Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 124

03/17/2005 01:00 PM MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 181 WAIVE CONTINUTING EDUC. REQ FOR MILITARY TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 181(MLV) Out of Committee
*+ SB 90 ALASKA TERRITORIAL GUARD DAY TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
*+ HB 167 DEATH CERTIFICATE FOR DECEASED VETERAN TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 167(MLV) Out of Committee
*+ HB 166 VETERANS' MEMORIAL CERTIFICATES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 166(MLV) Out of Committee
*+ HB 168 VETS'/PIONEERS' HOMES RESIDENTS' INCOME TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard/Subcmte Assigned
*+ HB 201 PERM. FUND DIVIDEND APPS OF MILITARY TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+= HB 122 LIFE INSURANCE FOR NATIONAL GUARD TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 122(MLV) Out of Committee
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
   HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AND VETERANS' AFFAIRS                                                                  
                         March 17, 2005                                                                                         
                           1:07 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bob Lynn, Chair                                                                                                  
Representative Jim Elkins                                                                                                       
Representative Lesil McGuire                                                                                                    
Representative Bill Thomas                                                                                                      
Representative Sharon Cissna                                                                                                    
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Nancy Dahlstrom                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 90                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to Alaska Territorial Guard Day."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 90 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 122                                                                                                              
"An  Act relating  to payment  of premiums  for Service  members'                                                               
Group Life Insurance on behalf  of members of the Alaska National                                                               
Guard deployed to  a combat zone; and providing  for an effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
     - MOVED CSHB 122(MLV) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 201                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to an  application for a permanent fund dividend                                                               
for a member of the armed  forces of the United States serving on                                                               
active duty outside of the  state; and providing for an effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
     - MOVED HB 201 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 181                                                                                                              
"An Act  establishing a waiver  for active duty  military service                                                               
of continuing education requirements  for renewal of occupational                                                               
licenses."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 181(MLV) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 168                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to receipt of income by an Alaska Pioneers'                                                                    
Home or Alaska Veterans' Home resident."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 167                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to providing a death certificate for a deceased                                                                
veteran without cost."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 167(MLV) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 166                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to a program to honor a deceased veteran's                                                                     
military service."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 166(MLV) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 168                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to receipt of income by an Alaska Pioneers'                                                                    
Home or Alaska Veterans' Home resident."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD; ASSIGNED TO SUBCOMMITTEE                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  90                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ALASKA TERRITORIAL GUARD DAY                                                                                       
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) HUGGINS                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
02/04/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/04/05       (S)       STA                                                                                                    
02/17/05       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
02/17/05       (S)       Moved CSSB  90(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/17/05       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/18/05       (S)       STA          RPT         CS          4DP                                                               
                         SAME TITLE                                                                                             
02/18/05       (S)       LETTER OF INTENT WITH STA REPORT                                                                       
02/18/05       (S)       DP: THERRIAULT, ELTON, WAGONER, HUGGINS                                                                
02/23/05       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
02/23/05       (S)       VERSION: CSSB 90(STA)                                                                                  
02/24/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/24/05       (H)       MLV, STA                                                                                               
03/17/05       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 122                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LIFE INSURANCE FOR NATIONAL GUARD                                                                                  
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) DAHLSTROM                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
02/02/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/02/05       (H)       MLV, L&C, FIN                                                                                          
02/02/05       (H)       L&C REFERRAL REMOVED                                                                                   
02/17/05       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/17/05       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/17/05       (H)       MINUTE(MLV)                                                                                            
03/17/05       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 201                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PERM. FUND DIVIDEND APPS OF MILITARY                                                                               
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) CHENAULT                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
03/04/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/04/05       (H)       MLV, STA                                                                                               
03/17/05       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                              
BILL: HB 181                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: WAIVE CONTINUING EDUC. REQ FOR MILITARY                                                                            
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) COGHILL                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/28/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/28/05       (H)       MLV, L&C                                                                                               
03/17/05       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 168                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: VETS'/PIONEERS' HOMES RESIDENTS' INCOME                                                                            
SPONSOR(S): MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
02/22/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/22/05       (H)       MLV, STA                                                                                               
03/17/05       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 167                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DEATH CERTIFICATE FOR DECEASED VETERAN                                                                             
SPONSOR(S): MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
02/22/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/22/05       (H)       MLV, STA                                                                                               
03/17/05       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 166                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: VETERANS' MEMORIAL CERTIFICATES                                                                                    
SPONSOR(S): MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
02/22/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/22/05       (H)       MLV, STA                                                                                               
03/17/05       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR CHARLIE HUGGINS                                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented SB 90 as sponsor.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
RYAN MOORE, Staff                                                                                                               
to Senator Charlie Huggins                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented SB 90 on behalf of Senator                                                                        
Huggins, sponsor.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
KELLY HUBER, Staff                                                                                                              
to Representative Nancy Dahlstrom                                                                                               
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HB 122 on behalf of Representative                                                                
Dahlstrom, sponsor.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ERICH DELAND, Staff                                                                                                             
to Representative Mike Chenault                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HB 201 on behalf of Representative                                                                
Chenault, sponsor.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SHARON BARTON, Director                                                                                                         
Permanent Fund Dividend Division                                                                                                
Department of Revenue                                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions regarding HB 201.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
KAREN LIDSTER, Staff                                                                                                            
to Representative John Coghill                                                                                                  
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HB 181 on behalf of Representative                                                                
Coghill, sponsor.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SARAH HOOK, Staff                                                                                                               
to Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT: Presented  HB 167  and HB  166 on  behalf of                                                               
Representative Gruenberg, sponsor.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
EDWARD C. FERMAN, Veteran                                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of veterans.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PHILLIP MITCHELL, Section Chief                                                                                                 
Bureau of Vital Statistics                                                                                                      
Division of Public Health                                                                                                       
Department of Health and Social Services                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Made suggestions to HB 167.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
JERRY BEALE, Director                                                                                                           
Office of Veteran Affairs                                                                                                       
Department of Military & Veterans' Affairs                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 167.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BOB  LYNN called  the House  Special Committee  on Military                                                             
and   Veterans'  Affairs   meeting  to   order  at   1:07:37  PM.                                                             
Representatives Lynn, Elkins, Thomas,  and Gruenberg were present                                                               
at  the  call  to  order.   Representatives  McGuire  and  Cissna                                                               
arrived while the meeting was in progress.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SB  90-ALASKA TERRITORIAL GUARD DAY                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  announced that the  first order of business  would be                                                               
SENATE BILL NO.  90 "An Act relating to  Alaska Territorial Guard                                                               
Day."                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  CHARLIE  HUGGINS,  Alaska State  Legislature,  said  his                                                               
staff person Ryan Moore put this bill together.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
RYAN  MOORE,  Staff  to Senator  Charlie  Huggins,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, said after the attacks  on Pearl Harbor during World                                                               
War II the Japanese bombed Attu  and Kiska Islands in Alaska, and                                                               
Alaska  realized  the need  for  a  territorial guard.    Senator                                                               
Gruening assembled  about 6,500 predominantly Alaska  Natives who                                                               
served  on the  Alaska Territorial  Guard from  1942 until  1947.                                                               
Many went on  to the Alaska National Guard, he  said.  In October                                                               
2004, members of the Alaska  Territorial Guard were recognized by                                                               
the United  States Army as  veterans.  HB 90  establishes October                                                               
18th as Alaska Territorial Guard Day.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS  said he once  worked for Alaska's  Department of                                                               
Military  and  Veterans Affairs  and  was  part  of the  task  to                                                               
recognize  guard  members.    Representative  Carl  Moses  was  a                                                               
territorial  guard  member, he  said.    Three past  guards  died                                                               
during  this  process.   There  were  twenty-three left  at  that                                                               
point,  and Senator  Huggins  said  he sent  those  names to  the                                                               
military, which refused to deal with it.   It took over a year to                                                               
get  them to  open  the envelope,  he  added.   "Now  we have  an                                                               
opportunity to have a day  that's dedicated to the recognition of                                                               
the contribution of those over 6,500 great Alaskans," he said.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:15:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMAS  moved  SB 90,  Version  24-LS0459\I  from                                                               
committee   with   individual   recommendations.     Hearing   no                                                               
objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:15:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB 122-LIFE INSURANCE FOR NATIONAL GUARD                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  announced that  the next order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 122 "An Act  relating to payment of  premiums for                                                               
Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance on  behalf of members of the                                                               
Alaska National  Guard deployed to  a combat zone;  and providing                                                               
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMAS  moved  to  adopt CSHB  122,  Version  24-                                                               
LS0446\X,  Bullock, 3/17/05,  as a  work draft.   There  being no                                                               
objection, Version X was before the committee.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
KELLY  HUBER, Staff  to  Representative  Dahlstrom, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, said  that this is  the second  day that HB  122 has                                                               
been  before   the  House  Special  Committee   on  Military  and                                                               
Veterans' Affairs.   It  was a  couple of weeks  ago that  it was                                                               
introduced, she  said, and  it just dealt  with the  state paying                                                               
for life  insurance premiums for National  Guard members deployed                                                               
to a combat  zone.  The discussion in this  committee created the                                                               
committee substitute  (CS), and  it goes  further than  just life                                                               
insurance, she said.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUBER said  there will be 300 people affected  by HB 122, and                                                               
the cost  will be  about $56,000.   The bill  will allow  a guard                                                               
member to  get out of a  cellular phone or motor  lease contract.                                                               
The bill also gives members time  to pay utilities, it gives them                                                               
deferments on  state loans, and  if the  member is enrolled  in a                                                               
university,  the   university  must  accommodate  them   with  no                                                               
penalties  when  they  return.    The  bill  also  allows  Alaska                                                               
Department of Fish  & Game sport permits to be  put on hold until                                                               
guard members return from combat duty.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN asked for more clarification on the loans.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUBER said the motor  leases and cellular phone contracts can                                                               
be terminated without  penalty.  She said other  states are doing                                                               
the  same, and  it benefits  the guard  member or  spouse if  the                                                               
payment will be a hardship.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:23:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  asked  if  anyone  else  is  going  to                                                               
testify on this.   Generally, someone could  terminate a contract                                                               
anyway, without  penalty, he said.   He  said he thinks  the bill                                                               
attempts  to say,  "This  does not  relieve you  of  the duty  of                                                               
paying any back payments that you've missed."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:25:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HUBER said  it  is fine  with the  sponsor  to clarify  that                                                               
language.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG   offered   Conceptual   Amendment   1                                                               
[language would be inserted to  relate the following]:  "that you                                                               
can  terminate without  having to  pay  anything additional,  but                                                               
this doesn't  relieve you  of the  duty to  pay the  amounts past                                                               
due."                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:26:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUBER said the committee needs to decide this.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said this can  be read as  stating that                                                               
one cannot  terminate the contract unless,  prior to termination,                                                               
what  is  owed   is  paid.    It  becomes  a   condition  of  the                                                               
termination, he said.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   LYNN  said   debts  would   not   accumulate  after   the                                                               
termination, but the person would  still owe any previous balance                                                               
due.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said, "That is exactly my intent."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Hearing no objection to Conceptual Amendment 1, it was adopted.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMAS   asked  Ms.  Huber  about   his  previous                                                               
suggestion  of  encouraging  municipalities  to  make  exemptions                                                               
dealing with property taxes.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUBER  said the problem  was trying  to figure out  who would                                                               
pay.   If the municipalities were  going to pay, they  would need                                                               
to be invited in on the discussions, she added.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:31:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMAS said  maybe  it is  more  of a  resolution                                                               
encouraging  municipalities to  look  at giving  guard members  a                                                               
property  exemption.    "I  would   hate  to  see  a  soldier  go                                                               
bankrupt," he said.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said the  federal Soldiers  and Sailors                                                               
Relief  Act requires  that  before any  action  is taken  against                                                               
service members on active duty,  an attorney be appointed to them                                                               
to advise them of their rights.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  offered   Conceptual  Amendment  2  to                                                               
delete the  word "actual",  on line  17, of  page 2,  because the                                                               
word  is  not  necessary.     Hearing  no  objection,  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:33:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said  page 2, lines 25-26,  say that the                                                               
institution  of  higher  learning   should  grant  the  member  a                                                               
military leave of  absence.  "I could see  a non-caretaker member                                                               
getting  deployed   leaving  the   spouse  with   full  childcare                                                               
responsibilities, and being unable to continue their education."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN suggested using the  term "military dependent" instead                                                               
of "spouse".                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG  moved   that   the  committee   adopt                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 3, as follows:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 25, after "member"                                                                                            
     Insert "and military dependent"                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Hearing no objection, Conceptual Amendment 3 was adopted.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  suggested  that  the  utility  payment                                                               
deferments need a test of hardship.  He said if he had an 18-                                                                   
year-old in the National Guard on  active duty, and he had plenty                                                               
of money,  "I could get  out of paying this  for all the  time my                                                               
son was on active duty."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN said he doesn't want a needs test.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUBER  said the  sponsor would be  concerned about  who would                                                               
determine the hardship.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  said  they  should  have  to  make  an                                                               
application to the company.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:38:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUBER said the sponsor wants  the bill moved out of committee                                                               
today,  but  not  have  it  read across  the  House  floor  until                                                               
settling the details with Representative Gruenberg.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN said he wants to move good bills.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  pointed  out  that this  is  the  only                                                               
committee, except for the House  Finance Committee that will hear                                                               
HB 122.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:40:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said he  would like  copies of  the [CS                                                               
incorporating the changes  from this meeting] to be  given to the                                                               
members.   He added that  on page 3, line  4, the term  "or other                                                               
heating fuel" needs  to be inserted t=on line 5.   He offered the                                                               
aforementioned as Amendment 4.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN,  upon hearing no objection,  announced that Amendment                                                               
4 was adopted.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 1:42 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ELKINS  moved to  report  CSHB  122, Version  24-                                                               
LS0446\X,  Bullock, 3/17/05,  as  amended out  of committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG requested that the motion be withdrawn.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LYNN   announced  that   the  aforementioned   motion  was                                                               
withdrawn.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:45:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said he forgot to  remove "actual" from                                                               
line 21  "and I would  ask that that technically  be incorporated                                                               
into  Amendment 2."   He  said there  was also  a question  about                                                               
fishing licenses.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUBER said that could be  worked into subsection (e); if not,                                                               
it is something that the sponsor can review.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMAS said  he  thinks  [the commercial  fishing                                                               
license  idea]  is important.    "When  a  young man  makes  that                                                               
commitment  to buy  a  boat and  permit, that's  quite  a bit  of                                                               
debt," he said.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA    related   her  discomfort.    She  said                                                               
although it  is a  wonderful piece of  legislation, she  said she                                                               
wants to  make sure that guard  members are covered if  things go                                                               
wrong.  She  expressed concern that there are  other things, just                                                               
like limited entry, that have not yet been thought about.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:49:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HUBER  said  the sponsor  has  worked  with  Representatives                                                               
Thomas and Elkins, and she wants to move it out today.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA  said she supposed the  sponsor will accept                                                               
floor amendments if she thought of additional items for HB 122.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LYNN said  he  would like  to move  it  because there  are                                                               
service people who could benefit now.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG asked  if there  is a  reason that  Ms.                                                               
Huber wanted an  immediate effective date rather  than the normal                                                               
period.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN said there are troops deployed "as we speak."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ELKINS  moved to  report  CSHB  122, Version  24-                                                               
LS0446\X,  Bullock, 3/17/05,  as  amended out  of committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being no  objection, CSHB 122(MLV) was reported  out of the                                                               
House Special Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HB 201-PERM. FUND DIVIDEND APPS OF MILITARY                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:52:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  announced that  the next order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL NO.  201 "An  Act relating  to an  application for  a                                                               
permanent fund dividend  for a member of the armed  forces of the                                                               
United States  serving on active  duty outside of the  state; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ERICH  DELAND,  Staff  to Representative  Mike  Chenault,  Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  said that some  Alaskans in Iraq  cannot sign                                                               
their  Permanent  Fund  Dividend (PFD)  application,  and  "their                                                               
families back home  are hurting."  This bill allows  a person who                                                               
has the  power of attorney  for the one  serving in Iraq  to sign                                                               
the application.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked who gets  the check if  more than                                                               
one person has the power of attorney.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:54:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHARON  BARTON,  Director,   Permanent  Fund  Dividend  Division,                                                               
Department  of Revenue,  said the  department would  honor anyone                                                               
that has a power of attorney.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG   asked   how  the   department   will                                                               
distinguish between duplicate applications.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BARTON said  the  department  would send  one  check to  the                                                               
address  for  the  recipient.    She added  that  the  powers  of                                                               
attorney are only used now  for disabled applicants.  The address                                                               
of the applicant will be on file.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCGUIRE  said someone  with power of  attorney can                                                               
change the  address to  where the  PFD check  is sent.   Divorced                                                               
families, with money coming to children, may run into a problem.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:57:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said  the department  probably has  the                                                               
regulatory authority to resolve  such issues, and the legislature                                                               
should not  get into  the details.   But  when the  regulation is                                                               
written, that issue should be specifically addressed, he said.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:57:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said  the  problem  may be  exasperated                                                               
with previous spouses and competing heirs.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. BARTON said  she could address it in  the regulatory process.                                                               
She  added  that  she  has  heard of  the  problems  of  military                                                               
personnel accessing computers and mail.   She said the department                                                               
has gone to the military bases to give information.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:59:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BARTON said the filing period  was extended for 90 days after                                                               
a person  has been eligible  for hostile fire or  imminent danger                                                               
pay.   The commissioner  has executed a  waiver from  the 72-hour                                                               
rule  for  any military  member,  who,  because of  the  national                                                               
emergency, cannot  make it back  for those  72 hours in  the past                                                               
two years.  As  it stands now, she said, a  power of attorney can                                                               
file an application for a military person, but cannot sign it.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:01:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BARTON  said  that partnerships  have  helped.    Commanding                                                               
officers  gave all  129 soldiers  applications,  and assisted  in                                                               
getting  them filed.    She said  she is  training  her staff  to                                                               
provide good  service to deployed  military.  She  suggested that                                                               
HB   201  be   limited   to  people   in   combat  zones;   other                                                               
servicemembers have ready access to mail and internet, she said.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:04:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LYNN  said  there  are   other  places  where  people  are                                                               
stationed that aren't convenient for filing.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE THOMAS moved  to report [HB 201]  out of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  Hearing  no objection, HB 201 was moved  out of the House                                                               
Special Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HB 181-WAIVE CONTINUING EDUC. REQ FOR MILITARY                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:05:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  announced that  the next order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 181 "An Act  establishing a waiver for active duty                                                               
military  service   of  continuing  education   requirements  for                                                               
renewal of occupational licenses."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
KAREN  LIDSTER,  staff  to Representative  John  Coghill,  Alaska                                                               
State Legislature, said  there is a committee  substitute (CS) to                                                               
HB  181,   and  she  read   the  sponsor's   statement  (original                                                               
punctuation provided):                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     This  legislation   is  introduced  to   eliminate  the                                                                    
     possibility of  a professional  licensee losing  his or                                                                    
     her  license because  of failure  to fulfill  statutory                                                                    
     requirements for continuing  education while serving on                                                                    
     active duty in  a combat zone or  area where continuing                                                                    
     education classes are not available.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Many professional  license holders are also  members of                                                                    
     reserve or  auxiliary components  of the  armed forces.                                                                    
     When deployed  to a combat  zone or area  where classes                                                                    
     are not available,  they no longer have  the ability to                                                                    
     fulfill  the education  requirements to  maintain their                                                                    
     specific license, registration, permit or certificate.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     HB   181  provides   a   waiver   of  the   educational                                                                    
     requirements and  allows the  license holder  to return                                                                    
     to  Alaska  and have  an  extended  period of  time  to                                                                    
     fulfill the  continuing education  requirements without                                                                    
     losing their license for non-compliance.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LIDSTER   said  the   Division  of   Occupational  Licensing                                                               
recommended  leaving  the  waiver   decision  to  the  department                                                               
instead of individual  boards.  The CS reflects  that change, she                                                               
said.   The  House Special  Committee on  Military and  Veterans'                                                               
Affairs  changed  the term  "active  duty  military" to  be  more                                                               
specific of who will be covered under the bill.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:09:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. LIDSTER said  that people in remote areas will  be covered as                                                               
well as those in combat zones.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:10:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN said  people in staging areas  and training facilities                                                               
may find it  impossible to do their continuing  education, and he                                                               
asked if there is a requirement for catching up.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LIDSTER said  people in  staging or  training areas  will be                                                               
covered.   She added that  the department will determine  how the                                                               
waiver will work for specific licenses.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN said  some courses are an aggravation.   There will be                                                               
new courses  on top of  the ones missed,  and a person  might not                                                               
ever catch up.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said he  appreciates the intent  of the                                                               
bill but  has serious concerns  about how it  will play out.   He                                                               
said  licensing boards  are very  different, and  the legislature                                                               
should  hear from  each of  them.   He added  that the  state bar                                                               
cannot  be   regulated  by  the  legislature,   making  the  bill                                                               
unconstitutional.   Many  requirements  can be  done online,  and                                                               
there is  the question  of catching  up, he  said.   It is  a far                                                               
reaching bill, particularly with  healthcare where people's lives                                                               
could be  at stake.   "It is essential  that we just  not totally                                                               
waive everybody's continuing education requirement," he said.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE THOMAS said a doctor  who enlists will not "pack a                                                               
rifle."   Someone in a  professional field will continue  to stay                                                               
in that field.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:16:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA said  the legislature  does not  have much                                                               
control over licensing institutions, but  it does have some input                                                               
with the University of Alaska and some trade schools.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. LIDSTER  said those are good  points, and she will  work with                                                               
committee members on a CS.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he  could support the original bill                                                               
with Amendment 1 as follows:                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 14, after "and"                                                                                           
     Insert "may"                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Hearing no objection,  Amendment 1 to the original HB  181 was so                                                               
moved.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG offered Amendment 2 as follows:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 1, delete "active duty military service"                                                                  
     Insert ""reserve  or auxiliary  member" means  a member                                                                    
     of  a  reserve  or  auxiliary component  of  the  armed                                                                    
     forces of  the United  States, including  the organized                                                                    
     militia of the stat,  consisting of the Alaska National                                                                    
     Guard, the  Alaska Naval Militia, and  the Alaska State                                                                    
     Defense Force, and who is  called to active duty by the                                                                    
     appropriate state of federal authority"                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 16, delete "active duty military service"                                                                 
     Insert ""reserve  or auxiliary  member" means  a member                                                                    
     of  a  reserve  or  auxiliary component  of  the  armed                                                                    
     forces of  the United  States, including  the organized                                                                    
     militia of the stat,  consisting of the Alaska National                                                                    
     Guard, the  Alaska Naval Militia, and  the Alaska State                                                                    
     Defense Force, and who is  called to active duty by the                                                                    
     appropriate state of federal authority"                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Hearing no objection,  Amendment 2 to the original HB  181 was so                                                               
moved.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:20:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG offered Amendment 3 as follows:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Page 2, line 14, delete "shall"                                                                                             
Insert "may"                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Hearing no objection,  Amendment 3 to the original HB  181 was so                                                               
moved.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG moved  to  report HB  181, version  24-                                                               
LS0685\A,   as  amended   out   of   committee  with   individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying  fiscal notes.   Hearing no                                                               
objection,  CSHB 181(MLV)  was  moved out  of  the House  Special                                                               
Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB 168-VETS'/PIONEERS' HOMES RESIDENTS' INCOME                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:22:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  said HB  168 is  a "good  basis for  a bill,"  but it                                                               
needs a lot of work, and  he would like to appoint a subcommittee                                                               
to  look   at  it  with   Representative  Elkins  as   Chair  and                                                               
Representatives Dahlstrom  and Gruenberg.  He  encourages anybody                                                               
else on  the committee to  participate.  He  asked Representative                                                               
Elkins to notify others of any meetings of the subcommittee.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[HB 168 was held over.]                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HB 167-DEATH CERTIFICATE FOR DECEASED VETERAN                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  announced that  the next order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO. 167,  "An  Act  relating  to providing  a  death                                                               
certificate for a deceased veteran without cost."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SARAH HOOK,  Staff to Representative Max  Gruenberg, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  said  HB  167 provides  death  certificates  for  a                                                               
deceased  veteran without  costs to  next of  kin.   The bill  is                                                               
modeled after an Arizona statute.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:26:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EDWARD C. FERMAN,  Juneau, said he is a Veteran  of Foreign Wars,                                                               
and veterans are not being taken  care.  He said the committee is                                                               
doing a  good job,  but there are  a lot of  things that  are not                                                               
covered.   He  said a  soldier  came back  from the  Gulf with  a                                                               
crushed leg  and was  told she  could not  get the  treatment she                                                               
needed.  "We want to take care of our veterans," he said.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
PHILLIP  MITCHELL, Section  Chief,  Bureau  of Vital  Statistics,                                                               
Division  of  Public  Health, Department  of  Health  and  Social                                                               
Services, suggested a clear definition of a veteran for HB 167.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said his staff will do that.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:31:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said it will  be the same language found                                                               
in  the  companion bill  HB  166.    He  offered Amendment  1  as                                                               
defining a veteran as the meaning given in HB 166.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Hearing no objection, Amendment 1 was so moved.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
JERRY BEALE,  Director, Office of Veteran  Affairs, Department of                                                               
Military & Veterans'  Affairs, said HB 166 provides  a very basic                                                               
service.  It would add a benefit to the families.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA  moved to  report  CSHB  167, version  24-                                                               
LS0605\G   as   amended   out  of   committee   with   individual                                                               
recommendations and the accompanying fiscal  notes.    Hearing no                                                               
objection,  CSHB 167(MLV)  was  moved out  of  the House  Special                                                               
Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB 166-VETERANS' MEMORIAL CERTIFICATES                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:35:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  announced that the  final order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 166,  "An Act  relating to a  program to  honor a                                                               
deceased veteran's military service."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SARAH HOOK,  Staff to Representative Max  Gruenberg, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  said  HB  166 is  modeled  after  the  presidential                                                               
memorial certificate program, which  issues death certificates of                                                               
honor.  The CS clarifies the definition of an Alaska resident.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved  to adopt CSHB 166 version  F as a                                                               
working draft.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE THOMAS asked  if it is only for those  that die in                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOOK  said it is for  any resident of Alaska  no matter where                                                               
he or she dies.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:37:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMAS  noted   displeasure  with  excluding  any                                                               
Alaska veteran  who has to give  up residency against his  or her                                                               
wishes in the last stages of life.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said  he would  withdraw Version  F and                                                               
move to adopt Version G to include past Alaska residents.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:38:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Hearing no opposition, Version G is adopted.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   moved  to  report  HB   166,  labeled                                                               
24LS0602\G, Bullock,  3/16/05, out  of committee  with individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying  fiscal notes.   Hearing no                                                               
objection,  CSHB 166(MLV)  was  moved out  of  the House  Special                                                               
Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:40:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Special Committee  on Military and Veterans'  Affairs meeting was                                                               
adjourned at 2:41:04 PM.                                                                                                      

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