Legislature(2007 - 2008)BARNES 124

04/01/2008 01:00 PM MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 214 HUNTING BY MILITARY,COAST GD., DEPENDENTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 214(MLV) Out of Committee
+= HB 405 STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS FOR MILITARY TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 405(MLV) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
   HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AND VETERANS' AFFAIRS                                                                  
                         April 1, 2008                                                                                          
                           1:02 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bob Roses, Chair                                                                                                 
Representative Nancy Dahlstrom                                                                                                  
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux                                                                                                 
Representative Robert L. "Bob" Buch                                                                                             
Representative Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Anna Fairclough                                                                                                  
Representative Jay Ramras                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 214(FIN)                                                                                                 
"An Act relating to hunting licenses and tags for nonresident                                                                   
members of the military service or the United States Coast Guard                                                                
and their dependents; and providing for an effective date."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HCS CSSB 214(MLV) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 405                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to forgiveness of a percentage of student loans                                                                
for a member of the armed forces deployed since 2001."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 405(MLV) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
BILL: SB 214                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: HUNTING BY MILITARY,COAST GD., DEPENDENTS                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) HUGGINS                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
01/16/08       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/4/08                                                                                
01/16/08       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/16/08       (S)       RES                                                                                                    
02/27/08       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/27/08       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/27/08       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/10/08       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/10/08       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/10/08       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/17/08       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/17/08       (S)       Moved CSSB 214(RES) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/17/08       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/18/08       (S)       RES RPT CS  4DP 1NR   NEW TITLE                                                                        
03/18/08       (S)       DP: HUGGINS, STEVENS, MCGUIRE, GREEN                                                                   
03/18/08       (S)       NR: WIELECHOWSKI                                                                                       
03/18/08       (S)       FIN REFERRAL ADDED AFTER RES                                                                           
03/24/08       (S)       FIN RPT CS   5DP  NEW TITLE                                                                            
03/24/08       (S)       DP: STEDMAN, ELTON, THOMAS, DYSON,                                                                     
                         HUGGINS                                                                                                
03/24/08       (S)       FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                      
03/24/08       (S)       Moved CSSB 214(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/24/08       (S)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/25/08       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
03/25/08       (S)       VERSION: CSSB 214(FIN)                                                                                 
03/26/08       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/26/08       (H)       MLV, FIN                                                                                               
04/01/08       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 405                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS FOR MILITARY                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) CRAWFORD                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
02/19/08       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/19/08       (H)       MLV, HES, FIN                                                                                          
03/18/08       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/18/08       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/25/08       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/25/08       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/25/08       (H)       MINUTE(MLV)                                                                                            
04/01/08       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
JODY SIMPSON, Staff                                                                                                             
to Senator Charlie Huggins                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced Committee Substitute for SB 214                                                               
on behalf of Senator Huggins, sponsor.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
KRISTIN WRIGHT, Licensing Supervisor                                                                                            
Fish & Game Licensing                                                                                                           
Division of Administrative Services                                                                                             
Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Answered a  question during the  hearing on                                                             
SB 214.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS BIRDSALL, Staff                                                                                                           
to Representative Harry Crawford                                                                                                
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Introduced Committee Substitute  for HB 405                                                             
on behalf of Representative Crawford, sponsor.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DIANE BARRANS, Executive Director                                                                                               
Postsecondary Education Commission                                                                                              
Department of Education and Early Development                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Answered a  question during the  hearing on                                                             
HB 405.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BOB  ROSES called the  House Special Committee  on Military                                                             
and   Veterans'  Affairs   meeting  to   order  at   1:02:54  PM.                                                           
Representatives  Kawasaki,   Dahlstrom,  Buch,  and   Roses  were                                                               
present at the  call to order.  Representative  LeDoux arrived as                                                               
the meeting was in progress.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:03:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SB 214-HUNTING BY MILITARY,COAST GD., DEPENDENTS                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:03:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROSES announced  that the first order of  business would be                                                               
CS  FOR SENATE  BILL NO.  214(FIN), "An  Act relating  to hunting                                                               
licenses  and  tags  for  nonresident  members  of  the  military                                                               
service or  the United States  Coast Guard and  their dependents;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:04:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM moved  that the  committee adopt  House                                                               
Committee  Substitute (HCS)  for CSSB  214, Version  25-LS1261\O,                                                               
Kane,  3/27/08,  as  the  working   document.    There  being  no                                                               
objection, Version O was before the committee.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:04:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JODY  SIMPSON, Staff  to Senator  Charlie  Huggins, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  explained that  Version  O of  the  bill meets  the                                                               
sponsor's goal  of providing  a benefit  to military  members and                                                               
their dependents, as  a token of gratitude for  their service, by                                                               
allowing   newly   stationed   personnel  hunting   and   fishing                                                               
privileges  immediately  upon report  date.    The bill  benefits                                                               
active  duty military  and U.  S. Coast  Guard members  and their                                                               
dependents  by waiving  the 12  month  residency requirement  for                                                               
fish and game licenses.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:05:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SIMPSON  continued to  say  that  45 states  offer  resident                                                               
license  rates  for active  military  members  without regard  to                                                               
actual  residency  status.   Eight  of  those  states,  including                                                               
Alaska,  require personnel  to be  stationed in  the state  for a                                                               
specific length  of time.   Alaska's period  for residency  is 12                                                               
months  and  is  by  far the  longest  residency  requirement  to                                                               
qualify for  hunting licenses and  tags.  Senate Bill  214 waives                                                               
that residency  requirement.  The  bill will also  allow military                                                               
members stationed in Alaska to  apply for special licenses at the                                                               
residential  rate  for  small game  hunting  and  sport  fishing;                                                               
however, this provision does not  extend to big game licenses and                                                               
tags.  Currently,  military members are required  to purchase big                                                               
game licenses  at the non-resident  rate and tags at  one-half of                                                               
the non-resident rate.   The bill will allow  military members to                                                               
purchase  big  game licenses  and  tags,  at the  resident  rate,                                                               
without  removing the  guiding component  that  requires a  newly                                                             
arrived hunter  to be accompanied  by a guide when  hunting brown                                                               
bear, sheep, and  mountain goat.  The tags are  required to allow                                                               
enforcement  of  this  regulation.    Ms.  Simpson  informed  the                                                               
committee  that  the Alaska  Department  of  Fish  & Game  is  in                                                               
support of the  bill, although the fiscal impact to  the ADF&G is                                                               
$40,000.    Furthermore,  the  proposed  changes  do  not  affect                                                               
eligibility for  Permanent Fund Dividend  checks, jury  pools, or                                                               
subsistence  opportunities.    She   noted  that  the  Version  O                                                               
addressed  the  objections  of the  Alaska  Professional  Hunters                                                               
Association to the original bill.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:09:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROSES closed public testimony.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:09:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX referred  to page 1, line 7,  and asked for                                                               
the meaning of "permanently stationed."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SIMPSON  explained that,  members  of  the military  have  a                                                               
permanent change  of station, even  though they  temporarily move                                                               
around.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:10:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROSES  added that  permanent change of  station (PCS)  is a                                                               
military term of art as opposed to temporary term of duty (TDY).                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:11:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  observed that  members of the  Coast Guard                                                               
are stationed for three years in a home place of duty.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:11:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SIMPSON expressed  her understanding  that military  members                                                               
have  a home  of  record,  but may  be  permanently stationed  in                                                               
Alaska for the term of their duty.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:11:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KRISTIN  WRIGHT, Licensing  Supervisor,  Fish  & Game  Licensing,                                                               
Division of  Administrative Services, Department of  Fish & Game,                                                               
explained that the military are  usually permanently stationed in                                                               
Alaska for three years.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:12:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM  moved to  report HCS CSSB  214, Version                                                               
25-LS1261\O,  Kane, 3/27/08,  out  of  committee with  individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no objection,  HCS CSSB  214(MLV) was reported  out of  the House                                                               
Special Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:13:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB 405-STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS FOR MILITARY                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:13:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROSES announced  that the final order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  405,  "An  Act relating  to  forgiveness  of  a                                                               
percentage  of student  loans for  a member  of the  armed forces                                                               
deployed since 2001."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:13:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   DAHLSTROM  moved   that   the  committee   adopt                                                               
Committee  Substitute  (CS)  for  HB  405,  Version  25-LS1483\M,                                                               
Mischel,  3/29/08,  as the  working  document.   There  being  no                                                               
objection, Version M was before the committee.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:14:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS BIRDSALL,  Staff to  Representative Harry  Crawford, Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, introduced  the committee  substitute for  HB                                                               
405.   He indicated that the  first change was to  replace all of                                                               
the terms "forgiveness", "forgive",  or "forgiven" with the terms                                                               
"repayment", "repayment benefit", or "repaid."   Also, on page 1,                                                               
line 9, the deployment criteria  was changed from "Afghanistan or                                                               
Iraq" to "provide  direct or indirect support for  the global war                                                               
on terrorism."   He noted that deployment status  can be verified                                                               
by  the applicant's  orders.   Further, there  were additions  on                                                               
page 1,  line 11, of  "if discharged  from the armed  forces, was                                                               
discharged  in honorable  status" and,  on line  13, "is  in good                                                               
standing for  the repayment  of the loan  and in  full compliance                                                               
with the terms and conditions of  the loan."  The next change was                                                               
on page 2,  line 1, that changed  the amount to be  repaid by the                                                               
state from "50  percent of the total loan  amount, plus interest"                                                               
to "50  percent of  the total  unpaid balance  of the  loan, plus                                                               
interest."   Mr.  Birdsall  explained that  the  purpose of  this                                                               
change was to  prevent the applicant from receiving  a benefit in                                                               
excess  of  the  remaining  balance  of  the  loan.    A  further                                                               
addition,  on  page   2,  line  5,  was   authorization  for  the                                                               
Postsecondary  Education  Commission  to  adopt  the  regulations                                                               
needed to administer the program.   The last addition, on page 2,                                                               
line 7,  adds the United  States Coast  Guard to the  named armed                                                               
forces.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:16:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROSES asked  whether these changes would  affect the fiscal                                                               
note attached to the bill.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:16:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DIANE  BARRANS,   Executive  Director,   Postsecondary  Education                                                               
Commission,  Department  of   Education  and  Early  Development,                                                               
stated  that  the  method used  by  the  Postsecondary  Education                                                               
Commission  to  identify  the qualifying  aggregate  balance  was                                                               
broad;  therefore,  she   opined  that  there  would   not  be  a                                                               
substantial change  to the fiscal  note that was attached  to the                                                               
original bill.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:17:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROSES   observed  that  the   CS  satisfied  all   of  the                                                               
committee's concerns about the original bill.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:17:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM  moved to  report CSHB 405,  Version 25-                                                               
LS1483\M,  Mischel, 3/29/08,  out  of  committee with  individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying  fiscal note.   There being                                                               
no  objection,  CSHB  405(MLV)  was reported  out  of  the  House                                                               
Special Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:17:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROSES  asked Mr. Birdsall to  provide committee substitutes                                                               
as early  as possible.   He then  expressed his  appreciation for                                                               
the committee's work during this session.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Special Committee  on Military and Veterans'  Affairs meeting was                                                               
adjourned at 1:18 p.m.                                                                                                          

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