Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 120

03/31/2015 01:00 PM MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
01:46:25 PM Start
01:46:51 PM HB126
02:36:57 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 126 CODE OF MILITARY JUSTICE; APPEALS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 126(MLV) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
   HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AND VETERANS' AFFAIRS                                                                  
                         March 31, 2015                                                                                         
                           1:46 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bob Herron, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Vice Chair                                                                                     
Representative Jim Colver                                                                                                       
Representative Shelley Hughes                                                                                                   
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 126                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating to  the  administration  of military  justice;                                                               
relating to  the adoption of  a code  of military justice  by the                                                               
adjutant  general;  relating to  the  authority  of the  adjutant                                                               
general;  relating to  appeals of  convictions  and sentences  of                                                               
courts-martial;  establishing  the Military  Appeals  Commission;                                                               
relating to  the detention  and incarceration  of members  of the                                                               
militia; relating  to the jurisdiction  of the court  of appeals;                                                               
relating to  involuntary commitment  for evaluation  or treatment                                                               
of a  mental disease or defect  before court-martial proceedings;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 126(MLV) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 126                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CODE OF MILITARY JUSTICE; APPEALS                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): JUDICIARY                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/25/15       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/25/15       (H)       MLV, JUD                                                                                               
03/24/15       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/24/15       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/26/15       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/26/15       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/26/15       (H)       MINUTE(MLV)                                                                                            
03/31/15       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
FIRST LIEUTENANT FORREST DUNBAR, Alaska Army National Guard                                                                     
Office of the Commissioner/Adjutant General                                                                                     
Department of Military & Veterans' Affairs                                                                                      
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:   Introduced Amendment  1 to HB  126, Version                                                             
H, and answered questions.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN JENNIFER KING, Judge Advocate General                                                                                   
Alaska Army National Guard                                                                                                      
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions  during the hearing on HB                                                             
126.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:46:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BOB HERRON  called the House Special  Committee on Military                                                             
and   Veterans'   Affairs  meeting   to   order   at  1:46   p.m.                                                               
Representatives LeDoux,  Hughes, Colver,  Tuck, Lynn,  and Herron                                                               
were  present at  the call  to order.   Representative  Gruenberg                                                               
arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
            HB 126-CODE OF MILITARY JUSTICE; APPEALS                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:46:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HERRON announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 126,  "An Act relating  to the  administration of                                                               
military justice; relating to the  adoption of a code of military                                                               
justice by  the adjutant  general; relating  to the  authority of                                                               
the  adjutant general;  relating  to appeals  of convictions  and                                                               
sentences  of courts-martial;  establishing the  Military Appeals                                                               
Commission;  relating  to  the  detention  and  incarceration  of                                                               
members  of the  militia;  relating to  the  jurisdiction of  the                                                               
court  of   appeals;  relating  to  involuntary   commitment  for                                                               
evaluation  or treatment  of a  mental disease  or defect  before                                                               
court-martial proceedings; and providing for an effective date."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
[Committee   substitute   for   HB   126   labeled   29-LS0473\H,                                                               
Strasbaugh, 3/24/15 was adopted 3/26/15; Amendment 1 labeled 29-                                                                
LS0473\H.1,  Strasbaugh, 3/25/15,  was moved  and objected  to on                                                               
3/26/15.   Version H and  Amendment 1 were before  the committee.                                                               
Amendment 1 read:                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 16:                                                                                                           
          Delete "the state"                                                                                                    
           Insert "a state or of an active or reserve                                                                           
       component of the armed forces or another uniformed                                                                       
     service of the United States"                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 11, line 6:                                                                                                           
          Delete "the state"                                                                                                    
           Insert "a state or of an active or reserve                                                                           
       component of the armed forces or another uniformed                                                                       
     service of the United States"                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 30, line 16:                                                                                                          
          Delete the third occurrence of "the"                                                                                  
          Insert "a"]                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:47:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FIRST  LIEUTENANT FORREST  DUNBAR,  Alaska  Army National  Guard,                                                               
Office  of  the   Commissioner/Adjutant  General,  Department  of                                                               
Military  &  Veterans'  Affairs  (DMVA),  explained  Amendment  1                                                               
expands the pool  of those who can serve  in specific capacities,                                                               
such as  judge advocates.   He reminded the committee  the Alaska                                                               
National Guard (AKNG) has few  judge advocate resources, and they                                                               
are sometimes  "conflicted" or otherwise  unavailable, therefore,                                                               
in order  for courts-martial proceedings  to advance,  AKNG seeks                                                               
to draw upon resources from  other national guards or from active                                                               
duty components.  Lieutenant Dunbar  directed attention to a memo                                                               
from Kathleen Strasbaugh, Legislative  Counsel, Division of Legal                                                               
and   Research  Services,   Legislative  Affairs   Agency,  dated                                                               
3/25/15,  included in  the committee  packet.   In the  memo, Ms.                                                               
Strasbaugh questioned  whether the intent  of Amendment 1  was to                                                               
include  National Oceanic  and Atmospheric  Administration (NOAA)                                                               
and Public  Health Service (PHS)  commissioned corps in  the pool                                                               
of military officers.   Lieutenant Dunbar said yes,  that was the                                                               
intent as  AKNG wishes to  broaden its resources  when necessary.                                                               
The  officers  would  be  overseen  by  the  senior  force  judge                                                               
advocate, and  will have  had experience  that qualifies  them to                                                               
act as counsel.  He said AKNG  wants to avoid a situation where a                                                               
qualified  person is  not allowed  to serve  as a  judge advocate                                                               
because  of provisions  in the  Alaska Code  of Military  Justice                                                               
(ACMJ) proposed  in HB  126.  Ms.  Strasbaugh's memo  also points                                                               
out an error that has been  resolved, and questions the intent of                                                               
Amendment 1 to  expand existing law "in a different  section in a                                                               
very particular way,  and we didn't intend it to."   Finally, Ms.                                                               
Strasbaugh  asked whether  the amendment  allows that  all judges                                                               
and  attorneys connected  with a  court-martial,  except for  the                                                               
appeals commission,  may be  from out-of-state,  and he  said the                                                               
answer is  yes.  Lieutenant  Dunbar stressed the  important point                                                               
is  that  the commander  bringing  the  charges and  the  appeals                                                               
commission would be Alaskans, which  would ensure a strong Alaska                                                               
component  to the  proceeding.   He concluded  that the  concerns                                                               
raised in the memo have been addressed.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:52:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG read from the memo as follows:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     ...  you   did  not  request  that   [AS  26.05.410(d),                                                                    
     26.05.453(b)(3), or 26.05.590(21)]  be amended to allow                                                                    
     a military  judge or judge advocate  from another force                                                                    
     to be detailed to preside or be appointed as counsel.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked whether the  intent was to allow a                                                               
military  judge  or  judge  advocate from  another  force  to  be                                                               
detailed to preside, or to be a judge advocate.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT DUNBAR  said no.   The key  words are  "another force"                                                               
and the  definition has to  do with  the Army National  Guard and                                                               
the Air National Guard.  He remarked:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     A simple reading of this,  we've already done that, but                                                                    
     not with  respect to 26.05.590(21) which  refers to the                                                                    
     senior force judge advocate, so  it had issues with the                                                                    
     senior force judge  advocate:  there's one  for the Air                                                                    
     National  Guard,  there's  one for  the  Army  National                                                                    
     Guard and she  was worried that we wanted  to expand it                                                                    
     further  and, but  we don't  need to,  that's basically                                                                    
     what the, what the upshot is.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  returned attention to the  memo on page                                                               
1,  the second  sentence of  the third  paragraph, which  read in                                                               
part:                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     The UCMJ  applies to  National Oceanic  and Atmospheric                                                                    
     Administration  and Public  Health  Service staff  when                                                                    
     they are in service to the armed forces ....                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  said  the  aforementioned  is  a  "big                                                               
qualifier" because normally NOAA and  PHS are not in proximity to                                                               
armed  services.   He urged  that  the text  make this  extremely                                                               
clear.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:55:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  DUNBAR  explained  the  memo  questions  whether  the                                                               
Uniform Code  of Military Justice  (UCMJ) applies to NOAA  or PHS                                                               
staff; however, AKNG's purpose is  to use uniformed officers - in                                                               
those two services - to serve in its behalf as judge advocates.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG questioned whether  it is appropriate to                                                               
assign PHS doctors  or NOAA officials, who may  have no knowledge                                                               
of the  UCMJ, to  serve on  courts-martial; in  addition, whether                                                               
PHS or NOAA has lawyers in the vicinity of the state.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT DUNBAR reminded the committee  that the provision does                                                               
not relate  to who  may serve on  courts-martial; for  example, a                                                               
NOAA officer living  in Alaska and who has been  a judge advocate                                                               
would be eligible  to serve as a judge advocate.   He pointed out                                                               
that the provision does not  conscript anyone or require service,                                                               
but would enable the senior judge advocate to ask.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  inquired as to whether  judge advocates                                                               
are lawyers.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT   DUNBAR   said  yes.      In   further  response   to                                                               
Representative  Gruenberg, he  agreed the  chances of  AKNG using                                                               
that specific part of the  provision are relatively low; however,                                                               
AKNG seeks the ability to use the provision if possible.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HERRON opined  the likelihood  of using  the provision  is                                                               
extremely low,  and asked if  Representative Gruenberg  sought to                                                               
offer an amendment.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:59:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX removed her objection to Amendment 1.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG stated his  intent to revisit this issue                                                               
in the next committee of referral.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:59:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
There being no further objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:59:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK moved to adopt Amendment 2, labeled 29-                                                                     
LS0473\H.3, Strasbaugh, 3/28/15, which read:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 10, following line 30:                                                                                                
          Insert a new section to read:                                                                                         
          "Sec. 26.05.452. Who may serve on courts-martial.                                                                   
     (a) A  commissioned officer of  the militia of  a state                                                                    
     or of an  active duty component of the  armed forces of                                                                    
     the United  States is eligible  to serve on  a general,                                                                    
     special, or  summary court-martial  for the trial  of a                                                                    
     member of the militia in active state service.                                                                             
          (b)  A warrant officer of the militia of a state                                                                      
     or of an  active duty component of the  armed forces of                                                                    
     the United States is eligible  to serve on a general or                                                                    
     special  court-martial for  the  trial  of any  person,                                                                    
     other than a commissioned officer.                                                                                         
          (c)  An enlisted member of the militia of the                                                                         
     state  who is  not a  member of  the same  unit as  the                                                                    
     accused is  eligible to serve  on a general  or special                                                                    
     court-martial for the trial of  an enlisted member, but                                                                    
     only if  the accused  has, before  the conclusion  of a                                                                    
     session  of the  court-martial called  by the  military                                                                    
     judge under AS 26.05.528,  personally requested, orally                                                                    
     on  the record  or  in writing,  that enlisted  members                                                                    
     serve on the court-martial.                                                                                                
          (d)  After a request is made under (c) of this                                                                        
     section, the accused  may not be tried by  a general or                                                                    
     special court-martial  unless enlisted members  make up                                                                    
     at  least  one-third of  the  total  membership of  the                                                                    
     court. If  eligible enlisted members are  not available                                                                    
     because of physical  conditions or military exigencies,                                                                    
     the  court  may  proceed  to try  the  accused  without                                                                    
     enlisted  members, but  the  convening authority  shall                                                                    
     place on  the record a detailed  written explanation of                                                                    
     why eligible enlisted members were not available.                                                                          
          (e)  The accused may not be tried by a court-                                                                         
     martial that  includes a member  who is junior  in rank                                                                    
     or grade  to the  accused, unless the  inclusion cannot                                                                    
     be avoided.                                                                                                                
          (f)  When convening a court-martial, the                                                                              
     convening  authority shall  detail the  members of  the                                                                    
     militia of  a state or  of an active duty  component of                                                                    
     the armed forces  of the United States who  are, in the                                                                    
     convening authority's  opinion, the best  qualified for                                                                    
     the  duty  by  reason   of  age,  education,  training,                                                                    
     experience,   length    of   service,    and   judicial                                                                    
     temperament. A  person is  not eligible  to serve  as a                                                                    
      member of a general or special court-martial if the                                                                       
      person is the accuser, is a witness, or has acted as                                                                      
     investigating officer or as counsel in the same case.                                                                      
          (g)  Before a court-martial is assembled for the                                                                      
     trial of a  case, the convening authority  may excuse a                                                                    
     member  of the  court from  participating in  the case.                                                                    
     The  convening  authority  may delegate  the  authority                                                                    
     under  this subsection  to  a judge  advocate  or to  a                                                                    
     principal assistant."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:00:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HERRON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  explained  Amendment 2  would  establish  a                                                               
procedure  for who  may serve  on a  courts-martial, including  a                                                               
commissioned officer  of the state  militia or of an  active duty                                                               
component of the  armed forces of the U.S., a  warrant officer of                                                               
the state  militia or of  an active  duty component of  the armed                                                               
forces of the  U.S., an enlisted member of the  state militia who                                                               
is not  a member  of the same  unit as the  accused.   He advised                                                               
that  the amendment  was discussed  with First  Lieutenant Dunbar                                                               
and was approved by DMVA.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  DUNBAR confirmed  that the  provision in  Amendment 2                                                               
was a provision  of HB 121 and  which was not included  in HB 126                                                               
in error.  The amendment provides who may serve on the courts-                                                                  
martial  panel  and,  in  addition  to  the  original  provision,                                                               
expands those eligible  to a member of a guard  or an active duty                                                               
component.  He restated that  AKNG is lacking a sufficient number                                                               
of  those who  are qualified  to serve,  particularly on  a panel                                                               
considering a case involving a member  of high rank.  In response                                                               
to  Representative Gruenberg's  previous point,  unlike the  pool                                                               
for adjutants general,  the pool for the  courts-martial panel is                                                               
not expanded to  include members of NOAA or PHS.   He provided an                                                               
example related to administrative  separation hearings, and urged                                                               
the committee to adopt Amendment 2.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES asked  for additional  information related                                                               
to a courts-martial panel.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT DUNBAR answered  that the panel is similar  to a jury;                                                               
in  a general  court-martial there  are five  members, and  for a                                                               
special  court-martial  there  are  three members.    In  further                                                               
response  to  Representative Hughes,  he  said  a general  court-                                                               
martial can  decree penalties up  to ten years or  a dishonorable                                                               
discharge for more serious offenses,  and a special court-martial                                                               
is limited to less serious offenses.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:04:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG understood  that  in  a general  court-                                                               
martial,  at least  two  of the  five members  would  have to  be                                                               
enlisted members.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT DUNBAR nodded yes.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG directed  attention to  Amendment 1  on                                                               
page 1, line 20 which read in part:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     to try the accused without enlisted members, ...                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked whether  the intent was to proceed                                                               
without any  enlisted members, or  without one-third  of enlisted                                                               
members, and if so, the written explanation would be required.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT DUNBAR said  correct.  It is AKNG's  intention to have                                                               
enlisted  members  on  the  panel if  requested,  and  a  written                                                               
explanation   would  be   required   in  the   case  of   exigent                                                               
circumstances.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG clarified  his concern  was "when  this                                                               
comes into  play."  He  opined the ambiguous language  requires a                                                               
modifier,  and  he  would offer  "without  the  required  minimum                                                               
number of  enlisted members,"  as a  conceptual amendment  at the                                                               
appropriate time.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT DUNBAR said the sponsor has no objection.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HERRON  recommended that Representative Gruenberg  hold the                                                               
foregoing conceptual amendment for the next committee.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG directed attention  to Amendment 2, page                                                               
2, line 4 which read in part:                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
      ... best qualified ...                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG  inquired   as   to   who  makes   the                                                               
determination of "best qualified."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT DUNBAR stated  that is based on the  discretion of the                                                               
convening authority.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:08:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN  JENNIFER  KING,  Judge  Advocate  General,  Alaska  Army                                                               
National  Guard, explained  that from  her experience,  convening                                                               
authorities are provided  a list - created  through the personnel                                                               
section  - of  all  of  individuals who  could  sit  on a  panel,                                                               
determined by  the rank of  the accused, and whether  the accused                                                               
elected to  have all officers or  a mix of officers  and enlisted                                                               
members.   Following that, the  convening authority  would review                                                               
the list, and  review the enlisted record briefs  and the officer                                                               
record  briefs   of  the  potential   panel  members,   and  make                                                               
selections.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  asked   whether  there  are  standards                                                               
related to religion.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN KING advised that if a  panel member were chosen based on                                                               
faith,  his/her  appointment would  be  open  to legal  challenge                                                               
during the vior dire of the panel.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  expressed his interest in  knowing what                                                               
the standards  are.  Finally, in  Amendment 2 on page  2, line 12                                                               
which read:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     advocate or to a principal assistant."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked whether a principal  assistant is                                                               
a paralegal.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT DUNBAR was unsure.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN KING advised she did not have access to Amendment 2.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HERRON said this issue would be addressed during interim.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:13:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HERRON removed  his  objection.   There  being no  further                                                               
objection, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:13:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK moved to adopt Amendment 3 which read:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 37, line 31:                                                                                                          
          Delete "may"                                                                                                          
          Insert "shall"                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:14:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HERRON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  explained  that   Amendment  3  is  another                                                               
correction to an oversight.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:14:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HERRON removed his objection.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES asked  what  regulations  are affected  by                                                               
Amendment 3.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:15:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT DUNBAR  said most of  the regulations in the  bill are                                                               
affected because  AKNG intends that future  commands are required                                                               
to create and enforce the regulations.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:15:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
There being no further objection, Amendment 3 was adopted.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:15:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK then  observed  that the  regulations to  be                                                               
drafted by  DMVA -  that are authorized  in proposed  new section                                                               
26.050.380  - would  give DMVA  "a lot  of power."   He  directed                                                               
attention to Version H on page 4, lines 1-2 which read:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
      (c)  The regulations adopted under this section are                                                                       
     exempt from AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act).                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  discussed a  conceptual amendment  to delete                                                               
proposed subsection (c) because  criminal code is usually written                                                               
in statute and is not drafted by  an agency.  He pointed out that                                                               
AS 44.62  establishes procedures to ensure  consistencies between                                                               
regulations and existing statute;  that regulations receive prior                                                               
approval by the  lieutenant governor; that the  Department of Law                                                               
(DOL) is involved  and would advise the agency  on legal matters,                                                               
policy,  and   to  ensure  compliance   with  the   Alaska  State                                                               
Constitution;   and   compliance   to   ensure   public   notice.                                                               
Representative Tuck  cautioned that  there have been  problems in                                                               
the past  with a  lack of transparency,  and giving  a department                                                               
authority with no oversight is not really fixing a problem.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES surmised  without the [discussed conceptual                                                               
amendment], during  interim AKNG  would work on  the regulations;                                                               
however,  the  [discussed  conceptual  amendment]  proposes  that                                                               
after regulations  are proposed, there  would be a  public review                                                               
process through the Administrative Procedure Act.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK observed  that  the bill  directs that  DMVA                                                               
"shall"  adopt regulations  related to  courts-marital, but  does                                                               
not  instruct  how  regulations  should  be  adopted.    Although                                                               
comfortable with  the process of  designing regulations,  he said                                                               
the regulations may  not be ready to implement.   In the interim,                                                               
as the  ACMJ is developed,  there will be transparency,  and many                                                               
facets of  government will be  involved.  He envisioned  that the                                                               
best process would  be to let DMVA develop  regulations, and then                                                               
the  legislature will  overlook  the product  and determine  what                                                               
belongs in statute  and what in regulation.   Representative Tuck                                                               
opined  that  the authority  to  issue  a  prison sentence  or  a                                                               
dishonorable charge should be in statute.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:22:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES   concluded  that  DMVA  and   AKNG  would                                                               
continue through  the public hearing process  on military matters                                                               
that are  not commonly understood by  the public.  She  asked the                                                               
sponsor for  the purpose  of including  aforementioned subsection                                                               
(c).                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HERRON  requested  that   Representative  Tuck  provide  a                                                               
written memo  explaining the [discussed conceptual  amendment] to                                                               
the committee and to DMVA.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX said she was  not adverse to Representative                                                               
Tuck's  [discussed  conceptual  amendment]; on  the  other  hand,                                                               
these  proceedings  are  different  than  those  for  a  civilian                                                               
arrested for  a crime,  because military  members are  aware that                                                               
certain laws are applicable to the military.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   TUCK   withdrew    the   [discussed   conceptual                                                               
amendment].  He acknowledged that he  may offer an amendment at a                                                               
later date,  but did not want  to impede DMVA's ability  to begin                                                               
its work on this matter.   He said the decision whether to follow                                                               
the administrative  code will resurface  in order  to accommodate                                                               
the  4,000  employees  of  DMVA  that will  be  affected  by  the                                                               
regulations.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HERRON  clarified  that a  conceptual  amendment  was  not                                                               
offered.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:27:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  stated he is also  opposed to exempting                                                               
regulations from  Administrative Procedure Act (APA)  review.  As                                                               
an alternative, he  suggested that after "the  initial crime list                                                               
[was] run through the legislature,"  regulations could be adopted                                                               
through  the APA  as a  rulemaking function.   In  the bill,  the                                                               
crimes could be  listed in regulation, but  regulations would not                                                               
take  effect until  the following  legislative session,  thus the                                                               
report of  the regulations would  be referred to a  committee for                                                               
hearings  and  action.   Under  the  Alaska  State  Constitution,                                                               
regulations can  only be  amended or  appealed by  statute, which                                                               
would   give  time   for  the   legislature  to   disapprove  the                                                               
regulations, or issue a resolution or a letter to DMVA.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX questioned whether  an agency could rescind                                                               
a regulation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said  yes, but  it  may not.   In  that                                                               
case,  an  informal letter  or  resolution  may  be needed.    He                                                               
provided  an example  of an  Alaska Supreme  Court decision  that                                                               
said regulations  must be  amended through a  bill; in  fact, two                                                               
attempts at amending  the Alaska State Constitution  to allow the                                                               
legislature to repeal regulations by a resolution failed.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK gave  the  definition  of regulatory  action                                                               
found  in AS  44.62.213:   adoption,  amendment, or  repeal of  a                                                               
regulation.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG stressed that  the exemption from APA in                                                               
the bill is permanent, unlike that of Amendment 3.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HERRON thanked the committee  and DMVA leadership for their                                                               
work.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN congratulated DMVA on its work.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  said he  is happy  to work  with intelligent                                                               
and open-minded  people in  order to correct  the image  of AKNG,                                                               
and thanked the chair of the House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX   acknowledged  the  work   of  Lieutenant                                                               
Dunbar, her staff, and Representative  Tuck, on working as a team                                                               
on a bipartisan project.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES  said  this  issue is  very  important  to                                                               
Alaskans.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:35:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  COLVER  agreed with  the  need  to restore  justice  to                                                               
members of  the military.  He  moved to report CSHB  126, Version                                                               
29-LS0473\H, Strasbaugh,  3/24/15, as  amended, out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations   and  the  accompanying  three                                                               
fiscal  notes.   There  being  no  objection, CSHB  126(MLV)  was                                                               
reported  from  the  House  Special  Committee  on  Military  and                                                               
Veterans' Affairs.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:36:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Special Committee  on Military and Veterans'  Affairs meeting was                                                               
adjourned at 2:36 p.m.                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 126 - Amendment #1.pdf HMLV 3/31/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 126
HB 126 - Amendment #2.pdf HMLV 3/31/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 126
HB 126 - Amendment #3.pdf HMLV 3/31/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 126