Legislature(2021 - 2022)

04/29/2021 04:02 PM STA


Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                     HB 142-PFD ELIGIBILITY                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:07:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that  the next order  of business                                                               
would be HOUSE BILL NO. 142,  "An Act relating to eligibility for                                                               
the permanent  fund dividend."   [Before  the committee  was CSHB
142(JUD).]                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:07:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KEN MCCARTY,  Alaska State Legislature, introduced                                                               
HB 142,  as the prime  sponsor.   He explained that  the proposed                                                               
legislation  would  limit  the   Permanent  Fund  Dividend  (PFD)                                                               
eligibility  of active-duty  military members  to those  who were                                                               
physically stationed in Alaska.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS invited questions from the committee.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:08:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  asked whether  the bill would  impact the                                                               
eligibility of  congressional staff  who had  left the  state and                                                               
were living and working in Washington D.C.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY  indicated  that  congressional  members,                                                               
members  of the  Peace  Corps, and  full-time  students who  were                                                               
still Alaska  residents would  still be  eligible to  receive the                                                               
PFD.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN asked  whether  the proposed  legislation                                                               
would  impact an  Alaska resident  who was  stationed abroad  for                                                               
some period of time and had family residing in state.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY relayed  that a  military member  who was                                                               
deployed would not lose PFD  eligibility if his/her base remained                                                               
in Alaska.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN asked  whether someone  who was  deployed                                                               
overseas would lose eligibility.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY was unsure of the answer.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:12:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAUFMAN  questioned  why  the  bill  was  focused                                                               
solely on the military, as opposed to having a broader scope.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY  reported that last year,  $16 million was                                                               
distributed  to individuals  who no  longer lived  in state.   He                                                               
indicated  that  the intent  was  to  reduce  the amount  of  PFD                                                               
dollars sent to people who no longer resided in Alaska.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAUFMAN   cited  the  sponsor   statement,  which                                                               
specified  that  in  2018, $4,900,000  had  been  distributed  to                                                               
service members  who spent more than  180 days out of  state.  He                                                               
inquired   about  the   discrepancy  between   $16  million   and                                                               
$4,900,000.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY  stated that  the $4.9 million  applied to                                                               
active-duty military  members only,  whereas the $16  million was                                                               
distributed  to military  members, as  well as  their significant                                                               
others and dependents.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:14:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY sought  to  clarify when  a service  member                                                               
would  become ineligible  under  the proposed  legislation.   She                                                               
pointed out that some military  members were serving out of state                                                               
with the intent of returning to  Alaska.  She asked whether those                                                               
people would lose their eligibility.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY indicated  that  those individuals  would                                                               
lose eligibility.  He explained  that many people who intended to                                                               
return to Alaska  never did.  He said if  and when those military                                                               
members   return  to   Alaska,  they   could  regain   their  PFD                                                               
eligibility.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:16:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN, referencing a  letter from the Department                                                               
of Revenue  (DOR) [hard copy  included in the  committee packet],                                                               
asked Representative McCarty to  quantify the forecasted increase                                                               
in eligibility for individuals not serving in the military.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY  offered to  follow up with  the requested                                                               
information.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN pointed  out that  the document  from DOR                                                               
suggested that  paid dividends would be  reduced by approximately                                                               
$8.5 million  if the bill were  to pass.  He  contended that less                                                               
money  wouldn't be  disbursed, it  would just  be distributed  to                                                               
different people.  He asked if that was correct.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   MCCARTY  shared   his  understanding   that  the                                                               
existing  money  would  be divided  accordingly  to  "the  number                                                               
allocated out for the state in that year."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS explained that if  there was a finite amount                                                               
of money going towards dividends  and the denominator of eligible                                                               
Alaskans grew smaller, then each  remaining Alaskan would receive                                                               
an incrementally larger dividend.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:18:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   TARR   sought   to  clarify   the   concept   of                                                               
reestablishing  residency  for  a  service member  who  had  left                                                               
Alaska and subsequently returned.   She asked whether someone who                                                               
had  previously   established  residency   in  Alaska   would  be                                                               
"situated differently" than someone who was new to Alaska.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY said  anyone who returned to  the state or                                                               
moved to  the state would  be considered in an  equitable manner.                                                               
He indicated  that it would create  too much of a?  "quagmire" to                                                               
differentiate between the two.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:21:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  asked how  many appeals had  been submitted                                                               
against the  denial of an  individual's PFD eligibility,  as well                                                               
as  why certain  appeals  were awarded.    She expressed  concern                                                               
about taking away PFD eligibility from military members.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY   recalled  his  conversation   with  two                                                               
generals who indicated that there was  a lot of incentive to move                                                               
to  Alaska  for  service  members;  further,  that  the  proposed                                                               
legislation  shouldn't deter  that.   He expressed  concern about                                                               
the   significant   resources   that   were   invested   in   the                                                               
investigations  into applicants'  intention of  returning to  the                                                               
state after a permanent change of station (PCS).                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:24:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   KREISS-TOMKINS  asked   how   many  PCNs   were  in   the                                                               
investigation section in the Permanent Fund Dividend Division.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:24:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  asked whether  it would be  beneficial to                                                               
discourage snowbirds from renting  out their in-state residences,                                                               
as it could be perceived as a business.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY stated  that snowbirds  were required  to                                                               
return to the  state within 180 days or else  they lose their PFD                                                               
eligibility.   Alternatively, military members could  be deployed                                                               
over 180 days for purposes  of deployment and still be considered                                                               
residents.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  asked DOR  how much  time would  be spent                                                               
verifying people's intent to return to Alaska.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS  agreed.    He  noted  that  these                                                               
questions would be addressed in the next bill hearing.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  questioned  whether the  repeal  of  the                                                               
allowable  absence eligibility  criteria, which  required DOR  to                                                               
consider  relevant factors  of intent,  would impact  individuals                                                               
outside of the military.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY deferred  the question  to the  Permanent                                                               
Fund Dividend Division.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:27:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  recalled   previous  legislation  that  had                                                               
proposed placing  dividends in an  account for  [service members]                                                               
who left the state with the intent  to return in the future.  She                                                               
explained  that if  those individuals  returned  to Alaska,  they                                                               
would then be eligible to collect  those PFDs.  She asked whether                                                               
that concept had been considered by the bill sponsor.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY replied that it had been considered.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:29:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS   asked  whether   the  bill   sponsor  had                                                               
considered  amending  any  of  the   allowable  absences  in  the                                                               
drafting of the proposed legislation.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY   said  he   had  considered   making  an                                                               
allowance  for the  commercial aviation  industry but  ultimately                                                               
decided  against it,  as other  industries  would have  requested                                                               
equitable treatment.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:30:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  inquired about the language  "is absent" on                                                               
page 2,  line 1, of  CSHB 142(JUD),  which was changed  from "was                                                               
absent".  She  asked whether the change of tense  was made by the                                                               
bill sponsor or Legislative Legal Services.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY  deferred  the  question  to  Legislative                                                               
Legal Services.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:32:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS announced that HB 142 was held over.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects