Legislature(2011 - 2012)CAPITOL 106

03/15/2011 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
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Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
          HB 176-PFD ALLOWABLE ABSENCE:DEFENSE WORKERS                                                                      
9:28:38 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN  announced that the  last order of business  was HOUSE                                                               
BILL  NO. 176,  "An  Act  relating to  an  allowable absence  for                                                               
members  of the  Civilian Expeditionary  Workforce of  the United                                                               
States  Department   of  Defense  for  purposes   of  determining                                                               
eligibility for  permanent fund dividends;  and providing  for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
9:29:32 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER moved  to adopt  the committee  substitute                                                               
(CS) for HB 176, Version  27-LS0224\B, Kirsch, 3/14/11, as a work                                                               
9:29:47 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                         
9:29:52 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BOB  MILLER, Alaska State  Legislature, introduced                                                               
HB 176  as sponsor.   He said there  is a  list of those  who are                                                               
allowed to  receive the  Alaska Permanent  Fund Dividend,  and it                                                               
came to his attention that there  is a small contingent of Alaska                                                               
residents who  work for  the U.S. Department  of Defense,  can be                                                               
deployed to  war zones, and, because  of the length of  time they                                                               
are deployed, are not always eligible  to receive a PFD.  He said                                                               
HB 176 would establish an allowable absence for those people.                                                                   
9:31:56 AM                                                                                                                    
TROY  BOUFFARD, Staff,  Representative Bob  Miller, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, presented  HB 176 and  answered questions  on behalf                                                               
of Representative  Miller, sponsor.   In response to  Chair Lynn,                                                               
he explained  that there are  approximately 53 civilians  who are                                                               
identified  in   the  capacity  of  the   Civilian  Expeditionary                                                               
Workforce.   He  specified that  the bill  clearly separates  the                                                               
workforce as that which can be deployed.                                                                                        
9:33:43 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON directed attention  to the terms list on                                                               
page 1, line 14,  through page 2, line 1, of  Version M - "combat                                                           
zone, qualified hazardous duty area, or  a danger pay post" - and                                                           
asked for a definition of each.                                                                                                 
CHAIR LYNN requested a definition from the sponsor.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER said he will get that clarification.                                                                      
9:37:42 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON  said   he  would   like  not   only  the                                                               
definitions, but also wants to know where those areas are.                                                                      
9:38:16 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   KELLER  noted   Section   2   states  that   the                                                               
definitions  of   "Civilian  Expeditionary   Workforce",  "combat                                                               
zone", and  "danger pay post"  used in HB  176 are those  used in                                                               
United States  Code.   He pointed out  one possible  problem with                                                               
using federal definitions  in determining who will  receive a PFD                                                               
is that  those definitions could  change, which could  affect who                                                               
would be eligible for  the PFD.  He asked the  bill sponsor if he                                                               
has any objection to including a  full definition of the terms in                                                               
Alaska statute.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLER  answered  that  he has  no  objection  at                                                               
present, but  suggested that plainer  language could be  used for                                                               
CHAIR LYNN  said he  would like  to see  the definition  in plain                                                               
9:40:28 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  said a  military person  contacted her                                                               
regarding HB 176,  and this person has been out  of the state for                                                               
10 years  and has qualified  every year but  this one.   She said                                                               
she does not know which category  he/she is in, but wants to know                                                               
how the person can qualify once more for the PFD.                                                                               
MR. BOUFFARD  responded that  someone in  the active  military is                                                               
beyond the scope of HB 176.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER  stated his intent  is for HB 176  to cover                                                               
those who  are current residents  of Alaska who intend  to return                                                               
to Alaska.                                                                                                                      
9:43:09 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. BOUFFARD stated  his understanding that HB  190 would address                                                               
the issue to which Representative P. Wilson referred.                                                                           
9:44:13 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  asked  that  the  federal  definitions                                                               
referenced in  Section 2 be provided  to the committee.   He then                                                               
directed  attention to  Section 4,  and questioned  why the  bill                                                               
sponsor chose retroactivity of two years rather than one.                                                                       
9:45:17 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLER,  in  response to  Representative  Seaton,                                                               
said  HB 176  would not  apply to  those teaching  children on  a                                                               
military base.                                                                                                                  
9:48:33 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  BOUFFARD, in  response to  Representative  Seaton, said  the                                                               
contracting  civilian issue  was a  sticking point.   He  relayed                                                               
that  contractors have  the ability  to  negotiate their  salary,                                                               
thus  fall under  the  category  of those  who  make an  economic                                                               
choice and are excluded from the scope of the bill.                                                                             
9:49:36 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. BOUFFARD, in  response to Representative P.  Wilson, said the                                                               
definition of civilian workforce is  a civilian who works for the                                                               
U.S. Department of Defense who is deployable.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER,  in response to Representative  P. Wilson,                                                               
said  he  would supply  a  definition  clarifying the  difference                                                               
between "deployed" and "assigned".                                                                                              
9:52:04 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON requested  a  list of  the occupations  of                                                               
those  who  would be  included  under  HB 176,  because  civilian                                                               
expeditionary force  is ambiguous and some  situations sound like                                                               
economic choice may be involved.                                                                                                
9:54:02 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN noted that Debbie Bitney, the director of the                                                                        
Permanent Fund Division, was available to answer questions.                                                                     
9:54:38 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER offered his understanding that in any                                                                     
given year, HB 176 would cover about six people.                                                                                
9:55:15 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN announced that HB 176 was heard and held.  [The                                                                      
motion to adopt Version B as a work draft was left pending.]                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 HB0176A.pdf HSTA 3/15/2011 8:00:00 AM
HB 176
01a CS for HB 176 Version B.pdf HSTA 3/15/2011 8:00:00 AM
HB 176
02 Sponsor Statement - HB 176.pdf HSTA 3/15/2011 8:00:00 AM
HB 176
03 HB176-DOR-PFD-3-12-11.pdf HSTA 3/15/2011 8:00:00 AM
HB 176
01 HB169 Version A 02-23-11.pdf HSTA 3/15/2011 8:00:00 AM
HB 169
02 HB169 Sponsor Statement 03-08-11.pdf HSTA 3/15/2011 8:00:00 AM
HB 169
03 HB169 Supporting Documents-Memo Legal Services 02-18-11.pdf HSTA 3/15/2011 8:00:00 AM
HB 169
04 Fiscal Note HB 169 Legislature.pdf HSTA 3/15/2011 8:00:00 AM
HB 169