Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

02/06/2018 01:00 PM MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as
Download Video part 1. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 262 MILITARY SPOUSE COURTESY LICENSE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 307 MILITARY JUSTICE & MILITIA CIVIL RELIEF TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
            HB 262-MILITARY SPOUSE COURTESY LICENSE                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:04:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK  announced that the  first order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO. 262,  "An  Act  relating to  temporary  courtesy                                                               
licenses for  certain nonresident professionals; and  relating to                                                               
the   Department    of   Commerce,   Community,    and   Economic                                                               
Development."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:04:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SCOTT   KAWASAKI,  Alaska   State   Legislature,                                                               
explained that HB  262 is a culmination of  many discussions that                                                               
took  place over  several  years  regarding expediting  temporary                                                               
courtesy  licenses.   In  2011,  House Bill  28,  [passed in  the                                                               
Twenty-Seventh  Alaska  State   Legislature],  allowed  expedited                                                               
temporary  courtesy  licenses  for   spouses  of  Armed  Services                                                               
members  so   they  could   practice  their   profession  without                                                               
experiencing   extensive  wait-times   for  licensure   approval.                                                               
Similar legislation has passed in  other states; however, several                                                               
states,  such  as  the  States  of  Washington  and  Connecticut,                                                               
include a reporting mechanism to  the legislature and Joint Armed                                                               
Services Committees wherein  the state can track  the progress of                                                               
the  executive  branches'  implementation of  those  occupational                                                               
boards.  He noted that House  Bill 28 did not include a reporting                                                               
requirement  when  it  was  enacted.     In  the  Fall  of  2017,                                                               
legislators voiced concern that  the full implementation of House                                                               
Bill  28 was  not yet  completed  and that  not all  occupational                                                               
boards  were   aware  of  the  seven-year-old   statute.    While                                                               
questions remain, HB  262 simply seeks to  strengthen the ability                                                               
of those  military spouses in obtaining  occupational licenses in                                                               
an efficient  and expedited  manner as prescribed  by law.   This                                                               
legislation seeks to  amend Title 8 to include  the Department of                                                               
Commerce, Community  & Economic Development (DCCED)  such that it                                                               
prepares an annual report of  the courtesy licenses issued in the                                                               
previous fiscal  year.  He  commented that this  simple reporting                                                               
mechanism  will help  to  facilitate  communications between  the                                                               
legislative branch,  the executive  branch, and  the occupational                                                               
boards that  oversee those licenses,  he described.   Thereby, he                                                               
said,  this  legislation  will  help  facilitate  those  military                                                               
spouses  in  getting  back  into  the  workforce  as  quickly  as                                                               
possible.   The  passage of  HB 262  will improve  communications                                                               
between those  boards, the departments, and  the legislature, and                                                               
it  will  improve  the  efficiency   and  awareness  as  to  what                                                               
opportunities  are  available.   He  urged  the support  of  this                                                               
corrective bill and described that it  is in the best interest of                                                               
improving  communications and  accountability  and helping  those                                                               
military families transition into their new life in this state.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:07:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  referred  to   HB  262,  Section  1,  AS                                                               
08.01.063(f), page 2, lines 3-9, which read as follows:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          (f)  The   department  shall  submit   the  report                                                                    
     prepared under (e)  of this section to  the Joint Armed                                                                    
     Services Committee on  or before the first  day of each                                                                    
     regular session  of the legislature.   In addition, the                                                                    
     department  shall  consolidate   the  two  most  recent                                                                    
     reports   and  submit   a   biennial   report  to   the                                                                    
     legislature on  or before  the first  day of  the first                                                                    
     regular session  of each  legislature.   The department                                                                    
     shall  deliver a  copy of  the biennial  report to  the                                                                    
     senate secretary  and the chief  clerk of the  house of                                                                    
     representatives  and notify  the  legislature that  the                                                                    
     report is available.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SADDLER   asked  why   Representative   Kawasaki                                                               
directed  that  the  report  go   to  the  Joint  Armed  Services                                                               
Committee  because if  the report  is  also going  to the  senate                                                               
secretary  and  chief clerk,  why  does  it  need  to go  to  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI  responded  that  that  is  a  technical                                                               
question for his staff member,  William Jodwalis.  He opined that                                                               
the  purpose of  the report  going  to the  Joint Armed  Services                                                               
Committee  is  because  it  will get  to  more  legislators  more                                                               
quickly.   The report will  also go  to the senate  secretary and                                                               
the chief clerk  because "sometimes we do get  those reports, and                                                               
other times we don't," he pointed out.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:08:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WILLIAM  JODWALIS, Staff,  Representative Scott  Kawasaki, Alaska                                                               
State   Legislature,   responded  to   Representative   Saddler's                                                               
previous question and advised that  the report would be presented                                                               
to the  Joint Armed  Services Committee  annually.   He explained                                                               
that  it would  be two  reports during  the first  year, and  the                                                               
second year  would be bi-annually  presented to  the legislature.                                                               
The  idea  of the  report  being  presented  to the  Joint  Armed                                                               
Services  Committee is  so that  the information  can get  to the                                                               
military community  more efficiently.   The information  would be                                                               
passed on to  legislators who may have districts  that would more                                                               
directly  be  affected with  the  content  of  that report.    As                                                               
Representative  Kawasaki  advised,  this legislation  is  modeled                                                               
after the States of Washington and Connecticut, he reiterated.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:10:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  asked  whether  the  sponsor  considered                                                               
drafting the legislation  such that the one-year  report would be                                                               
delivered  to "everybody"  one-year, and  the two-year  bi-annual                                                               
report would  go "everybody" the second  year, if the goal  is to                                                               
provide the information  to as many people as possible  and in as                                                               
broad a reach as possible.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.   JODWALIS  answered   that   the   sponsor  would   consider                                                               
Representative Saddler's suggestion.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:10:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER asked the name  of the sponsor of the 2011                                                               
House Bill 28 courtesy license bill.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. JODWALIS  replied that he  could get that information  to the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:11:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  referred to the sponsor's  statement that                                                               
this bill would increase  communications between different boards                                                               
and commissions,  and he asked  how reporting to  the legislature                                                               
would improve communications between boards and commissions.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JODWALIS  responded  that the  requirements  of  the  report                                                               
direct that the  department work with the boards  in drafting the                                                               
report.   He  explained  that the  department  would compile  the                                                               
report  after  working  with  the  various  occupational  boards,                                                               
determine what is being done,  what better efforts could be taken                                                               
to fit  the requirements of the  report as outlined in  the bill;                                                               
submit the report  to the Joint Armed Services  Committee; and to                                                               
the legislature bi-annually.  The  intent, he advised, is that it                                                               
would facilitate  communications.  He opined  that the Department                                                               
of Defense suggested that  those states experiencing difficulties                                                               
with  the implementation  of their  military spouse  occupational                                                               
licensure situation  would review the  examples of the  States of                                                               
Washington and Connecticut.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:12:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER suggested  that rather  than sending  the                                                               
information solely to the boards  authorized to issue a temporary                                                               
license, that  the legislature might  encourage "a little  bit of                                                               
an initiative" by  sending that notice to all of  the boards with                                                               
the thought that they might  decide to follow the same procedure.                                                               
He commented  that he  appreciates efforts  to make  the courtesy                                                               
license information  more publicly  available, and he  noted that                                                               
he may  come forward with  an amendment  to broaden the  scope of                                                               
the distribution.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. JODWALIS thanked Representative Saddler for his suggestion.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK asked Representative Saddler  to depict the boards and                                                               
commissions he would include in the potential amendment.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  responded that it  is with regard  to all                                                               
boards and commissions.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:13:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  asked whether the sponsor  anticipates a                                                               
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JODWALIS answered  that the  sponsor does  not anticipate  a                                                               
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:14:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SADDLER  referred   to  the   sponsor's  opening                                                               
statement  that  reporting would  increase  the  activity of  the                                                               
executive branch and  asked whether that statement  was under the                                                               
theory  that  if more  people  knew  about  it, they  would  take                                                               
advantage of this opportunity.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. JODWALIS replied that concerns  were brought to the sponsor's                                                               
attention  by  the  Department of  Defense  through  the  updated                                                               
preliminary  funding  of  the Eielson  Air  Force  Base  Regional                                                               
Growth  Plan.    He  noted  that a  focus  group  among  military                                                               
families  had taken  place in  order to  determine the  potential                                                               
challenges in  moving to Eielson Air  Force Base in light  of the                                                               
arrival of the  F-35s.  He advised that included  within the bill                                                               
packet is  a comment regarding  the challenges for anyone  with a                                                               
license from  a different state who  is required to obtain  a new                                                               
license or certification  in Alaska.  The point of  House Bill 28                                                               
was  to reduce  the  sort of  challenges faced  in  2011, and  he                                                               
opined  that   the  sponsor  identified   some  of   the  issues.                                                               
Facilitating the  department further  and "getting  their fingers                                                               
in those  regulations and checking  with their boards,  that will                                                               
hopefully get us where we want to go," he offered.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:15:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  referred  to   HB  262,  Section  1,  AS                                                               
08.01.063(g), page 2, lines 13-16, which read as follows:                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          (g) ... The department  shall encourage the boards                                                                    
     to designate  a single employee  to serve as  the point                                                                    
     of  contact   for  public  information   and  inquiries                                                                    
     related  to temporary  courtesy  licenses for  military                                                                    
     spouses.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  advised that he previously  worked on the                                                               
Alaska Boards  and Commissions  and each board  does have  such a                                                               
person,  and  he suggested  that  it  might  be helpful  to  make                                                               
certain they  know the name of  the contact person, and  that the                                                               
person knows it is part of their duties.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:16:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  noted that everything in  this legislation                                                               
is a  good idea but commented  that it is sad  the bill regarding                                                               
temporary licenses  was passed in  2011, and the  legislature had                                                               
to pass another  bill to make certain the  boards and commissions                                                               
actually  understood   "what  we've  done."     It  appears  that                                                               
something  slipped through  the  cracks of  the executive  branch                                                               
during a  couple of  administrations, and  she asked  whether the                                                               
administration should  be advising its boards  and commissions as                                                               
to what is available.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. JODWALIS commented that the  sponsor asked himself those same                                                               
questions  and  opined  that  it  was a  matter  of  letting  the                                                               
foundation settle  a bit  in order  to see  the cracks,  and that                                                               
some  of  the cracks  were  not  anticipated.   For  instance,  a                                                               
licensed  acupuncturist  from  another  state  would  investigate                                                               
Alaska  "acupuncturist   license"  on   the  internet,   and  the                                                               
expedited military spouse licensing  information is listed off to                                                               
the  side under  "military licensing."    Due to  the spouse  not                                                               
being military  personnel, they may  not think that the  link off                                                               
to the  side directly applies.   Although, he pointed out,  it is                                                               
necessary that  the spouse  follow that link  in order  to obtain                                                               
the  additional paperwork  and receive  that expedited  licensure                                                               
privilege.   He offered  that the report  will reveal  the cracks                                                               
and hopefully after  everyone has reviewed the  report, they will                                                               
be fixed.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:19:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  commented  that  sometimes  entities  and                                                               
departments  prepare  reports  on   different  issues  and  those                                                               
reports  are  not  necessarily perused  to  the  greatest  extent                                                               
possible.   She suggested that  a concerted effort might  be made                                                               
to  work with  the  administration  to try  to  determine how  to                                                               
redesign a website, if that is the problem.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:20:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK advised  that the 2011 House Bill  28 was co-sponsored                                                               
by Representatives Bill  Thomas, Bob Herron, and  Eric Feige, all                                                               
of which are no longer serving in office.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:20:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  referred to  the previous  testimony of                                                               
Sarah Chambers, Deputy Director,  Workforce Investment Board, who                                                               
shared that 13,396 applications  were submitted for certification                                                               
or licensure last  year, of which approximately  70 were veterans                                                               
or military spouse-related.   This, she offered, may  be the case                                                               
of the "needle and the hay-stack"  wherein a light could be shown                                                               
on the needle  through HB 262, in order to  elevate the issue and                                                               
keep it on  everyone's mind.  She added that  when there are over                                                               
13,000  applications, there  could be  the natural  propensity to                                                               
lean  toward volume  processing and  less toward  the exceptions.                                                               
This discussion, she  pointed out, is about  unique exceptions in                                                               
which to  make note, and  she commended the sponsor  for bringing                                                               
the bill forward.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:22:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FRED  PARADY,   Deputy  Commissioner,  Department   of  Commerce,                                                               
Community  & Economic  Development (DCCED),  advised that  he was                                                               
available for questions.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  opined that  quite a  few of  these boards                                                               
and commissions from  which people would like  to obtain courtesy                                                               
licenses would be  under the Department of  Commerce, Community &                                                               
Economic Development (DCCED).                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARADY offered  to first provide a  background, and explained                                                               
that  the Division  of Corporations,  Business, and  Professional                                                               
Licensing handles  roughly 225,000  renewals for licenses  or new                                                               
licenses  each year,  roughly 1/3  corporations, 1/3  businesses,                                                               
and  1/3   professional.    Within  the   professional  licensing                                                               
category, it has  43 professions that the legislature  saw fit to                                                               
regulate, and 21 of those professions have boards.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:23:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  surmised  that  House  Bill  28  and  the                                                               
presentation  of  HB  262  sheds  some light  on  the  fact  that                                                               
military  spouses  are  experiencing difficulties  obtaining  the                                                               
courtesy licenses  enacted into law  in 2011.  She  asked whether                                                               
Mr. Parady had suggestions to remedy the situation.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARADY  advised that the department  was certainly responsive                                                               
to 2011  House Bill  28, it has  the department's  attention, and                                                               
the  department  shares  the  eagerness  to  serve  our  military                                                               
personnel.   After  the enactment  of House  Bill 28,  three best                                                               
practices were established by the  Department of Defense, each of                                                               
which   the  Department   of  Commerce,   Community  &   Economic                                                               
Development  has enacted.    He offered  those  best practice  as                                                               
follows:  licensure   by  endorsement  or  credentials;   if  the                                                               
credentials  approximate   the  department's   requirements;  the                                                               
application then moves to temporary  licensure for 360 days while                                                               
the  person  puts together  the  necessary  paperwork; and  those                                                               
military  applications  are expedited.    He  commented that  the                                                               
department does have  its focus on that "needle  in the haystack"                                                               
and that it  serves its residents.  He directed  the committee to                                                               
the   department's  webpage   and  acknowledged   that  "military                                                               
licensure"  is  a   sidebar  on  its  quick   links  because  the                                                               
department puts  everything that  is "in  common across  those 43                                                               
professions in one  link," and he would look to  see whether that                                                               
could be  [more user  friendly].   That link  "takes you  to this                                                               
page, and  it takes you  to a  one-page form that  clarifies your                                                               
military status."   Regardless  of whether  the person  fills out                                                               
that form, during  the time the department's  examiners review an                                                               
application  and observe  anything military  on the  application,                                                               
the  application goes  to the  top of  the list.   He  noted that                                                               
relative to the  Eielson Regional Growth Plan, there  is a "Tiger                                                               
Team" that meets in Fairbanks  regarding the upcoming growth with                                                               
the  stationing of  the F-35s.   He  advised that  he was  on the                                                               
telephone when  the Eielson Regional  Growth Plan  was presented,                                                               
noted  this potential  problem, and  spoke to  the fact  that the                                                               
department  is  supportive  to the  needs  of  military  spouses,                                                               
veterans, and  members to licensure.   The department  is focused                                                               
on the  project, the problem,  and it is  happy to do  better, he                                                               
offered.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:26:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  whether  this bill  would help  the                                                               
department do better and remain focused.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARADY advised that the department  is neutral on HB 262, the                                                               
addition in  statute of  an annual  reporting requirement  is the                                                               
will of  the legislature, communication  is always a  good thing,                                                               
and the department  is a telephone call away and  happy to report                                                               
to the legislature.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:26:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  referred to  Mr. Parady's  statement that                                                               
there are  43 professions and 21  of those have boards,  he asked                                                               
how many boards or commissions  currently offer military courtesy                                                               
licenses.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARADY responded that according to  the data in front of him,                                                               
the list  depicts 11 boards  that do not offer  military courtesy                                                               
licenses and  typically that is  because they either do  not have                                                               
an exam requirement or they are  unique licenses for Alaska.  For                                                               
example,  registered  or  assisted   guide  outfitters  who  must                                                               
demonstrate knowledge of Alaska's  game law; game transporter who                                                               
has a  reporting requirement in  the transportation of  big game;                                                               
marine pilots who  step on board and take command  of large ships                                                               
that  might  be  traveling  into  a  harbor  unfamiliar  to  that                                                               
captain,  or through  the Wrangell  Narrows, and  so forth.   The                                                               
boards that do  not offer military courtesy  licenses are limited                                                               
to specific reasons.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:28:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  offered a  scenario of a  military spouse                                                               
availing themselves  to one of  these professional  licenses, and                                                               
asked whether they pay a fee, and  if so, is it credited to their                                                               
eventual permanent professional license.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARADY related that he would  have to confirm his answer, and                                                               
he opined that they pay a fee just like any other applicant.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER noted  that  there  are individuals  with                                                               
professional licenses who certainly  support the military but are                                                               
concerned about  being asked to support  the professional license                                                               
of a possible competitor.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:28:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER referred to  the question of whether this                                                               
bill  would help  the department  "accomplish  better" and  asked                                                               
whether the department can accomplish better without the bill.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARADY  reiterated that the  department is neutral as  to the                                                               
bill and it  certainly has its attention focused  here.  Frankly,                                                               
he  stated,  within  the  Department  of  Commerce,  Community  &                                                               
Economic  Development  on  the  Commerce  side,  it  is  of  keen                                                               
interest  that the  Fairbanks military  expansion with  the F-35s                                                               
growth plans  come to fruition and  bear fruit for Alaskans.   He                                                               
explained that  what he is trying  to say is that  the department                                                               
is paying attention.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:29:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER requested  clarification that the Division                                                               
of Corporations,  Business, and Professional  Licensing currently                                                               
does  need a  single  person  to serve  as  the  point of  public                                                               
contact, or whether that is a position to be redirected.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARADY  deferred to Sara Chambers,  Deputy Division Director,                                                               
because she  is the lead.   He related that across  the 21 boards                                                               
there are approximately 150 or so  members, and they go through a                                                               
new  board  member  orientation and  board  training,  and  those                                                               
materials  include  reference  to   military  licensing  and  its                                                               
specific requirements.  He pointed  out that the department tries                                                               
to build it into the front loading of its new board members.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked whether the committee  would be able                                                               
to question Commissioner Robert Doehl or Sara Chambers.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  TUCK   advised  that  Sara  Chambers   was  not  currently                                                               
available as she was testifying in other committees.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:31:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT MR.  DOEHL, Deputy Commissioner, Department  of Military &                                                               
Veterans'  Affairs (DMVA),  advised  he was  available to  answer                                                               
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:31:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked that  when families arrive  on base,                                                               
whether part of  their orientation or procedure  makes clear that                                                               
special courtesy licenses are available.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL  responded that there  is not a mandatory  briefing for                                                               
military spouses  or children  arriving on  Alaskan bases  as the                                                               
service members are  required to attend briefings.   Although, he                                                               
acknowledged that the service member  may not advise their spouse                                                               
about  the licenses  but  that is  completely  controlled by  the                                                               
Department of Defense,  and currently spouses are  not briefed in                                                               
the United States locations.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:33:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX surmised  that  there is  not a  mandatory                                                               
briefing  or orientation  for military  spouses or  children, and                                                               
she asked  whether there is  some sort of voluntary  briefing for                                                               
those spouses who would like a briefing.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL  answered that they may,  as an option, attend  the end                                                               
briefing that  their service member  attends, but there is  not a                                                               
briefing focused on the needs of the spouse in the new location.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:33:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX commented that  without making it a federal                                                               
case, so to speak, could there be a spouse briefing.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL  replied that  the briefings  or orientations  given to                                                               
service members and their families  arriving on Alaska's military                                                               
bases are controlled  by the federal government,  and the federal                                                               
government  has  not  yet given  Alaska  sovereignty  over  those                                                               
briefings.   At  this point,  the department  could reach  out to                                                               
Citizens  Action Group  or other  groups in  which Representative                                                               
Saddler  regularly participates  with JBER  and ask  the base  to                                                               
consider that  option.  However, he  said, it would be  a federal                                                               
military decision as to what it offers.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  commented  that there  are  an  infinite                                                               
number  of  programs  available  that  exchange  information  and                                                               
operate well that do not necessarily require a federal program.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:34:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  asked whether  the department  offers any                                                               
type of publications as to  the benefits available to veterans in                                                               
Alaska and  the resources available  for military  spouses, while                                                               
acknowledging    that   is    not   the    department's   primary                                                               
responsibility.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DOEHL answered  that at  this time  the department  does not                                                               
have publications tailored to military spouses in Alaska.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:35:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  commented  that this  is  an  important                                                               
issue  because the  service member  may receive  a whole  host of                                                               
information,  but it  is never  distributed to  the spouse.   She                                                               
opined   that  there   should  be   some   sort  of   information                                                               
distribution system that offers  awareness to the spouses because                                                               
there could be a communication gap.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL  responded that Major  General Hummel can reach  out to                                                               
the Alaska command (ALCOM) commander  and the general officers in                                                               
the state to  explore what mechanisms they may  have available to                                                               
facilitate this issue.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  asked Mr.  Doehl  to  get back  to  the                                                               
committee with that information.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL  advised that  he would  get back  to the  committee or                                                               
Major  General Hummel  will  be  in Juneau  and  can discuss  the                                                               
issue.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:36:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK opened public testimony on HB 262.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:39:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DALE VANDE HAY, Defense State  Liaison Office, Military Community                                                               
and Family  Policy, Department of  Defense, advised that  this is                                                               
an issue the Department of Defense  has been working on as one of                                                               
its ten  key issues throughout  the years.  He  acknowledged that                                                               
the issues were "birthed somewhat"  during the 2011 timeframe and                                                               
advised  that the  Defense  State Liaison  Office  tries to  help                                                               
military  members and  their spouses  who relocate,  whether they                                                               
are  service members  getting out  of  the service  that wish  to                                                               
settle  in  Alaska or  spouses  who  arrive with  their  military                                                               
member to an installation in Alaska.   He commented that he was a                                                               
support group commander  at Elmendorf Air Force Base  in the late                                                               
1990s, and  he does have a  frame of reference on  the challenges                                                               
of moving  to Alaska.   This  effort is  probably the  number one                                                               
challenge, even  today, for those military  spouses joining their                                                               
spouse as  they move around the  country.  He advised  that he is                                                               
one of eight  liaisons who cover the 50 states  and he can attest                                                               
to the fact that  this problem has not gone away.   This issue is                                                               
back because  the Department  of Defense  was still  hearing that                                                               
this was  a problem  even though  all states  had passed  laws to                                                               
work through  the issues of  licensure by  endorsement, temporary                                                               
license, and  expedited processes,  but it did  not appear  to be                                                               
getting   better.     Therefore,   the   Department  of   Defense                                                               
commissioned  the University  of  Minnesota to  prepare a  report                                                               
examining military  spouse licensure  and the results  across the                                                               
board were that  more efforts could be taken.   Granted, he said,                                                               
in the  hearing two days ago  on the whole issue  of occupational                                                               
licensure,  there was  a lot  of  discussion about  the issue  of                                                               
academic credentials, and  what the boards are or  are not doing,                                                               
and  this legislation  will reinforce  the need  to give  further                                                               
attention to this  continuing dilemma.  He advised  that the base                                                               
has a  spouse employment manager  who is typically at  either the                                                               
Army  Community  Services Center  or  the  Army Family  Readiness                                                               
Site, and  they do everything  they can  to help a  spouse access                                                               
their new location.   Typically, when a person  is a professional                                                               
spouse with  a certification or  a license, they know  that their                                                               
license is controlled by the board  in that state, and the person                                                               
would go to the board to  have their license renewed or certified                                                               
in some manner.  The onus is  on the spouse to contact the board,                                                               
and he related that it is  reassuring to hear that the boards are                                                               
doing everything they can to improve that process.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:44:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER noted that  his general experience is that                                                               
top  vocations for  military spouses  tend to  be teachers,  real                                                               
estate agents,  healthcare professionals, and businesses,  and he                                                               
asked  Mr. Vande  Hay  to  relay the  most  likely vocations  for                                                               
temporary licenses.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VANDE  HAY  responded  that   the  professions  include  the                                                               
professions  Representative Saddler  mentioned, and  teachers and                                                               
nurses  are in  that category.   There  is an  effort across  the                                                               
country to  advocate for interstate compacts  which are currently                                                               
in the areas of  physical therapy, emergency medical technicians,                                                               
nurses,  and  psychology  professionals.   The  point  being,  he                                                               
offered, is  that these interstate  compacts, being  populated in                                                               
all   50   states   by   those   particular   associations,   are                                                               
opportunities for assistance for the  military spouses.  He added                                                               
that a  University of  Minnesota report  zeroed in  on particular                                                               
skills that  are also needed  and used by military  spouses, such                                                               
as cosmetology,  dental hygiene,  massage therapy,  mental health                                                               
counseling, occupational therapy, and real estate.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:46:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  asked  Mr.   Vande  Hay  to  repeat  the                                                               
occupations.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VANDE  HAY  advised  as  follows:  massage  therapy,  dental                                                               
hygiene,   cosmetology,  physical   therapy,  emergency   medical                                                               
services, nurses, and psychologists.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:47:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH noted  that  in  previous discussions  the                                                               
question has been raised as to  what is being done to accommodate                                                               
people with  teaching credentials,  which might not  follow under                                                               
the  Department of  Commerce, Community  & Economic  Development.                                                               
He asked  what the  legislature can do  to facilitate  a military                                                               
spouse's teaching  credential and being  able to teach in  one of                                                               
Alaska's schools.  He noted that  Mr. Parady was shaking his head                                                               
no.   Representative Parish  then broadened  his question  to ask                                                               
what  the other  states are  doing more  effectively that  Alaska                                                               
could model.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. VANDE HAY advised that this  is another one of the Department                                                               
of  Defense's  issues because  teachers  do  not fall  under  the                                                               
purview  of  these licensing  compacts,  and  as to  a  temporary                                                               
certificate, the  States of Indiana  and Oregon provide  a three-                                                               
year temporary  certificate.   He explained  that when  a teacher                                                               
arrives in one of those  states, their initial qualifications are                                                               
required and  sometimes they don't  have all of  the information,                                                               
such  as state  history.   Those teachers  are given  a temporary                                                               
license  for three  years  or eighteen  months  and then  another                                                               
eighteen months,  which is  pretty much in  the purview  of House                                                               
Bill 28.   Except, he noted,  it does not cover  teachers because                                                               
teachers are  not under that bill.   In the event  the Department                                                               
of  Education was  rolled into  this  process and  had that  same                                                               
requirement,   the   person   could  be   given   the   temporary                                                               
certificate,  gather  the  paperwork  or  obtain  the  additional                                                               
credentials, and  the license  could be  renewed after  a certain                                                               
amount of time.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:50:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER asked  whether the  list he  had offered                                                               
was a finite list or an example list.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. VANDE HAY  answered that the list was an  example of the most                                                               
used populations of professional  military spouses, but there are                                                               
other occupations.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:51:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER offered an example  of being married to a                                                               
plumber, a  general contractor, or  a profession of  that nature,                                                               
and  "you are  the person  getting transferred  to Alaska  in the                                                               
military" and those  are the types of licenses  your spouse would                                                               
hold, "are those excluded also?"                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VANDE HAY  asked whether  the  question is  if plumbers  and                                                               
contractors are excluded.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  advised  that   he  was  interested  in                                                               
general  contracting  and all  of  those  types of  licenses  and                                                               
commented that he imagined they are excluded.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. VANDE  HAY advised that  it all  depends on whether  they are                                                               
currently  covered by  the Department  of  Commerce, Community  &                                                               
Economic Development  that handles most  of those skills,  but he                                                               
did not have a listing of those  skills.  In the event the desire                                                               
is  to   have  those  particular   skills  covered,   then  those                                                               
professional boards could be included in this process.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER asked  Chair Tuck if there was  a way "we                                                               
can get on a list from wherever it is supposed to come from?"                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  TUCK opined  that it  would  come from  the Department  of                                                               
Commerce,  Community &  Economic  Development.   He advised  that                                                               
House  Bill 28  is  in  front of  him  which  is basically  about                                                               
licenses, and  he was  unsure how far  it went  into professional                                                               
licenses.   In the event  someone had a contractor's  license, he                                                               
said, he was  unsure it would be easily transferred  as it mostly                                                               
refers to professional licenses.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER said, dental hygienist.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK pointed  out that that is a professional  license.  He                                                               
said  he would  try  to  obtain a  list  from  the Department  of                                                               
Commerce, Community & Economic Development.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:53:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  referred   to  female  service  members                                                               
married to a general contractor  who is following them around the                                                               
country and  asked whether  there are a  rising number  of female                                                               
service members.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  TUCK reminded  the committee  that it  is currently  under                                                               
public  testimony and  all questions  should be  directed to  the                                                               
testifier and not to other witnesses.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:54:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID NEES, Alaska Policy Forum,  offered appreciation for HB 262                                                               
because it  offers the public a  chance to review how  the system                                                               
is currently working, and it  appears that there are major issues                                                               
to consider.   The Alaska Policy  Forum noticed that a  number of                                                               
military  spouses with  teaching credentials  are working  at the                                                               
private schools because "it requires  too much money out of their                                                               
pocket" to  train to become Alaska  certified.  He said,  "We" do                                                               
have a  temporary system for  teachers, but  it is only  good for                                                               
one year  and he suggested  allowing, for example, one  year with                                                               
one year  out and  then another  one year  out.   In the  event a                                                               
spouse arrives from overseas, there may  have been a gap in their                                                               
teaching service because  they were unable to teach  in the local                                                               
schools overseas, but  they still hold a  professional license in                                                               
teaching.  He reminded the committee  that there is a shortage of                                                               
teachers in Alaska  so anything "you can do to  include that into                                                               
this process"  would be  helpful.   The concentration  of getting                                                               
the information  out regarding  professional licenses  should not                                                               
be solely  focused on  the base; information  should be  given to                                                               
parents when they  register their children at  the local schools,                                                               
he  suggested.   He asked  the committee  to consider  whether to                                                               
include teaching in  one of the temporary licensures  in order to                                                               
work in the  State of Alaska.  Currently, he  said, most military                                                               
spouses with a degree in education  are not working in the public                                                               
school system  and are working  in private school  systems simply                                                               
because there  are too many hurdles  to jump when they  know full                                                               
well  that  at   some  point,  they  will  return   home.    This                                                               
legislation  looks   at  whether  the  Department   of  Commerce,                                                               
Community  &  Economic  Development  is the  best  place  to  get                                                               
information about licensure out to the military.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH  asked   whether  a  three-year  temporary                                                               
license for those in the  teaching profession would substantively                                                               
respond to the needs he had pointed out.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. NEES  answered that it  would, or  to simply have  a one-year                                                               
license.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:59:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK,  after ascertaining  that no  one wished  to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony on HB 262.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
[HB 262 was held over.]                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB307 Amendment A.2.pdf HMLV 2/6/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 307
HB307 Amendment A.1.pdf HMLV 2/6/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 307
HB307 Additional Document - SCRA Enhancements One Pager 2.4.18.pdf HMLV 2/6/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 307
HB307 Additional Document - SCRA Enhancement from Other States 2.4.18.pdf HMLV 2/6/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 307
HB262 Supporting Documents- Expedited Application for Mil. Spouses.pdf HMLV 2/6/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 262
HB262 Supporting Documents- EAFB Regional Growth Plan.pdf HMLV 2/6/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 262
HB262 Supporting Documents- DoD Officials Assesment Article.pdf HMLV 2/6/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 262
HB262 Supporting Documents- Board of Barber Curt. Lic. App..pdf HMLV 2/6/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 262
HB262 Supporting Documents- Board of Accupunture Lic. App..pdf HMLV 2/6/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 262
HB262 Supporting Document- DoD Licensure Implementation Eval. 2.2.17.pdf HMLV 2/6/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 262
HB262 Supporting Document- DC Doehl MLV Letter.pdf HMLV 2/6/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 262
HB262 Sponsor Statement 2.2.18.pdf HMLV 2/6/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 262
HB262 v D.PDF HMLV 2/6/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 262