Legislature(2003 - 2004)
05/05/2004 09:03 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 385-SECURITY;DIV. HOMELAND SECURITY/EMER. MGT Number 0177 CHAIR WEYHRAUCH announced that the first order of business was CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 385(JUD) am, "An Act relating to homeland security, to civil defense, to emergencies and to disasters, including disasters in the event of attacks, outbreaks of disease, or threats of attack or outbreak of disease; establishing the Alaska division of homeland security and emergency management in the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs and relating to the functions of that division and that department; and providing for an effective date." Number 0185 CHAIR WEYHRAUCH moved to adopt CSSB 385(JUD) am. REPRESENTATIVE SEATON objected. Number 0255 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved to adopt Amendment 1, which read as follows [original punctuation provided]: 1. Page 11, line 28 - delete "threat of attacks" and insert "threat level" 2. Page 12, line 16 - delete "threats from attack" and insert "attack threats" 3. Page 13, line 4 - delete "preventive" and insert "prevention" 4. Page 21, lines 7-8 - delete "an attack or imminent threat of attack" and insert "a credible threat of imminent enemy or terrorist attack" 5. Page 21, line 29 - delete "an imminent" and insert "a credible" Page 21, line 30 - before "enemy" insert "imminent" 6. Page 22, line 6 - delete "an imminent" and insert "a credible threat of an imminent" CHAIR WEYHRAUCH objected. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG explained that Amendment 1 makes several technical and conforming changes. In response to a question from Representative Holm, he explained that the changes would help conform the bill "to itself," so that there are not any internal inconsistencies. The committee took a brief at-ease. Number 0365 REPRESENTATIVE SEATON removed his objection to adopting CSSB 385(JUD) am. Number 0374 JOHN CRAMER, Director, Division of Administrative Services, Department of Military & Veterans' Affairs, said he is not cognizant of all the changes that were discussed that are in Amendment 1. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG reviewed the first change [text provided previously]. He said he believes "threat levels" is the correct term to use. MR. CRAMER explained that one method of depicting levels of threat is by a color system: level yellow, to level orange, to level red. The State of Alaska has adopted a similar threat level [indicator]. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked Mr. Cramer if he would "prefer the change that we have here." Number 0482 CHAIR WEYHRAUCH told the committee that he had indicated to the sponsor that he wanted to move the bill out of committee. He said there is no problem to offering amendments on the House floor, but he doesn't want to slow the bill down in this committee. He clarified that he doesn't mind hearing the department's position, but he isn't inclined to amend the bill. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he would not waste his time if the committee is not inclined to [address the amendment]. He said, "Let's just leave this Amendment 1." CHAIR WEYHRAUCH clarified that Amendment 1 had been withdrawn. Number 0549 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG [moved to adopt] Amendment 2, which read as follows: Page 19, line 8: Delete "The" Insert "To the extent preempted by federal law, the" CHAIR WEYHRAUCH stated his plans to take Representative Gruenberg's amendments to Senator Fred Dyson's office for him to "think about these in the context of ... this bill." He said he wants the department to "talk about this a little more carefully with Senator Dyson's staff." He mentioned the roles of various departments and committees in this process. MR. CRAMER concurred with Chair Weyhrauch that he had not had the opportunity to speak with the sponsor or staff regarding any changes to the bill. CHAIR WEYHRAUCH objected to Amendment 2. Number 0655 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said the language that Amendment 2 would add to the bill is the correct legal term to use. Number 0688 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG, at the request of Chair Weyhrauch, withdrew Amendment 2. Number 0700 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG [moved to adopt] Amendment 3, which read as follows: Page 2, line 4, through page 7, line 24: Delete all material and insert: "* Sec. 2. AS 24.20 is amended by adding a new section to article 5 to read: Sec. 24.20.680. Legislative review. (a) The president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives shall appoint members or committees of the senate and the house, respectively, to review confidential activities, plans, reports, recommendations, and other materials of the Alaska division of homeland security and emergency management established in AS 24.20.025, or of other agencies or persons, relating to matters concerning homeland security and civil defense, emergencies, or disasters in the state or to the state's preparedness for or ability to mount a prompt response to matters concerning homeland security and civil defense, emergencies, or disasters. In making appointments under this subsection, each presiding officer shall ensure that the political party membership of the members appointed by that presiding officer is proportional to the political party membership of the house of the legislature over which the officer presides. (b) To be eligible for appointment under (a) of this section, a member shall have a federal security clearance at the secret level at the time of appointment or shall have an interim security clearance at the secret level at the time of appointment and shall apply for and receive a federal security clearance at the secret level. Members holding a federal security clearance at the secret level at the time of appointment or receiving the clearance following appointment shall maintain the federal security clearance at the secret level to remain qualified to serve in appointed status. (c) The president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives may condition the appointment of members under (a) of this section upon the execution of appropriate confidentiality agreements by the members or by persons assisting those members. Information and documents received by appointed members or persons assisting appointed members under a confidentiality agreement as described in this subsection are not public records and are not subject to public disclosure under AS 40.25.100 - 40.25.220. (d) Appointed members who remain qualified under (b) of this section serve for the duration of the legislature during which the members are appointed. If a member is reelected or a member's term of office extends into the next succeeding legislature and the member remains qualified under (a) and (b) of this section, the member shall continue to serve until reappointed or the appointment of the member's successor. (e) When a member appointed under (a) of this section files a declaration of candidacy for an elective office other than that of member of either house of the legislature, and the member has not resigned from appointed status, the member's appointed status terminates on the date that the member leaves legislative office." Page 22, line 16, through page 23, line 5: Delete all material and insert: "* Sec. 21. AS 24.20.680 is repealed January 1, 2009. * Sec. 22. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to read: PREPARATION AND PRESENTATION OF PROPOSED LEGISLATION. If the adjutant general of the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs determines that additional qualifications for appointment under AS 24.20.680, added by sec. 2 of this Act, would significantly enhance the security of sensitive materials or information to be reviewed under AS 24.20.680, the adjutant general shall prepare a bill proposing amendments to AS 24.20.680, enacted by sec. 2 of this Act, for consideration by each house of the legislature, and shall deliver the bill to the Secretary of the Alaska State Senate and the Chief Clerk of the Alaska State House of Representatives not later than 30 days following the convening of the First Regular Session of the Twenty-Fourth Alaska State Legislature. * Sec. 23. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to read: INITIAL APPOINTMENT. The President of the Alaska State Senate and the Speaker of the Alaska State House of Representatives shall make the appointments required under AS 24.20.680, enacted by sec. 2 of this Act, within 15 days after the effective date of this Act." CHAIR WEYHRAUCH objected to Amendment 3. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG explained that the bill itself sets up a [Homeland Security and Emergency Management] Subcommittee of the Joint Armed Services Committee to receive confidential information. He indicated that those involved would have to receive a "secret clearance" and sign a confidentiality form. Unfortunately, he said, the Joint Armed Services Committee is not a legislative committee. He noted that the Senate does not have a committee on military and veterans' affairs, while the House does. He explained that [Amendment 3] would allow the presiding officers the discretion to appoint individuals or a committee "to deal with this." Those individuals would receive "secret clearance," sign a confidentiality document, and have access "to this information." He stated, "It's the same process; it's just a question of who would be doing it." Representative Gruenberg said he is under the impression that the co-chair of the [Joint] Armed Services Committee, among others, seem to think [Amendment 3] is a good idea. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG, in response to a request by Chair Weyhrauch, withdrew his motion to adopt Amendment 3. Number 0912 REPRESENTATIVE SEATON directed attention to [a two-page list of] questions [included in the committee packet], which were submitted by Jim Butler. He said some of the questions probably ought to be addressed. For example, on page 12, beginning on line 16, the language proposes that folks in the DMVA will have police powers, but they will not get police training. He questioned if the situation would exist where people who are untrained are "doing the establishment of these procedures." Number 1011 MICHAEL MITCHELL, Assistant Attorney General, Labor and State Affairs Section, Civil Division (Anchorage), Department of Law, said he would defer to Mr. Cramer regarding the specifics of the activities in which the department engages. In regard to page 12, line 16, he offered his understanding that "investigation" in that context is "evaluation or assessment of the nature of the threat, rather than a law enforcement form of investigation or intelligence gathering." More generally, he stated his understanding that DMVA does not engage in law enforcement-type of activities or police-type activities. Number 1089 DAVID E. LIEBERSBACH, Director, Division of Homeland Security/Emergency Management, Department of Military & Veterans' Affairs, noted that "the individuals that are assigned to this" do get training to the certification of state troopers, when they are acting with the state and before they are deployed with the state troopers. He clarified that the investigative type of work these folks do is gathering information and evaluating critical infrastructure of state or private facilities. He emphasized that the investigations are done by request. For example, assessments are currently being done on Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA), the Alaska Railroad, and the Port of Anchorage. He said, "I could go on and on, but we're getting a little bit into sensitive areas." Those investigators are looking for vulnerability to potential terrorist activity, and they provide input to assisting that state or private facility to developing plans and programs to lessen their vulnerability. He emphasized that no kind of criminal investigations are done; that job strictly lies with the Alaska State Troopers or local police, or - if federal - with the federal force. REPRESENTATIVE SEATON reiterated that he would like answers to Mr. Butler's questions. MR. CRAMER noted that the language on page 12, "lines 16, 22, 24, 28" is currently in statute, in AS 26.20. He reiterated that those civil statutes were enacted in 1951 and have been there since that time. He said the department has the authority to execute [AS] 26.20. He spoke of combining [two existing divisions into the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management], in order to save money. He indicated the intent to "get rid of a lot of the very onerous stuff that was in the ... original civil defense statute. REPRESENTATIVE SEATON explained that he didn't want [Mr. Butler's] questions glossed over in the committee's rush to address the bill; however, he stated that he knows the committee doesn't have the time to "do it here." MR. CRAMER stated that [SB 385] is a critical piece of legislation that the department would like to see moved forward. He noted that the department has, for its own use, prepared responses to [Mr. Butler's] questions, and he offered to make those responses available to the committee. CHAIR WEYHRAUCH said that would be important, particularly if Mr. Cramer could make those available before the bill gets to the House floor. Number 1374 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG stated his hope that Chair Weyhrauch will indicate on the House floor why the committee left [amendments] to address on the House floor. Number 1399 CHAIR WEYHRAUCH moved to report CSSB 385(JUD)am out of committee, with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal notes. REPRESENTATIVE SEATON again removed his objection to adopting CSSB 385(JUD)am. CHAIR WEYHRAUCH asked if there were any further objections to the motion to report CSSB 385(JUD)am out of committee. There being none, CSSB 385(JUD)am was reported out of the House State Affairs Standing Committee.