Legislature(2011 - 2012)CAPITOL 106

01/26/2012 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved Out of Committee
Heard & Held
Moved HCS SCR 11(STA) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
                HB 247-ALASKA NATIONAL GUARD DAY                                                                            
8:08:22 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN announced  that the first order of  business was HOUSE                                                               
BILL NO.  247, "An Act establishing  July 30 each year  as Alaska                                                               
National Guard Day."                                                                                                            
CHAIR  LYNN, as  joint  prime  sponsor, introduced  HB  247.   He                                                               
lauded the National Guard for the  work it has done and continues                                                               
to do.   He noted that  the National Guard had  recently help the                                                               
City of  Cordova, when that community  experienced a particularly                                                               
heavy and  sustained snow fall.   Chair Lynn read  headlines from                                                               
various news reports related to the  National Guard.  He said the                                                               
following words are associated with  the National Guard:  assist,                                                               
deploy,  perform, help,  perform, rescue,  save, and  serve.   He                                                               
said the  National Guard  has a presence  in over  75 communities                                                               
throughout  Alaska and,  since 2003,  has deployed  approximately                                                               
1,500  overseas  during  Operation Iraqi  Freedom  and  Operation                                                               
Enduring Freedom  in Afghanistan.   Chair Lynn said  the proposed                                                               
legislation  would  recognize the  value  and  dedication of  the                                                               
National Guard in  its role in the  viability, economy, security,                                                               
and  overall  well-being of  Alaska  and  the United  States,  by                                                               
creating National Guard Day on July  30 of each year.  He relayed                                                               
that July  30 is the  day on which,  in 1948, the  National Guard                                                               
was recognized by U.S. Congress.                                                                                                
8:12:45 AM                                                                                                                    
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL  CRAIG E.  CAMPBELL  testified  as a  retired                                                               
member of  the Alaska National  Guard in support  of HB 247.   He                                                               
read  excerpts  from  his  written  testimony  (included  in  the                                                               
committee  packet),  which he  had  previously  presented to  the                                                               
House Special  Committee on Military  and Veterans' Affairs.   He                                                               
related that  the National Guard  is the oldest component  of the                                                               
armed  forces in  the U.S.,  first  organized as  the militia  by                                                               
decree in Massachusetts in 1636.   The National Guard is the only                                                               
military service in the U.S. with  both a federal and state role;                                                               
those in  the guard are  under the  direction of the  governor of                                                               
their state of  residence until such times as they  may be called                                                               
upon by the President of the  United States.  He said today there                                                               
are over  half a  million members  of the  National Guard  in the                                                               
8:16:51 AM                                                                                                                    
LIEUTENANT  GENERAL  CAMPBELL talked  about  the  history of  the                                                               
National  Guard  in  Alaska.   He  said  former  Governor  Ernest                                                               
Gruening initiated  formal actions  to have  a National  Guard in                                                               
the Territory of  Alaska in 1939.  Soon thereafter,  the U.S. was                                                               
at war, and  the 297th Infantry Battalion  was established, which                                                               
was  the  beginning  of  the   Army  National  Guard  in  Alaska.                                                               
Governor Gruening also established  the Alaska Territorial Guard,                                                               
which had  over 6,600  members, mostly Alaska  Native.   In 2000,                                                               
then Senator  Ted Stevens introduced  a bill  finally recognizing                                                               
the  members of  the Territorial  National  Guard.   By 1952,  he                                                               
said, Alaska had both an Army and Air National Guard.                                                                           
LIEUTENANT GENERAL  CAMPBELL said  about 70  percent of  those in                                                               
the  National  Guard serves  part-time  and  holds civilian  jobs                                                               
around the  state; they volunteer  their services when  needed by                                                               
the  state  or the  federal  government.    He said  since  2003,                                                               
members of  the Alaska National  Guard have deployed to  a number                                                               
of  places  around  the world,  including:    Iraq,  Afghanistan,                                                               
Kuwait,  Qatar, Bahrain,  Kosovo, the  Horn of  Africa, Pakistan,                                                               
and Kyrgyzstan.  Further, the  National Guard offers humanitarian                                                               
relief and  has responded following  global natural  disasters in                                                               
Japan  and   Haiti,  and  after  domestic   disasters,  including                                                               
Hurricane  Katrina  and  Hurricane  Irene.    Lieutenant  General                                                               
Campbell  pointed  out  that  the   Alaska  National  Guard  also                                                               
conducts  Operation   Santa  Clause  and  conducts   arctic  care                                                               
missions to villages.  He opined  that it would be appropriate to                                                               
recognize July 30 each year as  Alaska National Guard Day, and he                                                               
asked the committee to support HB 247.                                                                                          
8:20:59 AM                                                                                                                    
JIM KALLANDER,  Mayor, City of  Cordova, testified in  support of                                                               
HB 247.   He said he declared  a disaster in the  City of Cordova                                                               
after determining the city's health  and safety was threatened by                                                               
the amount  of snowfall it was  experiencing.  He said  he called                                                               
the  Alaska Department  of Homeland  Security,  and the  National                                                               
Guard  arrived in  the  City of  Cordova just  in  time to  help.                                                               
Mayor Kallander said the storm  compromised the infrastructure of                                                               
many  homes.   He  said members  of the  guard  were Alaskan  and                                                               
"carried the Alaska spirit," and the community was grateful.                                                                    
8:23:16 AM                                                                                                                    
MARK LYNCH, City  Manager, City of Cordova,  testified in support                                                               
of HB  247.  He said  when the emergency occurred,  the residents                                                               
of  the City  of  Cordova  had already  been  shoveling snow  for                                                               
several weeks  and working  hard to protect  their property.   He                                                               
said in a period of two to  three weeks, the city had received an                                                               
amount  of snow  that would  exceed  the normal  snowfall for  an                                                               
entire season.  People  were worn out and unable to  keep up.  He                                                               
said there is  no doubt that the city would  have lost additional                                                               
buildings if the  National Guard had not come to  its aid, and he                                                               
ventured lives possibly could have  been lost in those buildings.                                                               
He said  the city is  thankful for  what the National  Guard did,                                                               
and he  stated his support  of HB 247 as  a way to  recognize the                                                               
National Guard for its service to the state and the nation.                                                                     
8:25:17 AM                                                                                                                    
TIM JOYCE  testified in  support of  HB 247.   He  said he  was a                                                               
former mayor  of the City of  Cordova, and he was  working as the                                                               
public information officer during the  recent snow emergency.  He                                                               
stated  that he  can attest  the  disaster would  have been  much                                                               
worse without  the intervention of  the National Guard.   He said                                                               
words alone  cannot express the  gratitude felt for  the National                                                               
Guard.   He  posited that  it is  appropriate that  the State  of                                                               
Alaska recognizes the National Guard  on the date of the founding                                                               
of that  entity.   Mr. Joyce  pointed out  that the  employers of                                                               
those  in the  National  Guard are  unsung  heroes, because  they                                                               
allow their employees  to take off from work to  meet the call of                                                               
the National Guard,  which can put a strain  on their businesses.                                                               
He offered his understanding that  the City of Cordova is unified                                                               
in its support of the proposed legislation.                                                                                     
8:27:14 AM                                                                                                                    
JENNIFER GIBBONS, Cordova Times, testified  in support of HB 247.                                                               
She described  the moment  she realized that  the snow  storm had                                                               
reached a  tipping point, when  roofs were starting  to collapse.                                                               
She  said the  arrival  of  the National  Guard  was  not only  a                                                               
physical  relief, but  also a  mental boost.   She  said National                                                               
Guard members expressed appreciation  for the opportunity to help                                                               
divert greater  disaster.   She concurred  with the  City Manager                                                               
that lives  may have been lost  without the help of  the National                                                               
Guard, and  she said  the National  Guard is  a great  example of                                                               
volunteerism and  "high service  ethic."  She  opined that  it is                                                               
important to recognize and encourage that.                                                                                      
8:30:57 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN invited further legislators to co-sponsor HB 247.                                                                    
8:31:03 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN,  as  co-sponsor   of  HB  247,  offered                                                               
information as to how a person could join the National Guard.                                                                   
8:31:48 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER noted  that  he belonged  to the  National                                                               
Guard   in  the   1970s  and   proudly   supports  the   proposed                                                               
8:32:21 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  moved to  report HB  247 out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  There being no objection,  HB 247 was reported out of the                                                               
House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
04 HB077-OOG-DOE-1-22-12.pdf HSTA 1/26/2012 8:00:00 AM
HB 77
01 SCR 11 - Bill.PDF HSTA 1/26/2012 8:00:00 AM
SCR 11
02 CS for SCR 11 27-LS0774 Version M STA.pdf HSTA 1/26/2012 8:00:00 AM
SCR 11
03 UPDATED SPONSOR STATEMENT SCR 11 2012 Sponsor Statement.pdf HSTA 1/26/2012 8:00:00 AM
SCR 11
04 SCR 11 - Day of the Arctic Article.pdf HSTA 1/26/2012 8:00:00 AM
SCR 11
05 SCR 11 - Iceland Letter.pdf HSTA 1/26/2012 8:00:00 AM
SCR 11
06 SCR 11 Fiscal Note 1-24-2012.pdf HSTA 1/26/2012 8:00:00 AM
SCR 11
1 HB0247A Copy of Bill.PDF HSTA 1/26/2012 8:00:00 AM
HB 247
2 HB 247 Sponsor Statement.pdf HSTA 1/26/2012 8:00:00 AM
HB 247
3 HB 247 Relevant Statutes.pdf HSTA 1/26/2012 8:00:00 AM
HB 247
4 HB 247 Guard article.pdf HSTA 1/26/2012 8:00:00 AM
HB 247
5 HB 247 Guard State Press Releases.PDF HSTA 1/26/2012 8:00:00 AM
HB 247
6 HB247-DOA-FAC-1-21-12.pdf HSTA 1/26/2012 8:00:00 AM
HB 247
7 HB247 MLV Fiscal Note.pdf HSTA 1/26/2012 8:00:00 AM
HB 247
01 HB 287 Version B (1).pdf HSTA 1/26/2012 8:00:00 AM
HB 287
02 HB 287 Sponsor Statement.pdf HSTA 1/26/2012 8:00:00 AM
HB 287
03 HB 287 Sectional Summary.pdf HSTA 1/26/2012 8:00:00 AM
HB 287
04 HB287-OOG-DOE-1-22-12.pdf HSTA 1/26/2012 8:00:00 AM
HB 287