Legislature(2021 - 2022)GRUENBERG 120

04/22/2021 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
03:08:17 PM Start
03:10:05 PM Confirmation Hearing|| Department of Public Safety, Commissioner
03:40:05 PM HB63
04:12:10 PM HB123
04:28:23 PM HB148
04:32:00 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
- Dept. of Public Safety: Commissioner James
Cockrell
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 63 ALASKA MARINE HIGHWAY OPERATIONS BOARD TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 63(STA) Out of Committee
+= HB 123 STATE RECOGNITION OF TRIBES TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 123 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 148 ALASKA COORDINATE SYSTEM OF 2022 TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 148 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         April 22, 2021                                                                                         
                           3:08 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Chair                                                                                   
Representative Matt Claman, Vice Chair                                                                                          
Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                       
Representative Andi Story                                                                                                       
Representative Sarah Vance                                                                                                      
Representative James Kaufman                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative David Eastman                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner, Department of Public Safety                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     James Cockrell - Soldotna                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 63                                                                                                               
"An   Act  relating   to  the   duties  of   the  Department   of                                                               
Transportation and Public Facilities;  renaming the Alaska Marine                                                               
Transportation   Advisory  Board   the   Alaska  Marine   Highway                                                               
Operations Board;  relating to the  membership and duties  of the                                                               
Alaska  Marine Highway  Operations  Board; and  providing for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 63(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 123                                                                                                              
"An Act providing for state recognition of federally recognized                                                                 
tribes; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 123 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 148                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the Alaska Coordinate System of 2022."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 148 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 63                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: ALASKA MARINE HIGHWAY OPERATIONS BOARD                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) STUTES                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/15/21                                                                               
02/18/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/18/21       (H)       TRA, STA                                                                                               
03/11/21       (H)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/11/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/11/21       (H)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
03/18/21       (H)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/18/21       (H)       Moved CSHB 63(TRA) Out of Committee                                                                    
03/18/21       (H)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
03/20/21       (H)       TRA RPT CS(TRA) NT 4DP 2NR                                                                             
03/20/21       (H)       DP:    DRUMMOND,   HANNAN,    SPOHNHOLZ,                                                               
                         HOPKINS                                                                                                
03/20/21       (H)       NR: MCCABE, CRONK                                                                                      
03/30/21       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/30/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/30/21       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/06/21       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
04/06/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/06/21       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/15/21       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
04/15/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/15/21       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/22/21       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 123                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: STATE RECOGNITION OF TRIBES                                                                                        
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) ZULKOSKY                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
03/03/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/03/21       (H)       TRB, STA                                                                                               
03/30/21       (H)       TRB AT 8:00 AM DAVIS 106                                                                               
03/30/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/30/21       (H)       MINUTE(TRB)                                                                                            
04/01/21       (H)       TRB AT 8:00 AM DAVIS 106                                                                               
04/01/21       (H)       Moved HB 123 Out of Committee                                                                          
04/01/21       (H)       MINUTE(TRB)                                                                                            
04/05/21       (H)       TRB RPT 3DP 1NR                                                                                        
04/05/21       (H)       DP: FIELDS, TARR, ZULKOSKY                                                                             
04/05/21       (H)       NR: CRONK                                                                                              
04/17/21       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
04/17/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/17/21       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/22/21       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 148                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ALASKA COORDINATE SYSTEM OF 2022                                                                                   
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) SHAW                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
03/24/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/24/21       (H)       STA, RES                                                                                               
04/17/21       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
04/17/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/17/21       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/22/21       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JAMES COCKRELL, Commissioner Designee                                                                                           
Department of Public Safety                                                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Speaking as the commissioner designee to                                                                 
the Department of Public Safety, provided his qualifications and                                                                
answered questions.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ED MERCER, Chief of Police                                                                                                      
Juneau Police Department                                                                                                        
Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police                                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of Commissioner                                                                     
Designee Cockrell's appointment.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DAN SPENCER                                                                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of Commissioner                                                                     
Designee Cockrell's appointment.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
JEFF STEPP, Staff                                                                                                               
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented the proposed committee substitute                                                              
for HB 63 on behalf of Representative Kreiss-Tomkins.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ROB CARPENTER, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                              
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Transportation & Public Facilities                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the hearing on HB
63.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
KERRY CROCKER, Staff                                                                                                            
Representative Louise Stutes                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  During the hearing on HB 63, answered                                                                    
questions on behalf of Representative Stutes, prime sponsor.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOEL JACKSON, President                                                                                                         
Organized Village of Kake                                                                                                       
Kake, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 123.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DELORES LARSON                                                                                                                  
United Tribes of Bristol Bay                                                                                                    
Koliganek, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 123.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COURTENAY CARTY, Tribal Administrator                                                                                           
Curyung Tribal Council                                                                                                          
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 123.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REECE WILLIAMS, Staff                                                                                                           
Representative Laddie Shaw                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  During the hearing on HB 148, commented on                                                               
behalf of Representative Shaw, prime sponsor.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:08:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  JONATHAN KREISS-TOMKINS  called  the  House State  Affairs                                                             
Standing   Committee    meeting   to    order   at    3:08   p.m.                                                               
Representatives Tarr, Story, Claman,  Vance, Kaufman, and Kreiss-                                                               
Tomkins were present at the call to order.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
^CONFIRMATION HEARING                                                                                                           
^Department of Public Safety, Commissioner                                                                                      
                      CONFIRMATION HEARING                                                                                  
           Department of Public Safety, Commissioner                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:10:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that the first  order of business                                                               
would  be   the  continuation  of  a   confirmation  hearing  for                                                               
Commissioner  Designee  James   Cockrell,  Department  of  Public                                                               
Safety (DPS).                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:10:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAMES  COCKRELL,  Commissioner  Designee,  Department  of  Public                                                               
Safety  (DPS), thanked  members  for their  questions during  the                                                               
previous hearing.   He emphasized the  importance of facilitating                                                               
open   dialogue  between   legislators   and  state   [agencies],                                                               
specifically DPS,  as the department  impacted many  lives across                                                               
Alaska.  He welcomed further questions from the committee.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS asked  for  an assessment  of the  agency's                                                               
morale and what needed to change.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE  COCKRELL opined that morale  was difficult                                                               
to  judge  because  there  were   law  enforcement  officers  all                                                               
throughout the state.  He conveyed  that a primary reason for his                                                               
return was the outpour of support  from the department.  He noted                                                               
that he  had not spent  any time in  the field yet,  but numerous                                                               
emails  from DPS  workers  expressed  a sense  of  hope that  the                                                               
agency would "stay  on track."  He concluded  that leadership had                                                               
a  significant role  in morale  and hoped  that his  presence and                                                               
connections would generate further improvement on that issue.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:13:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   STORY   asked  whether   Commissioner   Designee                                                               
Cockrell could commit to keeping  DPS jobs in Juneau unless there                                                               
was a justifiable reason to move them.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE COCKRELL  said  he had  no  plans to  move                                                               
commissioned troopers or  support staff from Juneau.   He relayed                                                               
that the current director of  the Alaska Police Standards council                                                               
(APSC)  would be  retiring in  July; consequently,  there was  an                                                               
option  for  the  position  to  be filled  in  either  Juneau  or                                                               
Anchorage depending  on the  candidate pool.   He noted  that the                                                               
preference was to keep the position in Juneau if possible.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:16:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS inquired  about  the  appropriate ratio  of                                                               
troopers  from the  Alaska Wildlife  Troopers  (AWT) Division  to                                                               
troopers  from the  Division of  Alaska State  Troopers (AST)  in                                                               
different parts of  the state and how to  approach the allocation                                                               
of  resources.   He anecdotally  reported that  in his  district,                                                               
Cake in particular,  there was a simmering  frustration about the                                                               
difficulty  of obtaining  support from  troopers when  there were                                                               
murders  in the  community.    He recalled  that  there had  been                                                               
tragic, gratuitous murders over the last  six to seven years.  He                                                               
acknowledged that  sometimes it  was beyond anyone's  control due                                                               
to  the  weather  and  the inability  to  access  smaller  remote                                                               
communities;  however,  that   was  juxtaposed  against  wildlife                                                               
troopers immediately  showing up for minor  technical violations.                                                               
He explained that it was  sometimes perceived as an inappropriate                                                               
allocation of resources.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE  COCKRELL  noted   that  the  guiding  and                                                               
fishing industry was a billion-dollar  industry in Alaska; hence,                                                               
the  larger number  of wildlife  troopers versus  state troopers.                                                               
He explained that wildlife troopers  were expected to investigate                                                               
criminal offenses  in rural communities, as  they often possessed                                                               
the appropriate  vessels and  airplanes to respond.   He  said he                                                               
would be  disappointed if any  wildlife trooper  acted otherwise.                                                               
He  believed   that  the  department   could  improve   upon  the                                                               
allocation of  resources between AWT  and AST, especially  in the                                                               
winter.  However, he cautioned  against disrupting the balance of                                                               
resources  because  Alaska  Department  of Fish  &  Game  (ADF&G)                                                               
workers  would be  disgruntled if  wildlife protection  was being                                                               
neglected.    He reported  that  there  were under  100  wildlife                                                               
trooper  positions  in Alaska;  further,  that  Alaska had  fewer                                                               
"game wardens" than any other state.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:22:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KAUFMAN,   referencing   Commissioner   Designee                                                               
Cockrell's resume, asked what lessons  he learned from working in                                                               
the private sector.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DESIGNEE  COCKRELL  said   the  biggest  lesson  he                                                               
learned from the  private sector was the  importance of fostering                                                               
a culture of safety.  He  explained that many injuries within the                                                               
department were caused  by tripping and falling,  which should be                                                               
preventable.    He  added  that  DPS  should  be  practicing  and                                                               
preaching  safety culture  when  troopers enter  the academy,  as                                                               
opposed to a sole focus on officer safety.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:25:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE recounted  her experience  in a  ride along                                                               
several  years  ago, during  which  time  she observed  equipment                                                               
failure  that consumed  the officer's  productivity.   She  asked                                                               
whether improvements had been made  since then to provide for the                                                               
troopers'  basic needs  and if  not, what  improvements would  be                                                               
made going forward.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DESIGNEE  COCKRELL acknowledged that  the department                                                               
struggled  with its  specialized IT  equipment.   He pointed  out                                                               
that  replacing and  updating  technology  was expensive,  noting                                                               
that each  car was equipped with  over $50,000 in equipment.   He                                                               
noted  that  the  fleet  was  undergoing  an  upgrade  from  Ford                                                               
Explorers  to Chevrolet  Tahoes, which  would provide  more room.                                                               
However,  he explained  that it  was  hard to  plan for  upgrades                                                               
because  performing even  a five-year  fiscal projection  for DPS                                                               
was difficult.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:32:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS opened public testimony.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:32:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ED  MERCER, Chief  of Police,  Juneau  Police Department;  Alaska                                                               
Association  of Chiefs  of  Police, stated  his  support for  the                                                               
commissioner  designee's  appointment.     He  said  Commissioner                                                               
Designee Cockrell had high integrity  and was a good listener and                                                               
critical  thinker, all  of which  were  sound leadership  traits.                                                               
Further, he relayed that the  commissioner designee possessed the                                                               
mentality  of a  team player,  as  he cared  for DPS  and all  of                                                               
Alaska's  public  safety needs.    He  anecdotally reported  that                                                               
Commissioner  Designee Cockrell  truly  cared about  establishing                                                               
positive working relationships with  law enforcement agencies and                                                               
other  community  partners;   additionally,  that  he  understood                                                               
Alaska's needs  and how to  fulfill the mission of  public safety                                                               
in the state.   He explained that presently,  law enforcement was                                                               
facing many  challenges, such  as recruitment,  retention, budget                                                               
constraints,   and  public   trust.     He   believed  that   the                                                               
commissioner  designee's long  tenure with  DPS would  serve both                                                               
him and Alaska well.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  thanked Chief  Mercer for  his contribution                                                               
to the Juneau community.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:35:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAN  SPENCER informed  committee  members that  he  was a  former                                                               
administrative  services  director  for  DPS.    He  opined  that                                                               
Commissioner  Designee Cockrell  provided thoughtful  answers and                                                               
had a  good understanding of  the issues that the  department and                                                               
the  state  were  confronted  with;   further,  he  believed  the                                                               
commissioner  designee  had  a   desire  to  continually  improve                                                               
policing  in Alaska.   Mr.  Spencer said  he completely  endorsed                                                               
him,  adding that  he would  make a  fine DPS  commissioner.   He                                                               
urged  the legislature  to  confirm  the commissioner  designee's                                                               
appointment and shared a personal anecdote.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  thanked Mr. Spencer  for his many  years of                                                               
service to Alaskans.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS added  that Mr. Spencer was  a great example                                                               
of a Juneau-based DPS employee.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:37:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   KREISS-TOMKINS  closed   public  testimony   and  welcome                                                               
additional comments from committee members.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR noted  the letters of support  from the North                                                               
Pole Police  Department and Soldotna's chief  of police [included                                                               
in  the committee  packet], which  relayed that  the commissioner                                                               
designee was caring,  hardworking, and possessed a  high level of                                                               
integrity.   She  said she  was excited  for his  return to  DPS,                                                               
pending a successful confirmation vote.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   KREISS-TOMKINS   echoed   the  sentiment   expressed   by                                                               
Representative  Tarr.   He stated  his  belief that  confirmation                                                               
hearings mattered,  adding that there were  consequences when the                                                               
legislature failed to do its diligence.   He opined that this was                                                               
a positive  case study  of a  wonderful confirmation  hearing and                                                               
reiterated his  appreciation that Commissioner  Designee Cockrell                                                               
was stepping up to lead the agency.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:39:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  made a motion to  advance the confirmation                                                               
of  Commissioner Designee  James Cockrell,  Department of  Public                                                               
Safety, to the joint session  for consideration.  He reminded the                                                               
committee  that signing  the  reports  regarding appointments  to                                                               
boards  and commissions  in no  way reflects  individual members'                                                               
approval or  disapproval of the  appointees, and  the nominations                                                               
are  merely forwarded  to the  full legislature  for confirmation                                                               
ore rejection.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
         HB  63-ALASKA MARINE HIGHWAY OPERATIONS BOARD                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:40:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that  the next order  of business                                                               
would be  HOUSE BILL NO.  63, "An Act  relating to the  duties of                                                               
the Department of Transportation  and Public Facilities; renaming                                                               
the  Alaska  Marine  Transportation  Advisory  Board  the  Alaska                                                               
Marine Highway  Operations Board; relating to  the membership and                                                               
duties  of  the  Alaska  Marine  Highway  Operations  Board;  and                                                               
providing  for an  effective date."   [Before  the committee  was                                                               
CSHB 63(TRA).]                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:40:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  moved  to adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute (CS) for HB 63,  labeled 32-LS0286\O, Fisher, 4/20/21,                                                               
as the working document.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:41:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEFF  STEPP,   Staff,  Representative   Jonathan  Kreiss-Tomkins,                                                               
Alaska State  Legislature, reviewed  the changes proposed  in the                                                               
CS,  ("Version O"),  which replaced  CSHB 63(TRA).   The  changes                                                               
corresponded  to  amendments  adopted  by the  committee  in  the                                                               
previous hearing for HB 63 [on 4/15/21].                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:47:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS removed  his  objection.   Without  further                                                               
objection, Version  O was  adopted as the  working document.   He                                                               
noted  that  there  were  four  outstanding  amendments  for  the                                                               
committee's   consideration  today,   all  of   which  had   been                                                               
introduced and withdrawn during the hearing on 4/15/21.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:48:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY moved  to  adopt Amendment  1, labeled  32-                                                               
LS0286\O.4, Fisher, 4/21/21, which read:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 4, following "Board;":                                                                                      
          Insert "and"                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 5:                                                                                                            
         Delete "; and providing for an effective date"                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, line 25:                                                                                                           
          Delete all material.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY explained that  Amendment 1 would remove the                                                               
effective date  of January  1, 2022,  to allow  the bill  to take                                                               
effect 90 days after being signed into law.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:49:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS removed  his  objection.   Without  further                                                               
objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:49:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS moved  to  adopt Amendment  2, labeled  32-                                                               
LS0286\O.2, Fisher, 4/21/21, which read:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 23, following "system"                                                                                    
          Insert "and a proposed strategic maintenance and                                                                  
     vessel replacement plan"                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  relayed  that Amendment  2  would  include                                                               
strategic  maintenance  and vessel  replacement  as  part of  the                                                               
comprehensive plan, as discussed in the previous hearing.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:50:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KAUFMAN    questioned   whether    a   strategic                                                               
maintenance and  vessel replacement  plan already  existed within                                                               
DOT&PF's management of assets.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:50:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROB CARPENTER,  Deputy Commissioner, Office of  the Commissioner,                                                               
DOT&PF, understood  that the Alaska Marine  Highway System (AMHS)                                                               
had  planned annual  vessel overhauls  and long-term  maintenance                                                               
requirements; however, he was unsure  whether those plans existed                                                               
in statute.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAUFMAN  clarified that  had asked whether  such a                                                               
management plan already existed.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARPENTER confirmed that the process existed.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:52:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE asked who in  the department was responsible                                                               
for overseeing strategic maintenance and vessel replacement.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARPENTER  answered Captain John Falvey,  the general manager                                                               
for AMHS.   He noted that a vessel  construction manager assisted                                                               
the captain in that endeavor.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  questioned how a strategic  maintenance and                                                               
vessel replacement plan would be  communicated through the deputy                                                               
commissioner to the new board if the bill were to pass.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  clarified that  Amendment 2 would  make the                                                               
strategic maintenance and vessel  replacement plan a component of                                                               
the comprehensive long-range plan.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE  asked  how  it would  be  a  joint  effort                                                               
between AMHS, the department, and the new board.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARPENTER  understood that the deputy  commissioner of DOT&PF                                                               
would be working with the  Alaska Marine Highway Operations Board                                                               
("the  board") on  these strategic  planning efforts.   He  added                                                               
that  the  general  manager  for  AMHS  reported  to  the  deputy                                                               
commissioner, so  communication would  be ongoing.   Furthermore,                                                               
he envisioned  that the  deputy commissioner  would be  a liaison                                                               
between  the board  and  AMHS to  ensure  that communication  was                                                               
clear in all strategic planning efforts.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:54:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY removed  her  objection.   Without  further                                                               
objection, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:55:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS moved  to  adopt Amendment  3, labeled  32-                                                               
LS0286\O.7, Fisher, 4/22/21, which read:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 26:                                                                                                           
          Delete "three-year"                                                                                                   
          Insert "six-year [THREE-YEAR]"                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, line 11:                                                                                                           
          Delete "one-year"                                                                                                     
          Insert "two-year"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, line 14:                                                                                                           
          Delete "one-year"                                                                                                     
          Insert "two-year"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, line 16:                                                                                                           
          Delete "two-year"                                                                                                     
          Insert "four-year"                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, line 18:                                                                                                           
          Delete "three-year"                                                                                                   
          Insert "six-year"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS explained  that the  constitutional ability                                                               
to  inhibit  the  governor's  appointees   from  serving  at  the                                                               
pleasure  of the  governor was  nonexistent for  advisory boards;                                                               
therefore, Amendment  3 would implement  a six-year term  for the                                                               
board members [appointed by the governor].                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE sought to clarify  whether the board members                                                               
appointed by  the governor and  presiding officers  would require                                                               
confirmation by the legislature.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS deferred the question to Mr. Crocker.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:58:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KERRY  CROCKER, Staff,  Representative  Louise Stutes,  explained                                                               
that  the   proposed  legislation  utilized   existing  statutory                                                               
language  for the  Marine Transportation  Advisory Board  (MTAB),                                                               
which  did  not  require  its  members to  be  confirmed  by  the                                                               
legislature.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  understood  that  legislative  confirmation                                                               
would require inserting the language  "subject to confirmation by                                                               
the legislature."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:58:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY removed  her  objection.   Without  further                                                               
objection, Amendment 3 was adopted.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  explained  that the  following  amendment,                                                               
Amendment 4, provided that AMHS's  performance measures should be                                                               
communicated to the  public and the media in  an easily available                                                               
manner.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:00:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS moved to adopt Amendment 4, labeled 32-                                                                    
LS0286\O.6, Fisher, 4/22/21, which read:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 8, following "AS 19.65.110":                                                                              
          Insert ";                                                                                                         
               (9)  report, in a manner that is easily                                                                      
     available  to the  public and  the media,  including on                                                                
     the department's  Internet website, on the  progress of                                                                
     the  Alaska  marine  highway   system  in  meeting  the                                                                
     performance  goals  established  by the  Alaska  Marine                                                                
     Highway Operations Board under AS 19.65.180(i);"                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, following line 15:                                                                                                 
     Insert a new subsection to read:                                                                                           
          "(i)  The board shall identify performance                                                                            
     measures  and  set   corresponding  annual  performance                                                                    
     goals  for  the  Alaska marine  highway  system.  These                                                                    
     goals   may   include   fare  box   recovery,   on-time                                                                    
     performance,    and   percentage    of   administrative                                                                    
     overhead.  In  this  subsection,  "fare  box  recovery"                                                                    
     means  the  fraction  of   the  Alaska  marine  highway                                                                    
     system's operating  expenses that are met  by the fares                                                                    
     paid by passengers."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:00:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR sought to confirm that the board would                                                                      
identify performance measures, which would be prepared and                                                                      
reported on an annual basis.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:01:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:01 p.m. to 4:05 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:05:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  explained that  during the at-ease,  he had                                                               
taken the opportunity  to assess the intersection  of Amendment 4                                                               
and Version O and consider Representative Tarr's question.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:06:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAUFMAN suggested utilizing  the intent section of                                                               
the CS.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  conveyed that  per Amendment 4,  AMHS would                                                               
report  to  the  public  on  its  execution  of  the  performance                                                               
measures  that were  identified in  the short-term  and long-term                                                               
plans.     He   indicated  that   the  goal   was  to   establish                                                               
accountability to the  public and the media in terms  of how AMHS                                                               
was functioning.  He further  noted that the performance measures                                                               
would be identified by the board.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:07:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS moved  to adopt  a conceptual  amendment to                                                               
Amendment  4,  which  would  delete lines  8-15  and  change  the                                                               
statutory  citation  on  line  6   from  AS  19.65.180(i)  to  AS                                                               
19.65.011.    Without  objection,  the  conceptual  amendment  to                                                               
Amendment 4 was adopted.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  removed  her objection.    Without  further                                                               
objection, Amendment 4, as amended, was adopted.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:09:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  invited additional comments  from committee                                                               
members on HB 63.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  thanked the  chair for his  extensive work                                                               
with the bill sponsor and members of the committee.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  thanked the committee  for its work  on the                                                               
current version  of HB  63.  She  believed the  legislation would                                                               
help with oversight and awareness  and ensure that AMHS was well-                                                               
functioning.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:10:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  expressed  his appreciation  for  all  the                                                               
conversations,  work, and  contributions  from  the committee  on                                                               
this  piece   of  legislation.    Additionally,   he  stated  his                                                               
appreciation for  the leadership at  DOT&PF.  He opined  that the                                                               
bill  spoke  to coastal  Alaska's  desire  for more  involvement,                                                               
oversight, direction,  and a  sense of equity  for the  future of                                                               
AMHS.   He said he was  excited that the bill  was moving forward                                                               
and expressed his  hope that it would be  a steppingstone towards                                                               
further exploration of a public corporation model.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:11:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  moved  to  report CSHB  63,  Version  32-                                                               
LS0286\O,  Fisher, 4/20/21,  as  amended, out  of committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
Without objection,  CSHB 63(STA) was  moved from the  House State                                                               
Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:11:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. CROCKER thanked  the committee members on behalf  of the bill                                                               
sponsor, Representative Stutes, for all their time and effort.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
              HB  123-STATE RECOGNITION OF TRIBES                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:12:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that  the next order  of business                                                               
would  be  HOUSE  BILL  NO.  123, "An  Act  providing  for  state                                                               
recognition of federally recognized  tribes; and providing for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:12:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS opened public testimony.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:13:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOEL JACKSON,  President, Organized  Village of Kake,  stated his                                                               
support  for HB  123.    He asserted  that  Tribes  had not  been                                                               
recognized by  the State  of Alaska.   He  opined that  the state                                                               
only  recognized  Tribes  when  it  wanted  to  work  with  them;                                                               
further, he  said the state  had asked Tribes to  relinquish part                                                               
of their  sovereignty.   He believed that  was unacceptable.   He                                                               
reported  that there  were  229 Tribes  in  Alaska that  provided                                                               
services to  all its  Tribal citizens  using millions  of dollars                                                               
from the federal  government.  Those services  would otherwise be                                                               
paid for by the  state, he pointed out.  He  believed it was time                                                               
for the  state to recognize  and work with Tribes  without asking                                                               
them to relinquish any sovereignty.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:15:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DELORES LARSON,  United Tribes of  Bristol Bay  (UTBB), expressed                                                               
support for HB 123, as it  would take an overdue step towards the                                                               
state's  formal  recognition  of  Alaska's Tribal  nation.    She                                                               
believed  that   the  Tribe's  inherent  sovereignty   should  be                                                               
recognized by the  state because it would  allow both governments                                                               
to  work together  to  better  serve its  shared  citizens.   She                                                               
considered  the many  challenges  in  public safety,  healthcare,                                                               
education, and  housing, which would be  better addressed through                                                               
cooperative work  between governments, she said.   She maintained                                                               
that  a   continued  and  intentional  effort   not  to  formally                                                               
recognize the  229 federally recognized Tribal  governments would                                                               
be a tremendous disservice to all  citizens of Alaska.  She urged                                                               
the committee to support HB 123.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:17:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COURTENAY  CARTY, Tribal  Administrator, Curyung  Tribal Council,                                                               
relayed that Curyung Tribal Council  was the federally recognized                                                               
Tribe of  Dillingham and the largest  Tribe in Bristol Bay.   The                                                               
majority of its Tribal government  services were provided through                                                               
the Bureau of  Indian Affairs (BIA) compact with  the Bristol Bay                                                               
Native Association.  Additionally,  she reported that the Curyung                                                               
Tribal Council  regularly worked with  the state and the  city of                                                               
Dillingham  on  the  justice system,  education,  transportation,                                                               
infrastructure, and  natural resource  management.   Further, the                                                               
council operated an active Tribal  court to protect its children.                                                               
She continued  to explain  that they  partnered with  their local                                                               
school  district  to  incorporate cultural  components  into  the                                                               
classrooms.  This  year alone, $311,000 was provided  to GCSD for                                                               
educational needs  related to  COVID-19.   She conveyed  that the                                                               
council upheld  its traditional role  in the management  of land,                                                               
water,  fish,  and  wildlife  by   working  with  ADF&G  and  the                                                               
Department  of  Natural  Resources  to  actively  participate  in                                                               
research  and  the  regulatory processes  that  governed  natural                                                               
resources.   She concluded that  all Tribes deserved to  be heard                                                               
and recognized as equal governments  by the state.  She expressed                                                               
her appreciation  for the opportunity  to provide input  and said                                                               
she was grateful that HB 123 was being heard in committee.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:22:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS closed public testimony.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:22:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR thanked  the testifiers  for sharing  in the                                                               
significance of  this legislation.   She recalled  her experience                                                               
on  the House  Special  Committee on  Tribal  Affairs (HTRB)  and                                                               
believed that  although recognition existed federally,  there was                                                               
pain associated  with this ongoing  issue that the state  had not                                                               
addressed.  She  said she was honored to have  the opportunity to                                                               
right that wrong.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   VANCE   said   her  experience   on   HTRB   was                                                               
educational, as there were less  than 3 percent of Alaska Natives                                                               
living in her district.  She  explained that she gained a broader                                                               
understanding of  the need for  recognition and the  tension that                                                               
existed between the  state and Tribal governments.   She believed                                                               
that the  proposed legislation  would be  a brave  step; however,                                                               
she  admitted that  it  was  still uncomfortable  for  her.   She                                                               
recounted how a  Tribal member helped her  understand that Tribes                                                               
were   inherently   sovereign;    further,   she   said   [formal                                                               
recognition]  would   only  improve  the   existing  relationship                                                               
between  the state  and Tribal  governments.   She expressed  her                                                               
hope that  the proposed legislation would  provide an opportunity                                                               
to  move forward  and "lay  aside" the  pain from  the past.   In                                                               
closing, she expressed her support for the passage of HB 123.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY  thanked  the  bill  sponsor  for  bringing                                                               
forward a bill that would  formally recognize Tribal sovereignty.                                                               
She said  she had the  privilege of  raising her family  on ?ak'w                                                               
Kw?an land  and believed  that sovereign  recognition would  be a                                                               
step  in  the long  journey  of  healing  and restoration.    She                                                               
expressed her hoped that the bill would be supported.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS stated his appreciation  for the work by the                                                               
bill sponsor  and the previous  legislature on this issue,  as it                                                               
was long  overdue.   He believed it  was in  incredibly important                                                               
statement of  respect and partnership  by the State of  Alaska to                                                               
the Tribes.  He shared  a personal anecdote about the government-                                                               
to-government relationship in the community of Sitka.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:27:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  moved to  report HB  123 out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  Without objection, HB 123  was moved from the House State                                                               
Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
            HB  148-ALASKA COORDINATE SYSTEM OF 2022                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:28:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that the final  order of business                                                               
would  be HOUSE  BILL NO.  148, "An  Act relating  to the  Alaska                                                               
Coordinate System of 2022."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:28:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REECE WILLIAMS,  Staff, Representative Laddie Shaw,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  on behalf  of Representative  Shaw, prime  sponsor,                                                               
thanked the committee  for hearing HB 148, as well  as Laura Ogan                                                               
from  the   Department  of  Natural   Resources  (DNR)   for  her                                                               
assistance.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   KREISS-TOMKINS   opened    public   testimony.      After                                                               
ascertaining  that no  one wished  to testify,  he closed  public                                                               
testimony.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:29:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  moved to  report HB  148 out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  Without objection, HB 148  was moved from the House State                                                               
Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:29:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  provided closing  remarks and  reviewed the                                                               
upcoming schedule.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:32:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
State Affairs  Standing Committee  meeting was adjourned  at 4:32                                                               
p.m.                                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Cockrell - Letter of Support - NP 4.16.21.pdf HSTA 4/22/2021 3:00:00 PM
Cockrell - Letter of Support - Soldotna 4.16.21.pdf HSTA 4/22/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 123 Letter of Support - FNA 4.21.21.pdf HSTA 4/22/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 123
HB 123 Letter of Support - Chugachmiut 4.19.21.pdf HSTA 4/22/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 123
HB 123 Letter of Support - PPAA 4.21.21.pdf HSTA 4/22/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 123
HB 123 Letter of Support - ANDVSA 4.19.21.pdf HSTA 4/22/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 123
HB 123 Letter of Support - CRNA 4.19.21.pdf HSTA 4/22/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 123
Work Draft - CS for HB 63(STA).pdf HSTA 4/22/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment O.1 - Kreiss-Tomkins 4.21.21.pdf HSTA 4/22/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment O.4 - Story 4.21.21.pdf HSTA 4/22/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment O.2 - Kreiss-Tomkins 4.21.21.pdf HSTA 4/22/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 123 Fiscal Note - Dept of Law 4.5.21.pdf HSTA 4/22/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 123
HB 123 Letter of Support - Bristol Bay 4.21.21.pdf HSTA 4/22/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 123
HB 123 Letter of Support - King Island 4.21.21.pdf HSTA 4/22/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 123
HB 63 Amendment O.6 - Kreiss-Tomkins 4.22.21.pdf HSTA 4/22/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63
HB 63 Amendment O.7 - Kreiss-Tomkins 4.22.21.pdf HSTA 4/22/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 63