Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

02/01/2018 01:00 PM House MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS

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01:05:12 PM Start
01:05:57 PM HB165
02:59:25 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Overview & Status Update: Occupational licensing TELECONFERENCED
for military education, training & service
credit for military service members & temporary
occupational licenses for military spouses
- Dept. of Military & Veterans Affairs
- Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development
- Dept. of Commerce, Community & Economic
- Dept. of Defense
- Solutions for Information Design, LCC (SOLID)
-- Testimony <Invited/Public> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
   HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AND VETERANS' AFFAIRS                                                                  
                        February 1, 2018                                                                                        
                           1:05 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                                                                                                      
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
OVERVIEW:     OCCUPATIONAL  LICENSING  FOR   MILITARY  EDUCATION~                                                               
TRAINING  &  SERVICE  CREDIT FOR  MILITARY  SERVICE  MEMBERS  AND                                                               
TEMPORARY OCCUPATIONAL LICENSES FOR MILITARY SPOUSES.                                                                           
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
KENDRA KLOSTER, Staff                                                                                                           
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Reviewed past  legislative involvement  in                                                             
military licensure  and spousal licensure during  the overview on                                                               
occupational  licensing   for  military  education,   training  &                                                               
service  credit  for  military   service  members  and  temporary                                                               
occupational licenses for military spouses.                                                                                     
MARCUS J. BEAUREGARD, Director                                                                                                  
Defense State Liaison Office (DSLO)                                                                                             
Office of the Deputy Assistant  Secretary of Defense for Military                                                               
Community and Family Policy                                                                                                     
U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)                                                                                                
Washington, D.C.                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided testimony  during the  overview on                                                             
occupational  licensing   for  military  education,   training  &                                                               
service  credit  for  military   service  members  and  temporary                                                               
occupational licenses for military spouses.                                                                                     
MARA JENNINGS                                                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:     During  the  overview   on  occupational                                                             
licensing for  military education, training &  service credit for                                                               
military service members and  temporary occupational licenses for                                                               
military spouses,  she shared  her experience  transitioning from                                                               
military to civilian work.                                                                                                      
LISA LUTZ, President                                                                                                            
Solutions for Information Design, LLC (SOLID)                                                                                   
Burke, Virginia                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided testimony  during the  overview on                                                             
occupational  licensing   for  military  education,   training  &                                                               
service  credit  for  military   service  members  and  temporary                                                               
occupational licenses for military spouses.                                                                                     
VERDIE BOWEN, Director                                                                                                          
Veterans Affairs                                                                                                                
Office of Veteran Affairs                                                                                                       
Department of Military & Veterans' Affairs (DMVA)                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided testimony  during the  overview on                                                             
occupational  licensing   for  military  education,   training  &                                                               
service  credit  for  military   service  members  and  temporary                                                               
occupational licenses for military spouses.                                                                                     
ALLISON BIASTOCK, Executive Director                                                                                            
Alaska Workforce Investment Board (AWIB)                                                                                        
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Labor & Workforce Development (DLWD)                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided testimony  during the  overview on                                                             
occupational  licensing   for  military  education,   training  &                                                               
service  credit  for  military   service  members  and  temporary                                                               
occupational licenses for military spouses.                                                                                     
SAICHI OBA, Associate Vice President                                                                                            
Student and Enrollment Strategy                                                                                                 
University of Alaska (UA)                                                                                                       
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided testimony  during the  overview on                                                             
occupational  licensing   for  military  education,   training  &                                                               
service  credit  for  military   service  members  and  temporary                                                               
occupational licenses for military spouses.                                                                                     
SARA CHAMBERS, Operations Manager                                                                                               
Juneau Office                                                                                                                   
Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing                                                                  
Department  of  Commerce,  Community,  and  Economic  Development                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided testimony  during the  overview on                                                             
occupational  licensing   for  military  education,   training  &                                                               
service  credit  for  military   service  members  and  temporary                                                               
occupational licenses for military spouses.                                                                                     
ABIGAIL ST. CLAIR                                                                                                               
Wasilla, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Offered  testimony  regarding  the  joint                                                             
transcript  during the  overview  on  occupational licensing  for                                                               
military  education,  training  &  service  credit  for  military                                                               
service members and temporary  occupational licenses for military                                                               
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:05:12 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CHRIS TUCK  called the House Special  Committee on Military                                                             
and   Veterans'   Affairs  meeting   to   order   at  1:05   p.m.                                                               
Representatives  Saddler,   Parish,  Spohnholz,  and   Tuck  were                                                               
present  at  the  call  to   order.    Representatives  Reinbold,                                                               
Rauscher, and LeDoux arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                    
^OVERVIEW:    Occupational   licensing  for  military  education,                                                               
training  &  service  credit for  military  service  members  and                                                               
temporary occupational licenses for military spouses.                                                                           
   OVERVIEW:  Occupational licensing for military education,                                                                
    training & service credit for military service members,                                                                 
    and temporary occupational licenses for military spouses                                                                
[Contains brief discussion of HB 165.]                                                                                          
1:05:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR TUCK announced that the only  order of business would be an                                                               
overview  on  occupational   licensing  for  military  education,                                                               
training  &  service  credit for  military  service  members  and                                                               
temporary occupational licenses for military spouses.                                                                           
CHAIR TUCK said the committee  would hear from representatives of                                                               
the  Department  of  Military &  Veterans'  Affairs  (DMVA),  the                                                               
Department  of   Labor  &   Workforce  Development   (DLWD),  the                                                               
Department   of  Commerce,   Community  &   Economic  Development                                                               
(DCCED), and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).                                                                              
1:06:27 PM                                                                                                                    
KENDRA KLOSTER,  Staff, Representative  Chris Tuck,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, reviewed  that DoD has worked  with legislators over                                                               
the  years to  facilitate the  creation  of   policies that  help                                                               
service members  and their spouses to  work in Alaska.   The idea                                                               
is to  ensure that all  the training military  personnel receives                                                               
while  in  service can  be  applied  to an  occupational  license                                                               
following service.   She said  past legislation has  ensured that                                                               
military personnel  are able to  apply [their  military training]                                                               
to a degree program.                                                                                                            
MS.  KLOSTER said  two  bills  were passed  by  the Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature.   First was House  Bill 28, in 2011,  which provided                                                               
for  a  military  courtesy  license -  a  temporary  license  for                                                               
spouses of the  armed services.  This allows spouses  who move to                                                               
Alaska with  an occupational license or  certificate from another                                                               
state  to continue  practicing  with a  courtesy  license.   That                                                               
procedure was  expedited under House  Bill 28.  She  said another                                                               
bill  that  was passed  in  2013  was  for military  service  and                                                               
training credit, which allows service  members leaving service to                                                               
apply their training  to an occupational license.   She indicated                                                               
that boards were  asked to adopt regulations  to facilitate this.                                                               
She said another section of the  bill passed in 2013 directed the                                                               
university to adopt a policy  for "a procedure to accept academic                                                               
credit for  a degree or  technical program for  those individuals                                                               
in  the   armed  forces,  with  all   their  military  education,                                                               
training, and service."                                                                                                         
MS.  KLOSTER  stated that  this  is  a  nationwide effort.    She                                                               
credited Representatives  Saddler and Tuck,  as well as  a number                                                               
of Senators,  for their work on  this issue.  She  shared that it                                                               
has been  a great honor  to have worked with  DoD and DMVA.   She                                                               
mentioned the names of upcoming speakers.                                                                                       
1:11:59 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  expressed appreciation for  the historic                                                               
perspective given by Ms. Kloster  and for the support being given                                                               
this issue.                                                                                                                     
1:12:24 PM                                                                                                                    
MARCUS  BEAUREGARD,   Director,  Defense  State   Liaison  Office                                                               
(DSLO), Office of  the Deputy Assistant Secretary  of Defense for                                                               
Military Community and Family Policy,  U.S. Department of Defense                                                               
(DoD), stated  that the DSLO worked  from 2011 to 2016  to obtain                                                               
readily available  endorsements for  military spouses to  be able                                                               
to  transfer  their temporary  licensing  in  order for  them  to                                                               
immediately get to work while  taking care of state requirements.                                                               
He  said  some  states began  providing  expedited  applications,                                                               
which is  something the DSLO asked  other states to do.   He said                                                               
Alaska's House  Bill 28 was  primarily associated  with temporary                                                               
licensure and  expedited application processes.   Legislation was                                                               
enacted in  46 states,  with 2  states already  having acceptable                                                               
MR. BEAUREGARD  said the DSLO  asked the University  of Minnesota                                                               
to  report on  how  boards  in states  were  doing,  in terms  of                                                               
implementing legislation.   The report was made  in November 2017                                                               
and showed an overview by state.   He noted that in the committee                                                               
packet  members  could  find   the  ["Military  Spouse  Licensure                                                               
Portability  Examination  State  Report"] pertaining  to  Alaska.                                                               
The University  of Minnesota study  found that about half  of the                                                               
states  had   implemented  their   requirements,  and   the  DSLO                                                               
contacted  states  to ensure  they  followed  through with  those                                                               
requirements.   He  said  the  report for  Alaska  shows a  mixed                                                               
review.  He  offered his understanding that  there is legislation                                                               
being proposed that  would require boards to  provide feedback to                                                               
the legislature on how things are operating.                                                                                    
1:17:09 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  BEAUREGARD  said  that  in   many  states,  boards  evaluate                                                               
equivalency  of  occupational  licenses   from  other  states  by                                                               
looking at  transcripts, course descriptions,  previous licenses,                                                               
professional experience,  and practicum hours, which  is not much                                                               
different from  the steps  involved in  getting a  first license.                                                               
Boards may  have the individual retest  if the test score  is not                                                               
approved or  if the individual took  the wrong test.   He pointed                                                               
out  that  there is  not  a  lot  of continuity  between  states,                                                               
because each state  determines how to evaluate  competency.  That                                                               
process is expensive,  time-consuming, and anxiety-producing, and                                                               
the  DSLO  is   working  to  help  each   occupation  develop  an                                                               
interstate   solution  by   developing  occupational   interstate                                                               
compacts, which  already exist  for nurses,  physical therapists,                                                               
psychologists,   emergency   medical  technicians   (EMTs),   and                                                               
doctors.  Interstate  compacts are made by  building consensus on                                                               
standards  for competency  and interstate  movement of  licenses.                                                               
He  said nurses  and physical  therapists are  allowed to  hold a                                                               
license in one state and have  the privilege to practice in other                                                               
states that are  members of the compact, without having  to get a                                                               
new  license.   He  said  that would  be  the  gold standard  for                                                               
military spouses and the DSLO's goal for military spouses.                                                                      
1:21:41 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER asked if  the military has been "improving                                                               
their out-processing" regarding resumes.                                                                                        
MR. BEAUREGARD said he does not  know, but deferred to Lisa Lutz,                                                               
whom he  said is working to  bring together the military  and the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  remarked  that interstate  compacts  are                                                               
"almost  a prelude  to national  licensing."   He noted  that the                                                               
professions Mr. Beauregard listed  have clear national standards,                                                               
and  he  asked  if  interstate  compacts  would  work  for  "less                                                               
rigorous occupational licensees," such  as massage therapists and                                                               
MR. BEAUREGARD answered  yes, "from the standpoint  that they are                                                               
interested and  excited to do  so."   He named the  following who                                                               
have expressed  interest:  the  head of the Association  of State                                                               
Boards for  Cosmetology, massage therapists,  speech pathologists                                                               
and  audiologists, and  the mental  health counseling  community.                                                               
He  indicated that  those looking  to create  interstate compacts                                                               
are "looking  to have the  department also participate  to create                                                               
special  provisions within  the interstate  compacts specifically                                                               
for military spouses."   He related that  physical therapists are                                                               
part of an  interstate compact in great part because  the head of                                                               
their  federation of  state  boards  is a  military  spouse.   He                                                               
added, "And so, we're just piggybacking on her good work."                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER talked  about a military spouse  who was a                                                               
highly qualified,  board certified behavioral analyst,  who could                                                               
not work  in Alaska.  He  said he appreciates the  efforts of the                                                               
House  Special Committee  on Military  and  Veterans' Affairs  to                                                               
reduce those barriers.                                                                                                          
MR. BEAUREGARD  opined that  a primary  benefit of  an interstate                                                               
compact is its impact on all individuals in the profession.                                                                     
1:25:57 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH asked  if  legislation is  required or  if                                                               
boards can take care of the issue on their own.                                                                                 
MR.  BEAUREGARD   answered  that  boards  define   compacts,  and                                                               
compacts, as entities, must be  legislated into law.  In response                                                               
to a follow-up question, he  confirmed that there are no compacts                                                               
pending  the  approval  of  the Alaska  State  Legislature.    He                                                               
brought up the  topic of telemedicine and surmised  that could be                                                               
an  important issue  for Alaska.   He  explained that  means that                                                               
when a  military family with  an established relationship  with a                                                               
therapist in the state of  Washington moves to Alaska, the family                                                               
is  allowed  to maintain  that  relationship  with the  therapist                                                               
while in Alaska.                                                                                                                
1:28:29 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD shared that being  an expat living with a                                                               
military husband  overseas "wreaks  havoc on a  spouse's career."                                                               
She said  it was  a huge  adjustment for her  coming back  to the                                                               
U.S., and  she had little to  no support.  She  expressed support                                                               
for  [interstate compacts].    She asked  if  all state  compacts                                                               
align with  the U.S. Constitution.   She predicted a  health care                                                               
shortage crisis in the near future  in Alaska, and she said there                                                               
is a golden opportunity [to facilitate] military spouses.                                                                       
MR. BEAUREGARD  affirmed that the  state compacts align  with the                                                               
Constitution.    He  noted  that most  of  the  compacts  include                                                               
telemedicine,  which is  another  benefit in  states with  remote                                                               
populations.  He said while  at a conference of psychologists, he                                                               
heard an  insurance specialist  tell the  attendees that  if they                                                               
tried  to  practice  telemedicine without  a  compact  agreement,                                                               
"their malpractice insurance goes out the window."                                                                              
1:31:09 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ asked Mr.  Beauregard to clarify whether                                                               
compacts  for   nurses,  physician  assistants   (PAs),  physical                                                               
therapists, psychologists, and doctors  are covered under current                                                               
compacts, because  she said that  information is not  included in                                                               
the aforementioned report.                                                                                                      
MR.  BEAUREGARD  said  the  compacts   have  been  developed  and                                                               
"accepted by  their community,"  and they are  in the  process of                                                               
getting approved  through legislation.  In  response to follow-up                                                               
questions, he  confirmed that the Alaska  State Legislature could                                                               
adopt  existing  compacts,  with   the  support  of  the  various                                                               
licensing boards in  the state.  He said, "You  look at our list,                                                               
and we don't  have, perhaps, the most  prominent occupations that                                                               
we  looked at.   We  looked  at the  ones  that did  not have  an                                                               
occupational  licensure compact  pending.   Or,  in  the case  of                                                               
teachers, we didn't  do anything to really impact  teachers as we                                                               
went  through our  process, and  so,  we didn't  include them  in                                                               
terms of the study."                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ asked  if there  had been  any specific                                                               
outreach to boards regarding interstate compacts.                                                                               
MR.  BEAUREGARD offered  his understanding  that there  has been.                                                               
He said  the representatives from  the national  associations are                                                               
generally  the   people  who   assist  legislatures   to  approve                                                               
compacts, and  the first step in  doing so is to  get the various                                                               
boards in the state to support the idea.                                                                                        
1:33:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  offered his understanding that  the State                                                               
of Alaska is party to about  three dozen interstate compacts.  He                                                               
posited that  states must be  careful when entering  compacts and                                                               
should have  the support  of the boards,  because in  addition to                                                               
being of  benefit to  "the more mobile  and transient,"  they can                                                               
result in  "a whole bunch  of people in one  profession migrating                                                               
to our state  or other states that might threaten  the ability of                                                               
the  current  residents  to  practice   their  profession."    He                                                               
commented that competition can be a double-edged sword.                                                                         
MR.  BEAUREGARD imparted  that some  interesting litigation  took                                                               
place in  North Carolina holding  boards accountable for  a trade                                                               
restriction.  The board sided with the plaintiff.                                                                               
1:34:31 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ said  she thinks there is  some merit to                                                               
the  concern that  an  interstate compact  could  trump "a  local                                                               
state's board's  desire to have  a very high level,  for example,                                                               
of training."   For example, in Alaska,  nurse practitioners have                                                               
gone from  earning a master's degree  to a doctorate.   She noted                                                               
that Alaska  has a shortage  of physical therapists,  nurses, and                                                               
doctors;  therefore,   she  said  she  is   not  concerned  about                                                               
competition in those  areas, while she is  concerned about Alaska                                                               
having high  standards for care.   She said she does  not want to                                                               
see the lowest denominator become  the standard across the nation                                                               
"just because we want to try  to support military families."  She                                                               
said she  does not presume that  is the case, but  cautioned that                                                               
is a factor that the state should consider.                                                                                     
MR.  BEAUREGARD concurred  that that  is an  important topic  for                                                               
conversation.   He said he is  watching it unfold for  the speech                                                               
pathologists  and   audiologists  as  they  work   through  their                                                               
compact.   He  said he  had asked  that group  to show  him their                                                               
requirements, and when  he saw them on a matrix,  he noticed that                                                               
there are few outliers.  He  said he was impressed that in coming                                                               
up  with a  compact this  group  was questioning  the benefit  of                                                               
minimum  requirements in  each state,  and  he said  he does  not                                                               
think the  lowest denominator  would be  the outcome,  but rather                                                               
"what makes sense  for them as a community to  provide that level                                                               
of desired competency that they can trust."                                                                                     
1:36:45 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked, "Do you  join the compact  and then                                                               
try to  figure out what the  requirements are going to  be, or do                                                               
you see what  the requirements are going to be  and then join the                                                               
MR. BEAUREGARD  answered that is  definitely the latter:   [most]                                                               
boards develop the requirements [of  the compact], and then it is                                                               
incumbent upon  the states to  decide if  they are going  to join                                                               
the compact.  To a follow-up  question, he said one option when a                                                               
state does not agree with the compact is not to join it.                                                                        
1:37:54 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   SADDLER   asked   if  there   were   any   other                                                               
"initiatives  coming down  the pike"  that  may benefit  Alaska's                                                               
military members or spouses.                                                                                                    
MR.  BEAUREGARD  said one  compact  coming  in 2019  would  allow                                                               
military  families  to preregister  their  children  in a  school                                                               
district before they  move there.  He said this  is a win-win for                                                               
both the  school district  and the family,  because it  gives the                                                               
family  some reassurance  that the  school district  knows it  is                                                               
coming,  and  it gives  the  school  the  ability to  assess  the                                                               
numbers it will have in the coming school year.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  suggested that  might  be  added to  the                                                               
interstate compact on military children's education.                                                                            
1:39:19 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  why early  registration to  schools                                                               
would not be offered to anyone  moving up from another state, not                                                               
just those in the military.                                                                                                     
MARCUS  BEAUREGARD responded  that that  may  be a  good idea  to                                                               
include  everyone;  however,  the DSLO  addresses  only  military                                                               
1:40:38 PM                                                                                                                    
MARA  JENNINGS  shared  that  she  is a  U.S.  Navy  veteran  and                                                               
hospital   corpsman,  who   experienced  a   failed  process   of                                                               
transitioning from  military to civilian work.   She acknowledged                                                               
that her  experience may not  be relevant currently,  because she                                                               
got out  of service in 2006,  and there may have  been changes of                                                               
which she is unaware.                                                                                                           
MS.  JENNINGS described  that when  she exited  the military,  49                                                               
states  recognized  her training  as  sufficient  to be  able  to                                                               
challenge the licensed practical nurse  (LPN) exam in order get a                                                               
license; however, Alaska  was not one of those states.   She said                                                               
she  sought  help  from  the  Office  of  the  Governor  and  the                                                               
appropriate  board, as  well as  various  representatives in  the                                                               
legislature, but  could not get the  rule changed.  She  was told                                                               
she  could challenge  the medical  assistant  position, which  is                                                               
below that  of a hospital  corpsman.  She  did so, but  was asked                                                               
for a  signature from  her instructor from  corps school,  but he                                                               
had  been  deployed from  Afghanistan.    She  sent the  form  to                                                               
Afghanistan, but it was returned  as undeliverable.  She said she                                                               
had paid  a $500  fee to apply;  however, the  application "timed                                                               
out" because  she was not  able to get  the signature.   She said                                                               
after that she  "walked away."  She stated that  as a result, the                                                               
state  of  Alaska is  missing  a  skilled, medical  professional,                                                               
although she does  volunteer as an EMT II at  Capital City Fire &                                                               
1:45:38 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER asked  Ms.  Jennings to  what degree  the                                                               
applicability  to civilian  qualifications  were considered  when                                                               
she went through corpsman school.                                                                                               
MS.  JENNINGS  answered  that  it   is  an  accelerated  learning                                                               
program, twelve  weeks in length,  in which she was  taught field                                                               
medicine and basic hospital care.   The training goes beyond that                                                               
of a medical assistant and EMT  and teaches the care of patients.                                                               
In response  to a follow-up  request for clarification,  she said                                                               
she was  told to which states  her training would transfer.   She                                                               
said, "When  I looked at the  current requirements for an  LPN, I                                                               
could  check all  the  boxes  easily, but  ...  the board  didn't                                                               
recognize that I could check all  the boxes."  She explained that                                                               
the  training was  complete, but  the board  [in Alaska]  was not                                                               
willing to recognize the training.                                                                                              
1:46:32 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH asked Ms. Jennings  to speak more about her                                                               
length of service as a hospital corpsman.                                                                                       
MS.  JENNINGS  related  that  although  she  was  field  hospital                                                               
certified and second alternate to go  to Iraq, she was not called                                                               
to go; therefore,  she worked strictly in a  hospital setting for                                                               
just  over  five  years  in   labor  and  delivery,  dermatology,                                                               
pediatrics, and  family medicine.   She said  she was  capable of                                                               
performing procedures that nurses  cannot perform in the civilian                                                               
world and  gained many other  skills that were transferable.   In                                                               
response  to  Representative  Parish,  she  spoke  about  medical                                                               
boards and her experience with child birth.                                                                                     
1:50:15 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  BEAUREGARD,  at the  request  of  Chair Tuck,  informed  the                                                               
committee that  the next person to  speak, Ms. Lutz, has  been an                                                               
advisor to  his office and  a primary contractor for  "the office                                                               
of primary  record for credentialing,"  within DoD.  He  said her                                                               
work  has been  instrumental  in "bridging  the distance  between                                                               
understanding   the  requirements"   so  that   "a  servicemember                                                               
transitioning out  of the  military has  a better  opportunity of                                                               
gaining a license."                                                                                                             
1:51:14 PM                                                                                                                    
LISA  LUTZ,  President,  Solutions for  Information  Design,  LLC                                                               
(SOLID),  highlighted the  work of  her company.   She  said most                                                               
relevant to  the overview today  is the  work that SOLID  does in                                                               
translating  military training  and experience  to civilian  jobs                                                               
and credentials.   She said SOLID has done work  in this area for                                                               
a  variety  of  federal  agencies, including  DoD,  each  of  the                                                               
military services,  the U.S.  Department of  Labor, and  the U.S.                                                               
Department  of  Veterans Affairs.    She  said for  the  military                                                               
services,  SOLID supports  the  U.S. Army,  U.S.  Navy, and  U.S.                                                               
Marine  Corps  for  credentialing  opportunities  online,  called                                                               
"COOL"  programs.     These  are   programs  that   map  military                                                               
occupations  to civilian  credentials and  identify resources  to                                                               
help service  members obtain  those credentials.   Ms.  Lutz said                                                               
SOLID  has   worked  extensively   on  initiatives   intended  to                                                               
facilitate  academic  credit  and  state  licensure  of  military                                                               
service  members  and  veterans.   She  said  this  includes  the                                                               
National  Governors' Association,  the Multi-State  Collaborative                                                               
on  Military  Credit, and  a  pilot  project  with the  State  of                                                               
Indiana to test state and  military participation in a nationwide                                                               
initiative called  the "Credential  Engine."  Ms.  Lutz clarified                                                               
that she  is not speaking on  behalf of any of  the organizations                                                               
with which SOLID works.                                                                                                         
1:53:30 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. LUTZ directed attention to  a handout in the committee packet                                                               
entitled  "Best Practices  for  Facilitating  Service Member  and                                                               
Veteran Credentialing."   She said the document  focuses on steps                                                               
that national  certification agencies and state  licensing bodies                                                               
can take  to help  service members get  maximum credit  for their                                                               
extensive military training and experience.   She said the extent                                                               
to  which  training  aligns to  civilian  credential  requirement                                                               
varies  by  occupational  area.    In  some  instances  there  is                                                               
complete  alignment,  such  as   in  healthcare  and  information                                                               
technology.   More  often there  is only  partial alignment,  and                                                               
this is because  the military trains to a mission.   Important is                                                               
that  the  service  member gets  credit  for  his/her  equivalent                                                               
training  and experience,  and there  are a  variety of  ways for                                                               
academic institutions  and state  institutions to make  sure that                                                               
MS.  LUTZ   highlighted  how  academic  institutions   and  state                                                               
agencies  can  maximize  the  credit   that  they  give  military                                                               
training  and  experience  by accepting  third-party  reviews  of                                                               
military and experience in order  to assess its equivalency.  She                                                               
stated,  "There  are a  number  of  different organizations  with                                                               
significant subject matter expertise  that have gone to extensive                                                               
lengths to  evaluate military training  and determine  the extent                                                               
to  which  it  equates  to credentials,  including  licenses  and                                                               
degrees.   For example, the  Army, Navy, Marine Corps,  and Coast                                                               
Guard  all contract  with the  American Council  on Education  to                                                               
evaluate military  training and experience and  recommend college                                                               
credits."    She  said  the  staff of  the  American  Council  of                                                               
Education  (ACE),   along  with  members  of   academia,  perform                                                               
vigorous reviews to make credit  recommendations, and the results                                                               
are published online  in ACE's military guide, which  can be used                                                               
to assess the amount of credit that might be awarded.                                                                           
MS.  LUTZ  advised  that another  third-party  review,  of  which                                                               
states  can   take  advantage,  is   done  by   academic  program                                                               
accreditors.  She  said some people do not  realize that military                                                               
training  programs, particularly  in the  healthcare arena,  have                                                               
been accredited  by nationally  recognized program  accreditors -                                                               
the  same accreditors  that review  programs offered  by colleges                                                               
and universities.   For example the  Navy surgical technologists,                                                               
cardiovascular  technologists,   and  cytotechnologists  programs                                                               
have all  been accredited by  the Commission on  Accreditation of                                                               
Allied  Health Professionals.    She said  if  a state  licensing                                                               
agency recognizes the third-party  program accreditation, it will                                                               
not have  to undertake  its own reviews  of military  training to                                                               
assess equivalency.                                                                                                             
MS.  LUTZ related  that  another type  of  third-party review  of                                                               
military training  has been done  by national consortia  of state                                                               
licensing agencies.   For example, the National  Council of State                                                               
Boards  of   Nursing  has  reviewed  military   training  against                                                               
national  standards  for practical  nurses  and  has provided  an                                                               
assessment of  how the  two align.   The National  Association of                                                               
State Emergency  Medical Service  Officers has  reviewed military                                                               
medic  training for  alignment with  EMS credentials.   She  said                                                               
these  assessments  are  being   used  by  many  state  licensing                                                               
agencies and academic institutions nationwide.                                                                                  
1:57:57 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. LUTZ said the second best  practice that could be emulated in                                                               
Alaska is  the use of  available service documentation  to assess                                                               
individual service member's  and veteran's unique qualifications.                                                               
To [Representative  Saddler's previous mention of  a resume], she                                                               
said  she is  not  aware  of any  current  efforts  to develop  a                                                               
service  member resume;  however, each  of the  military services                                                               
offer formal documentation of  military service members' training                                                               
and experience,  which can  be used  by state  licensing agencies                                                               
and  academic institutions  much like  an academic  transcript is                                                               
used.  Ms.  Lutz informed that the Army, Navy,  Marine Corps, and                                                               
Coast Guard  all have  training documented  in a  "joint services                                                               
transcript,"  which includes  the college  credit recommendations                                                               
made by the American Council on  Education.  For those in the Air                                                               
Force, she  said, the regionally accredited  Community College of                                                               
the Air Force offers its own transcript for awarded credit.                                                                     
MS.  LUTZ  highlighted  a  third  best  practice,  which  is  the                                                               
development and/or  recognition of  bridge training  programs for                                                               
military  trained applicants.    She said,  "In situations  where                                                               
military  training provides  partial credit  toward licensing  or                                                               
degree   requirements,    credential   agencies    and   academic                                                               
institutions  should  recognize  this  and  not  require  service                                                               
members  or veterans  to receive  the entire  training that  they                                                               
have  received.   Rather,  they  should  provide credit  for  the                                                               
military training and either create  bridge programs targeted ...                                                               
just to the training gap  or recognize bridge programs created by                                                               
others."  She said there  are a number of institutions nationwide                                                               
that have gone to considerable  effort to develop bridge programs                                                               
in the military.                                                                                                                
MS. LUTZ noted that  the aforementioned Multi-State Collaborative                                                               
on  Military   Credit  is  a   consortium  of   approximately  12                                                               
Midwestern  states, many  of which  have  developed model  bridge                                                               
programs  that she  said  could serve  as  examples for  academic                                                               
institutions in Alaska.                                                                                                         
MS. LUTZ  brought attention to  another best practice,  which she                                                               
said entails  state participation in Credential  Engine, which is                                                               
a non-profit organization created  to increase transparency about                                                               
the wide variety of credentials  offered throughout the U.S.  She                                                               
said   this    includes   licenses,    certifications,   degrees,                                                               
certificate programs, and badges.   She said the organization was                                                               
formed  based on  guidance  from  advisory groups  made  up of  a                                                               
variety of stakeholders, including  industry and academia, and it                                                               
has  been  funded by  grants  from  organizations, including  the                                                               
Lumina Foundation,  J.P. Morgan Chase,  and Microsoft.   Ms. Lutz                                                               
related that a  key component of Credential Engine's  work is the                                                               
creation of  a national credential registry,  in which credential                                                               
agencies can enter their information  "to shed light on the scope                                                               
of the  credentials and the  competency that they measure."   She                                                               
said the military  has participated in Credential  Engine as both                                                               
the consumer and provider of  information.  She stated, "This can                                                               
serve  as  a critical  means  of  linking military  and  civilian                                                               
credentials."   She  concluded by  suggesting  that Alaska  might                                                               
consider  participating   in  the  initiative  by   entering  its                                                               
credentials  into the  registry and  "demonstrate, to  the extent                                                               
appropriate,"   how   it   recognizes   military   training   and                                                               
2:01:47 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER asked  Ms. Lutz  which of  the strategies                                                               
might be more successful for Alaska.                                                                                            
MS. LUTZ  answered that she  thinks it  will take more  than one,                                                               
which is  why she highlighted four  out of the twenty  or so that                                                               
are  listed  in the  handout.    She  cited complexities  of  the                                                               
credentialing  system  and military  occupational  classification                                                               
and  training  as reasons  for  a  multi-faceted approach.    She                                                               
recommended that  the licensing and academic  entities assess the                                                               
options,  first  choose  the   best  practice  with  "low-hanging                                                               
fruit," and subsequently choose other best practice options.                                                                    
2:03:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER, regarding  bridge training,  mentioned a                                                               
bill he had sponsored to  relieve certain vehicles from having to                                                               
undergo  the motor  vehicle  road  test.   He  said  much of  the                                                               
military equipment uses  automatic transmission, while "over-the-                                                               
road" tractors and trailers use  manual transmission, which could                                                               
be an opportunity  for bridge training.  He  asked which military                                                               
skill  set  would  be  the most  challenging  to  translate  into                                                               
occupational licensing.                                                                                                         
MS. LUTZ answered  that most challenging are those  jobs that are                                                               
the  most military-centric,  for  example, the  combat arms,  the                                                               
field artillery,  the infantry.   They are the most  difficult to                                                               
transfer, because  they do not  have a civilian equivalent.   She                                                               
said  there  have  been  a  number  of  initiatives  underway  to                                                               
consider the underlying skill sets  that service members in those                                                               
occupations   obtain  and   help  connect   them  with   civilian                                                               
occupations.  In response to  a follow-up question, she commended                                                               
Alaska  for  the  steps  it  has  already  taken,  as  previously                                                               
outlined by Ms.  Kloster, and she said she thinks  there are many                                                               
ways to  build on those  steps.  She acknowledged  Mr. Beauregard                                                               
had   said  many   states  are   making   efforts  to   recognize                                                               
substantially equivalent  military training and experience.   She                                                               
said,  "Some states  have  asked for  ...  the military  training                                                               
materials  and  programs  of instruction,  but  from  what  we've                                                               
observed, that is  not a sustainable approach.  It  works to some                                                               
degree,  but   most  states'  academic  institutions   and  state                                                               
licensing  agencies  don't  have  the  resources  to  continually                                                               
review and assess those - and  they change quite frequently - so,                                                               
that's when  I go back to  ... the recommendation to  rely on the                                                               
third-party assessments that have already been done."                                                                           
2:07:25 PM                                                                                                                    
VERDIE  BOWEN,  Director,  Veterans Affairs,  Office  of  Veteran                                                               
Affairs,  Department  of  Military &  Veterans'  Affairs  (DMVA),                                                               
stated that  he finds it  interesting that when an  individual is                                                               
on active duty,  he/she can go from  installation to installation                                                               
and his/her  skillsets are documented; however,  when that person                                                               
transfers to  the civilian side,  that same documentation  is not                                                               
permissible  as  the  basis  of  training.    He  mentioned  [Ms.                                                               
Jennings']  predicament   of  having  to  attempt   to  obtain  a                                                               
signature from  the trainer in  Afghanistan.  He said,  "We don't                                                               
force doctors or  nurses that transfer from one  state to another                                                               
to go  to their original  training instructor to sign  a document                                                               
to accept their training; I think  that that's ... really sort of                                                               
reaching  it."    He  said  he   thinks  that  a  doctor  with  a                                                               
certificate received  while in the  military has  "a transferable                                                               
skill  that  translates easily  to  the  civilian world  in  most                                                               
cases."    He  surmised  that someone  who  loads  armament  onto                                                               
military   aircraft  may   have  difficulty   [transferring  that                                                               
skillset to obtain a job]  with Alaska Airlines; however, he said                                                               
he  believes   that  person  has   basic  skill  sets   that  are                                                               
transferrable.     Regarding   the  joint   services  transcripts                                                               
mentioned by [Ms. Lutz], he  said, "We see those transcripts come                                                               
in,  and a  lot of  times  those are  not readily  looked at  and                                                               
provided 100  percent of  their skill  sets that  they've already                                                               
attained."  He  emphasized that the standard  in military schools                                                               
is high and  failure is even higher; the onus  is on the military                                                               
service person  to train hard  and be ready  for a mission.   For                                                               
each  skill  set,  the  military   has  worked  hard  with  other                                                               
organizations.    He  said  when   he  ran  a  subsidiary  for  a                                                               
corporation, he used  O*NET OnLine, which is  an online converter                                                               
for skill  sets.  He said  each service branch has  the same kind                                                               
of software application that transfers  military skillsets to the                                                               
civilian market "one-for-one."                                                                                                  
2:11:52 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BOWEN said  he thinks the issue is that  "we have passed some                                                               
solid legislation for  our boards to review" but  the boards will                                                               
have to spend  more time working on each military  skill set.  He                                                               
said  someone going  from an  LPN to  EMT III  is not  much of  a                                                               
change in skillset - "it could have  been worse."  He said he has                                                               
seen  people go  from  being  thoroughly trained  in  an area  to                                                               
having  "to start  all  over again."   He  added,  "I think  that                                                               
that's what we're trying to prevent here."                                                                                      
2:12:41 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  asked  Mr.  Bowen  what  would  be  "the                                                               
easiest way to do the most good" for military spouses in Alaska.                                                                
MR. BOWEN answered  that boards need to review  the training that                                                               
each one of the skill sets brings.  He offered an example.                                                                      
2:14:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR TUCK said  there is a "helmets to  hardhats" program, which                                                               
facilitates   those   leaving   the    military   to   get   into                                                               
apprenticeship programs.   He said  it is difficult to  tell from                                                               
looking at  a "DD  Form 214" whether  all the hours  put in  by a                                                               
military person  are in  a trade;  some of  those hours  may have                                                               
been spent marching  or doing drills, for example.   He expressed                                                               
hope that with compacts, those  military personnel could skip the                                                               
apprenticeship program  and go directly  into full  licensure as,                                                               
for example, electricians.                                                                                                      
2:15:34 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH asked what, if  any, support is needed from                                                               
the legislature to "help solve  the licensure problem for medical                                                               
MR. BOWEN stated each board  has the ability to review "education                                                               
pieces."    He explained  that  a  military member's  specialized                                                               
training record is not reflected  in his/her condition of service                                                               
- the DD Form 214 - but is reflected in another document.                                                                       
2:18:04 PM                                                                                                                    
ALLISON   BIASTOCK,   Executive    Director,   Alaska   Workforce                                                               
Investment Board  (AWIB), Office of the  Commissioner, Department                                                               
of Labor  & Workforce Development  (DLWD), stated that AWIB  is a                                                               
governor-appointed  board whose  membership represents  business,                                                               
industry,  education, organized  labor, state  government, and  -                                                               
following passage  of House Bill  46 in 2015 -  a seat held  by a                                                               
veteran.  She said the board  has a policy oversight role for job                                                               
and  vocational education  programs and  provides recommendations                                                               
to  the state  to  further  train and  prepare  Alaskans for  the                                                               
MS. BIASTOCK continued as follows:                                                                                              
     House Bill 84 directed the Alaska Workforce Investment                                                                     
     Board to implement a statewide policy under the                                                                            
     Technical and Vocation Education Program, or (TVEP),                                                                       
     to ensure that TVEP fund recipients had a policy in                                                                        
     place to accept credit or instructional hours from                                                                         
     program participants that provided satisfactory                                                                            
     evidence of completion of military training and                                                                            
MS.  BIASTOCK said  TVEP was  established by  the legislature  in                                                               
2000 for the  purpose of enhancing the  quality and accessibility                                                               
of  job training  across  the state  and  aligning training  with                                                               
regional workforce demands.  She  said TVEP funds are distributed                                                               
to technical and vocational education  entities across the state,                                                               
as designated by the legislature in  statute.  She stated that to                                                               
comply with the  provisions of House Bill 84,  AWIB developed and                                                               
adopted  Policy [100-2014],  and a  copy of  the policy  has been                                                               
provided  to committee  members.   She said  the policy  requires                                                               
TVEP fund recipients "to have a  policy and procedure in place to                                                               
accept and  transcribe credit  hours for  the degree  or training                                                               
program for  any applicant who can  provide satisfactory evidence                                                               
of  the successful  completion  of  relevant military  education,                                                               
training, or service as a member  of the armed forces, the United                                                               
States Reserve,  the National  Guard of  any state,  the military                                                               
reserve  of  any state,  or  the  militia  of  any state."    She                                                               
imparted  that  the policy  references  the  American Council  on                                                               
Education (ACE);  ACE's military evaluation programs  are used by                                                               
a  majority  of  U.S.   colleges,  universities,  and  vocational                                                               
MS. BIASTOCK stated that AWIB  policy requires TVEP recipients to                                                               
have a  policy for  military personnel and  veterans to  apply or                                                               
petition  for credit  at  a  level that  is  consistent with  ACE                                                               
guidelines.   She  noted that  the  policy was  updated in  2016;                                                               
language  regarding eligibility  was revised  to ensure  that all                                                               
currently  serving   members  of   the  military   and  honorably                                                               
discharged  veterans  are  eligible to  receive  military  credit                                                               
under  the policy.    She  said the  Division  of Employment  and                                                               
Training  Services,  within  DLWD,   administers  TVEP  funds  to                                                               
recipients named in  statute.  She noted that  the department has                                                               
administered funds  to all but  three TVEP recipients.   She said                                                               
Galena Interior  Learning Academy  is a secondary  program funded                                                               
through the  Department of Education  & Early  Development (DEED)                                                               
and  the University  of Alaska,  and Alaska  Vocational Technical                                                               
Center (AVTEC) gets  its funding directly.  She  stated that TVEP                                                               
recipients  are  asked  if  they  have a  policy  in  place  that                                                               
complies with AWIB Policy 100-2014,  and all the institutions for                                                               
which the  department administers  funds do  have that  policy in                                                               
2:22:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SAICHI  OBA, Associate  Vice  President,  Student and  Enrollment                                                               
Strategy, University of  Alaska (UA), stated that UA  is aware of                                                               
and is  able to  meet its responsibility  relating to  House Bill                                                               
84.   He said UA  follows national standards "articulated  in the                                                               
joint  statement   on  the  transfer  and   awarding  of  credits                                                               
developed by  the American  Association of  Collegiate Registrars                                                               
and  Admission  Officers."    Further, he  said  UA  follows  the                                                               
military  guide provided  by the  American Council  on Education,                                                               
which he said  is one of the best  practices mentioned previously                                                               
by Ms. Lutz.   Mr. Oba said UA also complies  with the Council on                                                               
Higher Education  Accreditation Standards for  accepting military                                                               
2:23:42 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER asked Mr. Oba  what percent of students at                                                               
the UA campuses are veterans, active duty, or guard reserve.                                                                    
MR.  OBA replied  that he  did not  have that  data with  him but                                                               
could find out and provide an answer later.                                                                                     
2:24:52 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  asked Ms. Biastock  what the value  is of                                                               
having a veteran sit on AWIB.                                                                                                   
MS. BIASTOCK  answered that a  veteran can bring  the perspective                                                               
of someone who  has undergone the transition from  active duty to                                                               
civilian employment.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  asked if there is  any quantitative proof                                                               
of that.                                                                                                                        
MS. BIASTOCK responded  that veterans are a  priority group under                                                               
some of the programs administered  under the Workforce Innovation                                                               
and Opportunity  Act.  She said  there is an annual  job fair for                                                               
veterans;  the most  recent one  held in  Anchorage featured  121                                                               
vendors and drew 740 job seekers.                                                                                               
2:26:36 PM                                                                                                                    
SARA  CHAMBERS, Operations  Manager, Juneau  Office, Division  of                                                               
Corporations,  Business, and  Professional Licensing,  Department                                                               
of  Commerce,   Community,  and  Economic   Development  (DCCED),                                                               
imparted that she oversees 43  of Alaska's licensing programs, 21                                                               
of which  have boards.   She noted that Deputy  Commissioner Fred                                                               
Parady and Assistant Attorney General  Robert Auth were available                                                               
for  questions.     She  said   the  division  is   dedicated  to                                                               
recognizing the  needs expressed  previously by  other testifiers                                                               
today.   She  said  she would  cover a  handout  provided to  the                                                               
committee and speak  to some of the challenges of  the boards and                                                               
MS.  CHAMBERS directed  attention  to the  handout entitled  "How                                                               
Alaska  is  Meeting  the  Department   of  Defense's  Three  Best                                                               
Practice  Guidelines for  Military Spouse  Licensure."   She said                                                               
Alaska is meeting all three of  the best practices.  She said the                                                               
first is  licensure by endorsement  or credentials, which  lets a                                                               
military  spouse  be eligible  for  licensure  by endorsement  if                                                               
he/she   currently   possesses   a  license   from   a   previous                                                               
jurisdiction   with   requirements   similar   to   the   board's                                                               
requirements  in the  current jurisdiction.   Ms.  Chambers said,                                                               
"Almost all  of our licensing programs  do this and have  done it                                                               
for  years   prior  to  any   military  licensing  laws."     She                                                               
paraphrased the  information following "Alaska's Action,"  on the                                                               
first  page  of the  handout,  which  read as  follows  [original                                                               
punctuation provided, with some formatting changes]:                                                                            
     Except as noted below, all 100+ licenses issued by                                                                       
     this division offer a version of licensure by                                                                            
     endorsement, credentials, or reciprocity. These terms                                                                    
     all recognize the existing licensure of an individual                                                                      
     in another jurisdiction in lieu of requiring a                                                                             
     national examination to complete licensure. They are                                                                       
     each slightly different and include minimal                                                                                
     requirements for receiving an Alaska license,                                                                              
          verification of substantially similar or equal                                                                        
     requirements in the other jurisdiction                                                                                     
          successful passage of any statutorily-required                                                                        
     Alaska-specific exam requirements or criminal history                                                                      
     background check                                                                                                           
          completion of an application for licensure                                                                            
          proof of bonding if required, and                                                                                     
          payment of fees                                                                                                       
MS.  CHAMBERS  said all,  except  a  handful, of  the  division's                                                               
programs offer this best practice.   Some do not need it, because                                                               
the licensure requirements  are not very rigorous,  and some "are                                                               
determined to  require Alaska-specific  knowledge."   One example                                                               
she gave  was for marine pilots.   She stated, "You  want the guy                                                               
or gal driving  the cruise ship through Wrangell  Narrows to have                                                               
done it before."                                                                                                                
2:29:58 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  CHAMBERS   said  the  second  best   practice  is  temporary                                                               
licensure.   She said legislation  was adopted in 2011  and 2013,                                                               
for  spouses  and   members  of  the  military   to  qualify  for                                                               
additional  temporary  licensure  consideration  in  addition  to                                                               
temporary  licenses  that  may  already  exist.    She  said  the                                                               
division has  been "doing this faithfully"  since the legislation                                                               
was adopted and believes it is a great service.                                                                                 
MS.  CHAMBERS   said  the  third  best   practice  is  expediting                                                               
applications,  which   prioritizes  applications   from  military                                                               
spouses.  She said this benefit  is given in consideration of the                                                               
tight  turnaround time  that results  when military  spouses move                                                               
from one  location to another.   She informed the  committee that                                                               
the  military  licensure  online  links  to  every  page  on  the                                                               
division's web site.   She said there are  specialized forms that                                                               
help staff readily identify military spouses and personnel.                                                                     
2:32:37 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. CHAMBERS posed  the question:  Is there a  problem in Alaska?                                                               
She said  she thinks that is  a question that the  legislature is                                                               
considering  and  one of  the  questions  that agencies  need  to                                                               
address together.   She  reported that  within the  division's 43                                                               
licensing  programs, fewer  than 70  of its  13,396 new  licensee                                                               
applications  in  2017  were  related   to  the  military.    She                                                               
emphasized that that is a small percentage.                                                                                     
MS. CHAMBERS  directed attention to the  bottom of page 2  of the                                                               
handout,  which shows  "2017 Professional  Licensing of  Military                                                               
Applicants  By the  Numbers."   She said  there were  no programs                                                               
that   reported   a    preponderance   of   these   applications.                                                               
Professional  counseling  had  the most,  with  approximately  10                                                               
applications.   Every other category, including  massage therapy,                                                               
pharmacy, psychology, social work,  and barbers and hairdressers,                                                               
had five or less applications.                                                                                                  
2:35:05 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. CHAMBERS  addressed "Challenges Facing Military  Licensure in                                                               
Alaska," as  shown on the  third and  final page of  the handout.                                                               
She talked  about there being  a lack of a  military "crosswalk."                                                               
She said  she personally met  with boards, "educated them  on the                                                               
need," and  showed them  strategies that could  be used  to adopt                                                               
regulations.   At that time, the  boards told her that  this task                                                               
requires tools  from DoD and  some level of expertise  in reading                                                               
the  documents.    She  acknowledged that  when  looking  at  her                                                               
husband's DD  Form 214, it was  not apparent all the  course work                                                               
that  he took.   She  said new  tools have  been developed  since                                                               
then, but there  is no way to prepare for  every possible outcome                                                               
through regulation.  Ms. Chambers continued:                                                                                    
     So, what our boards did - and I think wisely, given                                                                        
     our need to conserve resources and use their time and                                                                      
     resources wisely - is to adopt a "take this on a case-                                                                     
     by-case basis," which is much more easily handled                                                                          
     through the tools that were mentioned, the COOL                                                                            
     resource, the Credential Engine resource.  When you                                                                        
     have an actual application in front of you, then those                                                                     
     ... resources make sense.                                                                                                  
MS. CHAMBERS said  today she refreshed her memory on  how the ACE                                                               
resource  works,  and  it  cannot  be  used  without  a  specific                                                               
application, "because  it requires  that level of  information to                                                               
perform the translation,  as it were."  She said  she thinks "the                                                               
boards, at that  point, are treating this  seriously and wisely."                                                               
She said several  boards have adopted regulations  in response to                                                               
applicants,  having   gained  increased  knowledge   through  the                                                               
process   of  "going   through  a   particular  military   spouse                                                               
application."  She said she  thinks that after the legislation of                                                               
2014, [the boards and the  division] realized that a "to-do" list                                                               
was not possible, given the available resources.                                                                                
MS. CHAMBERS  said the  other challenge is  the emergence  of the                                                               
licensure compacts.  Various boards,  most particularly the Board                                                               
of Nursing  and the Medical  Board, are considering  compacts and                                                               
analyzing  how  they   make  sense  for  the   state,  the  costs                                                               
associated, and  whether they want  to participate in them.   She                                                               
observed not every state is  entering compacts, so the boards are                                                               
doing their  due diligence to  learn more  about them.   She said                                                               
compacts are  growing; as of  last year,  those in charge  of the                                                               
medical  licensure  compact were  not  able  to inform  [Alaska's                                                               
Medical Board] how much it would cost to participate.                                                                           
MS.  CHAMBERS said  the  division has  heard  "through the  rumor                                                               
mill" that there might be an  effort "to grant military spouses a                                                               
separate pathway  to licensure -  one-for-one reciprocity."   She                                                               
specified  that "endorsement  credential"  and "reciprocity"  are                                                               
sometimes used interchangeably, but  they are not interchangeable                                                               
processes.   She  stated concern  that if  a completely  separate                                                               
standard  for  military  spouses  was to  be  created,  it  might                                                               
violate equal  protection rights  for other  Alaskans.   She said                                                               
that  is the  issue to  which the  assistant attorney  general is                                                               
available to speak.  She stated  that from the perspective of the                                                               
division,  based  on  information  provided  by  the  public  and                                                               
stakeholders, there  does not seem  to be a crisis;  however, the                                                               
division wants  to be prepared  to serve the  additional military                                                               
moving to Alaska.                                                                                                               
MS.  CHAMBERS expressed  regret that  Ms. Jennings  had to  leave                                                               
previously.   She  stated  that Ms.  Jennings'  experience of  12                                                               
years ago is  "not relevant to today."  She  explained, "We would                                                               
never ask  someone to  send a  form to Afghanistan  to ...  get a                                                               
signature."   She said she  wants to reassure the  committee that                                                               
"those  types of  experiences paint  a great  picture that  are a                                                               
cautionary tale  for us."   She  mentioned that  in terms  of the                                                               
national conversation,  in which  the division is  engaged, there                                                               
may  be   information  provided   that  will  require   more  due                                                               
diligence.   She said the aforementioned  University of Minnesota                                                               
study was  "quite factually  incorrect about  Alaska."   She said                                                               
she became aware of the study  last week and plans to contact the                                                               
lead researcher to see if corrections can be made.                                                                              
2:42:27 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH said  he  is glad  to  hear Ms.  Chamber's                                                               
remarks concerning  Ms. Jennings' issue.   He asked  Ms. Chambers                                                               
to  describe the  new  methodology that  would  prevent the  same                                                               
thing from happening to other  people leaving service and how the                                                               
division came about it.                                                                                                         
MS. CHAMBERS explained that the  division's boards are taking the                                                               
documentation  provided by  the  service member  and "running  it                                                               
through  the  paces,"  such  as  the  COOL  Engine  and  the  ACE                                                               
resource,  to  make  certain  the   review  is  being  given  due                                                               
diligence.  She  emphasized that it is important  that the boards                                                               
have  information that  they understand,  and  she surmised  that                                                               
since  2006  there  are   additional  joint  service  transcripts                                                               
available  "to help  demystify  military  terminology for  nurses                                                               
that may  be sitting on  a board."   The last application  to the                                                               
Board of  Nursing was two years  ago, and she said  the board and                                                               
division  staff "bent  over backwards  to get  that information."                                                               
She added, "But if we aren't  provided an explanation of what the                                                               
training is, they don't have anything to review."                                                                               
2:44:21 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH  said  he   knows  that  ACE  credits  are                                                               
excellent for  what they cover,  but he also knows  that boarding                                                               
officers go through the federal  law enforcement academy yet that                                                               
is not  reflected in the  ACE credits.   He asked if  any efforts                                                               
are underway  to ameliorate that.   He  asked, "In the  case that                                                               
something  doesn't fit  into  one of  the boxes,  if  one of  the                                                               
engines can't  account for it, how  much effort is being  made to                                                               
... approximate in the absence of a formal tool?"                                                                               
MS.  CHAMBERS answered  by emphasizing  the importance  of giving                                                               
boards a clear path to  tracking down pertinent information.  She                                                               
said the last time DoD has  worked with the division was in 2014,                                                               
and if there  are new resources, the division would  like to work                                                               
with DoD  and review  the resources.   That said,  she reiterated                                                               
that the applicants  are "few and far between";  therefore, it is                                                               
difficult to  say that  the division  has developed  an approach.                                                               
In response  to a follow-up  question as to whether  more service                                                               
members may wish  to submit applications, she said  she thinks it                                                               
is incumbent upon those responsible  for helping military service                                                               
members in re-entering [civilian life]  to give those members the                                                               
appropriate tools  to do so.   Further, she said it  is important                                                               
for the division,  DoD, and DMVA to work together  to ensure they                                                               
are all aware  of each other's resources.  She  stated, "We can't                                                               
expect  laypeople to  know what  every division  in the  State of                                                               
Alaska does and where  to go, and so we work  to point each other                                                               
to each other ... when that comes  up, but we can improve in that                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH   asked  whether  military   veterans  and                                                               
military spouses  are afforded  a similar  degree of  support, in                                                               
terms   of   temporary   provisional  licensing   and   expedited                                                               
MS. CHAMBERS answered yes.                                                                                                      
2:48:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR TUCK, in response to  Ms. Chambers having said the division                                                               
has not  been in contact with  DoD since 2014, encouraged  her to                                                               
keep in  contact with  DoD, because  there are  personnel changes                                                               
that occur.  He then  drew attention to the aforementioned report                                                               
from the University of Minnesota, and  said there is a mistake in                                                               
the first  paragraph, which he  said should read "360  days," not                                                               
"180  days."    [The  sentence  in  which  this  occurs  read  as                                                               
     Passed in  2011, House Bill  28 states that  boards may                                                                    
     issue  military  spouses  temporary licenses  that  are                                                                    
     valid for  180 days and  the temporary licenses  may be                                                                    
     extended for one additional 180-day period.                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK  asked Ms. Chambers to  point out any other  places in                                                               
the document that need to be amended.                                                                                           
MS.  CHAMBERS  replied  that  she  plans to  write  a  report  in                                                               
communication with the  university.  She pointed to a  box in the                                                               
top-right  of  the   first  page,  and  she   said  licensure  by                                                               
endorsement  is available  through almost  all of  the division's                                                               
programs;  therefore, she  said that  category should  be checked                                                               
but is not.   She then drew attention to  the bullet points under                                                               
"General Findings" and said all but  the first one is incorrect -                                                               
that is  four out  of five  incorrect.  On  the second  page, she                                                               
indicated  the  corrections  should  reflect  that  licensure  by                                                               
endorsement  is offered  for the  Dental Hygiene  Board and  Real                                                               
Estate Commission, and the Occupational  Therapy Board offers the                                                               
same  temporary licensure  opportunities "as  any other  military                                                               
spouse  applicant."   She said  there are  contradictions between                                                               
the general findings  and board-specific findings.   She said she                                                               
does not mean to be overly  critical but stressed it is important                                                               
for the  committee to be  aware that the University  of Minnesota                                                               
does not realize  that the division works as  an umbrella agency;                                                               
therefore,  the resources  are not  offered "board-by-board"  but                                                               
are offered "to all 43 of our programs."                                                                                        
CHAIR TUCK requested a copy of Ms. Chambers' corrections.                                                                       
2:50:52 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH noted  that he is sponsoring  HB 165, which                                                               
pertains    to   positions    without   licensure    requirement,                                                               
particularly  in  state  service.    He  said  it  has  been  the                                                               
experience of some  that they have not been given  the ability to                                                               
recognize relevant  military experience in  order to apply  it to                                                               
civilian  job requirements.   He  asked Ms.  Chambers if  she has                                                               
observed such cases.                                                                                                            
MS. CHAMBERS said she is not  familiar with HB 165 but would read                                                               
it and get back to Representative Parish with a response.                                                                       
2:52:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR TUCK suggested that the  definition of "endorsement" may be                                                               
different depending  on who is  asked, and he asked  Ms. Chambers                                                               
for [the state's] definition.                                                                                                   
MS.  CHAMBERS  directed  attention  to  the  first  page  of  the                                                               
aforementioned handout  that addresses three best  practices, and                                                               
she  said the  first  paragraph  to the  right  of "Licensure  by                                                               
Endorsement or  Credentials" is DoD's definition  of licensure by                                                               
endorsement, and it is also  the definition used by the division.                                                               
It read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                             
     Licensure by endorsement refers to occupational boards                                                                     
     not requiring an examination for military spouses to                                                                       
     transfer their licenses. Spouses are eligible for                                                                          
     licensure by endorsement if they currently possess a                                                                       
     license from a previous jurisdiction with similar                                                                          
     requirements as the board's requirements in the                                                                            
     current jurisdiction.                                                                                                      
2:54:09 PM                                                                                                                    
ABIGAIL ST.  CLAIR stated  that although she  was a  staff member                                                               
for  Representative Rauscher,  she  was testifying  on behalf  of                                                               
herself  as a  military veteran.   She  stated that  in the  U.S.                                                               
Army,  she was  a  preventive medicine  specialist,  which was  a                                                               
fancy  term for  a public  health  expert, and  her job  included                                                               
entomology, epidemiology,  industrial hygiene,  and environmental                                                               
health.   The  ACE  program  was able  to  convert  much of  that                                                               
knowledge, skill,  and training into  the joint transcript.   She                                                               
stated, "On the  enlisted side of the house, it  is stressed that                                                               
you  improve on  your civilian  education, and  so by  using this                                                               
transcript, we  encourage the  military members  to ...  take ...                                                               
their  training from  early on  in their  career and  continue to                                                               
update  it throughout  their career.    And it's  not just  their                                                               
initial  training  for  their [military  occupational  specialty]                                                               
(MOS)."   Ms. St.  Clair listed some  of the  additional training                                                               
she received  and positions she held  while in the Army,  and she                                                               
said  that  additional  training  and  certification,  while  not                                                               
always  reflected  in  a  DD   Form  214,  is  reflected  in  the                                                               
transcript.  She  estimated that at least 75  percent of veterans                                                               
have  an "I  love  me book,"  which she  explained  is where  all                                                               
certifications are  consolidated.  She  said, "You can  take that                                                               
to  ... any  branch  education program,  and  they'll verify  and                                                               
accept  those certifications  to  be added  to your  transcript."                                                               
She   emphasized  that   [the  joint   transcript]  works   well,                                                               
especially  for those  who plan  on "continuing  on the  civilian                                                               
sector what  they did in the  military."  Ms. St.  Clair said she                                                               
was  fortunate to  have finished  her bachelor's  in science  and                                                               
master's  in public  health while  still in  service, but  if she                                                               
hadn't, the joint transcript would  have helped in her transition                                                               
as a veteran.                                                                                                                   
2:57:23 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  ST. CLAIR,  in response  to a  question from  Representative                                                               
Parish,  said  she  currently  has  no  recommendations  for  the                                                               
committee but  would bring  them forward  at a  later time  if an                                                               
idea comes to her.                                                                                                              
CHAIR TUCK expressed his appreciation to the invited testifiers.                                                                
2:59:25 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Special Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs meeting was                                                                 
adjourned at 2:59 p.m.                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
AWIB Policy for military training and experience.pdf HMLV 2/1/2018 1:00:00 PM
Military Licensure Update
Best Practices in Facilitating Credentialing of Service Members.pdf HMLV 2/1/2018 1:00:00 PM
Military Licensure Update
Military Spouse Licensure State Report - Alaska.pdf HMLV 2/1/2018 1:00:00 PM
Military Licensure Update
Military Spouse Licensure Summary Report.pdf HMLV 2/1/2018 1:00:00 PM
Military Licensure Update
Military Licensure Update CBPL 2-1-18.pdf HMLV 2/1/2018 1:00:00 PM
Military Licensure Update
HB 28 (2011).PDF HMLV 2/1/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 84 (2013).pdf HMLV 2/1/2018 1:00:00 PM