Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

04/02/2019 01:00 PM MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
01:01:13 PM Start
01:02:31 PM Presentation(s): Department of Commerce, Community, & Economic Development
01:29:12 PM Presentation(s): Department of Defense
01:48:19 PM HB93
02:06:49 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentations by: TELECONFERENCED
-Sara Chambers, Div. Director, Dept. of
Commerce, Community & Economic Development
-Tammie Perreault, Regional State Liaison, Dept
of Defense
*+ HB 93 MILITARY SPOUSE COURTESY LICENSE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
   HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AND VETERANS' AFFAIRS                                                                  
                         April 2, 2019                                                                                          
                           1:01 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Chair                                                                                          
Representative Chris Tuck, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                       
Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                       
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Sharon Jackson                                                                                                   
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION(S):  DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE~ COMMUNITY~ & ECONOMIC                                                                 
DEVELOPMENT                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION(S):  DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 93                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to temporary courtesy licenses for certain                                                                     
nonresident professionals; and relating to the Department of                                                                    
Commerce, Community, and Economic Development."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  93                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MILITARY SPOUSE COURTESY LICENSE                                                                                   
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) TUCK                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
03/13/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/13/19       (H)       MLV, L&C                                                                                               
04/02/19       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SARA CHAMBERS, Director                                                                                                         
Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing                                                                   
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION   STATEMENT:     Provided   a  PowerPoint   presentation                                                             
entitled, "Honoring  Service by Delivering Service,"  dated April                                                               
2019, and answered questions.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TAMMIE PERREAULT, Regional Liaison                                                                                              
Defense-State Liaison Office                                                                                                    
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense                                                                                    
Department of Defense                                                                                                           
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington                                                                                            
POSITION   STATEMENT:     Provided   a  PowerPoint   presentation                                                             
entitled,   "Defense-State   Liaison    Office,"   and   answered                                                               
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS TUCK                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As prime sponsor, presented HB 93.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SARA CHAMBERS, Director                                                                                                         
Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing                                                                   
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HB 93.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TAMMIE PERREAULT, Regional Liaison                                                                                              
Defense-State Liaison Office                                                                                                    
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense                                                                                    
Department of Defense                                                                                                           
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 93.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:01:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GABRIELLE LEDOUX  called  the House  Special Committee  on                                                             
Military  and Veterans'  Affairs meeting  to order  at 1:01  p.m.                                                               
Representatives Thompson, Jackson, Tuck,  and LeDoux were present                                                               
at the call  to order.  Representatives Kopp,  Rauscher, and Tarr                                                               
arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION(S):  Department of  Commerce, Community, & Economic                                                               
Development                                                                                                                     
PRESENTATION(S):  Department of Commerce, Community, & Economic                                                             
                          Development                                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
1:02:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LEDOUX announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
a  presentation  by  the  Department  of  Commerce,  Community  &                                                               
Economic Development.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:02:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARA CHAMBERS,  Director, Division of Corporations,  Business and                                                               
Professional  Licensing,  Department  of  Commerce,  Community  &                                                               
Economic   Development,   provided  a   PowerPoint   presentation                                                               
entitled,  "Honoring   Service  by  Delivering  Service."     Ms.                                                               
Chambers   informed   the   committee  that   the   division   of                                                               
Corporations, Business and  Professional Licensing (the division)                                                               
revamped  their  mission  statement to  read,  "inspiring  public                                                               
confidence through balanced  regulation of competent professional                                                               
and  business   services."  She   stated  that  in   addition  to                                                               
professional licensing, which is  the division's focus, they also                                                               
perform the  state's business  licensing functions  and corporate                                                               
registrations.   She added that  they have a team  of enforcement                                                               
for  business   licensing,  nicotine  endorsements   on  business                                                               
licenses,   and   all   professional   licensing   statutes   and                                                               
regulations (slides 2 and 3).   Regarding professional licensing,                                                               
there are  43 different programs within  the division; twenty-two                                                               
of the  programs are  regulated by the  division without  a board                                                               
and   twenty-one  are   professions   regulated   by  boards   or                                                               
commissions (slides 4 and 5).                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:05:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LEDOUX asked  why some  professions are  regulated by  the                                                               
division and others are regulated by a board or commission.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. CHAMBERS replied that the  decision is made when statutes are                                                               
created through  the legislative process.   They consider whether                                                               
a  board  is necessary  to  ensure  that  the governance  of  the                                                               
statutes  and  regulations  is adequate,  or  if  the  division's                                                               
administrative staff can handle it.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:06:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHAMBERS  turned  attention  to the  benefits  provided  for                                                               
military  personnel and  spouses.    She  said that  the division                                                               
currently provides  a military  licensing-specific web  page that                                                               
details military  licensing benefits.   Almost all  programs have                                                               
an option to  license by endorsement or  credential and temporary                                                               
professional  licensure is  also offered  for military  personnel                                                               
and spouses.   Other benefits for military  personnel and spouses                                                               
include expedited application process  for spouses of active-duty                                                               
military, exemption from  professional licensing requirements for                                                               
military personnel  in "combat/danger pay/hazardous  duty zones,"                                                               
and  review of  military  experience as  equivalent to  licensing                                                               
prerequisite (slides 6 and 7).                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMPSON sought  clarification  on the  expedited                                                               
application  process for  spouses  of active-duty  military.   He                                                               
asked if  it's fare if  someone who just  moved to Alaska  can be                                                               
put in  front of longtime  Alaska residents who have  applied and                                                               
are about to be licensed.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHAMBERS said  that is  what  the law  requires by  statute,                                                               
noting that that the legislature  passed that legislation several                                                               
years ago.   She explained  that the rationale was  that military                                                               
families  are  important to  the  state  and because  spouses  of                                                               
military members  already have  paperwork and  restrictions, this                                                               
was a small gesture that could  be made to help them ease through                                                               
the process.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   THOMPSON,   referencing   a   "legal   opinion,"                                                               
expressed concern  about creating a separate  standard for spouse                                                               
licensure.  He read the following statement                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Setting  lower standards,  education or  experience for                                                                    
     licensure  because  they  are  married  to  a  military                                                                    
     service   member   will   probably   meet   significant                                                                    
     opposition  from licensing  boards.   It could  deceive                                                                    
     the public and may even be  found to be in violation of                                                                    
     state and Federal legal protection laws.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMPSON added  that he  is a  veteran and  a big                                                               
backer of the military.   Nonetheless, he stressed the importance                                                               
of fairness to all Alaskans.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHAMBERS reported  that she  is the  author of  the document                                                               
being referred to,  which was from legislation  that was proposed                                                               
last  year.    She  offered  her  understanding  that  currently,                                                               
legislation that would set a  lower standard for military spouses                                                               
or military members has not been introduced.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:12:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP   questioned  whether   universal  temporary                                                               
licensing is  something that  can be  done through  a cooperative                                                               
agreement through other states.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. CHAMBERS  replied that  the division  is "moments"  away from                                                               
proposing  a  bill   via  the  governor  that   would  allow  the                                                               
department the ability to issue  temporary licenses to people who                                                               
hold licenses  in other  states, which would  allow them  to meet                                                               
the state's  requirements while  continuing to  work.   She noted                                                               
that  this  wouldn't  just  be  for  military  members  or  their                                                               
spouses,  it   would  be  for   anyone  that   could  demonstrate                                                               
competency.    She  further   stated  that  the  administration's                                                               
intention is that  universal temporary licensing would  be a more                                                               
streamlined method than compact licensing.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHAMBERS returned  to maximizing  use of  military benefits.                                                               
She  said  that  the  division  is  working  administratively  to                                                               
overhaul their  license applications as well  as seeking military                                                               
and community partners to help  inform applicants about processes                                                               
and  timelines  (slide  8).   She  offered  advice  for  military                                                               
personnel and spouses  who are applying for a license.   She said                                                               
do not  delay in applying,  ask for information, be  patient, and                                                               
include details (slide 9).                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:18:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  questioned whether every applicant  pays the                                                               
same amount in licensure fees.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHAMBERS   said  the  division   is  continuing   to  ensure                                                               
sustainability, adding  that there  is only one  special military                                                               
reduced  fee that  was adopted  regarding nursing;  however, they                                                               
were informed that  the military nurses could  not take advantage                                                               
of special or  reduced qualifications so those  licenses were not                                                               
valid.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LEDOUX inquired  as  to the  length of  time  it takes  to                                                               
receive a  license.  She asked  Ms. Chambers to share  the normal                                                               
wait time for several of the licenses they offer.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHAMBERS explained  that  many of  the  licenses that  don't                                                               
require  extensive education  or documentation  can be  issued in                                                               
one week to  10 days, such as barber and  hairdresser licenses or                                                               
construction contractor licenses.   She noted that the healthcare                                                               
licenses cannot be produced quickly  unless the applicant submits                                                               
everything  at  one time,  which  is  usually  the holdup.    She                                                               
pointed out that board approval  is another aspect that can delay                                                               
the  process another  two  weeks; however,  they  are working  on                                                               
giving   boards  electronic   ability  rather   than  having   to                                                               
physically meet.   She said that  the delay is almost  always due                                                               
to   applicants    waiting   on   their    transcript,   hospital                                                               
verifications,  or proof  they don't  have discipline  in another                                                               
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LEDOUX asked  if other states post  disciplinary action for                                                               
various professional licenses online.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. CHAMBERS  answered yes and  added that many  associations for                                                               
state boards have created databases  that make that process a lot                                                               
easier  for licensing  boards  and applicants.    She noted  that                                                               
those streamlining  efforts are not  always mandatory and  if the                                                               
applicant  doesn't choose  to participate,  the process  can take                                                               
longer.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:23:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LEDOUX  sought clarification  on the applicant's  choice to                                                               
participate.  In reference to  CourtView or "various disciplinary                                                               
actions of  a board," she  mentioned that normally  an individual                                                               
doesn't get  to decide whether  his or  her name is  displayed or                                                               
not.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. CHAMBERS  acknowledged that.   She  said there  are databases                                                               
that are  available to  members of  certain professions  that are                                                               
like  clearing  houses.    She  explained that  if  a  doctor  is                                                               
credentialed in  100 hospitals, it  is important to know  if they                                                               
have been  disciplined in any of  them.  The Federation  of State                                                               
Medical Boards  has created  a national  database so  a physician                                                               
who  is getting  licensed in  various states  doesn't have  to go                                                               
through that  process every time,  which is the type  of database                                                               
they can  opt in to.   She noted that transmitting  discipline is                                                               
not optional as not every state has discipline online.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:26:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK addressed the  question of fairness regarding                                                               
veterans having preference over others.   He mentioned a piece of                                                               
legislation that passed last year  which allowed a veteran hiring                                                               
preference  for  public  employment.    He  said  that  the  U.S.                                                               
Department of Labor  included an exception for  states who wanted                                                               
to adopt that preference for the  private sector as well, so that                                                               
they  aren't in  violation.    Alaska opted  in  last  year.   He                                                               
addressed  the Helmets  to Hardhats  program in  the construction                                                               
industry,  which  give preference  to  veterans  who are  exiting                                                               
service  and   entering  construction  trades  and   hasn't  been                                                               
challenged yet.  One of the  reasons they created the program was                                                               
for  the  skills  and expertise  that  military  members  receive                                                               
through  their basic  training, like  leadership and  promptness,                                                               
that translate very well into new industries.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION(S):  Department of Defense                                                                                        
            PRESENTATION(S):  Department of Defense                                                                         
                                                                                                                              
1:29:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LEDOUX announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
a presentation by the U.S. Department of Defense.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:29:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TAMMIE   PERREAULT,  Regional   Liaison,  Defense-State   Liaison                                                               
Office, Office of the Assistant  Secretary of Defense, Department                                                               
of   Defense,  provided   a  PowerPoint   presentation  entitled,                                                               
"Defense-State  Liaison  Office."   Ms.  Perreault  informed  the                                                               
committee  that  since  2010, the  Defense-State  Liaison  Office                                                               
(DSLO)  has worked  with  state policymakers  to  enact over  600                                                               
bills that  make life  better for  the military  community (slide                                                               
1).   Three  of  their ten  key issues  for  2019 revolve  around                                                               
military  spouse  licensure:   occupational  licensing  compacts,                                                               
military  spouse   teacher  licensure,  and  licensure   law  and                                                               
implementation (slide  2).  She said  that occupational licensing                                                               
became  intensely  focused on  when  a  letter  was sent  to  the                                                               
National Governors  Association from  the Secretary of  the Navy,                                                               
the Secretary  of the Army,  and the  Secretary of the  Air Force                                                               
saying  that  they  would consider  reciprocity  of  professional                                                               
licensure  when   they  looked  at  future   basing  and  mission                                                               
decisions (slide  3).   They felt like  this mattered  because 68                                                               
percent of married service members  report their spouse's ability                                                               
to  maintain a  career impacts  their decision  to remain  in the                                                               
military.   Furthermore, 77 percent of  military spouses reported                                                               
wanting or needing work while  15.2 percent of them annually move                                                               
from  state to  state  (slide 4).   She  explained  that this  is                                                               
particularly important  to Alaska  because military  spouses make                                                               
up  2 percent  of the  state's population,  which is  higher than                                                               
every  state other  than  Hawaii  and Virginia  (slide  5).   She                                                               
addressed compacts, which are agreements  between states to share                                                               
a  law  that  ensures  the same  licensure  process  for  certain                                                               
professions.    Several key  compacts  are  the Physical  Therapy                                                               
License  Compact,   Enhanced  Nurse  Licensure   Compact  (eNLC),                                                               
REPLICA - Emergency  Medical Services Compact, and  the PSYPACT -                                                               
Psychological Interjurisdictional Compact (slide 10).                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:41:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER sought  clarification on  the percentage                                                               
of military spouses.   He asked if that accounts  for active duty                                                               
military spouses  or if  it is a  combination of  National Guard,                                                               
Coast Guard, etcetera.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PERREAULT  confirmed  that they  are  active  duty  military                                                               
spouses.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  asked how  Alaska stacks up  compared to                                                               
the rest  of the country  "on services  that we provided  for the                                                               
military on a whole."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. PERREAULT said  it's a challenging question  because there is                                                               
always  a great  amount of  ambiguity  and the  answer will  vary                                                               
depending  on who  you ask;  however,  Alaska continues  to be  a                                                               
progressive state in seeking to meet the needs of the military.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER   asked  how   many  states   honor  the                                                               
reciprocity of professional licensure.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PERREAULT   said  that,  for  example,   the  enhance  nurse                                                               
licensure  compact  provides   reciprocity  for  nurse  licensure                                                               
between  31   states,  while  the  psychology   compact  provides                                                               
reciprocity  between  nine  states.    She  noted  that  compacts                                                               
provide the most clear-cut reciprocity.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  speculated that reciprocity  is variable                                                               
depending on the type of license.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. PERREAULT affirmed that.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:46:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK read  the  following from  a  letter to  the                                                               
National  Governors   Association  [included  in   the  committee                                                               
packet]:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Facilitating military spouses  in continuing their work                                                                    
     in a  new place  of residence  without delays  or extra                                                                    
     expenses is also important.   Spouses in professionally                                                                    
     licensed  fields such  as medical,  legal, engineering,                                                                    
     education,  accounting   or  the  cosmetic   arts  face                                                                    
     challenges  due  to  delays or  costs  of  transferring                                                                    
     licenses to  a new state or  jurisdiction.  Eliminating                                                                    
     or mitigating these barriers  will help improve quality                                                                    
     of life for  our military families and  ease the stress                                                                    
     of  transferring duty  stations with  consideration for                                                                    
     long-term career implications.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:47:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
            HB  93-MILITARY SPOUSE COURTESY LICENSE                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:48:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LEDOUX announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  93,  "An Act  relating  to  temporary  courtesy                                                               
licenses for  certain nonresident professionals; and  relating to                                                               
the   Department    of   Commerce,   Community,    and   Economic                                                               
Development."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:48:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CHRIS TUCK,  Alaska State  Legislature, as  prime                                                               
sponsor, paraphrased parts of the  sponsor statement [included in                                                               
the  committee packet],  which read  in its  entirety as  follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     House  Bill  93  calls  for the  Alaska  Department  of                                                                    
     Commerce,   Community  and   Economic  Development   to                                                                    
     prepare   an  annual   report  to   allow  the   Alaska                                                                    
     Legislature to  evaluate the progress  of a  program to                                                                    
     make    temporary   courtesy    occupational   licenses                                                                    
     available  to  the  spouses   of  active  duty  service                                                                    
     members  stationed  in  Alaska.  In  2011,  the  Alaska                                                                    
     Legislature passed  House Bill 28 to  provide expedited                                                                    
     temporary  courtesy  licenses   if  a  military  spouse                                                                    
     possesses a  license from a previous  jurisdiction with                                                                    
     similar requirements  to the State of  Alaska. However,                                                                    
     the bill didn't include reporting requirements.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Making  temporary courtesy  licenses  available to  the                                                                    
     spouses of  active duty service members  allows them to                                                                    
     practice  their  chosen  trade  without  having  to  go                                                                    
     through  the time-consuming  process  of meeting  state                                                                    
     licensure    requirements   before    beginning   work.                                                                    
     Expediting  courtesy  licenses   for  military  spouses                                                                    
     allows them to  go to work quickly  after relocating to                                                                    
     Alaska,   while  they   work   toward  fulfilling   any                                                                    
     remainder state requirements for their license.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The requirement in  House Bill 93 for  an annual report                                                                    
     will  allow the  Alaska  Legislature,  the Joint  Armed                                                                    
     Services Committee,  military installations,  and local                                                                    
     communities to track the progress  of the Department of                                                                    
     Commerce, Community and  Economic Development in making                                                                    
     temporary  courtesy  licenses   available  to  military                                                                    
     spouses.  HB  93  also  calls  for  the  department  to                                                                    
     produce  and distribute  informational materials  about                                                                    
     temporary  courtesy licenses  to each  board authorized                                                                    
     to issue such licenses.  The intent of this stipulation                                                                    
     is to  improve the  board's knowledge of  the licenses,                                                                    
     the  application process,  and  the  best practices  in                                                                    
     providing  applicant  support. Additionally,  the  bill                                                                    
     calls  for  the  department   to  encourage  boards  to                                                                    
     designate a  single employee to  serve as the  point of                                                                    
     contact  for public  information and  inquiries related                                                                    
     to temporary courtesy licenses for military spouses.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     The  annual  report  called  for in  HB  93  will  also                                                                    
     highlight many  of the opportunities available  to help                                                                    
     military  spouses enter  the  workforce  in Alaska.  To                                                                    
     date,  a  low  number of  eligible  professionals  have                                                                    
     taken  advantage  of  the  temporary  courtesy  license                                                                    
     program in Alaska, and  many participants have reported                                                                    
     delays.   House    Bill   93   would    help   identify                                                                    
     inefficiencies in the program.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Legislation similar to House  Bill 93 passed the Alaska                                                                    
     House of Representatives unanimously  last year but was                                                                    
     not taken up by the Alaska State Senate.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Making  temporary   courtesy  occupational   and  other                                                                    
     licenses available  to military  spouses is  a priority                                                                    
     for the U.S. Department of Defense.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:52:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LEDOUX noted  that a bill for  temporary courtesy licensing                                                               
had already  been passed  several years  ago.   She asked  if the                                                               
current bill  is attempting to  ensure that the program  that was                                                               
enacted years ago is working the way it should be.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK answered yes.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:53:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE THOMPSON sought clarification on the fiscal note.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK stated that the  fiscal note shows zero costs                                                               
through FY  25.  He explained  that "the total amount  of revenue                                                               
collected approximately equals  the occupations actual regulatory                                                               
costs",  adding  that   those  individuals  seeking  occupational                                                               
licenses are not exempt from paying the fees.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  added that when  a military family  moves to                                                               
Alaska and the  spouse can no longer continue  her career because                                                               
her occupation requires a license, it  is a loss of higher income                                                               
and revenue for that family.   He emphasized the importance of HB                                                               
93  and  explained  why  Alaska   no  longer  has  a  reciprocity                                                               
agreement for electrician licenses with Washington.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LEDOUX  sought  clarification  on why  the  Department  of                                                               
Commerce,   Community  &   Economic  Development   (DCCED)  would                                                               
evaluate  themselves  in an  annual  report  on the  progress  of                                                               
making temporary courtesy occupational  licenses available to the                                                               
spouses of active duty service  members stationed in Alaska.  She                                                               
asked why  Legislative Budget and Audit  Committee (LBA) wouldn't                                                               
compile an audit instead.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK agreed  that if DCCED didn't  desire the same                                                               
outcome it would  be a function of  LBA.  He noted  that it takes                                                               
two years  and 500-900 man-hours  for a typical audit,  while the                                                               
current  bill  institutes an  annual  report  that requires  less                                                               
resources and allows for a quicker response.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:59:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR,  referencing subsection  (f) of  the current                                                               
bill,  asked for  clarification on  the purpose  of the  biennial                                                               
report, which  is a consolidation  of the two most  recent annual                                                               
reports, that  would be submitted  to the legislature  during the                                                               
first regular session of each legislature.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  offered his  understanding that  the purpose                                                               
of the  biennial report is to  provide a compilation of  the last                                                               
two  years  of information  on  temporary  courtesy licenses  for                                                               
brand new legislators.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:01:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LEDOUX opened public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:01:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARA CHAMBERS,  Director, Division of Corporations,  Business and                                                               
Professional  Licensing,  Department  of  Commerce,  Community  &                                                               
Economic  Development,  reiterated  that  the  DCCED  prioritizes                                                               
military  families  and would  be  happy  to provide  a  progress                                                               
report to the legislature.  She  offered her belief that that the                                                               
items  in HB  93 that  would be  reported on  wouldn't take  much                                                               
effort and  could be accommodated  without adding a  fiscal note.                                                               
She noted that the DCB&PL  doesn't regulate teachers or attorneys                                                               
and  that education,  along with  any occupation  outside of  the                                                               
division, isn't included in the report.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:03:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TAMMIE   PERREAULT,  Regional   Liaison,  Defense-State   Liaison                                                               
Office, Office of the Assistant  Secretary of Defense, Department                                                               
of Defense,  informed the committee  that the U.S.  Department of                                                               
Defense is  grateful to the  Alaska legislature for  making great                                                               
strides  to  improve  the  transition  of  military  members  and                                                               
families.   She stated  that HB  93 will  continue to  provide an                                                               
evaluation  of the  progress which  Alaska has  made and  allow a                                                               
firm commitment and  identification of the next best  steps.  She                                                               
acknowledged  that  different  licensing requirements  can  limit                                                               
advancement  or  deter  reentry  into  the  workforce  in  a  new                                                               
location,  and  that  sometimes spouses  can  suffer  periods  of                                                               
unemployment  due to  licensure  requirements.   She offered  her                                                               
belief that  HB 93 will  help identify if  there are any  gaps in                                                               
the  current  system  and  will  help  moved  Alaska  forward  in                                                               
identifying possible  processes that could  be improved on.   She                                                               
concluded by  expressing her  support for  the policy  within the                                                               
current bill.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:05:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LEDOUX closed public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
[HB 93 was held over.]                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:06:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Special Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs meeting was                                                                 
adjourned at [2:06] p.m.