Legislature(2007 - 2008)CAPITOL 106

04/03/2007 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 193 POLICE STANDARDS COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+ HB 210 QUALIFICATIONS OF THE ADJUTANT GENERAL TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
*+ HJR 7 CONST AM: GENDER-NEUTRAL REFERENCES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HB 52 NO DRIVER'S LICENSES FOR MINOR DROPOUTS TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+ HB 45 STATE VETERANS' CEMETERY & FUND TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 45(MLV) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 179 PUBLIC EMPLOYEE/TEACHER RETIREM'T SYSTEMS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 179(STA) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         April 3, 2007                                                                                          
                           8:07 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bob Lynn, Chair                                                                                                  
Representative Bob Roses, Vice Chair                                                                                            
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
Representative Kyle Johansen                                                                                                    
Representative Craig Johnson                                                                                                    
Representative Andrea Doll                                                                                                      
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carl Gatto                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 179                                                                                                              
"An  Act relating  to insurance  for public  employees, teachers,                                                               
and  certain  retired  public  employees   and  teachers  and  to                                                               
supplemental employee benefits; relating  to teachers' and public                                                               
employees'  defined benefit  retirement plans,  to teachers'  and                                                               
public  employees'  defined  contribution  retirement  plans,  to                                                               
employee and  employer contributions to the  teachers' retirement                                                               
system and  the public employees'  retirement system, and  to the                                                               
administration  of the  Public  Employees'  Retirement System  of                                                               
Alaska   and  the   deferred  compensation   program  for   state                                                               
employees;  establishing   in  the  Department  of   Revenue  the                                                               
teachers' retirement  system past service cost  liability account                                                               
and  the public  employees' retirement  system past  service cost                                                               
liability  account;  relating  to   benefits  of,  references  to                                                               
federal  law  in, and  investments  in  the teachers'  retirement                                                               
system  and the  public employees'  retirement system;  modifying                                                               
the  jurisdiction of  the  independent  office of  administrative                                                               
hearings  as   related  to   retirement  and   related  personnel                                                               
benefits; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 179(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 210                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to  the appointment  and qualifications  of the                                                               
adjutant general."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 210 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 7                                                                                                    
Proposing amendments to  the Constitution of the  State of Alaska                                                               
to  avoid the  use of  personal pronouns  and similar  references                                                               
that denote masculine or feminine gender in that document.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 45                                                                                                               
"An  Act authorizing  the Department  of  Military and  Veterans'                                                               
Affairs to  establish and  maintain Alaska  veterans' cemeteries;                                                               
and  establishing  the  Alaska veterans'  cemetery  fund  in  the                                                               
general fund."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 45(MLV) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 52                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to driver's  licenses for persons under 18 years                                                               
of age."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING CANCELED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 193                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating  to  the  composition  of  the  Alaska  Police                                                               
Standards Council; and providing for an effective date."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING CANCELED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 179                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PUBLIC EMPLOYEE/TEACHER RETIREM'T SYSTEMS                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KELLY                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
03/05/07       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/05/07       (H)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
03/29/07       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/29/07       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/29/07       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/31/07       (H)       STA AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                            
03/31/07       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/31/07       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/03/07       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 210                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: QUALIFICATIONS OF THE ADJUTANT GENERAL                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) DAHLSTROM                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
03/21/07       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/21/07       (H)       MLV, STA                                                                                               
03/29/07       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/29/07       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
03/29/07       (H)       MINUTE(MLV)                                                                                            
03/30/07       (H)       MLV RPT 4DP 1NR                                                                                        
03/30/07       (H)       DP: FAIRCLOUGH, DAHLSTROM, BUCH, ROSES                                                                 
03/30/07       (H)       NR: KAWASAKI                                                                                           
04/03/07       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HJR  7                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CONST AM: GENDER-NEUTRAL REFERENCES                                                                                
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) GATTO                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
01/30/07       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/30/07       (H)       STA, JUD, FIN                                                                                          
04/03/07       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  45                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: STATE VETERANS' CEMETERY & FUND                                                                                    
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) GUTTENBERG, DOLL                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
01/16/07       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/5/07                                                                                
01/16/07       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/16/07       (H)       MLV, STA, FIN                                                                                          
02/13/07       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/13/07       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/13/07       (H)       MINUTE(MLV)                                                                                            
02/20/07       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/20/07       (H)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
02/22/07       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/22/07       (H)       Moved CSHB  45(MLV) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/22/07       (H)       MINUTE(MLV)                                                                                            
02/26/07       (H)       MLV RPT CS(MLV) 5DP                                                                                    
02/26/07       (H)       DP: LEDOUX, KAWASAKI, RAMRAS, BUCH,                                                                    
                         ROSES                                                                                                  
04/03/07       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NANCY DAHLSTROM                                                                                                  
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 210 as prime sponsor.                                                                         
                                                                                                                              
McHUGH PIERRE, Director of Communications                                                                                       
Office of the Commissioner/Adjutant General                                                                                     
Department of Military & Veterans Affairs                                                                                       
Fort Richardson, Alaska                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions  during the hearing on HB                                                               
210.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SANDRA WILSON, Intern                                                                                                           
to Representative Carl Gatto                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION   STATEMENT:      Introduced   HJR  7   on   behalf   of                                                               
Representative Gatto, prime sponsor.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HEATH HILYARD, Staff                                                                                                            
to Representative Gatto                                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered information  to the committee during                                                               
the hearing  on HJR 7,  on behalf of Representative  Gatto, prime                                                               
sponsor.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAVID GUTTENBERG                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 45 as joint prime sponsor.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BOB LYNN called the  House State Affairs Standing Committee                                                             
meeting to order at 8:07:21  AM.  Representatives Roses, Coghill,                                                             
Johnson, Gruenberg,  Doll, and Lynn  were present at the  call to                                                               
order.   Representative Johansen  arrived as  the meeting  was in                                                               
progress.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:07:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LYNN announced  the passing  of former  Representative Jim                                                               
Elkins, and  asked those  in the  room to stand  for a  moment of                                                               
silence.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG expressed his  appreciation for the late                                                               
Representative Elkins as  a person and a legislator.   He said he                                                               
will be missed.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HB 179-PUBLIC EMPLOYEE/TEACHER RETIREM'T SYSTEMS                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:09:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN announced  that the first order of  business was HOUSE                                                               
BILL  NO.  179,   "An  Act  relating  to   insurance  for  public                                                               
employees,  teachers, and  certain retired  public employees  and                                                               
teachers  and  to  supplemental employee  benefits;  relating  to                                                               
teachers'  and  public   employees'  defined  benefit  retirement                                                               
plans, to  teachers' and  public employees'  defined contribution                                                               
retirement plans,  to employee and employer  contributions to the                                                               
teachers' retirement system and  the public employees' retirement                                                               
system,  and  to  the administration  of  the  Public  Employees'                                                               
Retirement  System  of  Alaska   and  the  deferred  compensation                                                               
program for  state employees; establishing  in the  Department of                                                               
Revenue  the  teachers'  retirement   system  past  service  cost                                                               
liability  account and  the public  employees' retirement  system                                                               
past  service cost  liability account;  relating to  benefits of,                                                               
references to  federal law in,  and investments in  the teachers'                                                               
retirement system  and the  public employees'  retirement system;                                                               
modifying  the   jurisdiction  of   the  independent   office  of                                                               
administrative  hearings as  related  to  retirement and  related                                                               
personnel benefits; and providing for an effective date."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:09:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROSES moved  to  adopt Amendment  1, labeled  25-                                                               
LS0252\M.1, Wayne, 4/2/07, which read as follows:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 3:                                                                                                            
          Delete "a new subsection"                                                                                             
          Insert "new subsections"                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 4:                                                                                                            
          Delete "2007"                                                                                                         
          Insert "2010"                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 6:                                                                                                            
          Delete "five"                                                                                                         
          Insert "one"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, following line 6:                                                                                                  
          Insert new bill subsections to read:                                                                                  
          "(f)  Beginning with the payroll for the first                                                                        
     pay period  in July 2011, a member  shall contribute to                                                                    
     the  plan, in  addition to  the combined  total of  the                                                                    
     amounts calculated in  (a) and (e) of  this section, an                                                                    
     amount  equal  to  two percent  of  the  member's  base                                                                    
     salary.                                                                                                                    
          (g)  Beginning with the payroll for the first pay                                                                     
     period in  July 2012, a member shall  contribute to the                                                                    
     plan, in addition to the  combined total of the amounts                                                                    
     calculated in  (a), (e),  and (f)  of this  section, an                                                                    
     amount  equal  to  two percent  of  the  member's  base                                                                    
     salary."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:10:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:10:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROSES explained  the intent of the  amendment.  He                                                               
noted that  there are  several labor  contracts that  have either                                                               
recently  been settled  or have  the potential  of being  settled                                                               
before the  proposed legislation would  go into effect.   He said                                                               
one of the questions in  negotiating a labor contract is deciding                                                               
how much the  take-home pay will be and  comparing that take-home                                                               
pay with  that of the  last contract.   He said  people negotiate                                                               
the contracts  in good  faith; they  expend a  lot of  effort and                                                               
equity.    For  example,  Representative  Roses  noted  that  the                                                               
Anchorage  Education  Association  was in  negotiations  for  two                                                               
years.   He stated his concern  is related to retroactivity.   He                                                               
explained,  "If you  know  going  in that  you're  going to  have                                                               
issues  that  are impacting  your  take-home  pay, you  negotiate                                                               
differently.  And  so, to have this go in  effect after the fact,                                                               
to me becomes  ... a retroactive bill; it's  something over which                                                               
they  had  no  control  in  negotiations."    He  clarified  that                                                               
negotiations  are not  made on  employee contributions;  however,                                                               
they are  made involving  "everything else,"  which has  a direct                                                               
impact on  take-home pay.  He  concluded, "So, I felt  if we were                                                               
going  to put  the 5  percent in,  ... it  at least  ought to  be                                                               
delayed so that  we hold harmless those contracts  that have just                                                               
gotten settled,  or those that  may be  settled here in  the near                                                               
future."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 8:12:33 AM to 8:15:05 AM.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:15:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  reminded  the committee  that  he  had                                                               
asked for  a legal  opinion regarding  a memorandum  - referenced                                                               
during the  last hearing on HB  179 - from Legislative  Legal and                                                               
Research  Services,  dated January  29,  2005,  [included in  the                                                               
committee packet].  [That opinion was  noted at the time to be in                                                               
conflict with that  of the attorney general.]   He drew attention                                                               
to the response  to his request, made via  memorandum dated April                                                               
2, 2007,  from Dan  Wayne, Legal  Council, Legislative  Legal and                                                               
Research Services, in  which Mr. Wayne concurs  with the Attorney                                                               
General's  opinion.    He  paraphrased an  excerpt  of  the  AG's                                                               
opinion, which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     These  statement [sic]  and the  analysis that  follows                                                                    
     them in the LAA memorandum  are not consistent with the                                                                    
     Alaska  Supreme   Court's  repeated  rulings   that  an                                                                    
     employee's rights under the  retirement systems vest --                                                                    
     i.e., are "accrued"  -- at the time  the employee first                                                                    
     enrolls in  the system,  and that those  accrued rights                                                                    
     include  not   only  the  amount  of   and  eligibility                                                                    
     requirements  for  benefits,  but also  "the  practical                                                                    
     effect  of  the whole  complex  of  provisions" of  the                                                                    
     systems.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:17:19 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  remarked, "There is section  in here that                                                               
talks about  the strong argument  that the  5 percent may  not be                                                               
considered an  accrued benefit.  So,  I think that there  is room                                                               
for argument."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:18:17 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROSES, in  response to  being asked  if he  would                                                               
consider withdrawing  his amendment  so that  Representative Doll                                                               
could offer an amendment, stated:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     The concern  that I have  is the legal  part of it.   I                                                                    
     understand where  Representative Kelly is going,  and I                                                                    
     understand the arguments that he's  making, in terms of                                                                    
     everybody  having skin  in the  game, but  part of  the                                                                    
     concern that we have is:   when there were surpluses in                                                                    
     the account,  what happened  at that  point in  time is                                                                    
     they reduced  the amount that the  employers paid; they                                                                    
     never did  reduce the  amount the  employee paid.   So,                                                                    
     now, when there's a shortfall,  we're trying to get the                                                                    
     employees to kick in, whereas  if that reduction hadn't                                                                    
     been made, we maybe wouldn't  have been in quite as bad                                                                    
     a shape as we  are.  So, ... this is  one of those ones                                                                    
     where you're  kind of  caught in the  middle.   I don't                                                                    
     like the  5 percent, but if  we are going to  put the 5                                                                    
     percent  in, I  think  it  needs to  be  taken care  of                                                                    
     properly.   So, it appears  to me from  the discussions                                                                    
     that  I've had  with the  other members  sitting around                                                                    
     the  table  that  they  are  not  going  to  pass  this                                                                    
     amendment that  I've made; that  they're more  in favor                                                                    
     of reducing the  5 percent.  So, we can  either vote it                                                                    
     up or vote it down.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:19:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL recommended that Representative Doll                                                                     
offer her amendment as an amendment to Amendment 1, rather than                                                                 
having Representative Roses withdraw his amendment.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN concurred and suggested that it be conceptual.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:19:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DOLL moved to adopt [Conceptual Amendment 1 to                                                                   
Amendment 1], which read as follows [original punctuation                                                                       
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, lines 3-6                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Delete all language                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     [(E)  BEGINNING  WITH THE  PAYROLL  FOR  THE FIRST  PAY                                                                    
     PERIOD IN JULY  2007, A MEMBER SHALL  CONTRIBUTE TO THE                                                                    
     PLAN, IN  ADDITION TO THE  AMOUNT CALCULATED IN  (A) OF                                                                    
     THIS SECTION,  AN AMOUNT EQUAL  TO FIVE PERCENT  OF THE                                                                    
     MEMBER'S BASE SALARY]                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 17, lines 17-19                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Delete all language                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     [(E)  BEGINNING  WITH THE  PAYROLL  FOR  THE FIRST  PAY                                                                    
     PERIOD IN JULY  2007, A MEMBER SHALL  CONTRIBUTE TO THE                                                                    
     PLAN, IN  ADDITION TO THE  AMOUNT CALCULATED IN  (A) OF                                                                    
     THIS SECTION,  AN AMOUNT EQUAL  TO FIVE PERCENT  OF THE                                                                    
     MEMBER'S BASE SALARY]                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:21:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL objected.  He explained as follows:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     This   pushes  hard   against  the   contribution  rate                                                                    
     employees need  to bring in.   But the tension  here is                                                                    
     you  have a  3  to 5  percent, before  or  after tax  -                                                                    
     however  you  want to  count  it  - contribution  level                                                                    
     that's going  to go  up, compared to  a chunk  that the                                                                    
     state's going to  pick up that is in  the double digits                                                                    
     and beyond, as  far as the overall payment  or not only                                                                    
     the existing system, but the  debt retirement.  So, the                                                                    
     cost borne by  both the employers and the  state is not                                                                    
     even close to 5 percent;  it's not close to 10 percent;                                                                    
     it's  not close  to 50  percent;  it gets  way, way  up                                                                    
     there.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     ...  And then,  the needle  keeps tipping  over to  the                                                                    
     point where  the people of Alaska,  through their taxes                                                                    
     -- now the  benefit to Alaskans is:  we  get oil taxes,                                                                    
     so we're  not digging it  out of people's  back pockets                                                                    
     very much.   But I  could conceive  of a day  where the                                                                    
     bill goes to  the back pockets of the  people of Alaska                                                                    
     who are  not in state employment.   Be that as  it may,                                                                    
     regardless of where  the money comes from,  the fact is                                                                    
     it's the people  of Alaska that pick up  that, not only                                                                    
     in the  double digits, but  the double digits  that are                                                                    
     very  high.   ... And  honestly, [all]  I know  is that                                                                    
     it's high;  I honestly  don't know  where you  fix that                                                                    
     number; I just know it's way up there.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     So, asking employees  to step up to the plate:   I like                                                                    
     the  amendment, because  it looks  past the  bargaining                                                                    
     deadlines that we have now.   I like that part, because                                                                    
     I don't  think this  retroactive thing  is --  the case                                                                    
     was made very  well that it could  be very retroactive.                                                                    
     And I like  the idea of maybe  incrementally going into                                                                    
     it.     Even  though  that  small   incremental  change                                                                    
     becomes,  probably,  less  significant in  the  overall                                                                    
     bill, it's  ... a  part of saying  we're going  to feel                                                                    
     some  responsibility for  it.   My guess  is you  would                                                                    
     probably  bargain for  higher  wages, so  I don't  know                                                                    
     that  the  cost really  goes  to  the employee  anyway.                                                                    
     Eventually, I  think the state's  going to pick  it up.                                                                    
     But  it's a  recognition that  we all  have to  kind of                                                                    
     step up  to it.   So, just taking  it out, I  think, is                                                                    
     not the best  policy in my view.  And  so, I'm going to                                                                    
     vote against it.   I like the idea that  it asks people                                                                    
     to  come to  the table.   That's  painful, but  not any                                                                    
     less painful than  everybody else who has  to come kind                                                                    
     of take  care of  this bill.   So,  I'm going  to speak                                                                    
     against the amendment to the amendment.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:24:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL, in  response to Representative Gruenberg,                                                               
explained his previous  mention of "may be" and "may  not be" was                                                               
meant to  illustrate that he  thinks other opinions  outside that                                                               
of Mr. Wayne may be correct.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:25:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN said using "may" in legislation is ambiguous.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:25:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  provided clarification  regarding  the                                                               
aforementioned   letter  from   Mr.  Wayne.     He   offered  his                                                               
understanding that [Conceptual Amendment  1 to Amendment 1] would                                                               
replace  the  entire  Amendment  1,  and would  be  a  "flat  out                                                               
deletion  of the  5  percent," which  would  mean that  employees                                                               
would be contributing no more than they currently contribute.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:28:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DOLL warned, "I think  we're running into a lot of                                                               
trouble if we do not do this.   ... Even trying to phase it in, I                                                               
think we'd be running into a great  deal of trouble."  She said a                                                               
great contributor to the unfunded  liability is related to health                                                               
care  cost,  and she  said  she  would  like the  legislature  to                                                               
confront that issue.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:29:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll call  vote was taken.   Representatives Johansen, Johnson,                                                               
Gruenberg, Doll,  Roses, and Lynn  voted in favor of  Amendment 1                                                               
to  Amendment  1.    Representative  Coghill  voted  against  it.                                                               
Therefore, Amendment  1 to Amendment 1  was adopted by a  vote of                                                               
6-1.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:30:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LYNN  asked  if  there   was  any  further  discussion  on                                                               
Amendment 1, as amended.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL objected to Amendment 1, as amended.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:30:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON opined that  the state's retirement system                                                               
is  a  crushing burden  and  employees  need  to share  [in  that                                                               
burden].     He   stated  his   primary   concern  is   regarding                                                               
constitutionality,  and he  said he  doesn't want  to see  a long                                                               
legal battle.   He said he supports the concept  [of Amendment 1,                                                               
as amended],  but is not  prepared at  this point to  "go against                                                               
the constitution."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:32:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  pointed  out   that  the  House  State                                                               
Affairs Standing Committee  has changed over the  last few years.                                                               
He explained  that an  increasing number  of bills  proposed have                                                               
legal  implications.   Not all  those bills  can go  before House                                                               
Judiciary Standing  Committee, thus they  are being heard  by the                                                               
House State Affairs  Standing Committee.  He urged  members to be                                                               
willing to look at legal issues, as well [as policy issues].                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:33:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL remarked  that  every  bill addressed  in                                                               
almost every committee  has a legal implication.   He said issues                                                               
of  constitutionality  properly  reside  within  both  the  House                                                               
Judiciary  Standing Committee  and House  State Affairs  Standing                                                               
Committee.   He said he  is sorry  the committee voted  - through                                                               
its adoption of  Conceptual Amendment 1 to Amendment 1  - to take                                                               
out  the   language  proposed   by  Representative   Roses,  thus                                                               
shrinking from bringing employees to  the table at a crucial time                                                               
of discussion.   He  concluded that he  thinks the  committee has                                                               
removed the question of constitutionality.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:36:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROSES said there  has been considerable discussion                                                               
regarding the  issue of  5 percent.   Many  people he  spoke with                                                               
expressed  willingness to  support  the 5  percent, provided  the                                                               
bill would  be heard in  the House Judiciary  Standing Committee;                                                               
however,  since it  was not  scheduled for  that committee,  they                                                               
felt  the  5 percent  should  be  removed.    He stated  that  he                                                               
understands  both  sides  of  the  issue.   He  said  he  doesn't                                                               
disagree with Representative Kelly  regarding moving forward, and                                                               
that when people were given benefits  years ago, no one had a way                                                               
of predicting the  increased costs.  He stated,  "With that being                                                               
said, I supported  the amendment to the amendment,  and I'm going                                                               
to support this amendment, as is."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:38:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL [maintained his  objection to Amendment 1,                                                               
as amended.]                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:38:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was  taken.  Representatives Johnson, Gruenberg,                                                               
Doll, Roses,  Johansen, and Lynn  voted in favor of  Amendment 1,                                                               
as   amended.     Representative   Coghill   voted  against   it.                                                               
Therefore, Amendment 1,  as amended, was adopted by a  vote of 6-                                                               
1.                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:39:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROSES  noted that  there was another  amendment in                                                               
the  committee  packet  that  would   have  been  necessary,  had                                                               
Amendment 1  been adopted,  unamended; however,  it would  not be                                                               
offered now.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:40:17 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  moved to report  HB 179, as  amended, out                                                               
of   committee   with    individual   recommendations   and   the                                                               
accompanying  fiscal  notes.   There  being  no  objection,  CSHB                                                               
179(STA) was  reported out  of the  House State  Affairs Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 8:40:47 AM to 8:41:59 AM.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 210-QUALIFICATIONS OF THE ADJUTANT GENERAL                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:42:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  announced that the  next order of business  was HOUSE                                                               
BILL  NO.   210,  "An  Act   relating  to  the   appointment  and                                                               
qualifications of the adjutant general."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:42:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   NANCY  DAHLSTROM,   Alaska  State   Legislature,                                                               
presented HB 210  as prime sponsor.  She  paraphrased the sponsor                                                               
statement, which read as follows [original punctuation                                                                          
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     House  Bill 210,  "An act  relating to  the appointment                                                                    
     and qualifications of the  adjutant general," is before                                                                    
     us to bring  attention to the importance  of guard duty                                                                    
     in relation to its leadership.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     In  recent   years,  the  Alaska  National   Guard  has                                                                    
     undergone  major changes.  It  has seen  organizational                                                                    
     restructure,  increased  deployment responsibility  and                                                                    
     additional missions at home.  With the amplified demand                                                                    
     for  the Alaska  National Guard,  it is  imperative for                                                                    
     our state's adjutant general be adequately qualified.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     House Bill  210's intent is to  positively impact troop                                                                    
     morale by  appointing leaders  who have  shared similar                                                                    
     experiences and  walked in  their shoes.  Knowing their                                                                    
     leader  has been  down  a similar  path  will create  a                                                                    
     deeper respect within the troops.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     The  National  Guard  Bureau  in  Washington,  D.C.  is                                                                    
     considering an  increase in rank for  the bureau chief,                                                                    
     from three-star to four-star.  Increasing the rank from                                                                    
     major  general  to  lieutenant general  will  give  the                                                                    
     Alaska National  Guard a jump start  on this initiative                                                                    
     and  make  our  adjutant  general  more  qualified  and                                                                    
     better  received  when  working  with  issues  back  in                                                                    
     Washington, D.C.  An increase  in rank will  not impact                                                                    
     the  state budget  and will  not increase  the adjutant                                                                    
     general's salary as a state employee.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     It  is  important to  note  this  legislation does  not                                                                    
     limit the  power of  the Governor  to appoint  a viable                                                                    
     candidate  as  Adjutant   General/Commissioner  of  the                                                                    
     Department  of  Military  and  Veterans  Affairs.  This                                                                    
     legislation is  supported by  the Administration  and I                                                                    
     ask for your favorable consideration.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN stated, "It's my understanding that potentially a                                                                    
National Guard general could be advanced to the Joint Armed                                                                     
Services Committee in [Washington], D.C."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:45:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
McHUGH PIERRE, Director of Communications, Office of the                                                                        
Commissioner/Adjutant General, Department of Military & Veterans                                                                
Affairs, confirmed that Lieutenant  General Blum (ph) is "looking                                                               
at the  possibility of  staying on," and  he is  being considered                                                               
for promotion from three-star to four-star rank.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:45:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL asked  what the  differences are  between                                                               
the  requirements  of  a  lieutenant  [general]  versus  a  major                                                               
general.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. PIERRE replied  that [the lieutenant general]  holds a higher                                                               
level of  respect, with more  troops serving  underneath him/her.                                                               
He added:                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     However,  that   wouldn't  change  very  much   in  our                                                                    
     situation.   Simply, it would  just allow the  level of                                                                    
     interaction on  the federal, on  the national,  side of                                                                    
     the house  to increase,  and that  way they  would have                                                                    
     more pull in D.C.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL summarized as follows:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The intent, then, is to try  to ratchet up the level of                                                                    
     qualification.  I see  you have five-years' experience,                                                                    
     and so  the intention here  is to ratchet up  the level                                                                    
     of experience  so that ...  getting this  higher grade,                                                                    
     this  general  grade officer,  ...  not  only would  be                                                                    
     recognized  as an  appointed position,  but also  as an                                                                    
     earned position, I take it.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:47:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM said that's absolutely correct.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL directed  attention to page 1,  line 5, of                                                               
the bill, and  noted that the language read,  "the governor may".                                                           
He  reminded Representative  Dahlstrom  of  Chair Lynn's  remarks                                                               
[during the hearing  on HB 179] regarding the  ambiguity of using                                                               
the word  "may."  He questioned  whether the sponsor may  want to                                                               
use a stronger directive, such as by using the word, "shall."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM  responded  that that  issue  has  been                                                               
discussed between  the Department of Military  & Veterans Affairs                                                               
and the  administration, thus  she deferred  the question  to Mr.                                                               
Pierre.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. PIERRE stated that the department  wants to keep the power of                                                               
governor intact,  which he  said is not  only important  from the                                                               
standpoint  of  the  governor,  but  also  in  finding  a  viable                                                               
candidate.  He explained that  if there are no viable candidates,                                                               
the  department  doesn't  want  to  set  limitations  that  would                                                               
"hinder the growth of the  organization."  He said the department                                                               
believes that with the increasing  demands on the National Guard,                                                               
there must be  a strong leadership to guide  the organization and                                                               
help it grow.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL said  although the  verbiage in  the bill                                                               
gives direction,  the use of the  word "may" is not  strong.  The                                                               
word "shall"  is too  strong, he  said; therefore,  he questioned                                                               
whether the word "should" could be a possibility.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM  said  she  does  not  know  about  the                                                               
legality of using the word "should."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  noted that if  the governor  does not do  what he/she                                                               
"should" do,  than he/she is  doing something that should  not be                                                               
done, which  he said would  not make  him very comfortable  if he                                                               
were governor.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  explained that  he has discovered  in the                                                               
past that the  common sense use of a word  sometimes differs from                                                               
its legal definition.  He said  his concern over the semantics is                                                               
not such that he wants to slow down  bill.  He said he thinks the                                                               
bill  gives some  direction that  the  legislature would  "prefer                                                               
qualifications at  the five-level mark ...  in military service."                                                               
On  the  other hand,  he  indicated  that  he  does not  want  to                                                               
disallow the possibility of finding  someone in the Department of                                                               
Homeland  Security   who  didn't  necessarily  have   the  "heavy                                                               
military experience."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:50:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PIERRE  clarified   that  a  person  must   be  a  federally                                                               
recognized  general officer  in  order to  "have this  position."                                                               
Furthermore, the increase  in rank would only  happen if approved                                                               
on "the federal side of the House."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL remarked,  "Well then,  those are  enough                                                               
'shoulds' for me."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:51:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DOLL said the bill  uses "may" more than once, and                                                               
she interpreted that  to mean that "it could  happen without this                                                               
bill."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. PIERRE confirmed:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     It  has  happened  without  the   bill.    Our  current                                                                    
     adjutant  general,  General  Campbell, is  an  Alaskan.                                                                    
     He's a long time member  of the Alaska National Guard -                                                                    
     25 years  - so,  certainly this happened.   It  has not                                                                    
     happened  in   the  past,  and  the   organization  has                                                                    
     suffered because  of that, according to  members of the                                                                    
     organization.  And the  Alaska National Guard Officers'                                                                    
     Association feels very strongly  that this should be in                                                                    
     statute, not  directing, but suggesting.   And the fact                                                                    
     that it's suggesting on  statute has enough implication                                                                    
     that  the  future  governor  will   look  at  that  and                                                                    
     consider  his or  her appointment  with that  much more                                                                    
     complication or ... weight behind it.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DOLL asked for further  clarification.  She noted,                                                               
"Because the governor will make  the appointment, but you said it                                                               
also has  to be  ... mandated  or okayed on  a federal  level, as                                                               
well."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. PIERRE explained:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Well,  you  must  be  a  federally  recognized  general                                                                    
     officer,  so  you  must  have  achieved  rank  that  is                                                                    
     sufficient to be promoted  to Brigadier General, within                                                                    
     the military.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:53:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. PIERRE, in  response to a request  from Representative Roses,                                                               
stated for  the record that major  general is a "two-star"  and a                                                               
lieutenant general is a "three-star."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROSES  opined that  if there is  any state  in the                                                               
Union where the adjutant general  deserves to be considered for a                                                               
higher rank,  it ought to be  the state of Alaska.   He explained                                                               
that  the level  of engagement  that  the National  Guard has  in                                                               
Alaska  far  exceeds any  other  state.    He  said many  of  the                                                               
generals he  has met have  spoken to  the fact that  Alaska "sets                                                               
the  standard on  the way  the  [National] Guard  and the  active                                                               
military should  engage."  He  mentioned, by way of  example, the                                                               
disaster on the H.M.S. Tireless,  emphasizing the expediency with                                                               
which  the National  Guard took  over the  responsibility of  the                                                               
otherwise engaged Coast Guard.  He stated his support of HB 210.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:56:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. PIERRE, in  response to a question  from Representative Doll,                                                               
clarified  that  Alaska's  current  adjutant  general  is  not  a                                                               
lieutenant general.   According to  federal law and  Alaska State                                                               
Statute, the  adjutant general  can only  be a  two-star general,                                                               
which Mr. Pierre reviewed is a major general.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DOLL  noted that  the language,  [on page  1, line                                                               
8],  specifies   that  the  adjutant  general   "may  not  exceed                                                               
lieutenant [MAJOR]  general."   She asked what  the next  rank up                                                           
would be.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. PIERRE answered, "General."  He continued:                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Due  to federal  requirements ...,  the National  Guard                                                                    
     bureau  chief is  a rank  above the  adjutant generals.                                                                    
     Therefore, if the National Guard  bureau chief is to be                                                                    
     a four-star  general, the adjutant generals  would be a                                                                    
     three-star general.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:56:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM  offered a means by  which the committee                                                               
could memorize the  rank of generals from bottom to  top:  "be my                                                               
little  general."   Using  the  first letter  of  each word,  "b"                                                               
stands for brigadier  general, "m" stands for  major general, "l"                                                               
stands  for  lieutenant  general,  and "g"  stands  for  the  top                                                               
ranking general.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:57:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  said  adding  an  additional  star  on                                                               
Alaska's   adjutant    generals   will   help    maintain   their                                                               
independence.  He discussed other legislation.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN expressed appreciation of the Alaska National Guard.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:01:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM,   in  response  to  a   question  from                                                               
Representative Coghill,  said she  does not   believe there  is a                                                               
need for an effective date on the bill.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:01:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROSES moved  to report  HB 210  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  There being no objection,  HB 210 was reported out of the                                                               
House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The  committee took  an at-ease  from 9:02:07  AM to  9:03:42 and                                                             
again from 9:03:47 AM to 9:04:22.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:04:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROSES  noted that the association  of the adjutant                                                               
generals would be meeting this June in Anchorage.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HJR  7-CONST AM: GENDER-NEUTRAL REFERENCES                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:05:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  announced that the  next order of business  was HOUSE                                                               
JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 7, Proposing  amendments to the Constitution                                                               
of the State of Alaska to  avoid the use of personal pronouns and                                                               
similar references  that denote  masculine or feminine  gender in                                                               
that document.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:05:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SANDRA WILSON, Intern to Representative  Carl Gatto, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, introduced HJR 7 on  behalf of Representative Gatto,                                                               
prime  sponsor.   She paraphrased  the  sponsor statement,  which                                                               
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     HJR 7 removes all masculine or feminine terms from the                                                                     
     Constitution of the State of Alaska. This resolution                                                                       
     deletes the terms "his," "him," and "himself" and                                                                          
     replaces them with terms as "oneself," "Governor,"                                                                         
     "Governor-elect," "Lieutenant Governor," "Legislator,"                                                                     
     "members," "executive," "justice or judge," "voter,"                                                                       
     "person's," "auditor," and "accused." Other changes                                                                        
     that occur make the sentences grammatically correct.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Some of our oldest and youngest states in the union                                                                        
     such as New York and Hawaii have amended their                                                                             
     constitutions to reflect gender neutrality. The                                                                            
     framers of our constitution went to great lengths in                                                                       
     the construction of the Constitution to recognize                                                                          
     gender equality and it is in that spirit and as a                                                                          
     continuation of their leadership that we seek to                                                                           
     modify our constitution in recognition of the progress                                                                     
     in our society and culture.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     This resolution is before us now because it is time                                                                        
     for us to recognize a significant moment in Alaska                                                                         
     history, a time when we elected our first female                                                                           
     Governor. The administration fully supports this                                                                           
     effort.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     I ask for your support.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:07:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN noted that there is  also an effort being made by some                                                               
to change the Holy Bible to  gender neutral language.  He pointed                                                               
out, "'Man'  is generic for  'mankind' or even 'humankind.'"   He                                                               
asked Ms. Wilson  if the resolution is addressing  a problem with                                                               
language or the way the language is interpreted.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:07:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. WILSON said the sponsor  wants to give significance to having                                                               
a  female governor,  because currently  everything reads  "he" or                                                               
"himself" or "his."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN concluded that it is  just the pronouns that are being                                                               
changed.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:08:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROSES  said  he  understands the  intent  of  the                                                               
[resolution] and  will not vote  against it, even though  he sees                                                               
it as  unnecessary.  He explained  that back when he  was in high                                                               
school, "he" meant  either gender.  Most  language, including the                                                               
state  constitution  and  Masons   Rules,  for  example,  follows                                                               
Standard English.   He  said, "I don't  think when  this language                                                               
was written it ever, in any  way, shape, or form excluded females                                                               
from having those positions."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:10:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO said  he is okay with  saying "all mankind,"                                                               
but  he thinks  of this  as a  matter of  courtesy.   He said  he                                                               
thinks  those representatives  who  are female  would prefer  the                                                               
proposed language, and he pointed out that it does no harm.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:11:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DOLL  said she thinks the  resolution is wonderful                                                               
and timely.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:11:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG   said   he  strongly   supports   the                                                               
resolution.    He recollected  that  somewhere  - either  in  the                                                               
constitution or  in statute  - the  lieutenant governor  is still                                                               
referred to  as the secretary of  state.  He indicated  that that                                                               
issue may  have been "cleaned up"  but he is just  mentioning it.                                                               
He stated that he would like to cosponsor HJR 7.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:12:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  said he  would  be  asking for  a  legal                                                               
opinion regarding HJR 7 and  revision of the constitution to find                                                               
possible  ramifications.    He  said he  would  prefer  that  the                                                               
resolution  stay in  the House  State Affairs  Standing Committee                                                               
until that information has been  reviewed; however, he noted that                                                               
he sits on  the House Judiciary Standing Committee,  which is the                                                               
next committee  of referral for  HJR 7.   He emphasized  how many                                                               
different articles  of the  Constitution of  the State  of Alaska                                                               
this proposed legislation would affect.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:14:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said his  staff just informed  him that                                                               
"secretary of state" is found  in the proposed resolution on page                                                               
2, line 16, and on page 5, line  26.  He indicated that there had                                                               
been a prior constitutional amendment  a number of years ago, but                                                               
those two references  were overlooked.  He said he  would like to                                                               
offer an amendment to address this issue.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:15:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HEATH  HILYARD,  Staff  to  Representative  Gatto,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, on behalf of Representative  Gatto, prime sponsor of                                                               
HJR  7,  informed  Representative  Gruenberg  that  according  to                                                               
Legislative Legal and  Research Services, it is  not allowable to                                                               
address  "two  separate  subject  areas"  in  one  constitutional                                                               
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said  he would  hold off  on addressing                                                               
the matter.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN said it is a subject that needs to be addressed.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:17:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DOLL  asked if the  committee would like  a motion                                                               
on the resolution.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:17:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON said he would  like to hold the resolution                                                               
in order to get answers to the legal questions.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:17:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHANSEN said  he  likes the  thought behind  the                                                               
bill.   He stated that he  has three daughters, and  his youngest                                                               
is learning how  to read and questions the slant  toward the male                                                               
gender  in  literature.   He  said  he  thinks moving  to  gender                                                               
neutral references is the right thing  to do; however, he said he                                                               
would like hold  the bill in committee for one  more hearing, out                                                               
of respect for Representative Coghill's wishes.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:18:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROSES concurred.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG concurred.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:18:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  recognized that the year  is 2007, but he  said it is                                                               
possible  to  go  overboard  in  an  attempt  to  be  politically                                                               
correct.  He said  it's a balancing act.  He  stated, "If this is                                                               
written  correctly where  we don't  get silly  with it,  where we                                                               
just  refer  to  officers  rather  than  all  these  pronouns,  I                                                               
probably won't have that large a problem with it."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:19:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DOLL indicated  that she would [not  make a motion                                                               
today].                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:19:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN announced that HJR 7 was heard and held.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HB  45-STATE VETERANS' CEMETERY & FUND                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:20:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  announced that the  last order of business  was HOUSE                                                               
BILL NO. 45,  "An Act authorizing the Department  of Military and                                                               
Veterans'  Affairs to  establish  and  maintain Alaska  veterans'                                                               
cemeteries; and  establishing the Alaska veterans'  cemetery fund                                                               
in the general fund."  [Before the committee was CSHB 45(MLV).]                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:20:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAVID   GUTTENBERG,  Alaska   State  Legislature,                                                               
introduced HB 45 as joint prime  sponsor.  He related that Alaska                                                               
is no longer eligible for  national cemeteries for veterans - the                                                               
two  that exist  are  in Sitka  and  Fort Rich  -  but there  are                                                               
programs the U.S.  Department of Veterans Affairs  ("the VA") has                                                               
for establishing  state cemeteries.   He told the  committee that                                                               
his  constituents   have  been  approaching  him   to  request  a                                                               
veterans' burial site  closer to home than the  one in Anchorage.                                                               
He said  HB 45 would  allow the  state to apply  to the VA  for a                                                               
grant  for state  cemeteries  in eligible  communities.   The  VA                                                               
would be responsible for the criteria related to the cemeteries.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:21:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG,  in  response   to  a  question  from                                                               
Representative  Gruenberg,  confirmed   that  he  had  introduced                                                               
legislation regarding the  same issue last year, but  it "died in                                                               
the other body."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:22:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROSES  said he  was satisfied  by the  lengthy and                                                               
complete  bill  hearing process  that  took  place in  the  House                                                               
Special Committee  on Military  and Veterans'  Affairs on  HB 45;                                                               
therefore, he stated his support of HB 45.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:22:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROSES  moved  to   report  CSHB  45(MLV)  out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal  notes.    There  being no  objection,  CSHB  45(MLV)  was                                                               
reported out of the House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
State Affairs Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at                                                                       
9:23:59 AM.                                                                                                                   

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