Legislature(2021 - 2022)GRUENBERG 120

04/15/2021 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 63 ALASKA MARINE HIGHWAY OPERATIONS BOARD TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 55 PEACE OFFICER/FIREFIGHTER RETIRE BENEFITS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 55 Out of Committee
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
        HB  55-PEACE OFFICER/FIREFIGHTER RETIRE BENEFITS                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:06:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that the first  order of business                                                               
would be HOUSE BILL NO. 55,  "An Act relating to participation of                                                               
certain peace  officers and firefighters  in the  defined benefit                                                               
and  defined   contribution  plans   of  the   Public  Employees'                                                               
Retirement  System of  Alaska; relating  to eligibility  of peace                                                               
officers  and firefighters  for  medical,  disability, and  death                                                               
benefits;  relating   to  liability  of  the   Public  Employees'                                                               
Retirement  System  of Alaska;  and  providing  for an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS invited comments from committee members.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:06:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  believed that  a new retirement  system was                                                               
desperately needed  in many areas of  state government, including                                                               
teachers and  public employees.   She  expressed her  support for                                                               
moving the  proposed legislation  from committee and  opined that                                                               
implementing  defined benefits  would help  with recruitment  and                                                               
retention.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR noted  that when  the commissioner  designee                                                               
for  the Department  of  Public  Safety (DPS)  was  in the  House                                                               
Special   Committee  on   Tribal   Affairs   (HTRB)  to   discuss                                                               
comprehensive  public safety  issues,  he specifically  mentioned                                                               
that fixing the  retirement system was an  absolute necessity for                                                               
recruitment and  retention.   The commissioner  designee conveyed                                                               
that there were  only 52 Village Public  Safety Officers (VPSOs);                                                               
however,  the goal  was  to  have 120.    Additionally, 36  State                                                               
Trooper positions  were filled,  but 33  were lost  to retirement                                                               
and attrition.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN   expressed  his  appreciation   for  the                                                               
current language  in the  proposed legislation.   He said  he was                                                               
interested  to  see how  it  progressed  through the  legislative                                                               
process.   He  shared his  belief that  the tools,  by which  the                                                               
[retirement]  package would  be  adjusted  for inflation,  should                                                               
receive  higher scrutiny  as  a season  of  higher inflation  was                                                               
approaching.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:09:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAUFMAN  expressed   concern  about  the  defined                                                               
benefit plan  creating a  future obligation.   He  suggested that                                                               
other  areas   of  dissatisfaction   were  more   significant  to                                                               
retention, including improvements in  leadership and culture.  He                                                               
opined that  the proposed legislation  was attempting to  fix the                                                               
wrong  concern.   He  said  he would  have  preferred that  other                                                               
departmental issues were focused on first.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  welcomed  an opportunity  to  address  the                                                               
issues  that Representative  Kaufman  had mentioned.   He  opined                                                               
that the  proposed legislation  was extremely  well crafted.   He                                                               
said  as a  younger person,  he was  drawn to  retirement systems                                                               
that made  public servants and  retirees "whole" in  a reasonable                                                               
way and provided  a certain amount of security  and dignity while                                                               
remaining cautious  about the potential  of liabilities  that the                                                               
state would  assume.   He asserted  that on  an intergenerational                                                               
basis, previous  retirement systems had been  grossly inequitable                                                               
to younger generations that  were disproportionately paying older                                                               
generations' retirements.  He expressed  his appreciation for the                                                               
risk aversion that was included  in this legislation and surmised                                                               
that  the  bill  would  be  intergenerationally  equitable  while                                                               
remaining fair to retirees.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:12:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN moved  to report  HB 55  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  Without  objection, HB 55 was moved from  the House State                                                               
Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 63 Emails of Support - Volume 4 - 4.14.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 55 Letter of Support - Tompkins 3.26.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 55
Amendment G.11 - Kreiss-Tomkins 4.15.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63 Amendment G.13 - Kreiss-Tomkins 4.14.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment G.12 - Kreiss-Tomkins 4.14.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment G.14 - Kreiss-Tomkins 4.14.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment G.15 - Kreiss-Tomkins 4.14.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment G.16 - Kreiss-Tomkins 4.15.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment G.17 - Kreiss-Tomkins 4.15.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment G.17 - Legal Memo 4.15.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment G.18 - Kreiss-Tomkins 4.14.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment G.1 - Vance 4.5.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment G.2 - Story 4.5.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment G.3 - Eastman 4.5.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment G.4 - Kaufman 4.14.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment G.5 - Kaufman 4.14.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment G.6 - Kaufman 4.14.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment G.7 - Kaufman 4.14.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment G.8 - Kaufman 4.14.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment G.9 - Kreiss-Tomkins 4.14.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment G.10 - Kreiss-Tomkins 4.15.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment G.11 - Kreiss-Tomkins 4.15.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment G.20 - Kreiss-Tomkins 4.15.21.pdf HSTA 4/15/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63