Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/08/1996 08:00 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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              
 REPRESENTATIVE JERRY MACKIE read the following statement into the             
 "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.           

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