   responded  that  the  term   "armed  services"  was                                                               
incorporated  in  the CS  to  encompass  the  U. S.  Coast  Guard                                                               
(Guard).                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:07:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SADDLER  called  attention  to  a  memo  found  in  the                                                               
committee packet  from Representative  Thomas that  clarifies the                                                               
changes in the CS regarding the Guard.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:07:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK  SAN  SOUCI,  Regional  Liaison   for  Military  Families  -                                                               
Northwest,  Defense State  Liaison Office,  Office of  the Deputy                                                               
Assistant  Secretary  of  Defense,   Deputy  Under  Secretary  of                                                               
Defense  (DUSD),   U.S.  Department  of  Defense,   informed  the                                                               
committee this  issue has surfaced  because military  people fill                                                               
out  a federal  form that  is frequently  not aligned  with state                                                               
statutes. He gave an example  of a service member, estranged from                                                               
his  wife, who  picked  his  brother to  be  responsible for  his                                                               
remains  if   he  died.     State  law,  however,   defaults  the                                                               
responsibility to  the surviving spouse  and, after his  death, a                                                               
conflict within the  family arose.  Corrective  measures by other                                                               
states  have  been endorsed  by  the  National Funeral  Directors                                                               
Association; in fact,  a majority of states  already recognize DD                                                               
Form  93,  or  are  currently  considering  amendments  to  their                                                               
statutes  to do  so.   He noted  that the  Senate companion  bill                                                               
passed.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:10:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SADDLER surmised  the CS  aligns the  House and  Senate                                                               
versions of the bill.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:10:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAN  SOUCI credited Alaska legislative  staff with correcting                                                               
the omission of the Guard.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:10:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VERDIE BOWEN, Director, Office of  Veteran Affairs, Department of                                                               
Military  & Veterans'  Affairs (DMVA),  related that  an incident                                                               
similar to  the example given  occurred in Alaska, and  he opined                                                               
passage  of  the proposed  legislation  would  prevent this  from                                                               
happening.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:11:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RIC DAVIDGE,  President, Vietnam  Veterans of  America, expressed                                                               
his appreciation  to legislative staff  for amending the  bill to                                                               
include Guard members.   He explained that notifying  next of kin                                                               
can be  very difficult;  in fact,  his organization  is sometimes                                                               
called  upon to  recognize the  passing  of a  veteran if  family                                                               
members cannot be located.   Local funeral homes and the National                                                               
Cemetery  Association are  very helpful  in these  circumstances.                                                               
Mr.  Davidge  urged  the  committee  to  pass  the  bill  out  of                                                               
committee as soon as possible.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:13:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  described a situation in  which a soldier's                                                               
burial  wishes were  ignored.   He  said that  type of  situation                                                               
would be prevented by the passage of the bill.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:14:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SADDLER  said  he was  impressed  with  the  military's                                                               
efforts to take care of its own.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:14:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SADDLER closed public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:14:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR THOMPSON  moved to report  the committee  substitute for                                                               
HB 27, Version 27-LS0191\B, Bannister,  1/26/11, out of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  There being no  objection, CSHB 27(MLV) was reported from                                                               
the  House Special  Committee on  Military and  Veterans' Affairs                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 27.pdf HMLV 2/8/2011 1:00:00 PM
CSHB 27.pdf HMLV 2/8/2011 1:00:00 PM
CSHB 27 changes ltr head.pdf HMLV 2/8/2011 1:00:00 PM
MEMO hearing req HB27.pdf HMLV 2/8/2011 1:00:00 PM
DD Form 93.pdf HMLV 2/8/2011 1:00:00 PM
DOD Support.pdf HMLV 2/8/2011 1:00:00 PM
List of states.pdf HMLV 2/8/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 27 Testifier List.pdf HMLV 2/8/2011 1:00:00 PM
EO 115.pdf HMLV 2/8/2011 1:00:00 PM
EO 115 Transmittal Memo from Clerk.pdf HMLV 2/8/2011 1:00:00 PM
EO 115 Transmittal Ltr from Governor.pdf HMLV 2/8/2011 1:00:00 PM
EO 115 Fiscal Notes.pdf HMLV 2/8/2011 1:00:00 PM
Sponsor Statement HB 27.pdf HMLV 2/8/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB027-DMVA-VS-2-7-11 v2.pdf HMLV 2/8/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
2-7-11 ltr of support for HR27 (2).pdf HMLV 2/8/2011 1:00:00 PM
2-7-11 ltr of support to House for HR27.pdf HMLV 2/8/2011 1:00:00 PM