Legislature(2021 - 2022)GRUENBERG 120

05/04/2021 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 28 EST. APRIL 24 ALASKA CONSTITUTION DAY TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 28(STA) Out of Committee
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+= HJR 7 CONST. AM: PERM FUND & PFDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 73 PERM FUND; ADVISORY VOTE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
*+ HB 124 FILLING VACANCY IN LEGISLATURE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+= HB 142 PFD ELIGIBILITY TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 163 FORM OF SIGNATURE ON VEHICLE TITLE TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 163 Out of Committee
+= HB 5 SEXUAL ASSAULT; DEF. OF "CONSENT" TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSSHB 5(STA) Out of Committee
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                     HB 142-PFD ELIGIBILITY                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:44:59 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).]                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:45:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEN  MCCARTY,  Alaska  State  Legislature,  prime                                                               
sponsor of HB 142, provided brief introductory remarks.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:46:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS opened public testimony.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:47:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BERT  HOUGHTALING   stated,  "From   what  I've  heard   of  this                                                               
particular bill,  I'm not too  much against what is  being done."                                                               
He  understood that  the  bill  would make  it  easier for  those                                                               
working out  of state to file  for their PFD, as  well as further                                                               
clarify the  eligibility criteria for the  PFD.  He said  if that                                                               
was  correct  do,   then  he  was  supportive   of  the  proposed                                                               
legislation.  He concluded by addressing HB 73 and HJR 7.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:49:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NOLAN  HEATH  informed  the  committee  that  he  was  a  Vietnam                                                               
veteran.  He  believed that service members who  were assigned to                                                               
a base  outside of Alaska should  not be eligible for  a dividend                                                               
even if they  maintained residency in Alaska.   However, if those                                                               
service members  returned to  Alaska, they  should be  allowed to                                                               
reestablish their eligibility, he opined.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:51:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS closed public testimony.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:52:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  referenced a letter from  the Department of                                                               
Revenue  (DOR),   dated  4/28/21  [hard  copy   included  in  the                                                               
committee packet],  which provided  responses to  questions asked                                                               
in the House Judiciary Committee.   The third paragraph on page 1                                                               
specified  that AS  43.23.008 and  15 AAAC  23.163 contained  the                                                               
language allowing  snowbirds to be  absent from Alaska for  up to                                                               
180  days.   He asked  why the  180-day threshold  was placed  in                                                               
regulation  as  opposed  to  statute.    Further,  he  questioned                                                               
whether  DOR  could  theoretically   increase  or  decrease  that                                                               
threshold through the regulatory process.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:53:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BOBBI   SCHERRER,  Appeals   Manager,  Permanent   Fund  Dividend                                                               
Division, Department of  Revenue, stated that from  1999 to 2003,                                                               
the  language was  found under  AS 43.23.008(13)(A);  however, in                                                               
2004, the  statute was  changed to its  present form.   Regarding                                                               
his second question, she offered  to follow up with the requested                                                               
information.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:54:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  questioned whether  a piece  of legislation                                                               
removed that language from law in 2004.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHERRER said she did not  know and offered to follow up with                                                               
the requested information.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS expressed his  surprise that this policy was                                                               
in regulation rather than statute.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:55:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY  clarified that the 180-day  threshold was                                                               
presently in  statute.  He  opined that increasing the  length of                                                               
allowable absence for snowbirds could  affect the economy if they                                                               
chose to remain in another state for a longer amount of time.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS noted  that  his predilection  would be  to                                                               
tighten the  limit so that people  would need to spend  a "strong                                                               
majority"  of  the  year  in  Alaska  in  order  to  qualify  for                                                               
eligibility.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:56:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:59:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS thanked  Representative Tarr  for directing                                                               
his attention to several statutes during the at-ease.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:59:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE  referenced  page  1, paragraph  4  of  the                                                               
letter  from  DOR,   which  indicated  that  the   repeal  of  AS                                                               
43.23.0005(a)(4),  AS  43.23.005(f),  and  AS  43.23.008(e),  per                                                               
Section  3  of  CSHB  142(JUD),  would  increase  the  number  of                                                               
eligible  applicants  each year  that  were  absent on  allowable                                                               
absences  under   AS  43.23.008(a).    She   inquired  about  any                                                               
unintended consequences that may occur  as a result of the repeal                                                               
language in  Section 3.  Further,  she the bill sponsor  to speak                                                               
to his intent.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
5:01:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY  said the intent  of the bill was  to make                                                               
PFD eligibility equitable.  He  added that "not everybody gets to                                                               
move  from  the state  and  keep  collecting the  Permanent  Fund                                                               
Dividend."  He  explained that military members  had been allowed                                                               
to  leave  the  state  with  the intent  to  return  while  still                                                               
collecting  their  PFD;  however,  that  intent  was  not  always                                                               
fulfilled.   He added that other  people may have had  the intent                                                               
to leave  Alaska and  return but  they not  were not  allowed the                                                               
same  privilege.     Therefore,   the  intent  of   the  proposed                                                               
legislation was to  ensure that the dividend  was being disbursed                                                               
to people residing in the state, he indicated.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
5:02:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE  said she  would  like  to hear  from  both                                                               
Legislative  Legal Services  and  DOR to  ensure  that there  was                                                               
consistent  interpretations  of  the   repeal  language  and  its                                                               
potential ramifications.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
EMILY   NAUMAN,  Deputy   Director,  Office   of  the   Director,                                                               
Legislative Legal Services, asked  Representative Vance to repeat                                                               
the question.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:03:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  directed attention  to the  repeal language                                                               
in  Section 3  of CSHB  142(JUD).   She inquired  about the  full                                                               
impact  of that  language, as  DOR had  indicated that  repealing                                                               
those statutes  would apply  to all  allowable absences  under AS                                                               
43.23.008(a)  and   that  the  division   would  apply   the  law                                                               
consistently and uniformly.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. NAUMAN said currently, a person  was allowed to be absent for                                                               
the  reasons listed  under AS  43.23.008;  however, AS  43.25.005                                                               
required eligible individuals  to have been present  in the state                                                               
for  at least  72 consecutive  hours during  the prior  two years                                                               
before  the  current  dividend  year  even  if  they  claimed  an                                                               
allowable  absence.   She stated  that  the proposed  legislation                                                               
would repeal that requirement, so if  people were out of state on                                                               
an allowable absence,  they would no longer be  required to prove                                                               
they had returned to Alaska for at least 72 consecutive hours.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
5:05:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  surmised that  the repeal  language would                                                               
change the annual  number of eligible applicants.   He questioned                                                               
whether that overall number would increase or decrease.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.   SCHERRER   stated   that   because   the   repeal   of   AS                                                               
43.23.005(a)(4) would  impact all allowable absence  types [under                                                               
AS  43.23.008(a)], the  14,500 individuals  who were  claiming an                                                               
allowable absence would  no longer be required to  prove they had                                                               
returned  to  Alaska for  72  consecutive  hours to  prove  their                                                               
intent.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:06:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  asked  how  many  individuals  would  be                                                               
eligible to receive a dividend should the bill pass.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHERRER reported that of  the 14,500 individuals claiming an                                                               
allowable absence, 2,000 were denied  for non-response or failure                                                               
to provide proof  of physical presence in the state  for at least                                                               
72  consecutive hours.   She  explained that  those 2,000  people                                                               
would  become  eligible if  the  bill  were  to pass,  while  the                                                               
remaining 12,500 would maintain  eligibility, but would no longer                                                               
be required to provide that proof.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
5:08:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  asked how many military  members would be                                                               
denied eligibility if the bill were to pass.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHERRER said the Permanent  Fund Division (the division) was                                                               
not able to break down the figures by type of absence.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS sought to clarify  whether the repealing the                                                               
72-hour  requirement   would  reduce   the  number   of  eligible                                                               
applicants by 12,500.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SCHERRER  stated that  the  number  of active-duty  military                                                               
members who would no longer be  eligible for the PFD would amount                                                               
to 10,000 per year.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
5:11:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS sought  to clarify  what the  14,500-figure                                                               
corresponded to.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHERRER restated  that 14,500 was the  number of individuals                                                               
per   year   who   claimed  an   allowable   absence   under   AS                                                               
43.23.009(a)(1-16) and  were required to prove  they had returned                                                               
to Alaska for at least 72 consecutive hours.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:12:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  asked how long  a person could  be absent                                                               
from  the state  for  education or  training  purposes under  the                                                               
proposed legislation.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHERRER said  the bill would not change  the other allowable                                                               
absence types.  She directed  attention to AS 43.23.008(d), which                                                               
specified  that people  who had  been absent  from the  state for                                                               
more  than 180  days in  each  of the  five preceding  qualifying                                                               
years must  prove that  they had been  physically present  in the                                                               
state for at least 30 cumulative  days during the past five years                                                               
to maintain residency in Alaska through the PFD program.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:13:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN asked how long  a military member could be                                                               
absent from Alaska.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SCHERRER said  the proposed  legislation would  require that                                                               
the service  member be absent  on deployment or a  temporary duty                                                               
assignment.  She  believed that there was no  specific time limit                                                               
if  a military  member was  absent for  either of  those reasons;                                                               
however,  like the  other allowable  absences,  a temporary  duty                                                               
assignment  or deployment  would  still have  to  comply with  AS                                                               
43.23.008(d).                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN asked the bill  sponsor how long a service                                                               
member  on military  deployment  or temporary  duty travel  (TDY)                                                               
could be absent for.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY said  it would  depend on  the military's                                                               
discretion.  He explained that  if an individual was deployed for                                                               
several years while based out  of Alaska, that person would still                                                               
be eligible.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:15:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN inquired  about an astronaut's eligibility                                                               
if he/she was in space.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   MCCARTY   contemplated  whether   the   National                                                               
Aeronautics and Space Administration  (NASA) would be categorized                                                               
as military.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:17:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY  asked  whether Department  of  Military  &                                                               
Veterans' Affairs  (DMVA) had expressed concern  about the 10,000                                                               
military members who  would lose eligibility if the  bill were to                                                               
pass.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY relayed that  the Veterans of Foreign Wars                                                               
(VFW)  and  American Legion  believed  that  if people  had  left                                                               
Alaska, they should no longer receive a dividend.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY was concerned  that the National Oceanic and                                                               
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)  Commissioned Officer Corps and                                                               
the  U.S. Public  Health Service  (USPHS) Commissioned  Corps had                                                               
not been  allowed to receive  a PFD.   She expressed  interest in                                                               
proposing a future amendment that would remedy that.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:20:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY  said he shared that  concern and welcomed                                                               
further discussion on the issue.   He understood that eligibility                                                               
was addressed under AS 43.23.005.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY  expounded  that she  was  concerned  about                                                               
Alaskan  residents who  served in  the NOAA  Commissioned Officer                                                               
Corps  and USPHS  Commissioned  Corps.   She  believed that  they                                                               
should  qualify to  receive a  dividend despite  being absent  on                                                               
long periods of service.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  directed   attention  to  43.23.008(a)(1),                                                               
which  was  the  allowable  absence for  receiving  secondary  or                                                               
postsecondary education on  a full-time basis.   He asked whether                                                               
that would include graduate school.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SCHERRER answered  yes, a  person in  graduate school  would                                                               
fall under that category.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS asked  how many  individuals qualified  for                                                               
that allowable absence.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.   SCHERRER  offered   to  follow   up   with  the   requested                                                               
information.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  requested  a   list  of  how  many  people                                                               
qualified   under   each   respective   allowable   absence   [AS                                                               
43.23.08(a)(1-16).                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
5:23:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS asked what  proportion of allowable absences                                                               
claimed  under AS  43.23.008(a)(1)  were for  graduate school  or                                                               
something  other  than  undergraduate, vocational,  or  technical                                                               
education.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHERRER  believed that the majority  of individuals claiming                                                               
that allowable absence were four-year college students.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:24:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAUFMAN  asked  whether   there  was  a  "tabular                                                               
version of conformance" that was  used in managing this data that                                                               
could be provided to the committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.   SCHERRER  offered   to  follow   up   with  the   requested                                                               
information.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:25:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  expressed   concern  that  the  proposed                                                               
legislation would  allow those claiming allowable  absences, such                                                               
as education,  work, or the Peace  Corps, for example, to  be out                                                               
of state  for five years, but  the same opportunity would  not be                                                               
allowed  for  service   members.    He  believed   the  bill  was                                                               
preferencing other service over  military service.  He questioned                                                               
whether that could be more equitable.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY  welcomed a friendly amendment  that would                                                               
address that issue.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN pointed  out that  a military  member may                                                               
have  a   harder  time  fulfilling   the  requirement   under  AS                                                               
43.23.008(d)(1), which  would allow an individual  who was absent                                                               
for five  years to show proof  that they had been  present in the                                                               
state  for  at least  30  cumulative  days.   He  reiterated  his                                                               
concern that service members could be at a disadvantage.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:28:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS reopened public testimony.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:29:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LATRICE  WILLIAMS informed  the committee  that she  was a  prior                                                               
active-duty  military member  who had  been stationed  in Alaska.                                                               
She believed  that only people  who physically resided  in Alaska                                                               
should be  eligible for the  PFD.  Additionally,  service members                                                               
who  were  stationed in  Alaska  for  three years,  for  example,                                                               
should also be eligible.   She maintained her belief that service                                                               
members  who were  assigned to  a different  location outside  of                                                               
Alaska should lose their eligibility.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:30:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  closed public testimony and  announced that                                                               
HB 142 was held over.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 124 Sectional Analysis v. b 4.21.2021.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 124 Research LRS-21-120 4.27.2021 alt.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 124 v. B 3.03.2021.PDF HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 124 Fiscal Note GOV-EXE 4.19.21.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 124 Hearing Request Memo.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 124 Research LRS-21-120 4.12.2021.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 124
SB 28 v. I Hearing Request Memo 4.30.2021.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
SB 28
SB 28 v. I Sectional Analysis 4.30.2021.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
SB 28
SB 28 v. I Legislation.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
SB 28
SB 28 v. B Sponsor Statement 1.26.2021.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
SB 28
SB 28 v. I Fiscal Note.PDF HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
SB 28
HB 124 Letter of Support - Hykes 4.23.21.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 73 Fiscal Note PF-PFD-4-21-21.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 73
SB 28 Fiscal Note - Exec Branch 4.26.21.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
SB 28
HB 142 Fiscal Note - DOR TT 4.28.21.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 142
HB124 Sponsor Statement v. b 4.22.2021 - Revised.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 5 Explanation of Amendment G.6 5.4.21.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 5