Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 124

04/14/2005 01:00 PM MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS


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Audio Topic
01:11:05 PM Start
01:12:31 PM HB245
01:35:05 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
+= HB 245 VETERANS' & POW'S VEHICLE FEES/TAXES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 245(MLV) Out of Committee
+= HB 212 PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS FOR SENIORS/VETS TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Postponed>
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
   HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AND VETERANS' AFFAIRS                                                                  
                         April 14, 2005                                                                                         
                           1:08 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bob Lynn, Chair                                                                                                  
Representative Nancy Dahlstrom                                                                                                  
Representative Jim Elkins                                                                                                       
Representative Bill Thomas                                                                                                      
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
Representative Sharon Cissna                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Lesil McGuire                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 245                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to registration and license plate fees for                                                                     
Purple Heart recipients, prisoners of war, Congressional Medal                                                                  
of Honor recipients, and spouses of current prisoners of war."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 245(MLV) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 212                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to exemptions from municipal property taxes for                                                                
certain primary residences; and providing for an effective                                                                      
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING POSTPONED                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 245                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: VETERANS' & POW'S VEHICLE FEES/TAXES                                                                               
SPONSOR(S): MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
04/01/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/01/05       (H)       MLV, FIN                                                                                               
04/07/05       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
04/07/05       (H)       <Bill Hearing Postponed>                                                                               
04/14/05       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
DUANE BANNOCK, Director                                                                                                         
Division of Motor Vehicles                                                                                                      
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Offered explanation of the  fiscal note for                                                               
HB 245 as well as suggested changes to the legislation.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
NANCY MANLY, Staff                                                                                                              
to Representative Lynn                                                                                                          
House Special Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided information  regarding discussions                                                               
with Legislative Legal and Research Services regarding HB 245.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
BENNO CLEVELAND, President                                                                                                      
Alaska Native Veterans' Association;                                                                                            
Commander, Military Order of Purple Hearts - Chapter 675                                                                        
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 245.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BOB  LYNN called  the House  Special Committee  on Military                                                             
and   Veterans'  Affairs   meeting  to   order  at   1:11:05  PM.                                                             
Representatives  Lynn, Dahlstrom,  Elkins, Thomas,  and Gruenberg                                                               
were  present  at  the  call to  order.    Representative  Cissna                                                               
arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HB 245-VETERANS' & POW'S VEHICLE FEES/TAXES                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  announced that  the only order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 245, "An  Act relating to registration and license                                                               
plate  fees  for  Purple  Heart  recipients,  prisoners  of  war,                                                               
Congressional Medal  of Honor recipients, and  spouses of current                                                               
prisoners of war."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:12:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG explained  that HB  245 was  originally                                                               
offered  to  allow Purple  Heart  recipients  to receive  special                                                               
license plates without paying the  $30 special license plate fee.                                                               
However, the  legislation has been expanded  to include prisoners                                                               
of war and their spouses as  well as Congressional Medal of Honor                                                               
recipients.   He further explained  that these  individuals would                                                               
receive one  noncommercial motor  vehicle special  license plate.                                                               
He noted that  the director of the Division  of Veterans' Affairs                                                               
is  designated  to   determine  the  design  and   color  of  the                                                               
Congressional Medal of Honor license plates.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:15:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG moved  to adopt  CSHB 245,  Version 24-                                                               
LS0604\F,  Luckhaupt, 4/13/05,  as the  working document.   There                                                               
being no objection, Version F was before the committee.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:15:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DUANE BANNOCK,  Director, Division of Motor  Vehicles, Department                                                               
of Administration,  noted that the  division has reviewed  HB 245                                                               
and has  attached a  relatively small fiscal  note.   Mr. Bannock                                                               
related  that conceptually  the division  is in  support of  this                                                               
legislation.  However,  the new language in Section  3 of Version                                                               
F  is  inconsistent  with  the   language  in  Section  1,  which                                                               
specifically  provides free  vehicle registration  along with  [a                                                               
free] special license plate.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN announced that the  committee would address that later                                                               
in the hearing.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:17:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  turned attention to  the fiscal note and  related his                                                               
understanding  that  there   would  be  a  cost   to  design  the                                                               
Congressional Medal of Honor license  plate, which would be about                                                               
$250, which is included in the fiscal note.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BANNOCK confirmed that, adding that  $250 to $300 will take a                                                               
license plate  from design  to production,  but won't  obtain the                                                               
design of the  plate.  Section 2, he pointed  out, specifies that                                                               
the design  and the color  will be  done in conjunction  with the                                                               
Division of Veterans' Affairs.   The aforementioned has been done                                                               
in the past with other organizations.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LYNN  said  that  at  this time  he  didn't  know  of  any                                                               
Congressional  Medal  of Honor  recipient  who  lives in  Alaska.                                                               
Furthermore, he said that he  couldn't imagine there will ever be                                                               
more than a few living in the state at any given time.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:19:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BANNOCK  agreed,  and highlighted  that's  largely  why  the                                                               
fiscal note is so small.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked then if  Mr. Bannock would have an                                                               
objection  to   changing  the  fiscal   note  to   eliminate  the                                                               
contractual provision  since there are no  Congressional Medal of                                                               
Honor recipients in Alaska.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BANNOCK pointed  out that  the fiscal  note attached  to the                                                               
legislation  is for  $500, which  includes the  prisoners of  war                                                               
section as well.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:21:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ELKINS  asked if  there are  any spouses  of these                                                               
individuals living in  Alaska, and said that he would  want to be                                                               
sure of that before changing the fiscal note.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:21:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BANNOCK  pointed out that  the fiscal note  addresses several                                                               
functions.   The one-time $5,000  contractual fee is  intended to                                                               
go  to  the division  [for  the  work  required to  offer  this].                                                               
Furthermore,  the  division  is  working hard  to  make  this  as                                                               
automated [a process] as possible.   Because of the projected use                                                               
of the  new plate  being so small,  Mr. Bannock  felt comfortable                                                               
[with this small  fiscal note].  He explained that  the change in                                                               
revenues  in  the  amount  of  negative  $2,000  comes  from  the                                                               
division's  projection  that  50   Purple  Heart  license  plates                                                               
would've paid $30 per license  plate and a projected five current                                                               
prisoners of war  or Congressional Medal of  Honor recipients and                                                               
their  spouses  would  take advantage  of  this  special  license                                                               
plate.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked if Mr. Bannock  had any suggested                                                               
changes.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:25:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BANNOCK suggested that if  Section 3 was eliminated entirely,                                                               
the division would,  by prior design, have  a Congressional Medal                                                               
of Honor  license plate that would  be provided at no  extra cost                                                               
and  individuals  otaining  such  license plates  would  have  no                                                               
charge  for their  vehicle registration.   The  aforementioned is                                                               
how the  license plates were  handled for Pearl  Harbor survivors                                                               
and  former  prisoners  of  war.   While  there  is  no  specific                                                               
statutory provision  for the creation  of a Pearl  Harbor license                                                               
plate, the division  has that plate in inventory.   Therefore, by                                                               
adding Congressional Medal  of Honor to Section 1,  it would seem                                                               
to achieve what the committee desires.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:26:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.   BANNOCK,  in   agreeing   with  Representative   Gruenberg,                                                               
confirmed that he  merely wanted to eliminate the  change on page                                                               
2, line 15, but leave the change on page 2, line 12.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG  moved   that   the  committee   adopt                                                               
Amendment 1, as follows:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 15:                                                                                                           
          Delete all material                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN objected for purposes of discussion.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ELKINS   informed  the  committee  that   he  and                                                               
Representative  Thomas  will  have  to leave  shortly  to  attend                                                               
another meeting.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LYNN  removed  his  objection.   There  being  no  further                                                               
objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG asked  if  Mr. Bannock  wanted to  have                                                               
statutory   authorization  to   manufacture   prisoner  of   war,                                                               
Congressional Medal  of Honor, and  Pearl Harbor plates.   If so,                                                               
Representative   Gruenberg  offered   to  propose   a  conceptual                                                               
amendment to do so.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BANNOCK  suggested  inserting  "or  Congressional  Medal  of                                                               
Honor"  at the  beginning of  line  14 because  he believed  that                                                               
would provide the division the  statutory authority to create the                                                               
plates.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  surmised then  that the  division would                                                               
be able to sell those plates to the spouses of prisoners of war.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BANNOCK said  that would  be correct  under the  language in                                                               
Section 1.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN informed  the committee that committee  staff has been                                                               
in contact  with Legislative Legal  and Research  Services, which                                                               
would rather have such a change done conceptually.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG  moved   that   the  committee   adopt                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 2, as follows:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 13, following "Pearl Harbor":                                                                                 
       Insert "Congressional Medal of Honor, prisoner of                                                                        
     war"                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. BANNOCK  pointed out that  the aforementioned  almost renders                                                               
Section 2 moot.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:29:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NANCY  MANLY,   Staff  to  Representative  Lynn,   House  Special                                                               
Committee  on  Military  and   Veterans'  Affairs,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,   related   that   the  drafting   attorney,   Jerry                                                               
Luckhaupt, said  that if the  committee wanted  the Congressional                                                               
Medal  of Honor  recipients to  have free  registration, then  he                                                               
preferred it to be conceptual and not specifically in Section 1.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  then  amended Conceptual  Amendment  2                                                               
such that  [Congressional Medal of Honor  recipients receive free                                                               
registration  and that  the drafting  attorney insert  this where                                                               
best suited in the legislation].                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
There  being no  objection, Conceptual  Amendment 2,  as amended,                                                               
was adopted.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM moved to report CSHB 245, Version 24-                                                                  
LS0604\F, Luckhaupt,  4/13/05, as amended, out  of committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being  no objection,  CSHB 245(MLV)  was reported  from the                                                               
House Special Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:30:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BENNO CLEVELAND, President,  Alaska Native Veterans' Association;                                                               
Commander, Military Order  of Purple Hearts -  Chapter 675, began                                                               
by noting his support  for HB 245.  He remarked  that there are a                                                               
lot of  veterans in the  state.   Mr. Cleveland opined  that this                                                               
license plat may help with the  healing process that some need to                                                               
go through.   Passage of this legislation will be  a good way for                                                               
the state to honor those who have received the Purple Heart.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN thanked Mr. Cleveland for his service.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM  also  thanked Mr.  Cleveland  for  his                                                               
service,  and added  that this  legislation is  a small  token to                                                               
honor those who have served this nation.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  invited committee  members to  review the  resumes of                                                               
the Congressional Medal  of Honor recipients.   He then suggested                                                               
that  at some  point the  committee  may want  to consider  doing                                                               
something for Vietnam veterans.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
[CSHB 245(MLV) was reported out of committee.]                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN asked if the subcommittee [on HB 168] had met.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM said no,  but assured the committee that                                                               
it will  meet prior  to the  next meeting of  the committee  as a                                                               
whole.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  noted that there have  been discussions                                                               
with the administration and the drafters.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Special Committee  on Military and Veterans'  Affairs meeting was                                                               
adjourned at 1:35:05 PM.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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