Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

01/30/2018 01:30 PM MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
+= HJR 17 HMONG VETERANS MILITARY BURIAL RIGHTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHJR 17(MLV) Out of Committee
*+ HB 307 MILITARY JUSTICE & MILITIA CIVIL RELIEF TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         HB 307-MILITARY JUSTICE & MILITIA CIVIL RELIEF                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:45:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK  announced that the  final order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL NO.  307,  "An  Act requiring  a  person who  commits                                                               
certain offenses under  the code of military  justice to register                                                               
as  a   sex  offender  or   child  kidnapper;  relating   to  the                                                               
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act; relating  to contracts made by a                                                               
member  of   the  organized  militia;  relating   to  nonjudicial                                                               
punishment  of  members of  the  organized  militia; relating  to                                                               
offenses subject to court-martial  proceedings; and providing for                                                               
an effective date."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK, as  prime sponsor of HB 307,  paraphrased the sponsor                                                               
statement,   which   read   as  follows   [original   punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     In an  effort to continue  to modernize and  update the                                                                    
     Alaska   Military  Code,   House   Bill  307   provides                                                                    
     statutory  changes to  incorporate recent  updates from                                                                    
     the  Federal Uniform  Code of  Military Justice  (UCMJ)                                                                    
     and Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     In  2016, Alaska's  military  command  worked with  the                                                                    
     legislature  to  pass  the   Alaska  Code  of  Military                                                                    
     Justice  (ACMJ) to  provide greater  ability to  pursue                                                                    
     and   prosecute   those  servicemembers   who   violate                                                                    
     military  rules  and protocols.  House  Bill  307 is  a                                                                    
     continuation of those efforts.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     House Bill  307 would  update crimes recognized  by the                                                                    
     UCMJ,  establish   a  procedure  within  the   code  of                                                                    
     military  justice for  a service  member who  commits a                                                                    
     sexual offense to  register as a sex  offender or child                                                                    
     kidnapper, update  offenses that are subject  to court-                                                                    
     martial  proceedings  and update  consumer  protections                                                                    
     for service members.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     In   close  and   continuing   consultation  with   the                                                                    
     Department  of Military  and Veterans  Affairs, we  are                                                                    
     continuing our  efforts to  guaranteeing the  safety of                                                                    
     Alaskans  and  the   security  of  our  law-enforcement                                                                    
     procedures.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Updating the  ACMJ regularly is a  critical response to                                                                    
     the always-evolving military  justice system, and vital                                                                    
     to maintaining good order and  discipline in the Alaska                                                                    
     Organized Militia,  so it is timely  and necessary that                                                                    
     we  pass   HB  307.  I   urge  your  support   of  this                                                                    
     legislation.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:47:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BOB    DOEHL,     Deputy    Commissioner,    Office     of    the                                                               
Commissioner/Adjutant   General,   Department   of   Military   &                                                               
Veterans' Affairs (DMVA), stated  that DMVA welcomes and supports                                                               
HB  307,  which   builds  on  the  bi-partisan   efforts  led  by                                                               
Representative LeDoux a couple years  ago in House Bill 26, which                                                               
provided  a  viable Alaska  Code  of  Military Justice.    Deputy                                                               
Commissioner Doehl said he considers  HB 307 "ongoing maintenance                                                               
and tweaks  to that, rather  than a huge  overhaul."  He  said HB                                                               
307 "keeps us in  sync with the good ideas that  have come out on                                                               
the federal side."  He continued:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     We   believe  the   provisions  that   prohibit  sexual                                                                    
     relationships  between military  personnel in  the same                                                                    
     chain of  command ... and  situations of  special trust                                                                    
     is  consistent  with  ...  civilian  criminal  law  for                                                                    
     similar  situations, such  as prisoner  and corrections                                                                    
     officer,   teacher  and   student,  where   consent  is                                                                    
     problematic.   We  welcome ...  the  opportunity for  a                                                                    
     service member convicted of ...  a sexual assault under                                                                    
     the ACMJ to  also have to register at  the sex offender                                                                    
     registry  that  we think  fills  an  important gap,  in                                                                    
     terms of  ... avoiding a  predator situation.   We also                                                                    
     believe   that   the  provision   preventing   military                                                                    
     personnel from  rejecting non-judicial  punishment [is]                                                                    
     akin to a parking ticket  and favor of pursuing a court                                                                    
     martial  to  settle  minor disciplinary  matters  as  a                                                                    
     necessary step forward.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:49:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  COLONEL CHRISTOPHER  WEAVER,  Judge Advocate,  Alaska                                                               
National Guard  Joint Staff, Department  of Military  & Veterans'                                                               
Affairs  (DMVA),  stated that  under  HB  307, a  service  member                                                               
convicted under the Alaska Military  Code of Justice (ACMJ) would                                                               
have  to register  just as  a  civilian convicted  for a  similar                                                               
crime would have  to do.  The proposed legislation  would allow a                                                               
service   member  "to   deploy   within  the   state  for   civil                                                               
emergencies" and would give specificity  to current provisions on                                                               
the rights  of service  members who are  deployed.   He indicated                                                               
that the bill addresses liabilities  to military members that may                                                               
have  issues related  to  phone contracts,  cable,  or rent,  but                                                               
cannot  address these  issues because  of  deployment within  the                                                               
state.   He said HB 307  would remove the "no  turndown provision                                                               
of  the nonjudicial  punishment,  currently the  ...  ACMJ."   He                                                               
explained, "This  means that  a service  member accused  of minor                                                               
offenses  ... that  don't rise  to a  court martial  level cannot                                                               
choose  an  expensive  court martial  instead  of  repeating  the                                                               
nonjudicial punishment."  Lieutenant  Colonel Weaver reminded the                                                               
committee  that  nonjudicial  punishment involves  a  commander's                                                               
inherent authority to discipline.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  COLONEL WEAVER  said  HB 307  would  also update  the                                                               
current  ACMJ  with  substantive  offenses  recently  adopted  by                                                               
Congress  for the  federal ACMJ.   He  said any  of the  offenses                                                               
listed affect  reoccurring issues within the  military worldwide.                                                               
For example,  retaliation is  a major  concern, and  Congress has                                                               
made retaliation  an offense  within the federal  ACMJ.   He said                                                               
the retaliation  provision under HB  307 is found in  Section 18,                                                               
on page 11,  and it comes close to mirroring  the federal Whistle                                                               
Blower  Protection Act.   He  said  the bill  also addresses  the                                                               
issue of  special trust.   He gave  the example that  a recruiter                                                               
has a  special trust  with a  recruit, and  under HB  307, sexual                                                               
activities between the  two would be prohibited in the  ACMJ.  He                                                               
said another  provision addresses  "recording a  person's private                                                               
areas without  consent," for example,  filming a  military member                                                               
who is in the shower.  This would be prohibited under HB 307.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:55:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD requested more  detail on Sections 21 and                                                               
22.   She said  she would  like to know  if Section  22 addresses                                                               
drugs as well as alcohol.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT   COLONEL   WEAVER    said   that   "drunkenness   and                                                               
incapacitating offenses" comes from ACMJ  and the Uniform Code of                                                               
Military Justice (UCMJ) via "the  general article."  He explained                                                               
that there  are articles in  the UCMJ that require  an additional                                                               
element, such as  being detrimental to good  order and discipline                                                               
or reflecting badly on service.   He said, "What the Congress has                                                               
done is they  moved it into a substantive crime,  into a specific                                                               
crime, into  the UCMJ -  and that's  the proposal here  under the                                                               
ACMJ - to ... make any kind  of member or sentinel or anybody who                                                               
has a  position who would be  drunk on duty or  unable to perform                                                               
the  duty."   He said  in the  military there  are situations  in                                                               
which personnel may  use large machinery or weapons  and any kind                                                               
of incapacitation would be prohibitive.   He said it doesn't have                                                               
to be an  illegal drug; it could  be any kind of  drug that could                                                               
affect someone's ability to be on guard duty, for example.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  said Section  22 addresses  being drunk,                                                               
while  Section  21  addresses   drugs  "or  other  incapacitating                                                               
offenses".  She asked if the date rape drug is included.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  COLONEL  WEAVER  answered, "It  includes  all  drugs,                                                               
whether over  the counter  or not."   In terms  of the  date rape                                                               
drug, he said  these sections do not address  giving someone else                                                               
a  drug,  but  rather  they  address  taking  a  drug  that  then                                                               
incapacitates  the  person  who  has  taken  it  from  performing                                                               
his/her duty.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:00:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER  DOEHL added that  the intent was  to include                                                               
any sort of  chemically induced incapacitation in  Section 22, as                                                               
well.   He said an amendment  may be helpful.   He clarified that                                                               
his department's desire  is that a person's  taking anything that                                                               
induces an altered state would be actionable.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD said  she would  be happy  to have  this                                                               
clarification in the bill and would help formulate an amendment.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:01:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  questioned the exclusion of  a sentinel                                                               
and lookout.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT COLONEL WEAVER offered  his understanding that that is                                                               
addressed in Section  23.  He said it is  two separate crimes and                                                               
the UCMJ has separated the two crimes.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SPOHNHOLZ   offered   her   understanding   that                                                               
Lieutenant  Colonel  Weaver was  saying  that  the sentinels  and                                                               
lookouts are addressed in Section 23.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT COLONEL WEAVER confirmed that is correct.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:02:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  asked  why,  in  section  21,  there  is                                                               
reference to both alcohol and drugs,  while Sections 22 and 23 do                                                               
not reference both.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT COLONEL WEAVER  said he thinks it  would be worthwhile                                                               
for the department to take a look at that.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  noted  that  Section  23  references  "a                                                               
lookout or  sentinel who  wrongfully sits down".   He  stated his                                                               
understanding that  a soldier's general orders  include walking a                                                               
post in a  military manner, which he assumed  means "standing and                                                               
awake."  He asked if that was not "incorporated by inclusion."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  COLONEL  WEAVER  indicated  that it  depends  on  the                                                               
situation, for  example, if  [the soldier]  was ordered  to "walk                                                               
around" but was not doing so.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER observed  that Sections  15-22 look  like                                                               
issues  that the  federal  UCMJ covers.   He  asked  if there  is                                                               
something in  Alaska's State Military  Code that could  allow the                                                               
adoption  of "these  significant  changes and  additions just  by                                                               
reference."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT COLONEL  WEAVER answered  that that  is one  method of                                                               
doing  it, which  other  states  are utilizing.    He said,  "The                                                               
Alaska method  has been  to specify each  offense and  update the                                                               
codes as the codes need updating."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:05:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK  indicated that one  advantage to the updating  of the                                                               
codes is  to allow  military service personnel  to look  up codes                                                               
and be able to identify them clearly.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  asked if  that meant that  redundancy was                                                               
acceptable as  long as it  meant there was "clarity  of reference                                                               
and application."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  TUCK  responded   yes.    He  added   that  sometimes  the                                                               
provisions  under  code are  moved  in  order for  everything  to                                                               
"follow logical order."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:06:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   PARISH   asked    what   the   potential   legal                                                               
consequences would be if the  Alaska Code of Military Justice was                                                               
out of step with the UCMJ.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT COLONEL  WEAVER answered that  he does not  know about                                                               
legal consequences.   He said the ACMJ and UCMJ  aim to provide a                                                               
disciplined military  force, both overseas and  domestically, and                                                               
this happens when  the Alaska military force mirrors  that of the                                                               
national force.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH  said he  thinks  that  is "a  commendable                                                               
goal."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:07:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SADDLER  directed   attention   to  Section   7,                                                               
beginning on  page 6, [which  refers to the  Servicemembers Civil                                                               
Relief Act],  and he asked  for a  briefing as to  the providence                                                               
and provisions of the Act.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:08:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER  DOEHL stated  that the  Servicemembers Civil                                                               
Relief  Act (SCRA)  "is a  federal body  of law,  which arose  to                                                               
protect  servicemembers from  being penalized  for things  beyond                                                               
their  control  as incident  to  military  duty on  the  civilian                                                               
side."  For example, a service  member ordered to relocate is not                                                               
liable  for the  duration  of the  payments on  a  lease for  the                                                               
period  after  relocation.    Other  services  that  would  apply                                                               
include Internet and  athletic clubs.  He said  the original SCRA                                                               
has  existed for  decades  and was  re-codified  recently on  the                                                               
federal side to bring it up to date.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  said  he  would  like  more  information                                                               
regarding the provisions of the SCRA  before it came time to vote                                                               
on  HB 307.   He  then asked  if the  SCRA pertains  to long-  or                                                               
short-term deployments.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER  DOEHL answered, "It  is designed to  cover a                                                               
timespan where  it is  no longer feasible  to retain  a service."                                                               
He  said that  would probably  not  be a  weekend deployment  but                                                               
certainly would cover a 90-day deployment.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER asked  why it would be  necessary to apply                                                               
[the  SCRA] to  the organized  militia.   He said  he understands                                                               
that the  Alaska National  Guard, the  Alaska Naval  Militia, and                                                               
the State Defense Force are  considered organized militia, and he                                                               
questioned  why it  is  necessary to  include  the State  Defense                                                               
Force in Section 6.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER  DOEHL answered there are  federal provisions                                                               
for  when the  Alaska Naval  Militia or  the two  Alaska National                                                               
Guard  components  are in  a  federal  status.   He  said,  "This                                                               
provision deals with when placed into  a state active duty for an                                                               
extended period."  For example,  for disaster recovery operations                                                               
lasting six  months to  a year,  where militia  are called  to do                                                               
state active duty away from  their primary residences "where they                                                               
would have these  services lined up."  He concluded,  "So, to the                                                               
extent  the Alaska  organized militia  is put  into state  active                                                               
service,  these  provisions  would  apply."   In  response  to  a                                                               
follow-up question, he said while  there has been no circumstance                                                               
to  date wherein  members of  the Alaska  organized militia  have                                                               
been placed  into active  duty for  more than  90 days,  he could                                                               
envision that happening in case of  a disaster, such as a tsunami                                                               
that affects several  communities.  He said he based  that on the                                                               
relief efforts  following Hurricane  Katrina, where 90-  and 179-                                                               
day  tours  were common.    No  one  was  sent from  Alaska,  but                                                               
something could happen within the state.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  asked if there is  any compensation given                                                               
to military personnel required to  relocate for more than 90 days                                                               
- "any moving  pay or allowances that might be  redundant to what                                                               
the SCRA provides."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER  DOEHL answered that the  department provides                                                               
pamphlets  listing the  specter  of SCRA  benefits available,  as                                                               
well  as some  exemplar  packets from  active services  regarding                                                               
permanent  change of  station  information.   He  said the  short                                                               
answer,  though, is  no.   The military  pays for  the following:                                                               
the  cost of  moving household  goods from  point A  to point  B;                                                               
travel  costs for  the military  member and  his/her family;  and                                                               
other incidental  costs, such as any  period of time a  member is                                                               
in transient housing before more  permanent housing is available.                                                               
There is  no funding available for  contract severance penalties,                                                               
he said.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:15:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  summarized that [under HB  307], if the                                                               
department deems it  necessary to relocate a  military member for                                                               
official  duty of  at least  90  days, then  the military  member                                                               
would not have  to pay his/her cable bill, for  example, while on                                                               
deployment.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER  DOEHL answered yes,  but said he  would like                                                               
to check on the part about 90 days.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  pointed to  language beginning  on page                                                               
6, line 18, which read as follows:                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     if the member receives official orders to relocate for                                                                     
     a period of military service of at least 90 days to a                                                                      
     location that does not support the contract and the                                                                        
     member provides written notice to the service provider                                                                     
     as required under (c) of this section:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:16:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER asked  if a  person who  serves with  the                                                               
Alaska State  Defense Force selected  for training and sent  to a                                                               
Lower  48 facility  would be  on  active state  service for  that                                                               
period  and eligible  for protections  under the  SCRA and  other                                                               
provision of HB 307.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER  DOEHL said conceivably the  department could                                                               
put an Alaska  State Defense Force member in  state activity duty                                                               
into  out-of-state training  in excess  of 90  days; however,  he                                                               
added that  he cannot fathom  that ever happening.   He explained                                                               
that as a matter of course,  the department does not place Alaska                                                               
State Defense  Force members in  state active duty  for training.                                                               
He added, "Some have volunteered on  their own time, but we don't                                                               
pay."                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER   asked  if  the  provider   of  Internet                                                               
service, for example,  would - under the provisions  of Section 6                                                               
- have to "eat that" or just "accept that's the way that is."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DOEHL answered that's correct.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER remarked that a  better way to put that is                                                               
that "that could be their contribution to national defense."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DOEHL responded that's correct.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:18:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  TUCK  commented,  "Although  they  may  have  a  contract,                                                               
they're not obligated to provide any  more service, as well.  So,                                                               
it's  not  like  they're  out  of money,  just  out  of  ...  the                                                               
contract."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK announced that HB 307 was held over.                                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB307 Sponsor Statement 1.26.18.pdf HMLV 1/30/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 307
HB 307 Sectional Analysis 1.26.18.pdf HMLV 1/30/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 307
HB307 Fiscal Note DPS 1.28.18.pdf HMLV 1/30/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 307
HB307 Fiscal Note MVA 1.26.18.pdf HMLV 1/30/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 307
HB307- Supporting Document - SCRA Enhancements 1.29.18.pdf HMLV 1/30/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 307
HJR017D.1(amendment).pdf HMLV 1/30/2018 1:30:00 PM
HJR 17