Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

01/31/2017 08:00 AM COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 8 ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN PROTECTIVE ORDERS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 8 Out of Committee
*+ HB 78 INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 78 Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
    HOUSE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                   
                        January 31, 2017                                                                                        
                           8:02 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Zach Fansler, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Justin Parish, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Harriet Drummond                                                                                                 
Representative Dean Westlake                                                                                                    
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
Representative David Talerico                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Dan Saddler                                                                                                      
Representative Matt Claman (alternate)                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 8                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to protective orders."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 8 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 78                                                                                                               
"An Act establishing the second Monday of October of each year                                                                  
as Indigenous Peoples Day."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 78 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB   8                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN PROTECTIVE ORDERS                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) EDGMON                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
01/18/17       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/9/17                                                                                
01/18/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/18/17       (H)       CRA, JUD                                                                                               
01/31/17       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 78                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY                                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) WESTLAKE                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
01/25/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/25/17       (H)       CRA                                                                                                    
01/31/17       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TIM CLARK, Staff                                                                                                                
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 8 on behalf of Representative                                                               
Edgmon, prime sponsor.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MARY LUNDQUIST, Senior Assistant Attorney General                                                                               
Opinions, Appeals & Ethics Section                                                                                              
Civil Division (Fairbanks)                                                                                                      
Department of Law (DOL)                                                                                                         
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the hearing on HB                                                              
8.                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CASEY SCHROEDER, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                     
Legal Services Section                                                                                                          
Criminal Division                                                                                                               
Department of Law (DOL)                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the hearing on HB                                                              
8.                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH REXFORD, Staff                                                                                                        
Representative Dean Westlake                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the hearing on HB                                                              
78, on behalf of Representative Westlake, prime sponsor.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
LINDSEY LAYLAND                                                                                                                 
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 78                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALANNAH HURLEY                                                                                                                  
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 78.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JONATHAN WOOD                                                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 78.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:02:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  ZACH FANSLER  called the  House Community  and Regional                                                             
Affairs  Standing  Committee  meeting   to  order  at  8:02  a.m.                                                               
Representatives Talerico,  Rauscher, Westlake,  Drummond, Parish,                                                               
and Fansler were present at the call to order.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
         HB 8-ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN PROTECTIVE ORDERS                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:03:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FANSLER  announced that  the  first  order of  business                                                               
would  be  HOUSE BILL  NO.  8,  "An  Act relating  to  protective                                                               
orders."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:05:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TIM  CLARK,  Staff,  Representative Bryce  Edgmon,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, presented  HB 8 on behalf  of Representative Edgmon,                                                               
prime sponsor.  He paraphrased  from the sponsor statement, which                                                               
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     In 2014,  a bill sponsored  by Sen. Lisa  Murkowski and                                                                    
     former   Sen.  Mark   Begich  eliminated   the  "Alaska                                                                    
     Exemption" from the Violence  Against Women Act (VAWA).                                                                    
     This  brought attention  to the  state's obligation  to                                                                    
     enforce    protection    orders   issued    by    other                                                                    
     jurisdictions, including  other state,  territorial, or                                                                    
     tribal courts.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     As  current statutes  are written,  law enforcement  is                                                                    
     only compelled  to enforce a tribal  or another state's                                                                    
     protection  order  if  it  has  been  filed  (that  is,                                                                    
     registered) in  an Alaska  court. However,  with Alaska                                                                    
     subject to the  VAWA, the state is  required to enforce                                                                    
     protection orders  issued in another  jurisdiction even                                                                    
     if the order has not been registered.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     HB 8  follows the  recommendation of the  Department of                                                                    
     Law  to amend  conflicting state  statutes in  order to                                                                    
     bring Alaska  into compliance with the  federal law. HB                                                                    
     8 will not  only clarify the duties  of law enforcement                                                                    
     but also  will eliminate potential lawsuits  that could                                                                    
     stem from  the contradictions currently found  in state                                                                    
     statutes.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Additionally, the  bill adds a presumption  of validity                                                                    
     on the part of state  law enforcement, so that they are                                                                    
     required  to  enforce  a  protective  order  issued  in                                                                    
     another jurisdiction  so long  as it  appears authentic                                                                    
     on  its  face. HB  8  also  more clearly  specifies  in                                                                    
     statute that  "other states" and  "other jurisdictions"                                                                    
     include courts  of another  state or  territory, United                                                                    
     States military tribunals, and tribal courts.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     It's important to note that  the state still encourages                                                                    
     registration   of   protection    orders   from   other                                                                    
     jurisdictions. As the Department  of Law has noted, the                                                                    
     state's  central  registry  "gives officers  access  to                                                                    
     tribal  and  foreign   protection  orders  anywhere  in                                                                    
     Alaska, even if the victim does  not have a copy of the                                                                    
     order at hand."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:09:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO clarified there  are concerns that Alaska                                                               
be  given the  ability  to enforce  [protective  orders of  other                                                               
jurisdictions], and  the general idea  behind HB 8 is  to support                                                               
the  victims  of sexual  assault.    He  added,  "We want  to  be                                                               
expedient with this."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARK  said Representative Talerico stated  that summary very                                                               
well.    He  gave  an  example  of someone  in  Ohio  who  has  a                                                               
protective order in  place and moves to Alaska, but  is not aware                                                               
of the  need to register  the protective  order in Alaska.   That                                                               
person then  is menaced in  some way  by the person  against whom                                                               
the protective  order was made  and needs help immediately.   The                                                               
proposed  legislation  would  ensure  that  help  is  "legal  and                                                               
possible."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:11:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  asked whose  job it  is to  register the                                                               
protective  order and  whether the  person with  the order  would                                                               
need an attorney to complete such a registration.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARK offered  his understanding that it would  be the holder                                                               
of the  protective order  - the  victim - and  would be  a fairly                                                               
routine matter of contacting the court.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:12:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE  questioned how the  registration process                                                               
would work,  in terms of  a police  officer in a  rural community                                                               
being able to look up information and "get a hit."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CLARK  answered  that  the  registration  process  is  well-                                                               
established in  Alaska.   Under HB  8, if  someone has  failed to                                                               
register  a protective  order, the  enforcement could  take place                                                               
immediately anyway.  He reiterated  that the proposed legislation                                                               
would add  "a presumption of validity."   He noted that  often, a                                                               
person  who has  taken out  a protective  order possesses  a hard                                                               
copy of  that order; therefore,  in a threatening  situation, the                                                               
person could  call law enforcement,  who could enforce  the order                                                               
if it "appears authentic on its face."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:14:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR PARISH asked if he  is correct in saying that everywhere                                                               
else  in  the  U.S.  is   "on  board  with  this"  and  enforcing                                                               
protective orders issued by other jurisdictions.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CLARK answered  that is  correct.   He  emphasized that  the                                                               
State of  Alaska is on board  with this and is  working under the                                                               
requirements of the federal  law.  He said the intent  of HB 8 is                                                               
to address contradictions  that exist in state statute.   He said                                                               
such change would not only act  in favor of the victims, but also                                                               
assist  law  enforcement,  because  continued  contradictions  in                                                               
statute  can cause  conflicts in  prosecutions  going forward  by                                                               
presenting ambiguities in the prosecution of a case.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:16:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  directed attention  to language  on page                                                               
4, lines 21 and 22, which read as follows:                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
            (d) A protective order issued in another                                                                            
       jurisdiction that appears authentic on its face is                                                                       
     presumed valid.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  asked,  "What's the  procedure  they're                                                               
going  to use  to validate  this, and  do they  need to  validate                                                               
anything?"                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARK  replied that the reason  for that language is  to "err                                                               
on the side of caution."  He  said if someone does not register a                                                               
protective order  from another jurisdiction, is  in a threatening                                                               
situation, and  law enforcement arrives,  and the person  has the                                                               
protective order in  hand, then law enforcement  is authorized to                                                               
determine whether the  hard copy looks valid and,  if so, proceed                                                               
to enforce the  protection.  He said, "It exists  in other states                                                               
as a precaution in order to  ... give as much help and assistance                                                               
to someone  in a threatening situation  as possible.  And  to put                                                               
it plainly, those matters can  be sorted out; the validity itself                                                               
can be  sorted out after  the situation is brought  under control                                                               
and people are safe."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CLARK, in  response to  follow-up questions,  confirmed that                                                               
the  matter would  be settled  in  terms of  validity before  any                                                               
prosecution  would  go forward.    He  said  the section  of  the                                                               
Violence  Against Women  Act  that authorizes  what  the bill  is                                                               
describing  includes certain  criteria  that  a protective  order                                                               
from another  jurisdiction must  meet:  the  issue in  court must                                                               
have jurisdiction  in the parties  and the matter under  the laws                                                               
of the  state, territory, or tribe,  and that the issue  in court                                                               
must  give  reasonable  notice  and  opportunity  to  the  person                                                               
against whom that order is sought  in order for that person's due                                                               
process to be protected.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  queried as  to  whether  there are  any                                                               
statistics  showing  whether  there   have  been  any  "frivolous                                                               
orders."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:21:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY  LUNDQUIST,  Senior  Assistant Attorney  General,  Opinions,                                                               
Appeals & Ethics Section,  Civil Division (Fairbanks), Department                                                               
of Law (DOL),  stated that she is not aware  of any frivolous use                                                               
of protective  orders.  She  deferred to Casey Schroeder  to more                                                               
specifically address questions regarding protective orders.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:21:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CASEY  SCHROEDER,  Assistant  Attorney  General,  Legal  Services                                                               
Section,  Criminal Division,  Department  of  Law (DOL),  stated,                                                               
"We're not aware  of any frivolous or perhaps  fraudulent uses of                                                               
protective  orders  in  this  context,  and  we  don't  have  any                                                               
specifics on that either, unfortunately."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:22:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR PARISH asked  Ms. Lundquist for an estimate  of how many                                                               
people   in   Alaska   have    protective   orders   from   other                                                               
jurisdictions.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUNDQUIST deferred to Ms. Schroeder.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHROEDER answered that the  division could obtain statistics                                                               
showing  the  overall  number  of  protective  orders  and  those                                                               
registered with  the court; however,  she said she does  not know                                                               
if there  would be  a specification  of which  of those  are from                                                               
other jurisdictions.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR PARISH indicated  that he did not  require Ms. Schroeder                                                               
to research information  if she did not already have  it on hand,                                                               
as the information is not vital.   He added, "It's a pretty clear                                                               
bill."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:23:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FANSLER opened public testimony on HB 8.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:25:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WESTLAKE  said  he   endorses  and  embraces  the                                                               
proposed  legislation.    He  said at  the  village  level,  when                                                               
someone wants to  leave to get away from a  bad situation, he/she                                                               
goes to bigger city, and [HB 8] addresses that.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:26:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FANSLER closed public testimony on HB 8.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:26:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FANSLER stated  support for  HB 8  as a  way to  ensure                                                               
there are no problems between federal and state law.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:27:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  PARISH moved  to  report  HB 8  out  of committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:27:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  [objected] to note that  Co-Chair Parish                                                               
had  asked for  information  that [Ms.  Schroeder]  had said  she                                                               
could provide,  and he said if  possible he would like  more time                                                               
to review the bill.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:28:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO objected for purpose of discussion.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:28:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  PARISH reiterated  that  he does  not  think there  are                                                               
conflicts between  state and federal  law, and he  clarified that                                                               
he  had  withdrawn  his  request   for  information.    He  urged                                                               
Representative Rauscher  to support HB  8, but reminded  him that                                                               
he had  the right to pass  the bill with "no  recommendation" and                                                               
the opportunity to move an amendment on the House floor.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:29:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE offered his  understanding that the state                                                               
is basically already  doing what is proposed under HB  8, but the                                                               
proposed legislation would  [make it official].   He indicated he                                                               
would like to ask more  questions of the representatives from the                                                               
state agencies.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:30:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 8:30 a.m. to 8:32 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:32:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER noted  that [during  consideration of  a                                                               
similar  bill   heard  during   the  Twenty-Ninth   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,]  three members  [of  the  House Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee] had voted "no recommendation."   He said he would like                                                               
to  vote in  support  of HB  8, but  wonders  what problem  those                                                               
legislators in  the former  legislature saw  in regard  to [House                                                               
Bill 221].  He expressed interest in finding out an answer.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FANSLER asked  Representative  Rauscher if  he had  any                                                               
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER answered no.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:34:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE asked Ms.  Schroeder if Alaska is already                                                               
compliant or  if the proposed  legislation is an attempt  to make                                                               
the  state   compliant  with  federal  law   addressing  domestic                                                               
violence and protective orders.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SCHROEDER  answered  that  is correct:    "the  federal  law                                                               
already  requires  us to  do  this."   The  proposed  legislation                                                               
"cleans   up  direct   conflicts"   of  unconstitutionality   and                                                               
streamlines the process, which will  help with prosecutions.  She                                                               
continued as follows:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     The current law,  the way it reads, it's  an element of                                                                    
     the offense that ... the  protective law be registered,                                                                    
     and the federal  law says no, we can't  do that anymore                                                                    
     -  that cannot  be a  requirement.   So,  what this  is                                                                    
     going to  do, is  when it  comes to  prosecuting people                                                                    
     for violating  protective orders, it's really  going to                                                                    
     help us  out when the law  is clear and it  matches the                                                                    
     federal law and we're all  doing what we're supposed to                                                                    
     do.  It'll  hopefully cut down on litigation  ... so we                                                                    
     can just focus on protecting victims.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:35:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   DRUMMOND   expressed   appreciation   that   Ms.                                                               
Schroeder  had mentioned  the  desire to  protect  victims.   She                                                               
opined that  it is  of the  utmost importance  to hurry  the bill                                                               
along in order to afford that protection.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:36:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FANSLER stated  his  intent  is to  move  HB  8 out  of                                                               
committee  today.   He suggested  that because  there is  another                                                               
committee of  referral, Representative  Rauscher would  have time                                                               
to get his research done and work with the bill sponsor.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:37:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO removed his objection.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:37:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER,   in  response  to   Co-Chair  Fansler,                                                               
clarified that  he has no objection  [to the motion to  move HB 8                                                               
out  of   committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  the                                                               
attached fiscal notes].                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:37:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR   FANSLER  announced   that  there   being  no   further                                                               
objection,  HB 8  was reported  out  of the  House Community  and                                                               
Regional Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:38:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 8:39 a.m. to 8:46 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                  HB 78-INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:46:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FANSLER  announced that  the  final  order of  business                                                               
would  be HOUSE  BILL NO.  78,  "An Act  establishing the  second                                                               
Monday of October of each year as Indigenous Peoples Day."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:48:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE, as  prime sponsor, presented HB  78.  He                                                               
stated that HB  78 would establish the second  Monday of October,                                                               
every year,  as Indigenous  People's Day.   He  said this  is the                                                               
same day  on which  Columbus Day  is observed.   He  said, "While                                                               
it's  not  recognized by  the  State  of  Alaska as  an  official                                                               
holiday,  it is  a  federal  holiday."   He  emphasized that  the                                                               
intent of HB 78  is not to "tear down or  destroy Columbus Day in                                                               
any way,  fashion, or form," but  is meant as a  "unification and                                                               
celebration of us as Native peoples."   He stated, "On a day that                                                               
recognizes some of  the first Europeans of the  Americas, we also                                                               
can   be   recognizing  that   we   have   always  lived   here."                                                               
Representative Westlake continued as follows:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     I  don't  think that  anyone  would  argue against  the                                                                    
     significant cultural influence  indigenous peoples have                                                                    
     had, especially  here in  Alaska.   There are  more ...                                                                    
     federally recognized  tribes [in Alaska] than  [in] the                                                                    
     entire Lower 48 combined.  That's us.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     So, HB  78 does  not create  a new  state holiday:   it                                                                    
     creates a day of recognition,  a day of honor.  Placing                                                                    
     it  on the  same  day as  Columbus  Day recognizes  the                                                                    
     intermingling  of  cultures  that make  Alaska  such  a                                                                    
     great  and  vibrant state.    It  honors Alaska's  rich                                                                    
     cultural history.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE concluded that HB  78 would provide a day                                                               
of celebration  of all  the cultures in  Alaska -  especially the                                                               
indigenous   peoples.     He   thanked   committee  members   for                                                               
considering the bill and offered to answer questions.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:50:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  asked why the  day is being  proposed to                                                               
occur on Columbus Day.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WESTLAKE  answered,  "It's  a day  when  we  were                                                               
supposedly discovered;  we never  knew we were  lost; and  it's a                                                               
great day  - it really is."   He said  it is a time  when Western                                                               
culture and "our  culture" met for the first time,  and he opined                                                               
that "it's  an appropriate day."   He said, "We can  celebrate it                                                               
from either side; it's all  about multiculturalism, getting along                                                               
as people on the same land, and it just seems appropriate."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:51:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FANSLER offered  his understanding  that the  state has                                                               
had  celebrations   of  indigenous   people  before,   and  those                                                               
celebrations also occurred on the second Monday of October.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:51:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH  REXFORD, Staff,  Representative Dean  Westlake, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  on behalf  of Representative  Westlake, prime                                                               
sponsor  of  HB  78,  confirmed  that for  the  last  two  years,                                                               
Governor Bill  Walker has signed  a proclamation  designating the                                                               
second  Monday  of October  as  Indigenous  People's Day  [on  an                                                               
annual basis].   She indicated Mayor Ethan Burkowitz  of the City                                                               
of Anchorage  had done the same  in Anchorage in 2015.   She said                                                               
there  have been  requests  to  make this  day  of recognition  a                                                               
permanent one for Alaska.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:52:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   TALERICO   expressed    appreciation   for   the                                                               
discussions he  has had with  the bill  sponsor.  He  offered his                                                               
understanding  that  contrary  to   some  comments  contained  in                                                               
letters received  in response to  HB 78,  the intent of  the bill                                                               
sponsor  is   not  to   "eliminate  Columbus   Day."     He  said                                                               
Representative Westlake has made it  clear to him that his intent                                                               
is  to  add  to  the   day.    Representative  Talerico  said  he                                                               
appreciates  the bill  sponsor's "multi-culture  approach to  the                                                               
celebration of  that day."   He asked Representative  Westlake to                                                               
respond.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:53:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WESTLAKE   relayed  that  in  his   community  of                                                               
Kotzebue, he  had researched  the phrase  "good morning"  to find                                                               
out how  many languages are spoken  there.  He said  there are 17                                                               
indigenous  languages.   He indicated  that  languages spoken  in                                                               
Kotzebue  include Norwegian  and [Kinyarwanda].   He  opined that                                                               
such diversity above the Arctic  Circle is "wonderful" and "makes                                                               
us all so much better."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:54:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FANSLER opened public testimony on HB 78.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:55:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LINDSEY   LAYLAND  testified   in  support   of  HB   78.     She                                                               
characterized  the first  line  of the  second  paragraph of  the                                                               
sponsor  statement [included  in the  committee packet]  as "spot                                                               
on."  It read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Indigenous  people   are  an   integral  part   of  the                                                                    
     spiritual,   cultural,   linguistic,   scientific   and                                                                    
     historical  fabric  of  the State  of  Alaska  and  the                                                                    
     Americas at large.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. LAYLAND  said she has  seen and heard arguments  against this                                                               
proposed  recognition   by  those  claiming  that   it  would  be                                                               
exclusive  to all  non-indigenous people  - a  claim Ms.  Layland                                                               
said she thinks  is absurd.  She said the  status quo is Columbus                                                               
Day, which celebrates and recognizes  "a single, white male whose                                                               
actions  have  led  to  widespread  genocide"  and  who  was  not                                                               
actually   the  first   European  to   "reach  the   Americas  in                                                               
discovery."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LAYLAND said  the  proposed bill  offers  an opportunity  to                                                               
celebrate all the women, men,  and children, who are the original                                                               
inhabitants of Alaska and whose  culture is vital in the founding                                                               
of  the state.   She  opined that  it is  important to  those who                                                               
would oppose  such a  bill to  look across  party lines,  even to                                                               
Alaska's state  leaders at  the federal  level where  Ms. Layland                                                               
offered  her understanding  that Senator  Lisa Murkowski  proudly                                                               
wears  her  kuspuk in  public  and  professional settings.    She                                                               
posited that this is a  nonpartisan issue that "reveals qualities                                                               
of discrimination and racism in those that might oppose it."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:57:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALANNAH  HURLEY testified  in support  of HB  78.   She indicated                                                               
concurrence with  the statements made by  the previous testifier.                                                               
She relayed that she was "born  and raised Yupik in this region."                                                               
She said  she thinks the  bill is about recognizing  history that                                                               
is not  taught in mainstream  school curriculum.  She  stated her                                                               
belief that there is no way to  move forward and heal some of the                                                               
racial divides in Alaska and  the nation, without recognizing the                                                               
injustices of  the past.   She  said she  thinks that  across the                                                               
nation,  people  are  choosing   to  replace  Columbus  Day  with                                                               
Indigenous  Peoples Day,  because "we're  talking about  somebody                                                               
from an indigenous perspective who  was one of first perpetrators                                                               
of  genocide in  this country  - someone  who's been  compared to                                                               
Hitler."   She  questioned the  message that  children are  being                                                               
taught be celebrating [Columbus Day].  She concluded as follows:                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     This  is  really  a  movement   across  the  nation  to                                                                    
     recognize  real  history  and to  celebrate  the  first                                                                    
     people of this  nation.  And as the state  that has the                                                                    
     most tribes  across the  country, I  think it  would be                                                                    
     amazing  and  make  a great  statement  about  ...  how                                                                    
     Alaska values its indigenous people.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:00:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JONATHAN WOOD  testified in support of  HB 78.  He  said Alaska's                                                               
population  is  nearly  15 percent  American  Indian  and  Alaska                                                               
Native  - by  far the  highest of  any  state in  the U.S.     He                                                               
stated,  "Just   like  an  intricately  woven   Chilkat  blanket,                                                               
Alaska's  various  indigenous   cultures  are  intricately  woven                                                               
throughout the  history of this  great state and  territory prior                                                               
to our statehood."  He  said unfortunately history is also filled                                                               
with much cruelty and ugliness.   Mr. Wood opined it is important                                                               
to  officially  recognize  and draw  attention  to  the  terrible                                                               
losses suffered by  the Native American people  and their culture                                                               
through disease, warfare, massacre,  and forced assimilation.  He                                                               
stated  that by  designating  a specific  day  to promote  Native                                                               
American culture  and history, [Alaskans] can  celebrate the rich                                                               
traditions and  continue the healing process  for Alaska Natives.                                                               
He opined  that with  the focus on  this healing  element, people                                                               
will become  better global  citizens, with  "an awareness  of the                                                               
continued struggle  and experiences  of other peoples  and groups                                                               
throughout the rest of the world."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:02:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FANSLER, after  ascertaining that there was  no one else                                                               
who wished to testify, closed public testimony on HB 78.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:02:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  noted  that  many  letters  of  support                                                               
reference House Bill  275, which was a bill she  sponsored in the                                                               
Twenty-Ninth Alaska State Legislature  that passed the House, but                                                               
not  the Senate.   She  stated  support of  HB 78.   She  queried                                                               
whether  the  House  Community   and  Regional  Affairs  Standing                                                               
Committee was the only committee of referral.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FANSLER offered his understanding that is correct.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:03:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 9:04 a.m. to 9:06 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:05:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TALERICO  reiterated that  he  does  not see  the                                                               
[sponsor's]  intent as  being  to remove  a  federal holiday  and                                                               
replace it  with a new  one.   He expressed appreciation  for the                                                               
sponsor's intent  to be inclusive  and for the  enjoyable aspects                                                               
of  Alaska  Native culture.    He  acknowledged that  there  were                                                               
atrocities and injustices  that had happened, but  said he thinks                                                               
the intent of  HB 78 is to  move forward and try  and avoid those                                                               
things in the future - not  just for particular groups of people,                                                               
but for everyone.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:07:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FANSLER expressed  appreciation for  the comments  from                                                               
Representative  Talerico that  "hit the  nail on  the head."   He                                                               
said he supports  HB 78 and considers his co-sponsorship  of it a                                                               
great honor  and source of  pride.   He said as  a Representative                                                               
from  a district  that is  a  majority Alaska  Native, he  thinks                                                               
"this  is the  least  we  can do  to  recognize  all the  amazing                                                               
contributions  ... that  we've  received  from indigenous  people                                                               
from around the world."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:09:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  PARISH moved  to report  HB  78 out  of committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being  no objection, HB  78 was  reported out of  the House                                                               
Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:09:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 9:10 a.m. to 9:12 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:12:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee meeting was                                                                   
adjourned at 9:12 a.m.                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB008 Additional Documentation-7.30.15 VAWA Enforcement Dept. of Law Opinion 1.20.17.pdf HCRA 1/31/2017 8:00:00 AM
HJUD 2/8/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/13/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/15/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 8
HB008 Additional Documentation-2014 Repeal of Alaska Exemption to VAWA 1.20.17.pdf HCRA 1/31/2017 8:00:00 AM
HJUD 2/8/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/13/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/15/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 8
HB008 Additional Documentation-USCODE Title 18 Chapter 2265--Full Faith and Credit 1.20.17.pdf HCRA 1/31/2017 8:00:00 AM
HJUD 2/8/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/13/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/15/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 8
HB8 House Community & Regional Affairs Hearing Request 1.20.17.pdf HCRA 1/31/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 8
HB008 Sectional Analysis 1.20.17.pdf HCRA 1/31/2017 8:00:00 AM
HJUD 2/8/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/13/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/15/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 8
HB008 Sponsor Statement 1.20.17.pdf HCRA 1/31/2017 8:00:00 AM
HJUD 2/8/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/13/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/15/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 8
HB008 ver. A 1.20.17.pdf HCRA 1/31/2017 8:00:00 AM
HJUD 2/13/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/15/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 8
CRA Hearing Request.pdf HCRA 1/31/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB078 Sponsor Statement 1.25.17.pdf HCRA 1/31/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 78
HB78 Fiscal Note - DOA.pdf HCRA 1/31/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 78
HB008 Fiscal Note LAW-CRIM 1.27.17.pdf HCRA 1/31/2017 8:00:00 AM
HJUD 2/8/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/15/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 8
HB008 Fiscal Note DPS-DET 1.27.17.pdf HCRA 1/31/2017 8:00:00 AM
HJUD 2/8/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/13/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/15/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 8
HB 78 Supporting Documents - 2015-16 Support Letters.pdf HCRA 1/31/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 78
HB078 ver A 1.25.17.PDF HCRA 1/31/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 78