Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120


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01:02:21 PM Start
01:03:10 PM SB152
01:36:39 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved HCS SB 152(MLV) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
   HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AND VETERANS' AFFAIRS                                                                  
                         March 27, 2018                                                                                         
                           1:02 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                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 152                                                                                                             
"An Act establishing September 11 of each year as Patriot Day."                                                                 
     - MOVED HCS SB 152(MLV) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                   
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB 152                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SEPT. 11: PATRIOT DAY                                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) MEYER                                                                                                    
01/24/18       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/24/18       (S)       STA                                                                                                    
02/01/18       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/01/18       (S)       Moved SB 152 Out of Committee                                                                          
02/01/18       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/02/18       (S)       STA RPT  3DP 1NR                                                                                       
02/02/18       (S)       DP: MEYER, WILSON, GIESSEL                                                                             
02/02/18       (S)       NR: EGAN                                                                                               
02/07/18       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
02/07/18       (S)       VERSION: SB 152                                                                                        
02/09/18       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/09/18       (H)       MLV                                                                                                    
03/01/18       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/01/18       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/22/18       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/22/18       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/27/18       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
SENATOR KEVIN MEYER                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  During the  hearing of SB 152, presented the                                                             
legislation as prime sponsor.                                                                                                   
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:02:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CHRIS TUCK  called the House Special  Committee on Military                                                             
and   Veterans'   Affairs  meeting   to   order   at  1:02   p.m.                                                               
Representatives  Tuck, Parish,  Reinbold,  Spohnholz, and  LeDoux                                                               
were present at the call  to order.  Representatives Rauscher and                                                               
Saddler arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                 
1:03:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                 SB 152 - SEPT. 11: PATRIOT DAY                                                                             
CHAIR TUCK  announced that  the only order  of business  would be                                                               
SENATE BILL  NO. 152  "An Act establishing  September 11  of each                                                               
year as Patriot Day."                                                                                                           
1:03:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KEVIN  MEYER, Alaska State  Legislature, advised  that SB                                                               
152 officially  designates September 11  of each year  as Patriot                                                               
Day for  the State of Alaska.   He explained that  the dictionary                                                               
describes a patriot as a  person who loves, supports, and defends                                                               
his/her country and its interest  with devotion.  This definition                                                               
is  appropriate for  the terrorist  attacks  September 11,  2001.                                                               
Almost 3,000 people  were killed in those attacks,  making it the                                                               
worst  attack of  terrorism  ever  on United  States  soil.   The                                                               
nation  was  inspired  by  the heroic  sacrifices  of  its  first                                                               
responders,  fire fighters,  law enforcement,  and military.   He                                                               
said  he   found  it  interesting  that   many  regular  citizens                                                               
responded to  the cries for help  and the shrieks of  terror, and                                                               
in the  process, many  gave the ultimate  sacrifice.   On October                                                               
25, 2001, a bi-partisan resolution  designating September 11 as a                                                               
national  day of  mourning was  introduced in  the U.S.  House of                                                               
Representatives  by  11  Republicans  and   11  Democrats.    The                                                               
legislation designating  September 11  as Patriot Day  was passed                                                               
by  the  U.S.  House  of  Representatives  and  the  U.S.  Senate                                                               
unanimously, and signed  into law by President George  W. Bush on                                                               
December 18,  2001.  In  observance of  Patriot Day, the  flag of                                                               
the United States is flown at  half-staff at the White House, all                                                               
United   States   government    buildings,   and   establishments                                                               
throughout the  country and the  world.  Flags are  encouraged to                                                               
be  displayed  in  individual  American homes  and  a  moment  of                                                               
silence  is  observed  in  many places  to  correspond  with  the                                                               
attacks beginning  at 8:46 a.m.,  when the first  airplane struck                                                               
the  North Tower  of  the World  Trade Center.    Each year,  the                                                               
Alaska   governor  issues   a  formal   proclamation  recognizing                                                               
September 11,  yet its title  has varied between  governors, such                                                               
as Commemoration  Day, Patriot  Day, or  National Day  of Service                                                               
and  Remembrance.   According  to the  research,  most states  do                                                               
refer to  it as Patriot Day,  and according to the  definition of                                                               
patriot, he said he found it  appropriate to make it official and                                                               
call  the   day,  Patriot  Day.     This  legislation  officially                                                               
recognizes September  11 as Patriot  Day in the State  of Alaska,                                                               
it  not only  honors  and remembers  those  individuals who  were                                                               
injured  or killed  during these  terrorist acts,  but also  pays                                                               
tribute to  the military  who are still  fighting terrorism.   He                                                               
advised  that almost  2,100 Alaska  patriots  were deployed  last                                                               
fall from  Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER)  to Afghanistan                                                               
to  continue to  fight  the war  on terrorism  on  behalf of  all                                                               
1:08:10 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD asked  whether  there was  a reason  the                                                               
state  was not  already  embracing and  celebrating September  11                                                               
with a passion.                                                                                                                 
SENATOR MEYER reiterated that somewhere  along the line its title                                                               
varied  between the  governors of  Alaska,  and this  legislation                                                               
would officially make it Patriot Day no matter who was governor.                                                                
1:09:12 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR TUCK advised the committee  that his office worked with the                                                               
sponsor earlier  to craft an amendment  to include Post-Traumatic                                                               
Stress Injury Awareness Day in  this legislation.  He offered his                                                               
belief that  it is appropriate  for both  of these bills  to come                                                               
together,  such that  the state  is not  only honoring  those who                                                               
experienced  the   traumas  on  September  11,   2001,  but  also                                                               
recognizes  that  many  people   from  that  incident  and  other                                                               
incidents, whether  during a time  of war, emergency,  or trauma,                                                               
have suffered some sort of  post-traumatic stress injury in their                                                               
1:10:16 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER referred  to Chair  Tuck's amendment  and                                                               
asked whether a post-traumatic stress  injury is limited to those                                                               
who are  military or  first responders because  he was  trying to                                                               
understand the nexus between that and Patriot Day.                                                                              
CHAIR  TUCK responded  that post-traumatic  stress injury  is not                                                               
limited to  first responders  or the military,  it is  for anyone                                                               
who has suffered any type of adverse life changing experiences.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  asked the  nexus with that  definition of                                                               
post-traumatic stress injury and Patriot Day.                                                                                   
CHAIR TUCK  responded that the  amendment recognizes  Patriot Day                                                               
as the  terrorist attacks  of September 11,  2001 and  the people                                                               
who suffered  post-traumatic stress injury;  and June 27  of each                                                               
year recognizes Post-Traumatic Injury Awareness Day.                                                                            
1:11:26 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER asked why that date was chosen.                                                                          
CHAIR TUCK  answered that June  27 is recognized  nationwide, and                                                               
the  legislature passed  a resolution  two years  ago recognizing                                                               
June  27.    Subsequently,  he noted,  that  date  is  recognized                                                               
annually  in other  states, and  this resolution  includes Alaska                                                               
rather than the necessity of passing a resolution every year.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  asked  the  reason June  27  was  chosen                                                               
CHAIR TUCK  replied that it was  a national effort by  "Honor For                                                               
All,"  but he  could not  recall why  June 27  was chosen.   This                                                               
resolution   passed  through   this  committee   last  year,   he                                                               
1:12:16 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH shared his  experience during the terrorist                                                               
attacks of  September 11, 2001.   Many of the nation's  brave men                                                               
and  women were  impacted  and deployed  overseas into  extremely                                                               
difficult situations,  often returning  to the states  with post-                                                               
traumatic stress  injuries.  He  commented that he was  unsure he                                                               
would  ever celebrate  that day  because for  patriotism, he  has                                                               
July 4.   Remembering  a tragedy  as anything  but a  tragedy and                                                               
having any import beyond the  tragedy is personally difficult for                                                               
him; however, he  thanked Chair Tuck for  bringing this amendment                                                               
forward.   In moving forward,  he said, it  is his hope  that the                                                               
nation will  never take  its eyes  off of the  full truth  of the                                                               
terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.                                                                                        
1:14:59 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX moved to  adopt Amendment 1, 30-LS1014\A.1,                                                               
Radford/Laffen, 3/21/18, which read as follows:                                                                                 
     Page 1, line 1, following "Day":                                                                                         
          Insert "; and establishing June 27 of each year                                                                     
     as Post-Traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Day"                                                                           
     Page 1, line 3:                                                                                                            
          Delete "a new section"                                                                                                
          Insert "new sections"                                                                                                 
     Page 1, following line 12:                                                                                                 
          Insert new material to read:                                                                                          
          "Sec. 44.12.170. Post-Traumatic Stress Injury                                                                       
     Awareness Day.  Post-Traumatic Stress  Injury Awareness                                                                  
     Day is established  on June 27 of each  year to promote                                                                    
     awareness  of  persons  suffering  from  post-traumatic                                                                    
     stress injury  and to encourage  Alaskans to  reach out                                                                    
     to those  persons to provide support  and eliminate the                                                                    
     stigma  associated with  post-traumatic stress  injury.                                                                    
     Post-Traumatic  Stress  Injury  Awareness  Day  may  be                                                                    
     observed  by  suitable  observances  and  exercises  by                                                                    
     civic groups and the public."                                                                                              
CHAIR TUCK objected.                                                                                                            
1:15:11 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   REINBOLD  shared   her  experience   during  the                                                               
terrorist attacks  of September  11, 2001.   She referred  to the                                                               
amendment  and  asked whether  anyone  was  following up  on  the                                                               
families  who lost  loved ones,  and whether  they are  receiving                                                               
SENATOR  MEYER answered  that  that is  a  difficult question  to                                                               
answer.  He  said he does not know whether  the families who lost                                                               
love ones  on "that  day" are  receiving care,  but he  does know                                                               
that if  the state  will honor  and remember  this day  always as                                                               
Patriot Day, that in some way the families are helped.                                                                          
It  has been  almost  20  years since  the  terrorist attacks  of                                                               
September  11, 2001  and people  are starting  to already  forget                                                               
what happened that  day, the legislature needs to  make sure that                                                               
in Alaska that does not take place, he stressed.                                                                                
1:17:54 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  TUCK  shared  his  own  experience  during  the  terrorist                                                               
attacks of  September 11,  2001.   He referred  to post-traumatic                                                               
stress  injuries,  and  paraphrased   the  sponsor  statement  as                                                               
follows:  "any  event  that  makes  you  fear  for  your  safety,                                                               
especially if the event  feels unpredictable and uncontrollable."                                                               
He opined that  many Americans felt that way on  that day and the                                                               
symptoms  may include:  "flashbacks, nightmares,  severe anxiety,                                                               
as well as uncontrollable thoughts  about the event."  He related                                                               
that  he  was unsure  the  nation  has  fully healed  from  those                                                               
attacks almost 20  years ago.  Chair Tuck described  that it will                                                               
be a "generational  thing" and memories will  eventually die out,                                                               
but the nation must never forget.   Similar to Pearl Harbor, this                                                               
event brought  the nation  together because  it was  grieving, it                                                               
was in  fear, and  it tried  to figure "it"  out together  as one                                                               
1:21:27 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  noted that this legislature  has proposed                                                               
and  enacted  Indigenous  People  Day,  African-American  Soldier                                                               
Highway  Day,  Alaska Reads  Day,  and  Sexual Assault  Awareness                                                               
Month,  and this  legislation  proposes to  add  Patriot Day  and                                                               
Post-Traumatic Stress Injury Day.   He asked the number of people                                                               
residing  in Alaska  who are  affected  by post-traumatic  stress                                                               
CHAIR TUCK  answered that he does  not know the number  of people                                                               
affected by  post-traumatic stress injury.   He advised  that the                                                               
term was first post-traumatic stress  disorder and it was changed                                                               
to post-traumatic stress injury due  to the stigma of a disorder.                                                               
People are  not born with this  injury, it happens as  a reaction                                                               
to an  experience beyond their control  and its unpredictability,                                                               
it  is well  known  that  many people  suffer  from this  injury.                                                               
Especially,  he pointed  out,  those in  the  military and  first                                                               
responders  because  they  see and  experience  trauma  that  the                                                               
average person  does not experience.   The  goal here is  to make                                                               
sure  there  is  a  day  allowing  these  individuals  to  obtain                                                               
treatment,  help, and  a  place to  talk and  share,  which is  a                                                               
pathway   to   healing    from   those   traumatic   experiences.                                                               
Designating  June  27  designating Post-Traumatic  Stress  Injury                                                               
Awareness  Day was  passed by  27 states,  and the  United States                                                               
House  of  Representatives  and the  United  States  Senate  also                                                               
recognizes that  day, it is  a day everyone unites  around people                                                               
and offers an opportunity to talk about their experiences.                                                                      
1:23:48 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  asked whether there was  a previous Post-                                                               
Traumatic  Stress   Injury  Day,  and  whether   this  creates  a                                                               
different holiday.                                                                                                              
CHAIR TUCK  answered that  has not  been a  Post-Traumatic Stress                                                               
Disorder Day because the term was  changed prior to any day being                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER asked whether  there is any distinction in                                                               
the Diagnostic  and Statistical Manual of  Mental Disorders (DSM-                                                               
5)  between  post-traumatic  stress disorder  and  post-traumatic                                                               
stress injury.                                                                                                                  
CHAIR TUCK  answered that this amendment  simply recognizes Post-                                                               
Traumatic Stress Injury Day as June 27.                                                                                         
1:24:57 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  commented that  there was a  discussion on                                                               
this  issue  in  the  House Special  Committee  on  Military  and                                                               
Veterans' Affairs a  few years ago and  the professionals changed                                                               
this to "injury" rather than "disorder."                                                                                        
CHAIR TUCK advised that he  has some numbers based on percentages                                                               
that were  enclosed in the  committee packet for House  Bill 100,                                                               
passed last  year.  It  is well known that  post-traumatic stress                                                               
injury often  happens with military and  first responder service,                                                               
but it is not  limited to those services.  He  advised that as to                                                               
those  children  suffering  from adverse  childhood  experiences,                                                               
more than 60  percent of children ages  zero-17 years' experience                                                               
or  witness at  least  one traumatic  event  during those  years,                                                               
according  to a  2009 study.   Post-traumatic  stress injury  can                                                               
manifest due  to domestic violence  and abuse,  physical assault,                                                               
violence,  and   sexual  victimization.     When   reviewing  the                                                               
military,  during the  Vietnam War,  approximately 30  percent of                                                               
the  servicemen   and  servicewomen   experienced  post-traumatic                                                               
stress  injury;  10  percent  in  the Gulf  War;  60  percent  in                                                               
Afghanistan, Operation  Endearing Freedom;  and 12-20  percent in                                                               
Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom, he explained.                                                                                    
1:27:52 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   SADDLER   asked    whether   adverse   childhood                                                               
experience disorder is a type of post-traumatic stress injury.                                                                  
CHAIR TUCK  offered that there are  adverse childhood experiences                                                               
that could  be looked  at as post-traumatic  stress injury  if it                                                               
had a long-term  effect on the child with  the symptoms described                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE   SPOHNHOLZ  clarified   that  adverse   childhood                                                               
experiences are a set of  defined experiences that can take place                                                               
in  childhood  resulting  in post-traumatic  stress  injury,  but                                                               
there  is   no  such  thing  as   adverse  childhood  experiences                                                               
1:28:42 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR TUCK  advised that  normally the  Department of  Military &                                                               
Veterans'  Affairs  staff  would  be  online,  but  they  are  in                                                               
Kotzebue and  out of  cell phone range.   Verdie  Bowen, Veterans                                                               
Affairs Administrator,  expressed support for this  amendment and                                                               
Mr. Bowen asked that the committee move this amendment forward.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  requested a  letter, document,  or e-mail                                                               
verifying  Mr. Bowen's  request "would  be good.   I've  actually                                                               
heard him express those same thoughts though."                                                                                  
1:29:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR TUCK  withdrew his  objection.   There being  no objection,                                                               
Amendment 1, A.1, was adopted                                                                                                   
1:29:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER suggested  a conceptual  amendment to  SB                                                               
152, page 1,  lines 9-10, after the word  "providers," delete the                                                               
language "from violent acts."   Thereby, he explained, making the                                                               
applicability  of  Patriot  Day  broader.   The  military,  first                                                               
responders, and healthcare providers,  do not only protect people                                                               
from violent  acts, they protect  people against  diseases, which                                                               
are not violent acts.                                                                                                           
1:30:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER responded that he  has no objection to removing the                                                               
language and he  would leave it up to the  committee.  He related                                                               
that to him, Patriot Day is  for the people responding, maybe not                                                               
necessarily to violent acts, but are courageously responding.                                                                   
1:31:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  moved to adopt Conceptual  Amendment 2 to                                                               
SB 152,  page 1, lines  9-10, after the word  "providers," delete                                                               
the language "from violent acts."                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD objected  and  offered  her belief  that                                                               
there must be a definition  of "protecting us from something" and                                                               
she wanted to open the conceptual amendment up for discussion.                                                                  
1:31:49 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER explained  that the  conceptual amendment                                                               
goes to  his desire  that certain  people are  not excluded.   He                                                               
acknowledged that many people stand  on the frontlines, sometimes                                                               
in  a  violent attack  and/or  actual  terrorism, but  there  are                                                               
others, such as healthcare providers  who stand ready to cure and                                                               
protect  people  through   public  health  immunizations,  public                                                               
health,  and  environmental  protections against  disease.    The                                                               
military's  very  presence  deters  violent  acts  from  actually                                                               
taking place,  "I guess  if you  actually have  to go  to weapons                                                               
free, you've lost the first  engagement."  He reiterated that the                                                               
military's presence  not only protects  against violent  acts, it                                                               
deters violent  acts from  taking place in  the first  place, and                                                               
the conceptual  amendment is a  desire for the legislation  to be                                                               
broader and more encompassing.                                                                                                  
1:32:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR TUCK referred  to SB 152, page 1, lines  6-9, and commented                                                               
that he understands that "to  serve and protect our nation" could                                                               
be simply security,  which is serving and  protecting the nation,                                                               
watching   the   nation's   borders,  protecting   its   borders,                                                               
surveillance and/or anything else.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER remarked  that a  great number  of people                                                               
enlisted following  the terrorist attacks of  September 11, 2001,                                                               
much as when Pearl Harbor was attacked.                                                                                         
1:34:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  withdrew her  objection.   Although, she                                                               
said,  she  does  not  know  whether  this  was  intended  to  be                                                               
specifically for people  who have suffered acts  of violence, and                                                               
she was not  sure whether the conceptual  amendment might broaden                                                               
the language too much.                                                                                                          
CHAIR TUCK  stated that the  objection to Conceptual  Amendment 2                                                               
was removed.   There being  no objection, Conceptual  Amendment 2                                                               
was adopted.                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER noted  some confusion  as to  whether the                                                               
terrorist attacks of September 11,  2001, should be celebrated as                                                               
"9/11  Day or  Patriot Day."    Everyone who  observed the  awful                                                               
terrorist  attacks  appreciates the  service  to  our country  by                                                               
healthcare providers, military, and  law enforcement, and he said                                                               
he appreciates  the chance to  clearly label this day  as Patriot                                                               
1:36:00 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX moved  to  report SB  152 30-LS1014\A,  as                                                               
amended,  out of  committee with  individual recommendations  and                                                               
the accompanying  zero fiscal notes.   There being  no objection,                                                               
House CS  for Senate Bill  152(MLV) moved from the  House Special                                                               
Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs.                                                                                    
1:36:39 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Special Committee  on Military and Veterans'  Affairs meeting was                                                               
adjourned at 1:36 p.m.                                                                                                          

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