Legislature(2001 - 2002)

03/14/2002 08:09 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 305-NONCOMPLIANCE WITH SELECTIVE SERVICE                                                                                   
Number 1458                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  COGHILL announced  that  the next  order  of business  was                                                               
HOUSE   BILL  NO.   305,  "An   Act  prohibiting   certain  state                                                               
employment, a  student loan, or  a permanent fund dividend  for a                                                               
person who fails to register  for the military selective service;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
Number 1440                                                                                                                     
COLLEEN  SHAUB, Staff  to Representative  Lisa Murkowski,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, noted  that a  proposed committee  substitute                                                               
(CS) - Version F - was included in the committee packet.                                                                        
CHAIR COGHILL  asked if there  was any objection to  adopting the                                                               
proposed  CS,  version  22-LS1209\F,  Ford, 2/20/02,  as  a  work                                                               
draft.  There being no objection, Version F was adopted.                                                                        
[Representative Murkowski arrived at the witness table and was                                                                  
greeted by Chair Coghill.]                                                                                                      
MS. SHAUB read her testimony, as follows:                                                                                       
     House  Bill 305  was introduced  to encourage  military                                                                    
     selective  service   registration,  for   all  eligible                                                                    
     persons.   This  act  requires any  United States  male                                                                    
     citizen,  who is  between the  ages  of 18  and 26,  to                                                                    
     comply with the  federal selective service registration                                                                    
     requirements, if  applicable, when applying  to receive                                                                    
     certain  state employments,  and  Alaska student  loan,                                                                    
     and a permanent fund dividend.                                                                                             
     There  are   at  least  28   other  states   that  have                                                                    
     implemented  or  [are]  considering  legislation  which                                                                    
     attaches  conditions of  services  for eligibility  for                                                                    
     [several] programs and state benefits.                                                                                     
     With  this legislation,  Alaska will  join those  other                                                                    
     states   in  ensuring   compliance  with   the  federal                                                                    
     registration requirements.                                                                                                 
     In your bill packets, you  will find several letters of                                                                    
     support  and  informational   testimony.    Within  the                                                                    
     informational  testimony,  there  are  three  pages  of                                                                    
     statistical  information, showing  how  much our  state                                                                    
     would  lose in  federal dollars  for those  who do  not                                                                    
     comply  with selective  service,  how  we compare  with                                                                    
     registration  to other  states, and  which cities  have                                                                    
     the highest and lowest compliance rates in our state.                                                                      
     The  last pages  of  informational testimony  [explain]                                                                    
     what  the selective  service  system  provides for  our                                                                    
     country.   If  you have  any questions  concerning this                                                                    
     bill, I will do my best to answer them for you.                                                                            
CHAIR COGHILL interjected  a message to those  waiting to testify                                                               
on HB 480,  to continue waiting.  He thanked  the sponsor and her                                                               
staff for  bringing forward the  bill and asked the  committee if                                                               
there were any questions.                                                                                                       
Number 1215                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  LISA MURKOWSKI,  Alaska State  Legislature, asked                                                               
the committee  to notice  the short  title of  the bill  [page 1,                                                               
lines 7-8], which read as follows:                                                                                              
           SHORT TITLE.  This Act may be known as the                                                                           
    Selective    Service    Registration   Awareness    and                                                                     
     Compliance Act.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI noted  that  this is  an obligation  to                                                               
comply with  the federal Act.   She said  this is asked  of males                                                               
[between the ages  of 18 and 26]  in a day and age  when not much                                                               
is  asked of  Americans.   [The intent  of the  bill] is  to make                                                               
certain that [the  public] is acutely aware of this  Act and this                                                               
Number 1120                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS asked if  there is any federal requirement                                                               
for females to register and, if not, why not.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  answered that, currently, there  is not                                                               
a requirement for women to  register, although the issue has been                                                               
discussed.  Furthermore,  if she had the ability  to change that,                                                               
she would.                                                                                                                      
MS. SHAUB  proffered that  the [U.S.] Supreme  Court took  up the                                                               
issue  and  voted  that  it was  unconstitutional  for  women  to                                                               
register for the selective service.                                                                                             
Number 1035                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said, "I support that."                                                                                    
Number 1018                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE FATE mentioned  attaining the age of  18 and asked                                                               
if that was a federal code.                                                                                                     
AN UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER said, "yeah."                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  FATE  said, "The  thirty-day  part  is a  federal                                                               
Number 0988                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  HAYES said  he  signed up  for  the military  and                                                               
remembers what  was done on  the federal level  [regarding making                                                               
the public  aware of the  requirement].   He asked what  would be                                                               
done on the state level.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI replied  that, currently, individuals in                                                               
the state  are responsible for  getting the information  to those                                                               
soon to be 18  years old.  She said it  is her understanding that                                                               
one  of those  individuals  is  in Sitka,  and  the  other is  in                                                               
Juneau.   She  noted  that  Representative Foster  used  to be  a                                                               
selective  service registrar.   The  National Guard  assists with                                                               
this  effort, she  said.    She indicated  that  there are  other                                                               
volunteer efforts to raise the awareness level.                                                                                 
Number 0868                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI  said  that,  should  this  legislation                                                               
pass, there would  be a statement in the  permanent fund dividend                                                               
(PFD) application.   She stated, "I think it would  be the intent                                                               
to make sure that it is more publicly broadcast."                                                                               
Number 0828                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI indicated a  facsimile sheet included in                                                               
the committee  packet [with the  heading, "zip  code distribution                                                               
summary  report"], which  lists the  compliance rates  of various                                                               
communities.   She  pointed to  the  "non-registration rate"  and                                                               
said  that  some areas  were  at  100 percent  compliance,  while                                                               
others - including  Anchorage - were "not doing very  well."  She                                                               
referred  to  previous  testimony  heard  in  the  House  Special                                                               
Committee on Military  and Veterans' Affairs, where  it was noted                                                               
that registrars  are not always  invited in to speak  at schools.                                                               
She said that  it is harder to  speak at a larger  school such as                                                               
those  in Anchorage,  than in  a  school in  a smaller  community                                                               
where everyone knows everyone else.                                                                                             
Number 0696                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES  said  her  recollection was  that  it  was                                                               
simpler back during World War II,  when [young men] would sign up                                                               
at  the post  office.   She  said she  wondered  why the  federal                                                               
government  did not  choose  to have  that  availability now  and                                                               
advertise it with a sign on the wall.                                                                                           
Number 0668                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI  responded  that  a  person  can  still                                                               
register with selected  service at a post office,  or any federal                                                               
building; however, the problem is not  where you can sign up, but                                                               
providing the  awareness [that it  is required].  She  said there                                                               
is no  draft now and  many growing up now  do not have  anyone in                                                               
their family who have ever been in  a war and do not realize that                                                               
[registering   with  the   selective   service]   is  a   federal                                                               
Number 0610                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she is  disappointed to hear this.  She                                                               
stated her  belief that  the schools  and anyone  responsible for                                                               
"young  people  growing  up should  have  responsibility."    She                                                               
mentioned inexpensive posters that could be used.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI mentioned that  Charlie Smith (ph) might                                                               
be online to testify.                                                                                                           
[CHAIR  COGHILL  called on  Mr.  Smith  (ph),  but there  was  no                                                               
Number 0537                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS  commented that it's  an easy thing  to do                                                               
at the  post office or  on the Internet.   He then turned  to the                                                               
denial of the PFD, and asked if  a person would be denied for the                                                               
particular year that  they [failed to apply] or  would the person                                                               
not be able  to apply for the PFD thereafter.   He also requested                                                               
clarification of the student loan ramifications.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI  clarified  that   the  intent  of  the                                                               
legislation is that if one fails  to register at the time the PFD                                                               
application is being  completed, then the PFD would  be denied or                                                               
withheld for  that year.   This is  not retroactive in  regard to                                                               
the PFD  or the student loan.   Qualification for receipt  of the                                                               
PFD  in regard  to registration  for selective  service would  be                                                               
determined each year the application is made.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS  related his understanding then  that if a                                                               
person hasn't registered when that  person turns 18 years of age,                                                               
that  person wouldn't  receive the  PFD  that year,  even if  the                                                               
person registers later.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI explained:   "At the time  that you file                                                               
for  your  application,  if  you   have  not  complied  with  the                                                               
registration requirement and it was  applicable to you, you would                                                               
be denied."  She deferred to Ms. Jones, Permanent Fund Division.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS remarked that  this penalty would be quite                                                               
an impetus for people to register.                                                                                              
CHAIR COGHILL pointed out, "If you  look at the effective date of                                                               
this, we're going to give a year  to make notice of that.  So, it                                                               
would be on the application, as I understand it."                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI agreed.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   WILSON   remarked   that  she   didn't   realize                                                               
Representative Murkowski  was working on  this issue.   She noted                                                               
that she  too had  received a  request to submit  a bill  on this                                                               
issue.   She informed the committee  that many states do  what is                                                               
being proposed here,  but it's attached to  the driver's license.                                                               
However, Alaska's  Division of Motor  Vehicles didn't want  to be                                                               
involved in this.   She expressed her belief  that it's important                                                               
that people register for selective service.                                                                                     
Number 0148                                                                                                                     
NANCI  A.  JONES,  Director, Permanent  Fund  Dividend  Division,                                                               
Department  of  Revenue, explained  that  this  would work  on  a                                                               
strict compliance order.  The division will receive a tape from                                                                 
Selective Service that would be  matched with persons between the                                                               
age of 18 and  26 in order to determine if they  were on the tape                                                               
for the  qualifying year.   She clarified  that would be  for the                                                               
year  that has  passed,  the  year for  which  the  PFD is  being                                                               
applied.  Once  an individual isn't on the  tape, that individual                                                               
wouldn't  receive that  [year's] dividend.   When  the individual                                                               
registered  and Selected  Services listed  the individual  on the                                                               
tape as being in compliance,  the individual would receive a PFD.                                                               
For  example:   "If ...  March 31st  when we  run a  tape when  a                                                               
person would apply,  if they weren't on the tape,  they would not                                                               
be  eligible for  a dividend.   If  on April  15th they  went and                                                               
applied, then they  would [be] eligible the  next rotation, which                                                               
would be  the next year  - the next  time that we  would actually                                                               
read the tape."                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS inquired as  to other reasons people don't                                                               
receive a PFD.                                                                                                                  
MS. JONES specified  other reasons that people  don't receive the                                                               
PFD as  follows:   the individual isn't  an Alaska  resident, the                                                               
individual left  the state for more  than 180 days on  an absence                                                               
not specified  in statute, or  the individual broke  residency by                                                               
voting [in another state].                                                                                                      
TAPE 02-27, SIDE A                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  STEVENS  inquired  as to  whether  an  individual                                                               
could be a felon and incarcerated [and still receive] a PFD.                                                                    
MS. JONES replied  that no, a felon is not  eligible to receive a                                                               
PFD in  the year  of incarceration.   She noted  that there  is a                                                               
statute that addresses individuals that are incarcerated.                                                                       
Number 0088                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HAYES  inquired as  to how  the book  will specify                                                               
that a  person who doesn't  register for selected  services won't                                                               
receive their PFD.                                                                                                              
MS. JONES answered  that this would be highlighted as  a new item                                                               
in the household booklet.   Furthermore, the division is going to                                                               
try to place an alert on the face of the application as well.                                                                   
Number 0220                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE FATE  moved to report  HB 305, as amended,  out of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
zero fiscal  note.  There  being no objection, CSHB  305(STA) was                                                               
reported from the House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                       

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