Legislature(1995 - 1996)
02/08/1996 08:00 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 361 - CAP PROJ MATCHING GRANT FOR INDIAN RESERV The next order of business to come before the House State Affairs Committee was HB 361. Number 1584 CHAIR JAMES called on Representative Jerry Mackie, sponsor of HB 361. REPRESENTATIVE JERRY MACKIE read the following statement into the record. "I introduced this legislation at the request of the Metlakatla Indian Community when their FY 96 Municipal Assistance Matching Grant Program appropriation was eliminated from last year's budget. Metlakatla qualified for this program under the Department of Administration regulations definition for "municipality." However, legal analysis found that the statute definition was not written specific enough to include the Metlakatla Indian Community in this program. Since the statute definition supersedes the regulatory definition the appropriation was eliminated. "HB 361 AMENDS AS 37.06 (Capital Project Matching Grants Programs) by adding a new section that includes a municipality organized under federal law as an Indian reserve. This bill has been drafted to specifically include the Metlakatla Indian Community within the Municipal Assistance Matching Grant Program. This legislation also provides that Metlakatla may not receive a grant under the Unincorporated Community Capital Project Matching Grant Program. "The community of Metlakatla is definitely more reflective of a municipal government and fits more appropriately into the Municipal Capital Matching Grant Program. The community has a mayor, city council, school board, constitution, law and order codes, policy department, court system, etc.. "There are two zero fiscal notes accompanying this legislation from the Department of Community and Regional Affairs and the Department of Administration." REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE mentioned to the committee members a section analysis, a letter from the indian community, a legal analysis and a statute were included in the package of information. He said HB 361 clarified the intent that the Metlakatla community qualified for the capital matching grant program. The qualification issue was raised by Senator Rick Halford last year because of the community title. He said the Metlakatla community was a federal indian reservation, but voted in state elections, which qualified the community for municipal assistance. Therefore, HB 361 clarified the statute the Metlakatla community qualified for the money. He further said it was discovered the Metlakatla Indian Community qualified for both an unorganized grant and municipal assistance. Therefore, HB 361 took away the unorganized portion of the grant. He also said in response to discussion regarding sovereignty, the bill did not affect that issue. He referred the committee members to page 1, line 6, "Municipalities organized under federal law," which stated an indian reserve qualified only if it existed as a municipality before enactment of 43 U.S.C. 1618(a). He said Metlakatla was the only one in the state affected and a definition was needed. The definition used in HB 361 was consistently used in other statutes dealing with municipal assistance and revenue sharing. CHAIR JAMES recognized Kim Helmer, Department of Community and Regional Affairs, in the audience to answer any questions. Number 1870 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN mentioned HB 361 would only apply to the Metlakatla Indian Reservation, and wondered if there were four different reservations in Alaska. REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE replied as defined in HB 361, Metlakatla was the only indian reservation in the state of Alaska. He said there were four areas of the state that had indian trust land and was not effected by HB 361. House Bill 361 only dealt with the capital matching grant program and only included communities organized under federal law. He said he was trying to expedite the bill so the Metlakatla community would be treated fairly in the budget process this year. Number 1888 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said Representative Mackie briefed him on HB 361 yesterday. He further said there were sovereignty issues that had yet to be resolved in the state, and commented the intent of HB 361 was to not include sovereign communities. REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE replied the bill required the indian reserve to be a municipality and organized under federal law which existed before enactment of 43 U.S.C. 1618(a). The Metlakatla community was the only one that existed before the enactment of 43 U.S.C. 1618(a) and only dealt with it in reference to the capital matching grant program. The reason it was stated specifically was because of a discrepancy due to an oversite. Number 2073 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS moved that HB 361 move from the committee with individual recommendations and zero fiscal notes. Hearing no objection, HB 361 was moved from the House State Affairs Committee.