Legislature(2013 - 2014)BUTROVICH 205

02/12/2013 09:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved SB 1 Out of Committee
Moved SB 2 Out of Committee
Moved CSSB 4(STA) Out of Committee
                 SB 4-MILITARY TRAINING CREDIT                                                                              
9:47:27 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BILL WIELECHOWSKI, sponsor of  SB 4, introduced the bill.                                                               
He stated  that he  has been  working on the  bill with  the U.S.                                                               
Department of  Defense for about  two years. The bill  passed the                                                               
Senate  and House  last  year.  It is  the  top  priority of  the                                                               
Department of  Defense. The bill  directs state boards  to accept                                                               
relevant military  education training  and service  as equivalent                                                               
to some or all of  the qualifications required while applying for                                                               
a  license  or a  certificate.  It  also authorizes  issuance  of                                                               
temporary  licenses  or  certificates  for  active  duty  service                                                               
members who  had an equivalent  license or certificate  issued in                                                               
another state.                                                                                                                  
He discussed a  major concern over unemployment  issues for newly                                                               
separated veterans.  The jobless  rate for post-911  veterans was                                                               
9.9  percent  as of  last  September,  with young  male  veterans                                                               
experiencing an unemployment rate of 18.1 percent.                                                                              
He noted that 25 states have passed similar legislation.                                                                        
He emphasized that the University of  Alaska is doing a good job.                                                               
SB 4 would simply codify some requirements.                                                                                     
9:50:40 AM                                                                                                                    
CHRIS  CHRISTENSEN, Associate  Vice  President, State  Relations,                                                               
University  of Alaska,  addressed  Section 2  of  the bill  which                                                               
directs  the   university's  president  to  adopt   policies  and                                                               
procedures to award credit for  military training, education, and                                                               
service.  He  noted  that  Alaska's   university  is  already  in                                                               
compliance with this mandate.                                                                                                   
He related that  the university is committed  to offering quality                                                               
educational experiences  to active military, veterans,  and their                                                               
dependents. "GIJobs"  is a  magazine and  web portal  that exists                                                               
specifically  to  serve people  who  are  transitioning from  the                                                               
military back  to civilian life.  It has designated both  UAA and                                                               
UAF  as  "military friendly  schools."  Only  15 percent  of  all                                                               
universities,  colleges, and  vocational schools  in the  country                                                               
have earned this distinction, which  is based on an institution's                                                               
financial  and non-financial  commitment  to  recruit and  retain                                                               
military and veteran students.                                                                                                  
MR. CHRISTENSEN  reported that  the web  portal "Guide  to online                                                               
schools.com,"  which  bills  itself  as  the  most  comprehensive                                                               
authority on  distance education and online  learning, has ranked                                                               
the most  military-friendly online  colleges in the  country, and                                                               
out of the  multitude of schools that offer  online education, UA                                                               
was rated number five.                                                                                                          
He shared  that the  transfer of credit  has been  problematic at                                                               
the university,  and military  transfer of credit  is a  piece of                                                               
this bigger  issue. He  explained that the  Board of  Regents has                                                               
adopted  a  written policy  that  says  campuses must  accept  in                                                               
transfer  as much  credit as  is appropriate  to a  student's new                                                               
degree  and  graduation  requirements. All  three  campuses  have                                                               
established  transfer credit  policies designed  to give  maximum                                                               
credit  for courses  and training  taken elsewhere,  including in                                                               
the military.  Awarding appropriate credit for  military training                                                               
is one of  the university's responsibilities, and  another way to                                                               
show  commitment  to  recruit and  retain  military  and  veteran                                                               
He addressed  misconceptions about  the credit  transfer process.                                                               
Transfer credit  processes at the  university are managed  at the                                                               
campus level,  although there  is intentionally  a great  deal of                                                               
uniformity in  the system.  With respect  to credit  for military                                                               
training,   all  three   campuses   transfer   credit  based   on                                                               
recommendations  made  by  ACE,  which is  the  acronym  for  the                                                               
American Council of Education. For over  65 years, ACE has had an                                                               
agreement  with  the Department  of  Defense  to review  military                                                               
training  and  experience for  the  award  of equivalent  college                                                               
credits. Its  recommendations on  equivalent college  credits are                                                               
utilized by  many colleges and  universities across  the country.                                                               
The  three  Alaskan  campuses  have  each  entered  into  written                                                               
agreements  with  the  Department  of  Defense  to  use  the  ACE                                                               
He continued to  say that the three campuses are  also members of                                                               
the  SOC  Consortium.  He  explained  that  SOC  stands  for  the                                                               
Servicemembers Opportunity  Colleges, a consortium of  over 1,000                                                               
colleges and  universities that  enroll military,  and dependents                                                               
in special degree  programs, both on campus  and through distance                                                               
learning. Its purpose is to  let the military get degrees, rather                                                               
than just accumulate  credits as they move from base  to base. To                                                               
be part of SOC, the  campuses signed written agreements to, among                                                               
other things, follow specific  guidelines to ease transferability                                                               
of  credit  between the  member  institutions  and to  limit  the                                                               
number of credits  military students have to earn at  UA in order                                                               
to get a UA degree. For  example, military students working on an                                                               
Associate's Degree  at UAA only  need 3  UAA credits to  earn the                                                               
degree; UAA  will take  all the  rest of  the credits  from other                                                               
schools in the SOC Consortium.                                                                                                  
He said UAA  is currently accepting approximately  51 credits per                                                               
student from  those military students who  attended the Community                                                               
College  of  the Air  Force,  the  service academies,  and  other                                                               
regionally accredited  military institutions. At UAF,  a military                                                               
student can use approximately 30  credits of typical training for                                                               
the Bachelor of Emergency Management  Degree, or 90 credits for a                                                               
General  Studies   Bachelor  of   Arts  that  does   not  require                                                               
satisfying particular major requirements.                                                                                       
He continued to say that neither  UAA nor UAF have any limitation                                                               
on the  number of military  transfer credits they will  award. He                                                               
said they used to,  but they've done away with it  as part of the                                                               
continual process to  review the system and make  it more student                                                               
9:55:41 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON asked how long ago the university made that change.                                                                 
MR. CHRISTENSEN thought that UAA  made the change about two years                                                               
He shared  that UAA awards over  15,000 hours a year  of military                                                               
transfer credit  for training, for  education, and even  for time                                                               
spent  in the  service.  That number  is  increasing. Last  year,                                                               
approximately  99.5   percent  of  the  students   who  requested                                                               
military transfer credits received those credits.                                                                               
He  said that  Alaska is  widely known  to service  members as  a                                                               
state  that  welcomes  and  appreciates  the  military.  Alaska's                                                               
university, as  demonstrated by  its existing  transfer policies,                                                               
reflects those prevailing social values.                                                                                        
He stated  that in the  last 12 months UAA  has done a  number of                                                               
things to improve the treatment  of military, veterans, and their                                                               
families on campus.                                                                                                             
CHAIR DYSON  recalled stories of credit  transfer problems within                                                               
the Alaska university system.                                                                                                   
MR.  CHRISTENSEN   said  it  was  an   interesting  question.  He                                                               
explained  that  98  to  99  percent  of  all  credits  transfer;                                                               
however,  statistics  can  be misleading.  President  Gamble  has                                                               
engaged  in  the  University's  Strategic  Direction  Initiative,                                                               
which is  a comprehensive  look at what  the university  is doing                                                               
right,  as well  as  wrong.  It was  discovered  that credits  do                                                               
transfer, but  the process  is problematic, as  is the  amount of                                                               
time it  takes. In  2011 at UAA  it took 45  days for  the credit                                                               
transfer process, but  now it takes only 3  days. UAA transferred                                                               
275,000  credits last  year or  41 percent  more than  four years                                                               
earlier.  They transferred  in credits  for  6,000 students  last                                                               
year,  which is  an increase  of  65 percent.  He concluded  that                                                               
there is a commitment to change the system.                                                                                     
CHAIR DYSON said that was heartening.                                                                                           
9:59:47 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI shared  that  his staff  member  has had  a                                                               
negative personal  experience regarding credit transfer  from UAS                                                               
to UAA.                                                                                                                         
MR.  CHRISTENSEN explained  that  credits  sometimes transfer  as                                                               
general education,  but not as requirement  credits. He suggested                                                               
referring problems to him.                                                                                                      
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI said he would.                                                                                             
CHAIR  DYSON   recalled  President  Hamilton  saying   that  each                                                               
discipline within  the university  has its own  credit standards.                                                               
He asked if that is still a problem.                                                                                            
10:01:47 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. CHRISTENSEN agreed  that has been a problem in  the past, but                                                               
he  said the  situation continues  to improve.  For example,  100                                                               
percent  of general  education credits  are now  accepted between                                                               
UAA and UAF.                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON  said he  had an impression  that the  university was                                                               
MR. CHRISTENSEN countered  that the opposite is true;  he said it                                                               
is the least monolithic institution he has been exposed to.                                                                     
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  if there  is a  policy in  place for                                                               
National Guard members attending school.                                                                                        
MR. CHRISTENSEN offered to find out.                                                                                            
10:03:48 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  DYSON shared  a story  about a  military person's  problem                                                               
with receiving credit. He voiced  appreciation for the ability to                                                               
adjust  credits for  military members.  He requested  information                                                               
about allowing military experience for credit.                                                                                  
MR. CHRISTENSEN could not speak to that issue.                                                                                  
10:04:41 AM                                                                                                                   
THOMAS  CASE,  Chancellor,  University  of  Alaska  -  Anchorage,                                                               
stated the  importance of his  deep personal commitment,  and the                                                               
University's commitment,  towards the good treatment  of military                                                               
veterans.  He spoke  of  his  33 years  of  active duty  military                                                               
service and said that Alaska  is the most military-friendly state                                                               
he has  served in. He  predicted Alaska's commitment  to veterans                                                               
would  increase due  to  the pending  "draw  down of  engagement"                                                               
around the world and the return of more veterans.                                                                               
He  shared  statistics  about how  many  veterans  are  currently                                                               
enrolled. There  are 1,850  active duty  and veteran  students in                                                               
the UAA  system. The  university has  established a  Military and                                                               
Veteran Student Task Force in order  to take a close look at each                                                               
of  the  programs.  He  referred   to  the  example  Chair  Dyson                                                               
mentioned and  said that  an attempt  is being  made to  see what                                                               
will work for that individual.                                                                                                  
He shared  that UAA is  one of  eleven campuses nationwide  to be                                                               
accepted to participate in Vet  Success on Campus. The university                                                               
has a new Military and  Veterans Student Resource Center. Much of                                                               
the progress the university is  making is impacted by legislative                                                               
support. Aspects  of the  budget that go  toward building  up the                                                               
counseling  program   are  making  a  difference.   He  said  the                                                               
university  is  working  very  hard  on  the  transferability  of                                                               
credits and making great progress.                                                                                              
10:07:54 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  DYSON  requested  information   about  how  military  work                                                               
experience, or "hands on," translates  to credits, such as in the                                                               
medical profession.                                                                                                             
CHANCELLOR CASE offered to provide specific examples.                                                                           
CHAIR DYSON  requested specific  examples of  military experience                                                               
that is  considered for  credits. He said  he was  impressed with                                                               
the progress the university has made.                                                                                           
CHANCELLOR CASE said, "We have only begun to fight."                                                                            
10:09:14 AM                                                                                                                   
MARC  SAN  SOUCI,  Northwest   Regional  Liaison,  Department  of                                                               
Defense,  testified  in support  of  SB  4.  He related  that  in                                                               
September  of  2012,  the  unemployment   rate  for  young,  male                                                               
veterans  18 to  24 was  18.1 percent.  He said  in 2012  a study                                                               
reported  that Alaska  had 1,231  military  veterans separate  or                                                               
retire  back  to  Alaska.  In  the last  two  years,  over  2,500                                                               
veterans returned to Alaska.                                                                                                    
He  emphasized that  he  is not  asking  for direct  occupational                                                               
licensure  if it  is not  equivalent. He  is only  seeking credit                                                               
where credit  is due. The  public has already paid  for veterans'                                                               
training  within the  "Department of  Defense (DOD)  School.' The                                                               
DOD recognizes the need to  make credits easier for credentialing                                                               
bodies  to process  and accept.  Six pilot  states are  reviewing                                                               
military  occupations  to  see whether  training  and  experience                                                               
qualify for credits.                                                                                                            
He  said there  is a  new Joint  Service Transcript  (JST), which                                                               
will validate  and document military credits  so institutions can                                                               
review them.  He added  that DOD is  also working  on determining                                                               
which credentials relate to which military occupations.                                                                         
10:14:21 AM                                                                                                                   
RIC  DAVIDGE, National  Chairman of  Government Affairs,  Vietnam                                                               
Veterans of  America, talked  about the  crucial 90  days between                                                               
separation and the start of school  or training or finding a job.                                                               
He  reported that  his organization  aims to  shorten the  90-day                                                               
period and  provide training or  work for returning  veterans. He                                                               
said SB 4 will help with this goal.                                                                                             
He described  the placement of  two Veteran Services  Officers on                                                               
campus  in  Fairbanks  and  Juneau  to help  meet  the  needs  of                                                               
10:17:38 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR DYSON thanked all of the testifiers.                                                                                      
SENATOR GIESSEL  wished to focus on  Section 1 of the  bill which                                                               
has  to do  with licensing  boards and  temporary licensing.  She                                                               
explained  that  subsections  (b  -   e)  on  page  2  deal  with                                                               
activities of  the professional regulatory  boards. She  said she                                                               
appreciates (b)(2)  which holds in place  the criminal background                                                               
check  for licensing.  She voiced  concern  about subsection  (d)                                                               
regarding  a temporary  license  being issues  for  180 days  and                                                               
potential  for  another 180  days.  She  said when  she  reviewed                                                               
statutes  for the  Board of  Medicine  and the  Board of  Nursing                                                               
where  competence is  paramount,  she discovered  that they  both                                                               
provide for a 180 day  temporary license, which is non-renewable.                                                               
She wondered why  the extra six-month period was  provided for in                                                               
this legislation.                                                                                                               
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI requested  his  staff,  Kendra Kloster,  to                                                               
10:20:32 AM                                                                                                                   
KENDRA KLOSTER,  staff to Senator  Bill Wielechowski,  sponsor of                                                               
SB 4,  explained that the language  was written with the  help of                                                               
the Department  of Commerce, Community, and  Economic Development                                                               
(DCCED). She  said the language  Senator Giessel is  referring to                                                               
is similar  to language used for  transferring temporary licenses                                                               
for spouses. She  emphasized the word "may" is used,  so it is up                                                               
to the boards on whether they want to extend the period.                                                                        
SENATOR  GIESSEL informed  the  committee that  there are  boards                                                               
that  have temporary  license limitations  of only  30 days.  She                                                               
related her concern  that if an individual is  not qualifying for                                                               
a  permanent license  after six  months, it  calls into  question                                                               
their  ability   to  meet  the  requirements.   It  also  creates                                                               
additional administrative activity for the board.                                                                               
MS. KLOSTER deferred to DCCED to answer.                                                                                        
10:21:45 AM                                                                                                                   
DON HABERGER,  Director, Division of Corporations,  Business, and                                                               
Professional  Licensing, Department  of Commerce,  Community, and                                                               
Economic Development, explained  that the Division views  it as a                                                               
policy call.  There are a  variety of temporary  licenses, either                                                               
through  statute or  adopted by  regulation  from a  professional                                                               
board.  The Division  does not  have  a specific  comment on  the                                                               
extra 180 days.                                                                                                                 
CHAIR  DYSON asked  if regulations  are run  by the  professional                                                               
MR.  HABERGER said  yes. He  explained that  the 40  professional                                                               
licenses  are split  into "boarded"  and "unboarded"  categories.                                                               
The legislature has given the  boards authority to regulate their                                                               
professions.  The  Division  only   sets  regulations  for  those                                                               
programs that do not have boards.                                                                                               
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI agreed  it was a policy call.  He recalled a                                                               
previous bill  that provided similar  provisions for  spouses. He                                                               
said the legislature is free to change that language.                                                                           
10:23:29 AM                                                                                                                   
At ease                                                                                                                         
10:25:21 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR GIESSEL offered a conceptual amendment:                                                                                 
     On page 2, line 19                                                                                                         
     Add a period after "180 days"                                                                                              
     Delete the rest of subsection (d)                                                                                          
There being no objection, the conceptual amendment was adopted.                                                                 
SENATOR GIESSEL  moved to  report SB  4, labeled  28-LS0016\U, as                                                               
amended,  out of  committee with  individual recommendations  and                                                               
attached fiscal notes. There being  no objection, CSSB 4(STA) was                                                               
reported from the Senate State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 1 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 1
SB 1 - 001 Version U.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 1
SB 1 - Overview of Mining in AK LR13-156.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 1
SB 1- Letter of Support AMA.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 1
SB 1 - Letter of Supporty CAP.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 1
SB 1 - Support - 2011 Gov Parnell Mining Day Proclamation 041411.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 1
SB 2 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 2
SB 2 - Bill version 0005A.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 2
SB 2 - Sectional.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 2
SB 2 - Interstate Mining Compact Commission Website.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 2
SB 2 - IMCC Dues Assessments 2014 and 2015.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 2
SB 2 - Letter of Support AMA.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 2
SB 2 - Letter of Support CAP.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 2
SB 2 - IMCC 2011 Annual Report.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 2
SB 2 - Letter of Support Resource Devlp Cncl.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 2
SB 4 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 4
SB 4 - Military Training Credit.Version U.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 4
SB 4 - Sectional Analysis.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 4
SB 4 - One Page Briefing.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 4
SB 4 - Support Letter.Ed Kringer at DoD.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 4
SB4 - Support letter.Vietnam Veterans of America.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 4
SB 4 Fiscal Note SB004-DCCED-CBPL-02-09-13.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 4
SB 4 Fiscal Note SB004-DOLWD-WIB-2-8-13.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 4
SB 1 Fiscal Note SB001-DOA-FAC-2-08-13.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 1
SB 2 Fiscal Note SB002-DNR-MLW-2-9-13.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 2
SB 2 Fiscal Note SB002-DOA-DRB-1-22-13.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 2
SB 2 - Letter of Support Mr. Steffy.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 2
SB 4 Fiscal Note SB004-UA-SYSBRA-2-12-13.pdf SSTA 2/12/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 4