Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/28/1995 05:30 PM MLV
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AND VETERANS AFFAIRS April 28, 1995 5:30 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Ivan M. Ivan, Co-Chairman Representative Pete Kott, Co-Chairman Representative Richard Foster Representative Ed Willis Representative John Davies MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Eldon Mulder Representative Gail Phillips COMMITTEE CALENDAR *HB 321: "An Act placing certain persons employed in response to a disaster in the exempt service." PASSED CSHB 321(MLV) OUT OF COMMITTEE *HB 322: "An Act authorizing grants for temporary housing assistance during emergencies and disasters." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE WITNESS REGISTER JEFF MORRISON, Director Central Office Administrative and Support Services Division Department of Military and Veterans Affairs P.O. Box 110900 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0900 Telephone: (907) 465-4730 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 321 and HB 322 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 321 SHORT TITLE: EMERGENCY DISASTER HIRES IN EXEMPT SERVC SPONSOR(S): SP CMTE MILITARY & VETERANS AFFAIRS JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 04/25/95 1494 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 04/25/95 1494 (H) MLV 04/28/95 (H) MLV AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 17 BILL: HB 322 SHORT TITLE: GRANTS FOR HOUSING DURING DISASTER SPONSOR(S): SP CMTE MILITARY & VETERANS AFFAIRS JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 04/25/95 1494 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 04/25/95 1494 (H) MLV, FINANCE 04/28/95 (H) MLV AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 17 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 95-7, SIDE A Number 003 The House Special Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs was called to order by Co-Chairman Ivan M. Ivan at 5:30 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Ivan, Foster, Willis and Davies. Members absent were Representatives Kott, Mulder and Phillips. Co-Chairman Ivan noted the bills on the agenda. HB 321 - EMERGENCY DISASTER HIRES IN EXEMPT SERVICES Number 027 CO-CHAIRMAN IVAN M. IVAN announced HB 321 was the first bill to be heard. He invited Jeff Morrison to the table to testify. JEFF MORRISON, Director, Central Office, Administrative and Support Services Division, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, said HB 321 and HB 322 are related bills providing additional tools to the Division of Emergency Services to assist in their disaster response. HB 321 allows for the hire of people in the exempt service for responding to disaster when the division thinks they will be needed for more than 30 days. Currently, the state has the ability to hire personal in response to disaster emergencies under these classifications; immediate emergency hire cannot work over 30 days; long term non-permanent position takes 30-45 days to hire; short term non-permanent position cannot exceed 120 days and takes 2-5 days to hire. We do not have the ability to hire immediately and work over 30 days. HB 321 is introduced to address this problem and authorizes for immediate hire in emergency disasters. MR. MORRISON proposed an amendment to HB 321. He stated that he has discussed HB 321 with Mike McMullen from the Division of Personnel, and Majorie Vandor, Assistant Attorney General. HB 321 in its current form requires everybody hired in response to the disaster to be placed in the exempt services. This is not the intent of the division. They want to maintain the ability to hire people in non-permanent positions and work off of the register, if it is the best way to go. The proposed amendment would add the words "to assist classified employees" on line 6 after "Affairs". The Department of Law and the Division of Personnel states this amendment would clarify the situation. It ensures that they do not have to classify all hires into the exempt services, but exempt services remains an option. They would still have the ability to hire in other classified positions. He concluded his testimony on HB 321 and stated he is available if any members have any questions. Number 086 Co-Chairman Pete Kott joined the committee meeting at 5:36 p.m. Co-Chairman Ivan turned the gavel over to Co-Chairman Kott. REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES asked why it isn't possible to hire people under the emergency services immediately and then began the paper work to transfer them into non-permanent positions after. MR. MORRISON answered that this has happened but administratively, in response to a disaster, you want to minimize the paper work as much as possible. Also, if you are going to hire a non-perm and work a register then you have to hire from the register. The person you have hired as an emergency hire may not be on the register. This boxes you out from being able to continue that person's employment if it is a long term non-perm position. If it is a short term non-perm position, then they cannot exceed 120 days. Number 121 REPRESENTATIVE RICHARD FOSTER moved to adopt the proposed amendment for HB 321. Number 123 CO-CHAIRMAN PETE KOTT asked if there were any objections, hearing none the amendment was adopted. REPRESENTATIVE FOSTER moved HB 321, as amended, with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal note. CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there was an objection. Hearing none, CSHB 321(MLV) passed out of committee. HB 322 - GRANTS FOR HOUSING DURING DISASTER CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the next bill to be heard would be HB 322. He asked Mr. Morrison to continue his testimony. Number 137 MR. MORRISON stated HB 322 has been introduced to improve the administration for temporary housing during state declared disaster emergencies. This legislation was introduced during the 1994 legislative session as HB 421, and passed the House on March 14, 1994, by a 40 to 0 vote. It died in Senate Rules Committee at the end of the 1994 legislative session. This bill is slightly different from the exact language of the bill but the intent is clear. It has been modified to conform to the last version of the bill that came out of the Senate Finance Committee with one minor change. The state's current procedure for people who need to be relocated, due to the disaster, is the staff of the Division of Emergency Services arranges for and leases the temporary housing. In Federally declared disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a tool at their disposal to issue grants to those individuals to make their own housing arrangements. This is a lot more efficient and exposes the government to less liability. Additionally, it is less of an intrusion into the personal lives of the people effected by the disaster. MR. MORRISON stated the intent of HB 322 is to give the state the ability to issue grants for temporary housing similar to the methods used by the feds in federal declared disasters. The language changed in the Senate Finance Committee in 1994, ensures in statute that there is an offset to make sure that we do not pay people twice if they are receiving funds from FEMA or private insurance. The language states as a condition of accepting the grant, the recipient shall agree to repay the state for any assistance in the event that the recipient is reimbursed from any other source. It requires a coordination of benefits so they do not get paid twice for the same services. Number 192 CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT asked how would you check if a person who receives a state grant does not get paid by an insurance company. MR. MORRISON replied we would not have a problem in coordinating with FEMA for the federal grants. With a private insurance company, we would have the person sign a certification saying they would repay the state. We would have to audit the individuals to insure that did not take place. CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if the grant application would identify if the person had private insurance and if that person would be seeking reimbursement. MR. MORRISON replied that he was not aware if that is on the grant application, it is in the procedures of the temporary housing program. The Division of Emergency Services has a separate plan just for temporary housing and it is in that procedure that items are not paid for if it is covered by private insurance. CO-CHAIRMAN asked what the upper cap on the grant is. MR. MORRISON replied the grant is not limited by a dollar amount, it is limited by time. He said 18 months is the maximum that a person can be provided for temporary housing under a state disaster. Number 230 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked if this gets in the way of how the division responds to emergencies. MR. MORRISON replied that this is just an additional tool. The best way to respond to disasters would be selected by the people managing the disaster and would depend on the nature of the disaster. This does not mandate that grants be made in every case but enables the division to use it when appropriate. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked what kind of conditions are in grant applications. He asked if there are there reporting requirements and if they have to submit receipts. MR. MORRISON replied that he is sure that there will be those type of requirements. These conditions are required under the federal grant process. The state does not have this program, that is the intent of this bill. Under the federal grant program, a person applies for a fixed dollar amount based on estimated expenditures over a three month period. The cases are reviewed every three months and adjustments can be made at that time. Number 250 CO-CHAIRMAN REPRESENTATIVE IVAN moved to pass HB 322 out of committee with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal note. CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there was an objection. Hearing none, the HB 322 was moved out of committee. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business to come before the House Special Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs, Co-Chairman Kott adjourned the meeting at 5:50 p.m.