Legislature(2013 - 2014)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/24/2014 01:30 PM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to Immediately Following Session --
+= HB 32 LINES OF BUSINESS ON BUSINESS LICENSE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 32(FIN) Out of Committee
+ HB 199 VPSO FIREARMS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                     February 24, 2014                                                                                          
                         1:53 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:53:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze called the  House Finance Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 1:53 p.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Alan Austerman, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Mark Neuman, Vice-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Mia Costello                                                                                                     
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Lindsey Holmes                                                                                                   
Representative Cathy Munoz                                                                                                      
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Captain Steve Arlow,  Statewide VPSO Coordinator, Department                                                                    
of   Public  Safety;   Joe  Masters,   Former  Commissioner,                                                                    
Department of  Public Safety; James Hoelscher,  Self, Hooper                                                                    
Bay;  Daniel   George,  Staff,  Co-Chair   Stoltze;  Charles                                                                    
Guinchard,  staff,  Representative  Costello;  Don  Habeger,                                                                    
Director,   Division    of   Corporations,    Business   and                                                                    
Professional  Licensing, Department  of Commerce,  Community                                                                    
and Economic Development.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 32     LINES OF BUSINESS ON BUSINESS LICENSE                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 32(FIN) was REPORTED out of committee with a                                                                     
          "do pass" recommendation and with one new fiscal                                                                      
          impact note by the Department of Commerce,                                                                            
          Community and Economic Development.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB 199    VPSO FIREARMS                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          HB 199 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 199                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to Department of Public Safety                                                                            
     regulations allowing village public safety officers to                                                                     
     carry firearms."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:53:39 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:54:10 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:54:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Edgmon  explained that the bill  would insert                                                                    
language into state statute that  would give the Division of                                                                    
Public  Safety   the  authority   to  allow   public  safety                                                                    
officers, who  otherwise met minimum standards  in training,                                                                    
to  carrying firearms.  He assured  the  committee that  the                                                                    
training  that a  Village Protection  Safety Officer  (VPSO)                                                                    
would  undergo would  be identical  to that  of a  municipal                                                                    
police officer  or state  trooper. He  noted that  in Sitka,                                                                    
VPSOs, troopers and police officers  would all have the same                                                                    
instructor. He offered a brief  history of the VPSO program.                                                                    
He stated that  the goal of the program had  been to provide                                                                    
VPSOs in all  of the rural communities in the  state. In the                                                                    
early 1990s  there were  130 active VPSOs  in the  state. He                                                                    
shared   that  the   program  had   faced  challenges   with                                                                    
recruitment, retention,  and placement.  He stated  that the                                                                    
conditions  were improved  with the  changes including  many                                                                    
capital upgrades,  but many rural communities  saw increased                                                                    
violence. He discussed the death of a VPSO in March 2013.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:58:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon  introduced   the  idea  of  properly                                                                    
arming VPSO's in  environments where they would  be facing a                                                                    
perpetrator armed  with a high-powered rifle.  He noted that                                                                    
HB  199   brought  the   conversation  into   the  committee                                                                    
environment.  He  argued that  the  time  had come  to  take                                                                    
action  regarding VPSOs  and rural  Alaska. He  noted fiscal                                                                    
element to properly training the VPSOs.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:00:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Stoltze  noted   that   Co-Chair  Austerman   and                                                                    
Representative Gara had joined the committee.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Neuman  offered   concerns  regarding  the  VPSO                                                                    
firearm training. He had heard  testimony regarding VPSO and                                                                    
handgun  training.  He  asked about  psychological  training                                                                    
that might accompany the firearm  training. He asked how the                                                                    
state would  address penalties for  VPSOs that  discharged a                                                                    
gun inappropriately.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Edgmon  responded that the training  would be                                                                    
identical  to that  of state  troopers and  municipal police                                                                    
officers.  He furthered  that the  training  met the  Alaska                                                                    
Police  Standards Council  training, as  well as  Alaska Law                                                                    
Enforcement   training,   requirements.  He   reminded   the                                                                    
committee  that the  program was  a pilot  program with  the                                                                    
goal of  approximately 20 VPSO being  successfully recruited                                                                    
and  trained  at  the academy.  He  that  the  psychological                                                                    
evaluation  would  be  identical  to that  of  troopers  and                                                                    
police   officers,  with   a   complete  doctor's   physical                                                                    
examination, full criminal  background checks both statewide                                                                    
and through the Federal Bureau of Investigation.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:05:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Neuman  asked  whether  the  same  psychological                                                                    
testing  received  by  an  Alaska  State  Trooper  would  be                                                                    
applied  to  a  VPSO.  He restated  his  question  regarding                                                                    
misuse of the firearm by a VPSO.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon  replied that  he  did  not know  the                                                                    
penalties. He relayed  that VPSO's would undergo  the Use of                                                                    
Force   Continuum    Training,   which    trained   officers                                                                    
brandishing firearms  the necessary techniques  for avoiding                                                                    
the use of  deadly force. He said that,  according to former                                                                    
Department  of  Public  Safety  commissioner  Walt  Monegan,                                                                    
instances where a  weapon had been used for  deadly force by                                                                    
law   enforcement  officers   were  rare.   He  though   the                                                                    
department could provide further clarity.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:07:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Costello  believed that  the issue  of misuse                                                                    
of firearms by VPSO's was  important and had been brought to                                                                    
her attention by constituents.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Edgmon  responded that the  implementation of                                                                    
bringing in the armed VPSO's  would follow a similar process                                                                    
to how  current VPSO's  were established.  He said  that the                                                                    
topic of  arming VPSO's had  been a significant one  for the                                                                    
people in charge of administering the program.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:09:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara supported the  bill and hoped that there                                                                    
was  committee  support  to craft  the  strongest  piece  of                                                                    
legislation possible. He  wondered where in the  bill it was                                                                    
stated that the  trooper academy in Sitka would  be used for                                                                    
VPSO firearm training.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon replied  that  VPSO's were  currently                                                                    
trained at the Alaska State  Trooper Academy in Sitka, which                                                                    
he believed had been firmly established for the record.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara asked whether  VPSO's received the exact                                                                    
same training as troopers, or was the training different.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Edgmon  stated that the training  to become a                                                                    
trooper  was more  extensive, obviously;  but he  understood                                                                    
that the firearm training would be similar.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:11:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  asked how  the training  between VPSO's                                                                    
and troopers differed.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Edgmon  deferred   the   question  to   the                                                                    
Department of Public Safety.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:11:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Munoz  queried the difficulty  the department                                                                    
had faced filling VPSO positions.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Edgmon thought that  allowing VPSO's to carry                                                                    
firearms would make them feel  safer on the job. He believed                                                                    
that if recruits  could depend on a certain  level of safety                                                                    
then positions would be easier to fill.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:14:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  understood   that  collective  bargaining                                                                    
units had shown interest in the legislation.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon stated  that  the  primary source  of                                                                    
opposition  to  the bill  had  been  about the  concern  for                                                                    
thorough  and  comprehensive   psychological  screening.  He                                                                    
shared  that  there  had  been  discussion  surrounding  the                                                                    
adequacy of the fiscal note to get the job done.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  hoped that  opposition would  be expressed                                                                    
in the committee process through open and honest debate.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon believed  that meaningful  discussion                                                                    
would strengthen the effort.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:18:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN STEVE ARLOW,  STATEWIDE VPSO COORDINATOR, DEPARTMENT                                                                    
OF PUBLIC SAFETY, responded  to Vice-Chair Neuman's question                                                                    
regarding   deadly  force.   He  relayed   that  often   the                                                                    
Department  of  Public  Safety  would  be  tasked  with  the                                                                    
investigation of  certain agencies. He said  that the Alaska                                                                    
Bureau  of  Investigations  would  be  brought  in  and  the                                                                    
situation would be treated like  a crime scene, the protocol                                                                    
would  be  to treat  it  like  any other  investigation.  He                                                                    
shared that once  the investigation was written  up it would                                                                    
be reviewed by the Office  of Special Prosecutions; if there                                                                    
was any  indication that the officer  had used inappropriate                                                                    
force,  that  office would  evaluate  the  case and  make  a                                                                    
determination  as  to  whether criminal  charges  should  be                                                                    
filed against the offending officer.  He related that if all                                                                    
indications showed that training  skills and situations were                                                                    
justifiable then  the Office  of Special  Prosecutions would                                                                    
clear the  officer of the  use of deadly force.  He believed                                                                    
that the same protocol would apply to VPSOs.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:21:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Arlow spoke  to the  selection of  VPSOs for  the pilot                                                                    
program. He stated that the  issue had been under discussion                                                                    
for some  time. He  explained that  VPSOs would  be selected                                                                    
from particular regions and that  it was already known which                                                                    
regions  would   be  good  candidates.  He   said  that  the                                                                    
psychological evaluation would take  priority and anyone who                                                                    
did not  pass the  evaluation would not  continue on  to the                                                                    
training in Sitka.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:23:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Costello  asked whether  a village  VPSO that                                                                    
did  not  pass  the  psychological  evaluation  to  carry  a                                                                    
firearm would lose their job altogether.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Arlow replied  that a  VPSO would  not be  dismissed if                                                                    
they  failed to  be able  to carry  a firearm.  He clarified                                                                    
that the  VPSO would  simply not be  able to  participate in                                                                    
the program.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:24:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Austerman  queried   the  difference  between  the                                                                    
psychological tests  for a VPSO  versus the test for  a VPSO                                                                    
who would carry a firearm.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Arlow  replied that  he  did  not know  the  difference                                                                    
between  the  two tests.  He  thought  a psychologist  could                                                                    
provide a more accurate understanding of the process.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Austerman asserted that  the situation sounded like                                                                    
a double standard.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:26:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara asked about the  goal of adding 15 VPSOs                                                                    
each year for the next 10  years. He opined that only 16 had                                                                    
been  added  in  the  past  5  years  He  wondered  why  the                                                                    
screening program was a pilot program.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon responded  that there  were currently                                                                    
29  vacant positions.  He thought  that the  pilot screening                                                                    
program spoke to  the careful steps taken  by the department                                                                    
and  non-profits in  executing the  program. He  stated that                                                                    
candidates  would  be  carefully  screened  and  would  most                                                                    
likely be candidates  that had been VPSOs for  some time. He                                                                    
stressed that  this would  be a  fundamental change  for the                                                                    
majority of all VPSOs.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:28:52 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Austerman asked  if Captain Arlow was  in charge of                                                                    
the VPSO for the troopers.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Captain  Arlow  replied  yes.  He   furthered  that  he  had                                                                    
overseen the statewide VPSO program for the past 8 years.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Munoz  queried the  current pay to  VPSOs and                                                                    
what the  department's intentions were to  increase pay with                                                                    
additional training.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Captain  Arlow stated  that  the VPSO  salary  was good.  He                                                                    
stated  that the  department did  not plan  to increase  the                                                                    
salary with the introduction of firearms.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:30:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Captain   Arlow  stated   that  the   VPSO  program   was  a                                                                    
longstanding 40 year program  without firearms. He furthered                                                                    
that  the department  wanted  to be  diligent  that when  an                                                                    
armed VPSO was introduced to  a community, the community was                                                                    
accepting.  He said  that the  program was  a pilot  program                                                                    
with the focus  of starting off small so  that the community                                                                    
reaction could be evaluated. He  noted that VPSOs were often                                                                    
the only  law enforcement presence in  rural communities. He                                                                    
spoke  to   the  Sitka  Academy  as   the  primary  training                                                                    
location. He  said that the  VPSO firearm training  would be                                                                    
the exact  same training  that any municipal  police officer                                                                    
or  state  trooper would  receive.  He  pointed out  to  the                                                                    
committee  that the  duties of  a state  trooper and  a VPSO                                                                    
were  different; a  VPSO was  a public  safety servant  with                                                                    
many other components, VPSOs were  often first responders to                                                                    
scenes  before troopers.  He  stressed  that more  extensive                                                                    
training  went  into training  a  trooper  than a  VPSO.  He                                                                    
highlighted several of the differences:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
   · VPSOs received 88 hours of scenario based training,                                                                        
    troopers and municipal officers received 280 hours.                                                                         
   · VPSOs received 8 hours of search and seizure training,                                                                     
     troopers received 16 hours.                                                                                                
   · VPSOs studied 36 hours of elements of law, troopers                                                                        
     received 58 hours.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Captain  Arlow relayed  that both  VPSOs  and troopers  were                                                                    
trained  on the  same  elements, but  troopers were  trained                                                                    
more extensively. He said that  this was because VPSOs would                                                                    
primarily deal  with misdemeanor cases and  troopers handled                                                                    
homicide and high profile cases.                                                                                                
2:34:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze asked about victim's rights training.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Captain Arlow responded that the  topic would be touched on,                                                                    
but that it would be enhanced during field training.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze   asked  whether  he  was   aware  of  the                                                                    
constitutional  victims' right  amendment. He  discussed the                                                                    
importance of the issue.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Austerman  asked  about  the  Sitka  training  for                                                                    
VPSOs.  He understood  that  there had  been  a shortage  of                                                                    
VPSOs. He  wondered if the VPSO  would automatically receive                                                                    
firearm training at the academy.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Captain  Arlow responded  that  the  department intended  to                                                                    
bring on  future applicants  that would  be able  to qualify                                                                    
for the firearm component.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara   asked  whether  VPSO   received  full                                                                    
training  on  how  to  respond   to  homicides,  rapes,  and                                                                    
assaults.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Captain Arlow  clarified that the crimes  were not different                                                                    
in  rural  areas  versus  urban areas,  but  that  the  VPSO                                                                    
training would have  less training for crimes  that were not                                                                    
traditionally seen in rural Alaska.  He said that the crimes                                                                    
that would  be trained  on, specific  to rural  Alaska, were                                                                    
domestic violence  and assault.  He relayed that  VPSO would                                                                    
not investigate the more complex crimes.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  thought that the disparity  in training                                                                    
was significant.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Captain Arlow thought that the  additional hours of training                                                                    
for VPSOs would be firearms and scenario based training.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:41:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon  interjected  that  if  there  was  a                                                                    
felony  situation  the VPSO  would  secure  and protect  the                                                                    
scene and immediately contact the oversight trooper.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Captain Arlow noted from experience  that many people in law                                                                    
enforcement  were hoping  to use  firearms. The  program had                                                                    
been successful.  He thought that  the firearms  would bring                                                                    
in  a   different  caliber   of  applicants   and  alleviate                                                                    
turnover.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:43:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  asked whether  the VPSO  training would                                                                    
include navigating hostage or suicide situations.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Captain  Arlow responded  yes. He  stated  that the  current                                                                    
academy  provided  training  to  deescalate  those  kind  of                                                                    
situations; the  courses that were  believed to  be valuable                                                                    
to a trooper would be administered to a VPSO.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Gara  wondered   whether  VPSOs   would  be                                                                    
informed on the work done  by the Violent Crime Compensation                                                                    
Board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Captain  Arlow replied  that  VPSOs  received training  that                                                                    
included information about the board.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  added that there  was a  prepared pamphlet                                                                    
offered by the Office of Victim's Rights.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:46:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOE  MASTERS,  FORMER  COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT  OF  PUBLIC                                                                    
SAFETY,  testified in  favor of  the  legislation. He  noted                                                                    
that the  sponsors had laid  out a simple change  that would                                                                    
require  the Department  of Public  Safety  to move  forward                                                                    
with  appropriate  regulations  to  assure  that  VPSOs,  if                                                                    
communities agreed,  have the  ability to  be armed.  He did                                                                    
not  believe  that  the bill  diminished  the  statutory  or                                                                    
regulatory authority  held by the commissioner  to establish                                                                    
the minimum  training and  certification level.  He declared                                                                    
that he had  a firm understanding of the job,  as it was his                                                                    
first  position with  the department.  He believed  that the                                                                    
proper  tools should  be  available to  VPSO's  in order  to                                                                    
defend  themselves should  the  need arise.  He stated  that                                                                    
early iterations  of the  program had  allowed for  VPSOs in                                                                    
communities with  liability insurance  to carry  firearms, a                                                                    
practice  that ended  in the  mid-1980s. He  said that  most                                                                    
employers  today were  inclined  to take  on the  additional                                                                    
liability  to assure  that the  VPSOs  in their  communities                                                                    
were properly armed. He shared that  he used to be a trainer                                                                    
at the  academy in Sitka and  that one of his  duties was to                                                                    
conduct firearms  training. He spoke  of a program  from the                                                                    
early  1990s,  the  VPSO   Municipal  Police  Academy  (MPA)                                                                    
Transition, which  provided additional training  to selected                                                                    
VPSOs  that met  police  standard  certification levels  and                                                                    
included  firearms   training.  He   relayed  that   in  his                                                                    
experience there  was no more  difficulty in  training VPSOs                                                                    
in  the use  of  firearms than  any  other municipal  police                                                                    
officer or trooper.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:53:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Masters  relayed  that  VPSO  training  should  include                                                                    
training for  the task  of carrying a  firearm so  that they                                                                    
could do  it safely,  which did not  mean that  the training                                                                    
had to  be on  the same  level at a  trooper. He  noted that                                                                    
security  officers  around  the  state were  able  to  carry                                                                    
firearms without  academy training.  He asserted  that there                                                                    
was  wide support  for the  legislation because  it was  the                                                                    
right thing to do.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:55:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze asked whether  the department had supported                                                                    
the  legislation  when  Mr. Masters  was  commissioner.  Mr.                                                                    
Masters  replied yes.  Co-Chair  Stoltze  asked whether  Mr.                                                                    
Masters  had  changed  his mind  since  becoming  a  private                                                                    
citizen. Mr.  Masters replied no.  Mr. Masters  replied that                                                                    
he endeavored  to protect the  citizens of  Alaska. Co-Chair                                                                    
Stoltze asked  if Mr. Masters  had become more  assertive in                                                                    
his support  since becoming a  private citizen.  Mr. Masters                                                                    
said yes. He  noted that during his time  as commissioner he                                                                    
had started the  process of a regulations  change, which was                                                                    
currently still underway.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:57:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara asked  whether VPSO's  were trained  in                                                                    
preserving evidence.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Masters   replied  that  the  difference   was  between                                                                    
immediately  responding to  an incident  that occurred  in a                                                                    
community, and  then continuing the initial  response into a                                                                    
prolonged  investigative  process.    He said  that  in  the                                                                    
situation of  a felony crime  the VPSO would most  likely be                                                                    
the first  responder and were appropriately  trained in that                                                                    
regard. He  relayed that  VPSOs did not  receive all  of the                                                                    
training required  to complete the  investigative processes.                                                                    
He stated  that VPSOs  received training  on what  level was                                                                    
the appropriate  use of force against  individuals that were                                                                    
a  danger to  themselves  or others.  He  added that  deadly                                                                    
force  training was  also administered  but did  not involve                                                                    
the use of firearms.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:01:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAMES  HOELSCHER,  SELF,  HOOPER   BAY,  testified  that  he                                                                    
started as a  village police officer in 1994,  and had since                                                                    
received his  certified police officer certificate.  He said                                                                    
that in 2009 he  had applied to be a VPSO  and was hired and                                                                    
stationed in Hooper Bay. He  relayed that families worried a                                                                    
great deal when  sending their loved ones out  as VPSOs, but                                                                    
that the worry  was lessened when the officer  was armed. He                                                                    
said that the stress that the  job puts on families can make                                                                    
officers  wonder if  the  job  is worth  the  worry, but  he                                                                    
believed  that working  the job  was the  best way  he could                                                                    
serve his community. He stated  that positions would be more                                                                    
easily  filled  by  higher   caliber  applicants,  and  that                                                                    
retention  and longevity  numbers would  increase, if  VPSOs                                                                    
could carry guns                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:06:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Hoelscher testified that he  worked in a community where                                                                    
law enforcement was  what the community expected  of him. He                                                                    
stated  that  areas  more  exposed   to  danger  saw  higher                                                                    
turnover rates  for VPSOs,  Hooper Bay had  seen 7  VPSOs in                                                                    
the past  20 years.  He believed  that if  the bill  were to                                                                    
pass  it  would result  in  an  increase in  scenario  based                                                                    
training  for  VPSOs. He  related  that  all VPSOs  received                                                                    
training in  use of force  situations. He  communicated that                                                                    
VPSOs were currently  unarmed and that the  ability to carry                                                                    
a firearm would  serve as a deterrent to  keep larger crimes                                                                    
from happening.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:11:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Edgmon thanked the  chairman for the latitude                                                                    
given  to the  discussion. He  noted that  over the  40 year                                                                    
history of  the program  there had  been 2  VPSO fatalities,                                                                    
both in Bristol Bay.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HB  199  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
3:14:53 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:18:15 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 32                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act providing  for the  issuance  of one  business                                                                    
     license for  multiple lines of business;  and providing                                                                    
     for  reissuance  of a  business  license  to correct  a                                                                    
     mistake on the license."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:18:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Neuman MOVED  to  ADOPT  the proposed  committee                                                                    
substitute  for  HB  32,   Work  Draft  28-LS0192\R  (Martin                                                                    
2/20/14). Co-Chair Stoltze OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DANIEL  GEORGE,  STAFF,  CO-CHAIR  STOLTZE,  testified  that                                                                    
throughout the  bill the term  "lines of business"  has been                                                                    
replaced   with    "trades,   services,    professions,   or                                                                    
activities." The change could be on  Page 1, line 1; Page 1,                                                                    
line 8; Page 1, line 12; Page 2,  line 3 and 4; Page 2, line                                                                    
21 and  25. He  said that  the CS  included the  addition of                                                                    
Section  4, Page  2, lines  14 through  17, which  added the                                                                    
statutory  definition  of  "lines of  business"  within  the                                                                    
definitions of the Business Licensing Act.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze interjected that  the changes had been made                                                                    
in consort with the sponsor  and the Department of Commerce,                                                                    
Community and Economic Development.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. George agreed.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Costello stated  that the  CS was  in direct                                                                    
response  to  a  line  of   questions  brought  by  Co-Chair                                                                    
Austerman at a previous hearing.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  asked whether the  definition was                                                                    
new or if it could be found elsewhere in statute.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  George  replied  that   the  words  "trades,  services,                                                                    
professions,  or   activities"  were  utilized   within  the                                                                    
definition in AS  43.71.10.001, but was not  within the bill                                                                    
itself. It was meant to clarify a line of business.                                                                             
3:22:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg understood  that defining lines of                                                                    
business as  trades and services  allowed the  department to                                                                    
better define them based on one licensing practice.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. George deferred to the department or the sponsor.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHARLES    GUINCHARD,   STAFF,    REPRESENTATIVE   COSTELLO,                                                                    
explained that  the definition of  business had  been pulled                                                                    
from  existing statute.  He understood  that the  department                                                                    
interpreted it as a direct  correlation to the federal NAICS                                                                    
codes.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:24:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg requested  assurances that  there                                                                    
were  not  two   versions  of  the  meaning   of  "lines  of                                                                    
business."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Guinchard replied that the  intent of that change was to                                                                    
have  the definition  of the  word "business"  work together                                                                    
with the definition of "line  of business." He said that the                                                                    
bill  defined  business as  an  entity  that may  accomplish                                                                    
various different  things, whereas  the definition  of "line                                                                    
of business" would  be any one particular thing  done by the                                                                    
business.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION.  There being  no                                                                    
further objection CS was adopted.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Costello   stated  that  the  list   of  the                                                                    
business  that  would  be  affected  had  been  provided  to                                                                    
committee members. She noted that  the fiscal note reflected                                                                    
the need for  the administrative work. She  noted that there                                                                    
would be a loss to the  state of $37,500, which she believed                                                                    
would  be better  managed by  small  business owners  rather                                                                    
than the government.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Neuman  MOVED to  REPORT HB  32 out  of committee                                                                    
with individual recommendations  and the accompanying fiscal                                                                    
note(s). There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CSHB  32 (FIN)  was REPORTED  out  of committee  with a  "do                                                                    
pass" recommendation and with one  new fiscal impact note by                                                                    
the   Department  of   Commerce,   Community  and   Economic                                                                    
Development.                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze discussed housekeeping.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:29:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 3:29 p.m.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB32 - Business License Counts_2-18-14.pdf HFIN 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
HB 32
HB 32 Letter from Bridget Lujan.pdf HFIN 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
HB 32
HB 199 2014 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
HB 199
HB 199 ADPS Draft Regulation Change to 13 AAC 96.pdf HFIN 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
HB 199
HB 199 House Finance Committee Hearing Request.pdf HFIN 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
HB 199
HB 199 Information Hearing BBNA Testimony and Resolutions CEO Ralph Anderson.pdf HFIN 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
HB 199
HB 199 Informational Meeting Summary 9.26.2013.pdf HFIN 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
HB 199
HB 199 Letters--Informational Hearing--9.26.2013.PDF HFIN 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
HB 199
HB 199 Media-Resolutions-Letters.pdf HFIN 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
HB 199
HB 32 CS FIN WORKDRAFT R version.pdf HFIN 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
HB 32
HB 199 APOA Letter.pdf HFIN 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
HB 199