Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

03/23/2017 01:00 PM MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 152 ORGANIZED MILITIA; AK ST. DEFENSE FORCE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public and Invited Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 165 STATE PERSONNEL ACT: VETERANS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 165 Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
   HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AND VETERANS' AFFAIRS                                                                  
                         March 23, 2017                                                                                         
                           1:06 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Chris Tuck, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Vice Chair                                                                                     
Representative Justin Parish                                                                                                    
Representative Ivy Spohnholz                                                                                                    
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
Representative Lora Reinbold                                                                                                    
Representative Dan Saddler                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 165                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to hiring for positions in state service based                                                                 
on substitution of military work experience or training for                                                                     
civilian work experience or training requirements."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 165 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 152                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the organized militia; and relating to the                                                                  
authority of the adjutant general."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 165                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: STATE PERSONNEL ACT: VETERANS                                                                                      
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) PARISH                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
03/08/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/08/17       (H)       MLV, STA                                                                                               
03/16/17       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/16/17       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/21/17       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/21/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/21/17       (H)       MINUTE(MLV)                                                                                            
03/23/17       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 152                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ORGANIZED MILITIA; AK ST. DEFENSE FORCE                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
03/06/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/06/17       (H)       MLV, STA                                                                                               
03/14/17       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/14/17       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/23/17       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
KATE SHEEHAN, Director                                                                                                          
Division of Personnel and Labor Relations                                                                                       
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions  during the hearing of HB                                                             
165.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT DOEHL, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                               
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Military & Veterans' Affairs                                                                                      
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 152 and answered questions.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:06:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CHRIS TUCK  called the House Special  Committee on Military                                                             
and   Veterans'   Affairs  meeting   to   order   at  1:06   p.m.                                                               
Representatives  Tuck,  Spohnholz,   Rauscher,  and  Parish  were                                                               
present  at   the  call  to  order.     Representatives  Saddler,                                                               
Reinbold, and LeDoux arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
              HB 165-STATE PERSONNEL ACT: VETERANS                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:07:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK  announced that the  first order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO.  165, "An Act relating to hiring  for positions in                                                               
state service  based on substitution of  military work experience                                                               
or   training   for   civilian  work   experience   or   training                                                               
requirements."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  urged the committee  to [move HB  165 from                                                               
committee].   He opined the  bill would  fill an existing  gap in                                                               
statute and  pointed out the  Department of  Administration (DOA)                                                               
is  currently  making  some   accommodations  to  allow  military                                                               
service  to  be  recognized;  the  bill  would  provide  for  the                                                               
recognition of  military service and allow  military experience -                                                               
if  pertinent and  at a  level  that equals  or exceeds  civilian                                                               
training -  to be substituted  for other  minimum qualifications.                                                               
He remarked,  "Essentially, if  you've been doing  a job  for the                                                               
armed services for  a few years and you've done  it well, I don't                                                               
see why  you need a degree,  necessarily, to do the  same job for                                                               
the state of Alaska."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:08:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  TUCK   opened  public   testimony  on   HB  165.     After                                                               
ascertaining  no  one wished  to  testify,  public testimony  was                                                               
closed.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ   recalled  the   committee  previously                                                               
requested more  information from  DOA on  how it  would determine                                                               
that military experience meets or  exceeds the requirements for a                                                               
certain position.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:10:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATE  SHEEHAN,   Director,  Division   of  Personnel   and  Labor                                                               
Relations,   Department  of   Administration,  said   individuals                                                               
filling out a job application  list their previous job titles and                                                               
are  given  an  opportunity to  explain  their  responsibilities.                                                               
Just like  military experience, other  private sector  jobs might                                                               
not be  titled appropriately and  could be misunderstood.   After                                                               
an applicant  explains the duties  of their previous  job(s), the                                                               
department  could   follow  up   with  the  applicant   with  any                                                               
clarifying  questions  to  understand  and  to  give  appropriate                                                               
credit.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  recalled the  state uses  some database                                                               
tools to determine  whether an individual meets  the criteria for                                                               
a job.   She asked how the state can  ensure applicants are being                                                               
properly   "screened-in   rather   than  screened-out"   if   the                                                               
applicants don't know which words to use.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHEEHAN  advised there  is a veteran  preference:   the state                                                               
must  consider  a  veteran's  or   a  National  Guard  [member's]                                                               
submitted application and must interview  any disabled veteran or                                                               
former prisoner  of war.   She stated  hiring managers  and human                                                               
resource  staff  review  applications;  individuals  self-certify                                                               
their veteran status; therefore, no proof is required.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH  responded  to  Representative  Rauscher's                                                               
question about  whether the bill  applies to "state  or private,"                                                               
and said the bill pertains to state employment.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:12:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ moved to report  HB 165 out of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  There being no objection,  HB 165 was reported out of the                                                               
House Special Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:12:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 1:12 p.m. to 1:54 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
[Although stated  the committee  was recessed, the  committee was                                                               
at-ease.]                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
         HB 152-ORGANIZED MILITIA; AK ST. DEFENSE FORCE                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:54:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK  announced that the  final order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 152, "An  Act relating to the  organized militia;                                                               
and relating to the authority of the adjutant general."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:55:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT DOEHL,  Deputy Commissioner,  Office of  the Commissioner,                                                               
Department of  Military & Veterans' Affairs  (DMVA), informed the                                                               
committee  HB 152  is  a maintenance  bill  to modernize  several                                                               
provisions of  [Alaska Statutes title  26], which was  drafted in                                                               
the 1950s.   Further, the  bill creates efficiencies,  allows for                                                               
continuity  in providing  services  during  disasters, and  would                                                               
provide  clear-cut  accountability  and  responsibility  for  the                                                               
adjutant  general.    Mr.  Doehl said  Section  1  clarifies  the                                                               
adjutant general is not only  in control of the organized militia                                                               
but  is also  in command.    The organized  militia includes  the                                                               
Alaska Army  National Guard, the  Alaska Air National  Guard, the                                                               
Alaska State Defense Force (ASDF),  and the Alaska Naval Militia.                                                               
He remarked:                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     The   governor  remains   ultimately  responsible   and                                                                    
     accountable for  the Alaska  organized militia  and the                                                                    
     actions of  it, and also retains  complete authority to                                                                    
     supervene or  overrule any order or  directive given by                                                                    
     the adjutant  general, who is also  the commissioner of                                                                    
     the state  Department of Military &  Veterans' Affairs.                                                                    
     What this does do is  clarify the obligation that comes                                                                    
     with  command;  with   command  comes,  comes  absolute                                                                    
     responsibility for the operation  and the conduct of an                                                                    
     organization.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL  stated such responsibility  is inherent  with command.                                                               
He said "control"  is only the authority to  direct a subordinate                                                               
to do something  but does not bring with it  the assurance a task                                                               
is done  right.  He  said [command]  comes with the  authority to                                                               
develop  regulations  for  the  internal  administration  of  the                                                               
Alaska organized militia, which are  necessary for good order and                                                               
discipline.   He clarified members  of the general  public remain                                                               
subject  to  the Administrative  Procedures  Act.   He  said  the                                                               
proposed  regulations are  akin to  the personnel  policies other                                                               
departments have, but  the organized militia does  not fall under                                                               
the state classified  personnel systems and thus does  not have a                                                               
clean-cut mechanism to institute regulations.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:58:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL  informed the committee the  proposed regulations would                                                               
ensure that the  adjutant general could carry out  all the duties                                                               
as a commander over the Alaska  Air National Guard and the Alaska                                                               
Army National Guard  envisioned in House Bill 126  [passed in the                                                               
Twenty-Ninth   Alaska   State   Legislature],  which   had   some                                                               
ambiguities.    He  continued  to review  the  bill  and  advised                                                               
Sections 2 and 3 together  clarify the roles and responsibilities                                                               
related to  state active  duty.  He  explained state  active duty                                                               
status applies  at the time the  militia is put into  paid status                                                               
to work  directly for the governor  of Alaska.  He  said the bill                                                               
would clarify  the continuity  of operations  in a  disaster; for                                                               
example, in  the event of  a disaster  or an emergency  where the                                                               
governor cannot be  reached, HB 152 would  authorize the adjutant                                                               
general to place a limited  portion of the organized militia into                                                               
state active duty as needed.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL stated  the authority of the adjutant  general became a                                                               
priority for  Governor Bill Walker  after a recent  incident when                                                               
he was needed  to authorize some organized militia  members to be                                                               
placed in  state active duty to  assist with a search  and rescue                                                               
mission.  Mr.  Doehl gave an example of a  disaster that required                                                               
a  response from  the organized  militia while  those in  command                                                               
were unable  to reach the  governor or the  governor's successor.                                                               
However,  HB  152  provides  two  important  limitations  on  the                                                               
aforementioned authority:   If the governor has  not been reached                                                               
after 72  hours, then  there must be  a reassessment  to validate                                                               
whether  the  authority is  still  necessary,  and the  authority                                                               
would also be  limited to instances that do not  affect the civil                                                               
rights  of  other  Alaskans,  for example,  it  would  not  place                                                               
members of  the organized militia  into roles assisting  with law                                                               
enforcement duties.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:00:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL said Section 4  states the governor's orders are final,                                                               
and the adjutant general's orders  are subject to being overruled                                                               
by the governor  at any time.  Section 5  recognizes [Title 32 of                                                               
the U.S. Code Chapter 109],  which says states have the authority                                                               
to retain  a state  militia while also  having a  National Guard.                                                               
Further, Section 5  assures if said federal  statute was repealed                                                               
or amended, the  legislature would need to  enable legislation to                                                               
clarify the relationship between the two entities.  He remarked:                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Given  the   federal  role  and  some   presumption  of                                                                    
     preemption and  homeland defense and  homeland security                                                                    
     issues,  we  need  this  provision  to  deconflict  the                                                                    
     issues of  federal preemption  in the  [Tenth Amendment                                                                    
     to the  U.S. Constitution] and clarify  that what we're                                                                    
     doing is legal and proper  from both a legal, from both                                                                    
     a federal and state perspective.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DOEHL  said  Section  6  adds ASDF  to  the  entities  which                                                               
comprise   Alaska's  organized   militia   and  provides   better                                                               
alignment  with existing  statutory  language.   Section 7  would                                                               
establish that  the adjutant general  and the  assistant adjutant                                                               
generals are subject  to regulations in state law  and they would                                                               
be paid according  to state law.  He explained  this assures that                                                               
the  accountability  and  jurisdiction  over  said  generals  are                                                               
appropriate for their roles.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:03:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL continued  to explain Sections 8, 9,  and 10 streamline                                                               
matters  related   to  retirement,  so  the   sections  are  more                                                               
consistent with  federal [retirement]  processes, and  also allow                                                               
for  more efficiencies  at  the governor's  office  and at  DMVA.                                                               
Section  11 would  release DMVA's  obligation  to build  armories                                                               
before issuing equipment, which was  instigated in the 1950s, but                                                               
now  constrains  the state's  ability  to  expand ASDF  into  new                                                               
regions  and  facilities.    Section   12  deals  with  education                                                               
assistance -  when funded  - and  retains the  adjutant general's                                                               
authority  to  prioritize  how  education  assistance  funds  are                                                               
awarded.   Section 13 reiterates  that regulations  adopted under                                                               
[AS] title 26 may not  conflict with federal laws or regulations.                                                               
Section  14 directs  that regulations  are  consistent with  U.S.                                                               
armed  services   regulations  to   assure  consistency   in  the                                                               
administration of justice to service  members.  Section 15 allows                                                               
the delegation  of authorities  from the  governor in  the Alaska                                                               
Code of  Military Justice, except  general courts  martial cannot                                                               
be further delegated.  Section 16 removes irrelevant provisions.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  asked how  many other states  have taken                                                               
similar actions.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL explained  the proposed legislation is  not in response                                                               
to  a recommendation  from the  U.S. Department  of Defense,  but                                                               
originated from DMVA analysis, and  is related to inconsistencies                                                               
in  current   Alaska  legislation.     In  further   response  to                                                               
Representative  Rauscher,  he  said  he  was  not  aware  of  any                                                               
instances in which the governor of Alaska could not be reached.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER asked  whether authority  passes to  the                                                               
lieutenant governor.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DOEHL further  explained  a process  must  occur before  the                                                               
lieutenant  governor assumes  the  duties of  the  governor.   In                                                               
further  response to  Representative Rauscher,  he said  he would                                                               
provide a  written response to  the question of what  the process                                                               
would be following a temporary transfer of power.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:10:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  also   expressed  interest  in  previous                                                               
instances in which the governor was unavailable.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DOEHL said  the proposed  legislation addresses  a situation                                                               
where  the  location  or  condition of  the  governor  cannot  be                                                               
readily  ascertained.    In further  response  to  Representative                                                               
Saddler,  he  said  ASDF  exists  to  help  civilian  authorities                                                               
safeguard the public.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER questioned whether  the National Guard has                                                               
the same function.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DOEHL acknowledged  both are  part of  the Alaska  organized                                                               
militia, and both  have a role in responding to  a disaster or an                                                               
emergency; however, the National Guard  could be deployed and its                                                               
ranks in Alaska are "thin at times."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER asked  whether there has ever  been a time                                                               
when  the National  Guard was  unable  to fulfil  its mission  to                                                               
support civilian authorities in a disaster.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL  pointed out at the  time of the 1964  earthquake there                                                               
were National Guard units from  Outside and active military units                                                               
assisting in Southcentral Alaska.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER surmised the  only time the National Guard                                                               
was insufficient to assist civilian  authority was after the 1964                                                               
earthquake.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL said, "That I'm aware of, yes."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:14:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  TUCK  stressed  the  bill   allows  the  adjutant  general                                                               
authority over all entities within  the Alaska organized militia.                                                               
In response to  Representative Saddler, he said  authority may be                                                               
needed during any unknown disaster.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SADDLER  questioned   whether  replicating   the                                                               
responsibilities  of the  National Guard  over all  the state  is                                                               
prudent.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL stressed  ASDF is staffed by volunteers at  no cost [to                                                               
the state].                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  pointed out  the  bill  proposes to  use                                                               
state  funds  for  education, armories,  training,  and  workers'                                                               
compensation coverage.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL clarified  the bill directs the state does  not have to                                                               
provide armories in  order to establish a  detachment, and allows                                                               
for  the  prioritization of  education  benefits  at the  state's                                                               
discretion;   further,   previous  legislation   has   determined                                                               
workers' compensation provisions are "a zero-cost item."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  questioned  whether  the  administration                                                               
intends to make  ASDF a duplication of the  National Guard, which                                                               
is  a concern  related  to  cost and  the  implications to  state                                                               
policy.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:17:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL, in response to  Representative LeDoux's question about                                                               
the Alaska Naval Militia, explained  the Alaska Naval Militia are                                                               
U.S.  Marine  Corps and  U.S.  Navy  reservists from  Alaska  who                                                               
voluntarily  participate  in  additional training,  so  they  can                                                               
serve in  state active duty during  a time of emergency  in roles                                                               
to augment command and control  centers and to provide logistical                                                               
skills.   The Alaska Naval  Militia are  paid only when  in state                                                               
active  duty  status  or  during  drill  weekends.    In  further                                                               
response  to  Representative  LeDoux, he  restated  the  adjutant                                                               
general could  not deploy  the state  militia to  law enforcement                                                               
functions where  the rights  of Alaskans  could be  affected; the                                                               
ability of the  adjutant general authority is  limited to non-law                                                               
enforcement roles, such  as fire department or  search and rescue                                                               
duties.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX directed  attention to the bill  on page 2,                                                               
lines 19-20, which read in part:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Whenever  any portion  of the  militia is  ordered into                                                                    
     active  state service  by the  governor, it  becomes an                                                                    
     additional police force ...                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX also  directed  attention to  the bill  on                                                               
page 1, [lines 9-10], which read in part:                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     who shall  carry out  the policies  of the  governor in                                                                    
     military affairs.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX   asked  where   the  regulations   to  be                                                               
promulgated would  not give the  adjutant general the  ability to                                                               
exercise police authority.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL remarked:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     The  governor   believes  that  sort  of   call,  where                                                                    
     Alaskans' rights  are going to be  implicated should be                                                                    
     made by  the governor, and  he does not feel  it should                                                                    
     be delegated.  [That] is  why ... we requested drafting                                                                    
     in that manner.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL  directed attention to the  bill on page 3,  [lines 10-                                                               
13] which read:                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     (c) Notwithstanding  (b) of this section,  the adjutant                                                                    
     general  may  not  order  any  part  of  the  organized                                                                    
     militia  into active  state  service  for actions  that                                                                    
     would subject  civilians to the  use of  military power                                                                    
       that is regulatory, prescriptive, proscriptive, or                                                                       
       compulsory, unless approved by the governor before                                                                       
     giving the order.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:23:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  observed  one  of  the  challenges  of                                                               
disaster preparation  is to  contemplate every  scenario possible                                                               
and questioned  whether the proposed  legislation is  intended to                                                               
address  a situation  where there  was  no access  to either  the                                                               
governor or lieutenant governor.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL said  the intent was to  address a time when  it is not                                                               
possible  to reach  the governor;  for example,  when a  disaster                                                               
overcomes  the ability  to  communicate  or other  imponderables.                                                               
One of  the greatest  challenges is to  overcome the  friction of                                                               
compromised communications, however unforeseen.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  surmised in  an unusual  scenario, when                                                               
the governor  becomes available, the governor  could overrule any                                                               
actions by the adjutant general.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DOEHL affirmed  decisions  of the  governor  are final;  the                                                               
governor always  has the right  to overrule the  adjutant general                                                               
in a matter of state.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  expressed her  concern, along  with that                                                               
of  her  constituents, about  the  mismanagement  of the  state's                                                               
volunteer  defense force  and similar  problems within  DMVA over                                                               
recent years.   Although Alaska has rewritten  its criminal code,                                                               
justice  has  not  been  served;  in  fact,  Alaskans  are  still                                                               
suffering  from past  misconduct.   She said  she disagreed  with                                                               
efforts   to   seek    compliance   with   federal   regulations.                                                               
Representative Reinbold  advised the [Alaska  state] constitution                                                               
allows the governor  to assign duties to  the lieutenant governor                                                               
when necessary and  questioned the intent of the  sponsors of the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DOEHL stressed  the bill  removes  any ambiguity  as to  the                                                               
obligations  and responsibilities  of the  adjutant general.   He                                                               
pointed  out   ASDF  is  not   subject  to  federal   funding  or                                                               
regulations and remains funded and guided by state government.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:30:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  restated  her  reservations  about  the                                                               
intent of HB 152.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  directed attention  to the bill  on page                                                               
2, lines 4-5, which read in part:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     The Alaska National Guard and  the Alaska Naval Militia                                                                    
     and their members  are subject to all  federal laws and                                                                    
     regulations relating  to the  National Guard  and Naval                                                                    
     Militia ...                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  asked, "Is their 'commander  in general'                                                               
not the President of the United States?"                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DOEHL  explained [for  the  Alaska  National Guard  and  the                                                               
Alaska Naval Militia] the commander  in chief is the governor or,                                                               
if the  bill is enacted,  the adjutant general,  unless mobilized                                                               
[by  the federal  government].   However,  except  for ASDF,  the                                                               
entities  must  remain  in  compliance   with  federal  laws  and                                                               
regulations when  executing federal  funds.  In  further response                                                               
to Representative Rauscher, he listed some related federal laws.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER inquired as  to whom the adjutant general                                                               
is subject if the governor cannot be reached.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DOEHL  further  explained the  adjutant  general  is  always                                                               
subject  to  the  commander  in chief;  the  bill  clarifies  the                                                               
authority  of  the  adjutant  general,  should  the  governor  be                                                               
unavailable.  In further response  to Representative Rauscher, he                                                               
said after the  governor or the governor's  successor is reached,                                                               
actions of the adjutant general  would be reviewed and revoked if                                                               
necessary.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:35:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK pointed  out the bill addresses  a temporary situation                                                               
in which  the governor cannot  be reached, until the  governor is                                                               
reached  or  is replaced;  all  responsibility  remains with  the                                                               
governor or successor.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:37:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  expressed support for the  intent to allow                                                               
the  adjutant  general  to  act  in the  event  the  governor  is                                                               
unavailable.  He directed attention to  the bill on page 3, lines                                                               
[21-22], which read:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
      The organized militia may not be used against or to                                                                       
     mitigate a lawful organized labor action or activity.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH  made  a  motion  to  adopt  a  conceptual                                                               
amendment to read:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
      The organized militia may not be used against or to                                                                       
     mitigate a lawful action or activity, including those                                                                      
     of organized labor.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK restated the motion.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:39:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   TUCK   said  amendments   would   not   be  taken   under                                                               
consideration at this time.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:39:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH withdrew his motion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DOEHL  advised  DMVA  has   no  objection  to  the  proposed                                                               
conceptual amendment.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  directed attention  to Sections 8,  9, and                                                               
10, which he said do  not appear to address emergency situations,                                                               
and asked why the aforementioned  provisions are being changed by                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL said the  aforementioned provisions provide consistency                                                               
within  the  state  personnel system  and  the  federal  military                                                               
personnel system.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:42:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  directed attention  to page 5,  [lines 8-                                                               
11], which read:                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     (d)  Commissioned or warrant  officers may tender their                                                                    
     resignations  through National  Guard or  Naval Militia                                                                    
     command channels.   Resignations  shall be  in writing,                                                                    
     stating  the reason  for  resignation,  and shall  take                                                                    
     effect when accepted by the adjutant general.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER   asked  who   has  authority   to  grant                                                               
commissions to members of the National Guard in Alaska.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL  stated officers receive federal  and state commissions                                                               
in the  name of a senior  executive, which would be  the governor                                                               
or the president.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  questioned  why   HB  152  proposes  the                                                               
adjutant  general  accept resignations  that  are  issued by  the                                                               
governor.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL said the bill  is conforming to federal authorities, to                                                               
be "more  appropriate with the  significance of the action."   In                                                               
further response  to Representative Saddler, he  advised when the                                                               
government  in Alaska  was smaller,  it was  appropriate to  have                                                               
[resignation] actions pass through the governor's office.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER restated  his question as to  why the bill                                                               
proposed  [resignations]  would  be   accepted  by  the  adjutant                                                               
general.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DOEHL  said  the  intent   is  to  be  more  consistent  and                                                               
efficient.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER asked for an  example of the bill's impact                                                               
if enacted.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL gave  an example of an earthquake  in Southcentral that                                                               
compromises communications with the  governor [in Southeast] thus                                                               
the Alaska organized  militia could not be  authorized into state                                                               
active duty.   In further response to  Representative Saddler, he                                                               
envisioned the National Guard and  other entities would be called                                                               
to action concurrently.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL added  that immediate response authority  is limited to                                                               
members of  the National  Guard who are  already in  duty status;                                                               
for  example,  in  Southcentral,  a  fire  department  of  thirty                                                               
members may only have one member in duty status.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:48:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER turned  attention  to education  training                                                               
funds and surmised  the bill would give the  adjutant general the                                                               
authority to prioritize  money away from members  of the National                                                               
Guard to members of the Alaska Naval Militia or ASDF.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DOEHL  said,  should education  receive  funding,  the  bill                                                               
expands the groups that could  receive a limited amount of money.                                                               
He added  if the bill  is enacted,  there would be  federal money                                                               
that  could  not  be  redirected,  and  state  funding  could  be                                                               
reallocated.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER questioned  whether the  adjutant general                                                               
could  redirect  state  education   funds  from  members  of  the                                                               
National Guard to members of ASDF.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DOEHL  said yes.    In  further response  to  Representative                                                               
Saddler,  he  said there  is  zero  money  in DMVA's  budget  for                                                               
education and DMVA  has no intention to seek  funds for education                                                               
today.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:52:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX surmised  currently  the adjutant  general                                                               
may authorize  payment of funds  for members of the  Alaska Naval                                                               
Militia in preference to members  of the National Guard and asked                                                               
whether the adjutant general has done so.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL said, "Not to my knowledge."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  questioned if  entities within  the Alaska                                                               
state militia are federalized when a disaster occurs.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL  said no.   Even  in the case  of large  disasters, the                                                               
obligation  to provide  for public  safety is  primarily a  state                                                               
role.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked whether  the  addition  of ASDF  in                                                               
Section 12 is cleanup language.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DOEHL stated  the  intent is  to treat  all  members of  the                                                               
Alaska organized militia equally.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK reviewed provisions of the bill.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:56:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  stated  her understanding  is  that  no                                                               
other state has similar legislation  and restated her belief that                                                               
the  transfer  of power  from  the  governor  is "a  very  simple                                                               
process."  She  expressed her concern that  DMVA receives federal                                                               
funds and thus has a lot of  federal ties.  She asked whether the                                                               
adjutant general has ties to the president [of the U.S.].                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL indicated no.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD asked, "Does  this increase any 'federal'                                                               
at all, in any way?"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL said no.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  asked "Did  you  work  with anybody  in                                                               
regards  to the  federal government,  in  any way,  on this  bill                                                               
...?"                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL said no.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD asked, "Does  this decrease the authority                                                               
of the governor, yes or no?"                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL said no.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  asked, "Does  this decrease  the freedom                                                               
in any way of the state defense force?"                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL said no.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:59:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER   inquired  as   to  how   the  proposed                                                               
legislation affects the ability or function of the governor.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOEHL  said the bill relates  only to the authorities  of the                                                               
governor  over the  organized  militia.   He  offered to  provide                                                               
Representative Rauscher further information in this regard.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HB 152 was held over.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:00:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Special Committee  on Military and Veterans'  Affairs meeting was                                                               
adjourned at 3:00 p.m.                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB152 Supporting Document-DMVA Letter of Support 3.23.17.pdf HMLV 3/23/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 152
HB152 Opposing Document-Letter Lawrence Wood 3.21.17.pdf HMLV 3/23/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 152
HB152 Sponsor Statement 3.10.17.pdf HMLV 3/23/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 152