Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

02/08/2018 01:00 PM MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HCR 15 DECORATION OF HONOR AWARD TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SCR 14 DECORATION OF HONOR AWARD TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HB 194 USPHS & NOAA OFFICERS AS VETERANS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
            HB 194-USPHS & NOAA OFFICERS AS VETERANS                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:14:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK  announced that the  final order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO.  194, "An Act relating to members  and veterans of                                                               
the uniformed  services, including the Commissioned  Corps of the                                                               
United States Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and                                                                
Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:15:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MATT  CLAMAN, Alaska  State Legislature,  as prime                                                               
sponsor,  introduced   HB  194.    He   paraphrased  the  sponsor                                                               
statement,   which   read   as  follows   [original   punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     House  Bill 194  brings alignment  between the  federal                                                                    
     definition  of  "veteran"   under  Title  38:  Veterans                                                                    
     Benefits, and  the state definition of  "veteran" as it                                                                    
     applies to persons who provided  active duty service in                                                                    
     the   uniformed   services   of  the   United   States.                                                                    
     Currently, the state  consistently defines "veteran" as                                                                    
     service  in  the armed  services  only.  This does  not                                                                    
     recognize  the full-time  active duty  military service                                                                    
     of the  Commissioned Corps of the  United States Public                                                                    
     Health  Service (USPHS)  and the  National Oceanic  and                                                                    
     Atmospheric  Administration Commissioned  Officer Corps                                                                    
     (NOAA),  which,  under  by  U.S.  Code  Title  38,  are                                                                    
     recognized as  uniformed services  and are  entitled to                                                                    
     veterans benefits.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Officers from  the USPHS and NOAA  (previously known as                                                                    
     the  U.S.  Coast  and   Geodetic  Survey)  have  served                                                                    
     throughout Alaska  since the early 1900's.  Like in the                                                                    
     armed forces,  each USPHS and NOAA  serving officer has                                                                    
     deployed by orders to the  needed mission. Today, USPHS                                                                    
     Officers  currently serve  from  Ketchikan to  Kotzebue                                                                    
     providing  services  to   Alaska's  native  communities                                                                    
     ranging from  offering health care to  water sanitation                                                                    
     engineering. NOAA  Officers lead surveying  and mapping                                                                    
     operations  throughout Alaska,  improve the  navigation                                                                    
     over  coastal and  Arctic waters,  and operate  vessels                                                                    
     conducting  fishery research  and  assessment in  state                                                                    
     and  federal   waters.  Each  officer,   regardless  of                                                                    
     service,  is on  orders directing  the nature  of their                                                                    
     deployment  and   their  duty  stations.  This   is  no                                                                    
     different than officers serving in the armed forces.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Upon  leaving the  service,  whether  by resigning  the                                                                    
     commission  or retiring  in  grade,  the officers  have                                                                    
     earned their  federal veterans  benefit. Many  of these                                                                    
     officers that  have had duty  in Alaska have  chosen to                                                                    
     stay,  contributing to  our work  force and  economy by                                                                    
     building  businesses,  providing medical  services,  or                                                                    
     continuing to offer their  expertise in public service.                                                                    
     This  bill  offers the  opportunity  for  the state  of                                                                    
     Alaska  to recognize  their  previous  service and  the                                                                    
     veteran status they have earned.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:16:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CERI  GODINEZ, Staff,  Representative Matt  Claman, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  presented  HB  194   on  behalf  of  Representative                                                               
Claman,  prime sponsor.   She  imparted that  Title 38  of United                                                               
States Code  (USC) defines a veteran  as "a person who  served in                                                               
the  active  military,  naval,  or   air  service,  and  who  was                                                               
discharged  or released  therefrom  under  conditions other  than                                                               
dishonorable."    She  said  Title  38 of  the  Code  of  Federal                                                               
Regulations,  Section  3.7,  includes the  National  Oceanic  and                                                               
Atmospheric Administration  (NOAA) and  the United  States Public                                                               
Health Service  (USPHS) "as individuals  or groups  considered to                                                               
have performed  active military, naval, or  air service," whereas                                                               
Alaska Statute defines  veteran only as "a person  who has served                                                               
in a  branch of  the armed  service of the  United States."   She                                                               
stated that  NOAA and  USPHS officers are  deployed by  orders to                                                               
needed missions, and each officer,  regardless of service, is "on                                                               
orders  directing their  duty stations  and the  nature of  their                                                               
deployment,"  and while  serving, they  are subject  to the  same                                                               
commitment  to duty  as are  members of  the armed  forces.   Ms.                                                               
Godinez related  that currently in  Alaska there are at  least 11                                                               
active or retired  NOAA Corps officers and 551  active or retired                                                               
USPHS  officers.    These   officers  currently  receive  Veteran                                                               
Administration  (VA) benefits  but  are  not considered  veterans                                                               
under Alaska  Statutes, thus under current  Alaska Statutes, they                                                               
are not eligible for veteran benefits.   She stated, "HB 194 will                                                               
expand the  definition of 'veteran' to  include these hardworking                                                               
Alaskans."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:18:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GODINEZ  presented the  sectional  analysis,  which read  as                                                               
follows  [original  punctuation  provided, with  some  formatting                                                               
changes]:                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section  1  AS  18.50.320: Bureaus  and  custodians  of                                                                    
     vital  records   must  furnish  copies   if  requested.                                                                    
     Federal, state  and local  agencies may  request copies                                                                    
     of   vital   records.   Up  to   four   veteran   death                                                                    
     certificates  shall be  issued free  of charge.  Amends                                                                    
     18.50.320(7)(B):  adds The  Commissioned  Corps of  the                                                                    
     United States  Public Health Services and  the National                                                                    
     Oceanic    Atmospheric   Administration    Commissioned                                                                    
     Officer Corps to the definition of veteran.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2 AS 18.55.470(4):  applies to veterans who may                                                                    
     apply  for Alaska  Housing  Finance Corporation  loans.                                                                    
     Amends AS  18.55.470(4: changes "military  services" to                                                                    
     "uniformed  services" and  changes "armed  services" to                                                                    
     "uniformed services".                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3  AS 18.55.470: Applies  to who may  apply for                                                                    
     Alaska  Housing Finance  Corporation  loans. Amends  AS                                                                    
     18.55.470   to   add   new  paragraph:   provides   the                                                                    
     definition  of  "uniformed   services"  as  "the  armed                                                                    
     forces of the United  States, The Commissioned Corps of                                                                    
     the  United  States  Public Health  Services,  and  the                                                                    
     National     Oceanic     Atmospheric     Administration                                                                    
     Commissioned Officer Corps."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Section  4  AS 18.56.101  applies  to  who may  receive                                                                    
     eligibility  for veterans'  interest  rates. Amends  AS                                                                    
     18.56.100(2)  and   AS  18.56.100(4):   changes  "armed                                                                    
     forces" to  "uniform services".  Adds application  to 2                                                                    
     "regular or reserve" officers of USPHS and NOAA.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Section   5   AS   18.65.310(l)  applies   to   veteran                                                                    
     designation   on   identification  cards.   Amends   AS                                                                    
     18.65.310(l) to include USPHS and NOAA officers.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Section  6 AS  26.10.070(a) applies  to fees  collected                                                                    
     for  the  veteran's  report of  separation.  Amends  AS                                                                    
     26.10.070(a) to include USPHS and NOAA officers.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Section 7  AS 26.10.080(d)(2)  applies to  veterans who                                                                    
     may be  eligible to receive  death gratuity.  Amends AS                                                                    
     26.10.080(d)(2):  expands  definition   of  veteran  to                                                                    
     include USPHS and NOAA officers.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Section    8    AS    26.15.130(a)    designates    the                                                                    
     qualifications  for  those  who  may  be  eligible  for                                                                    
     veteran's  loans.   Amends  AS   26.15.130(a):  changes                                                                    
     "armed forces" to "uniformed services"                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 9 AS  26.15.130(b) defines veterans dependents'                                                                    
     who  may  be  eligible   for  loans.  AS  26.15.130(b):                                                                    
     changes "armed forces" to "uniformed services"                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Section   10  AS   26.15.160  extends   veterans  loans                                                                    
     provisions to include the  Alaska Territorial Guard and                                                                    
     Veterans  of Korea  and Vietnam.  Amends AS  26.15.160:                                                                    
     changes "armed forces" to "uniformed services"                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Section  11   AS  26.15   covers  the   provisions  for                                                                    
     veteran's loans.  Amends AS 26.15; adds  new section As                                                                    
     26.15.190: Adds definition  of "uniformed services" and                                                                    
     "veteran"  which include  USPHS  and NOAA  commissioned                                                                    
     officers.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Section   12   AS   28.10.181(d)   provides   for   the                                                                    
     registration  of   vehicles  owned  by   veterans  with                                                                    
     disabilities.  Amends AS  28.10.181(d): changes  "armed                                                                    
     forces" to "uniformed services"                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Section   13   AS   28.10.181(l)   provides   for   the                                                                    
     registration   of  vehicles   owned  by   Pearl  Harbor                                                                    
     survivors.  Amends  AS   28.10.181(l):  changes  "armed                                                                    
     forces" to "uniformed services"                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Section   14   AS   28.10.181(p)   provides   for   the                                                                    
     registration of  vehicles owned by veterans.  Amends AS                                                                    
     28.10.181(p):  changes  "armed  forces"  to  "uniformed                                                                    
     services"                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Section  15   AS  28.10.181  contains   provisions  for                                                                    
     registration  of   unique  and  special   vehicles  and                                                                    
     vehicles used for special purposes in Alaska.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Section  16  AS  28.15.111(c) contains  provisions  for                                                                    
     issuing  drivers   licenses,  including   a  particular                                                                    
     veterans designation.  Amends AS  28.15.111(c): changes                                                                    
     "armed   forces"   to    "uniformed   services",   Adds                                                                    
     definitions  of  "uniformed  services"  and  "veterans"                                                                    
     which include USPHS and 3 NOAA commissioned officers.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 17  AS 29.45.030(i)  relates to  provisions for                                                                    
     exemptions from general  taxation for disabled veterans                                                                    
     Amends AS 29.45.030(i);  changes "military services" to                                                                    
     "uniformed services". Defines "uniformed services".                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Section 18  AS 36.30.321(f)  relates to  provisions for                                                                    
     the  five percent  preference on  qualified bidders  of                                                                    
     public  contracts. Amends  AS 36.30.321(f):  Adds USPHS                                                                    
     and  NOAA   commissioner  officers  to   definition  of                                                                    
     "veteran".                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section 19  AS 36.30.321(k)  relates to  provisions for                                                                    
     the preference  of bids from persons  with disabilities                                                                    
     on  public contracts.  Amends AS  36.30.321(k): Changes                                                                    
     "military services" to "uniformed services"                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section 20  AS 36.30.321  relates to  bidder preference                                                                    
     for  public contracts.  Amends AS  36.30.321, adds  new                                                                    
     subsection: defines "uniformed services".                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Section 21  AS 38.05.067(e)  relates to  the preference                                                                    
     for  veterans for  unoccupied residential  land. Amends                                                                    
     AS 38.05.067(e):  changes "armed forces"  to "uniformed                                                                    
     services"                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Section 22  AS 38.05.940(b)  relates to  the provisions                                                                    
     for eligibility  for the land purchase  price discount.                                                                    
     Amends  AS  38.05.940(b):  changes  "armed  forces"  to                                                                    
     "uniformed services"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section   23  AS   38.05.965:  definitions   Amends  AS                                                                    
     38.05.96;  adds   new  paragraph:   defines  "uniformed                                                                    
     services".                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section 24  AS 39.25.159(f)  relates to  provisions for                                                                    
     employment   preference   for   veterans   and   former                                                                    
     prisoners of  war. Amends  AS 39.25.159(f);  adds USPHS                                                                    
     and  NOAA   commissioner  officers  to   definition  of                                                                    
     "veteran'                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Section 25  AS 43.20.048(f)  relates to  provisions for                                                                    
     veteran    employment    tax   credits.    Amends    AS                                                                    
     43.20.048(f);   adds   USPHS  and   NOAA   commissioner                                                                    
     officers to definition of "veteran'                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Section 26  AS 44.29.520(a) relates to  the composition                                                                    
     of  the  board of  the  Alaska  Pioneer' Homs  Advisor.                                                                    
     Amends AS 44.29.520(a); adds USPHS  and NOAA officer to                                                                    
     list  of   eligible  members  of  the   Pioneers'  Home                                                                    
     Advisory Board.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Section 27  AS 44.35.900  defines "veteran".  Amends AS                                                                    
     44.35.900;  adds USPHS  and NOAA  commissioner officers                                                                    
     to definition of "veteran'                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section  28   AS  47.55.900:  definitions.   Amends  AS                                                                    
     47.55.900;  adds USPHS  and NOAA  commissioner officers                                                                    
     to definition of "veteran'                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:20:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  asked how  many other states  are using                                                               
"this expanded definition."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. GODINEZ replied  that she does not know, but  she deferred to                                                               
Captain Robert Pawlowski.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:20:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN  ROBERT PAWLOWSKI,  Legislative  Lead, Military  Officers                                                               
Association of America (MOAA), stated as follows:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     With  regards to  that:   In research  and fundamental,                                                                    
     six use  the definition  that includes the  U.S. Public                                                                    
     Health Service; two use the  definition of U.S. Code 10                                                                    
     that defines  the breadth of the  military service; and                                                                    
     two are  marginally specific  in including  (indisc.) -                                                                    
     generally, U.S. Public Health Service.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:21:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER asked  Captain  Pawlowski  to repeat  the                                                               
information, because the audio had become garbled at one point.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN PAWLOWSKI  responded, "Six  states use a  definition that                                                               
includes it;  two use U.S. Code  10; and two specify  more to the                                                               
U.S. Public Health Service."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  asked Captain  Pawlowski to  confirm that                                                               
"those two are not inclusive of that 6."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN PAWLOWSKI answered,  "No, those two are  not inclusive of                                                               
the six.  Six specifically go  beyond the armed forces to include                                                               
U.S. Public Health Service and NOAA."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:22:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN said,  "Six specifically  stated in  their                                                               
statute; two  of them make  reference to the  U.S. Code.   So, by                                                               
reference  to the  U.S. Code,  they're adding  -- So,  you've got                                                               
actually eight that  cover all.  And then it  sounds like there's                                                               
two more  that only  cover NOAA  but not  the U.S.  Public Health                                                               
Service, or do I have that backwards?"                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:22:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ said, "Backwards."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN amended his  statement, "So, two that cover                                                               
the U.S. Public Health Service that do not cover NOAA."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. PAWLOWSKI responded, "Yes, that is correct."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:22:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX noted that  there were several fiscal notes                                                               
in the  committee packet.   Many of  them are zero  fiscal notes,                                                               
but the fiscal  note from the Department  of Administration (DOA)                                                               
is not.   Further,  she inquired  as to  whether the  fiscal note                                                               
from  the  Department  of  Health   and  Social  Services  (DHSS)                                                               
reflected "just a change in funds."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:23:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  TUCK said  there  was  no one  from  DHSS  to answer  that                                                               
question.    He said  the  fiscal  note  from the  Department  of                                                               
Revenue  (DOR)   addressed  license  plates.     He  offered  his                                                               
understanding that of  the footnote in the DHSS  fiscal note that                                                               
"it's conditional on the certificates  as well as, possibly, some                                                               
benefits."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:24:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN said one of  the provisions of the proposed                                                               
legislation include a limited death  benefit to spouses.  He said                                                               
he thinks it is described as a gratuity.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  TUCK said  he thinks  it was  a bill  by the  late, former                                                               
Representative Max Gruenberg that established that.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX said  she did  not understand  the meaning                                                               
behind the  positive and negative  amounts that came out  to zero                                                               
(in the DHSS fiscal note).                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN suggested  someone from  DHSS address  the                                                               
question.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK suggested it might be the movement of monies from the                                                                
designated general fund to the undesignated general fund.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX responded that that would not "take into                                                                  
account that there'd actually be some expenses."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK responded  that the footnote [analysis,  at the bottom                                                               
of  the  DHSS  fiscal  note], demonstrates  an  expense,  and  he                                                               
highlighted some  of the  information in  the analysis,  which in                                                               
its entirety read as follows:                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     HB 194 version  "A" adds the commissioned  corps of the                                                                    
     United States  Public Health  Service and  the National                                                                    
     Oceanic and  Atmospheric Administration to  the current                                                                    
     definition of  veterans under the Vital  Statistics Act                                                                    
     (AS  18.50.320(7)(B)). Since  2012,  family members  or                                                                    
     personal legal  representatives (such as  executors) of                                                                    
     resident  veterans that  pass away  in Alaska  may each                                                                    
     request  up  to  four  (4)   certified  copies  of  the                                                                    
     veteran's death certificate without charge.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Approximately  90% of  the Bureau  of Vital  Statistics                                                                    
     ("Bureau")  budget  for  vital  records  administration                                                                    
     comes  from  fees   (general  fund  program  receipts).                                                                    
     Because  the Bureau  relies  substantially  on fees  to                                                                    
     support its operating costs, any  loss of these program                                                                    
     receipts will  have an impact  on staffing  and quality                                                                    
     of service  to the  public if  not replaced  by general                                                                    
     funds.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Based  on  the  Bureau's  experience  with  free  death                                                                    
     certificates under  existing law,  the number  of newly                                                                    
     eligible  veteran deaths  per year  is estimated  to be                                                                    
     approximately   20.  Assuming   an   average  of   four                                                                    
     qualified family members (or  executors) order all four                                                                    
     death  certificates each  at no  charge (families  have                                                                    
     been known to  request as many as 40 copies  of a death                                                                    
     certificate),   each   veteran  death   represents   16                                                                    
     certificates provided to families.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     It  is anticipated  the impact  would be  comparatively                                                                    
     less for the first few  years and then increase as more                                                                    
     families  become  aware  of  the  new  law.  For  these                                                                    
     calculations,  the  division  assumes 75%  of  eligible                                                                    
     family members  and individuals will take  advantage of                                                                    
     this  opportunity in  Year 1,  gradually increasing  to                                                                    
     the full 100% by Year 6.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The current fee for a  death certificate is $30 for the                                                                    
     first copy, and  $25 thereafter for the  same record at                                                                    
     the same time. A set of  four is therefore $30 + 3($25)                                                                    
     = $105.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Year 1: 75%  of 20 veteran deaths x 4  requestors x one                                                                    
     $105 set of 4 copies = $6,300                                                                                              
     Year 6: 100% of 20 veteran  deaths x 4 requestors x one                                                                    
     $105 set of 4 copies = $8,400                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     The Bureau  will experience a  greater loss  of revenue                                                                    
     if  the   total  number  of  decedents   classified  as                                                                    
     veterans   exceeds  assumptions   or  more   than  four                                                                    
     qualified   family  members/individuals   request  four                                                                    
     certificates.  If the  current  level  of staffing  and                                                                    
     service to the  public is to be  maintained, these lost                                                                    
     program receipts will have to be replaced with GF.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:26:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ said  [the DHSS fiscal note]  reads as a                                                               
zero fiscal note but is not.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK speculated  that the department is  willing "to absorb                                                               
that" with its existing budget.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN reiterated that  the committee would likely                                                               
need to hear from the department.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:27:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SADDLER  asked   about   the   history  of   the                                                               
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:27:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN PAWLOWSKI said  he worked with Senator  McGuire, upon the                                                               
passing of  the Senator's father,  to recognize the  USPHS, which                                                               
lead to Senate  Bill 184.  He said  he appreciates Representative                                                               
Claman's efforts to bring the legislation back as HB 194.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  mentioned  the  issue  of  property  tax                                                               
exemptions for veterans  being a municipal issue.   He recognized                                                               
that  the fiscal  notes  show impacts  to  state government,  but                                                               
asked what the  impact to local municipalities would  be under HB                                                               
194.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:29:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  said  he  cannot speak  to  how  the  tax                                                               
structure   is  set   up  in   municipalities   other  than   the                                                               
Municipality of Anchorage, but those  deductions do not result in                                                               
a  loss of  revenue  in  Anchorage.   He  added,  "It shifts  how                                                               
property values  are assessed  ... in the  way tax  is collected.                                                               
You're basically dividing  the total value into  the total amount                                                               
owed, and so it means that  people who qualify for the exemption,                                                               
like  other veterans,  would  pay less  than  people who  weren't                                                               
veterans,  but the  total amount  collected  by the  municipality                                                               
would remain the same."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:30:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   LEDOUX   offered   her  understanding   that   a                                                               
municipality  sets its  mil  rate,  and she  surmised  that if  a                                                               
number of people qualify for  exemption, then that would cost the                                                               
municipality money.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN responded  that the mil rate is  set on the                                                               
total value of the municipality,  and when there is an exemption,                                                               
that reduces the  total value.  He offered an  example to explain                                                               
in more detail.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:32:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK opened public testimony on HB 194.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:33:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VERDIE  BOWEN, Director  of Veterans  Affairs, Office  of Veteran                                                               
Affairs,  Department  of  Military &  Veterans'  Affairs  (DMVA),                                                               
stated that the  department is neutral on HB 194,  and he said he                                                               
was available for questions.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:33:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN PAWLOWSKI  imparted that he is  a retiree from NOAA.   He                                                               
stated that he is "a  service disabled veteran by the definitions                                                               
of the State of Alaska."  He  added, "However, I am not a veteran                                                               
by the  definitions of the State  of Alaska."  He  indicated that                                                               
NOAA  has been  active in  Alaska for  100 years,  and USPHS  for                                                               
about  90 years.    He said  HB  194 reflects  on  the 400  USPHS                                                               
officers  that  are  stationed  in  Alaska  and  the  represented                                                               
organization - the Commissioned  Officers Association - which has                                                               
238  active members  in  Alaska,  as well  as  "a  record of  415                                                               
members or  inactive members  in the  state."   Captain Pawlowski                                                               
stated that  [those members] have  brought "a  significant amount                                                               
of  help to  Alaska in  the Indian  Health Service,  in providing                                                               
medical  support  to  the  U.S.  Coast  Guard  at  its  different                                                               
locations,  and in  stepping forward  in  case of  flu and  other                                                               
potential epidemics through the Center  for Disease Control."  He                                                               
said  they, like  the NOAA  officer, are  on military  orders and                                                               
make the commitment  to be stationed in Alaska,  where they bring                                                               
their  families  and  choose  either to  stay  in  service  until                                                               
retirement or  depart to join  in the  community in a  variety of                                                               
ways,  including:     public  health  service,   sanitation,  and                                                               
environmental  engineering.   Captain  Pawlowski  said his  peers                                                               
from  NOAA   entered  the  building  business,   in  hydrographic                                                               
surveying  and  geodetic control,  as  well  as working  for  the                                                               
federal government  in fisheries work or  for communities through                                                               
work  with  municipalities,  such   as  does  retired  Lieutenant                                                               
Commander Tim Steel.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN PAWLOWSKI said he had  asked various groups to submit for                                                               
the record  their perspectives on  this issue.   He said  the two                                                               
chapters   of  the   Commissioned   Officers  Association   "have                                                               
resolutions in," and  several letters of support  have been sent.                                                               
He said he  sees HB 194 as  a private service bill,  and he looks                                                               
to the  state to recognize  the 100  years of service  in Alaska,                                                               
where  there has  been  loss  of life.    He  indicated that  the                                                               
[Rockmore-King Medical  Clinic], at  the Coast Guard  Air Station                                                               
in Kodiak was  name for his pediatrician, based on  a 1985 crash.                                                               
He  said while  he  was in  service during  World  War II,  while                                                               
supporting the  Coast Guard in national  defense missions, people                                                               
lost  their  lives.   He  said  there  is  a  lot of  history  of                                                               
contribution to  Alaska, both in  "the health of the  people that                                                               
our officers have  brought" and in "the expansion  of our coastal                                                               
surveys"  that NOAA  officers have  brought.   Captain  Pawlowski                                                               
asked  the  House Special  Committee  on  Military and  Veterans'                                                               
Affairs "to  look at  this bill in  recognizing the  long history                                                               
and dedication of these officers  on ... active military duty, as                                                               
defined  in U.S.  Code 10  and receiving  veteran recognition  as                                                               
established under ... U.S. Code 37 and 38."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:38:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK,  after ascertaining  that there was  no one  else who                                                               
wished to testify, closed public testimony on HB 194.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:39:05 PM                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER said  he would  appreciate the  chance to                                                               
hear from  other veterans' groups,  for example, the  Veterans of                                                               
Foreign Wars, the  American Legion, and the  Vietnam Veterans [of                                                               
America].    He  said  he  is not  a  veteran,  but  offered  his                                                               
understanding that being  a veteran is "a very  important part of                                                               
people's character and self-worth and story."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:40:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK  said the  bill was noticed  last week;  therefore, he                                                               
said he thinks  there had been time for those  groups to weigh in                                                               
if  they had  wished to  do so.    He said  he would  be open  to                                                               
allowing invited testimony.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:40:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK announced that HB 194 was held over.                                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SCR014 Background Documents - Obituaries 1.31.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
SCR 14
SCR014 Fiscal Note LEG 1.31.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
SCR 14
SCR014 Sponsor Statement 1.31.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
SCR 14
SCR014 ver A 1.18.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
SCR 14
HCR 15 Support Document - Obituaries 1.30.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HCR 15
HCR 15 Support Document- DoH Award Gov 1.30.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HCR 15
HCR 15 Sponsor Statement 1.30.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HCR 15
HB015 ver D.PDF HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 15
HB194 Fiscal Note DHSS 2.6.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194
HB194 Fiscal Note DMV 2.6.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194
HB194 Fiscal Note DNR 2.6.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194
HB194 Fiscal Note DOA 2.6.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194
HB194 Fiscal Note MVA 2.6.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194
HB194 Sectional Analysis ver A 1.23.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194
HB194 Sponsor Statement 1.23.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194
HB194 Support Document - Letter Capt. Weaver 2.8.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194
HB194 Supporting Document - Support Letters 2.7.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194
HB194 Supporting Document-US Code Title 38 Definitions 1.23.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194
HB194 Supporting Document-US CodeTitle 38 Veteran Definition 1.23.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194