Legislature(2003 - 2004)

02/26/2003 01:35 PM CRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
    SENATE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                  
                       February 26, 2003                                                                                        
                           1:35 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas Wagoner, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Robin Taylor, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Gary Stevens G                                                                                                          
Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                                                                      
Senator Kim Elton                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 38                                                                                                              
"An   Act  relating   to   construction,  plumbing,   mechanical,                                                               
electrical, fire safety, and other  safety codes adopted by state                                                               
agencies  and  municipalities;  and providing  for  an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 62                                                                                                              
"An Act  extending the  termination date  of the  Alaska regional                                                               
economic  assistance  program;  and providing  for  an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
     MOVED SB 62 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 63                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to municipal  property taxation in  annexed and                                                               
detached areas; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
     MOVED SB 63 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 2(MLV) am                                                                                
Relating to the  extension of the Alaska Railroad  to Fort Greely                                                               
to serve the anti-ballistic missile launch facility.                                                                            
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 58                                                                                                               
"An  Act relating  to the  reinstatement of  Native corporations;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
     MOVED HB 58 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 68(JUD)                                                                                                   
"An Act relating to the jurisdiction of the office of victims'                                                                  
rights."                                                                                                                        
     MOVED HCS 68 (JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SB 38 - No previous action to record.                                                                                           
SB 62 - No previous action to record.                                                                                           
SB 63 - No previous action to record.                                                                                           
HCR 2 - No previous action to record.                                                                                           
HB 58 - No previous action to record.                                                                                           
HB 68 - No previous action to record.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
Alaska State Capitol, Room 111                                                                                                  
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor SB 38                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mary Jackson                                                                                                                    
Staff to Senator Wagoner                                                                                                        
Alaska State Capitol, Room 427                                                                                                  
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced SB 62 and SB 63                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Meilani Schijvens                                                                                                               
Administrative Assistant, Southeast Conference                                                                                  
P.O. Box 21989,                                                                                                                 
Juneau, AK 99802-1989                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 62                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Sue Cogswell                                                                                                                    
Representative,                                                                                                                 
Prince William Sound Economic Development District                                                                              
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 62                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Wanetta Ayers                                                                                                                   
Executive Director                                                                                                              
Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference                                                                                           
3300 Arctic Blvd., Suite 203                                                                                                    
Anchorage, AK 99503                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Supports SB 62                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Jim Carter                                                                                                                      
Executive Director                                                                                                              
Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District                                                                                   
14896 Spur Hwy                                                                                                                  
Kenai, AK 99611                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Supports SB 62                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
David Leone                                                                                                                     
Special Assistant to the Mayor                                                                                                  
Fairbanks North Star Borough Economic Development Commission                                                                    
P.O. Box 71267                                                                                                                  
Fairbanks, AK 99707-1267                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 62                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mary Griswold                                                                                                                   
Box 1417                                                                                                                        
Homer, AK 99603                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 63                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Alaska State Capitol, Room 415                                                                                                  
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor HCR 2                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Colonel Craig Campbell                                                                                                          
Adjutant General/Commissioner                                                                                                   
Department of Military &                                                                                                        
  Veterans Affairs                                                                                                              
PO Box 5800                                                                                                                     
Ft Richardson, AK  99505-0800                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HCR 2                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Pete Hallgren                                                                                                                   
Delta Junction City Administrator                                                                                               
Delta Junction, AK 99737                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HCR 2                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Larry Labolle                                                                                                                   
Staff to Representative Richard Foster                                                                                          
Alaska State Capitol, Room 410                                                                                                  
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced HB 58                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ralph Samuels                                                                                                    
Alaska State Capitol, Room 412                                                                                                  
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor HB 68                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Steve Branchflower                                                                                                              
Office of Victims Rights                                                                                                        
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 68                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-4, SIDE A                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  THOMAS WAGONER  called the  Senate Community  and Regional                                                             
Affairs Standing Committee meeting to  order at 1:35 p.m. Present                                                               
were  Senators Gary  Stevens, Elton  and Chair  Wagoner. Senators                                                               
Lincoln and Taylor arrived momentarily.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The first order  of business to come before the  committee was SB                                                               
38.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
                SB  38-ADOPTION OF SAFETY CODES                                                                             
                                                                                                                              
CHAIR  WAGONER  announced  there   was  a  work  draft  committee                                                               
substitute (CS)  in the packets.  The hearing was intended  to be                                                               
informational; members  could address  questions to  the sponsor,                                                               
but public  testimony would be  taken at  a later time.  The bill                                                               
would not move from committee that  day. He asked for a motion to                                                               
adopt the draft and for the sponsor to explain the substitute.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARY STEVENS  made  a motion  to adopt  CSSB  38 as  the                                                               
working document.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection it was so ordered.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GENE  THERRIAULT, sponsor  of SB  38, apologized  for not                                                               
having the CS available sooner.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Last  session  a  number  of   bills  were  introduced  regarding                                                               
building  code issues,  but none  came to  fruition. A  Fairbanks                                                               
group approached  him this year and  asked him to push  the issue                                                               
to  a  final  resolution.  [See sponsor  statement  in  committee                                                               
file.]                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
In  Alaska, construction  safety  codes are  divided between  two                                                               
departments.  Fire, building,  and  mechanical contracting  codes                                                               
are under the jurisdiction of  the fire marshal at the Department                                                               
of  Public Safety  (DPS) while  the electrical  and the  plumbing                                                               
codes are housed  in the Department of Labor  (DOL). Recently the                                                               
fire marshal  elected to switch  from the Uniform Code  family to                                                               
the  International  Code  family,  which triggered  a  number  of                                                               
problems.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
The CS  proposes to move the  mechanical codes in with  the other                                                               
building trade  codes and  to leave the  building and  fire codes                                                               
with  the Department  of  Public  Safety. Individuals  performing                                                               
plumbing,  electrical  and  mechanical  job  functions  must  all                                                               
participate  in  continuing  training to  maintain  certification                                                               
where building  and fire  codes have  design phase  public safety                                                               
application. Further  justifying the  switch is  that information                                                               
from  the  Department  of   Community  and  Economic  Development                                                               
Division  of   Occupational  Licensing  regarding   statutes  and                                                               
regulations for mechanical  administrators indicates plumbing job                                                               
functions  are a  subset of  mechanical  functions. Meshing  code                                                               
requirements from two departments is problematic at best.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
To  save  project time  and  money,  the  CS allows  any  project                                                               
started  under  the  international mechanical  code  to  continue                                                               
under those  codes to completion. Additionally,  the workforce is                                                               
allowed time to  retrain because new safety codes  would not take                                                               
effect until three years after adoption.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Understandably, turf  battles exist between  departments, between                                                               
segments of  organized labor, and between  individuals that write                                                               
the codes. Because  the complexities of the  issue are extensive,                                                               
it is time for legislators  to understand the implications of the                                                               
issue and make a policy decision.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
He asked if there were any questions.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON asked  whether the  CS  adequately addresses  turf                                                               
battles  to  get away  from  conflicts  that  may extend  to  the                                                               
authority of  plumbers to  outside the  building into  areas that                                                               
are traditionally handled by other sectors of the labor market.                                                                 
The CS shifts the mechanical  code authority to the Department of                                                               
Labor,  but  it  doesn't   necessarily  change  the  relationship                                                               
plumbers  may have  with individuals  that are  doing underground                                                               
work outside a building. He asked if that was correct.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT  said it  was not his  intent to  shift duties                                                               
individuals could perform.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON referred to the  transition period addressed in the                                                               
CS  and  asked how  a  transition  period  was handled  when  the                                                               
Department   of   Public   Safety   shifted   from   Uniform   to                                                               
International Codes.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT replied he wasn't  certain and that would be a                                                               
good  question  to  address  to   the  department  directly.  The                                                               
authority  by  which  DPS  adopted  the  International  Code  was                                                               
challenged, but  the statute was  confusing because it  refers to                                                               
the uniform  code and the  courts interpreted the  word "uniform"                                                               
to be  generic saying  it spoke  of a  code not  specifically the                                                               
Uniform Code. If there was a  transition period, part of it might                                                               
have  been used  up by  the litigation  during which  time people                                                               
weren't sure  whether to retrain  or not. Other areas  in statute                                                               
speak  specifically of  the Uniform  Code, which  points out  the                                                               
need to clarify terminology.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON   asked  whether  the  statutory   conflicts  were                                                               
addressed in the CS.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT  admitted they weren't addressed  but could be                                                               
depending on the legislative policy call.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON  commented the  letter from  the City  of Fairbanks                                                               
was strongly worded and he  wondered whether the CS addresses the                                                               
concern  that  local  government  should have  the  authority  to                                                               
establish practices they think are best for themselves.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT  replied it was  his intent to  preserve local                                                               
control as  much as  possible. He  did want  the fire  marshal to                                                               
respond to the impact of allowing local control.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  LINCOLN   said  she  had  similar   concerns  about  the                                                               
resolution from  the City of  Fairbanks. Since the bill  would be                                                               
heard in this  committee again, she said she would  submit a list                                                               
of  questions to  the sponsor's  office.  She hoped  some of  the                                                               
concerns could be incorporated in an amendment.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEVENS  asked for  assurance  there  was no  intent  to                                                               
reduce or consolidate inspectors in the plan.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT said  the intent was to move  the authority to                                                               
oversee and adopt  a particular set of codes  from one department                                                               
to another.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He  advised occupational  licensing  has  expressed concerns  and                                                               
would like to be included in further discussions.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WAGONER announced  the bill would be held  in committee and                                                               
the public could get a copy of the CS by contacting his office.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
         SB  62-AK REGIONAL ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAM                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
CHAIR WAGONER asked Mary Jackson to introduce SB 62.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARY  JACKSON, staff to  Senator Wagoner, explained SB  62 is                                                               
the companion bill  to HB 79 and extends the  termination date of                                                               
the  Alaska Regional  Economic Assistance  Program, which  is the                                                               
funding source for the  Alaska Regional Development Organizations                                                               
(ARDOR) program from  2003 to 2008. HB 79 was  on the House floor                                                               
and would move to the Senate on  February 28, 2003. If SB 62 were                                                               
to pass  from committee  that day  it would  move to  the Finance                                                               
Committee and be heard simultaneously with HB 75.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
In  the packets  there is  a sectional  analysis, a  list of  the                                                               
thirteen  programs,  and  a  series   of  questions  and  answers                                                               
regarding the ARDOR program. [See bill file.]                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
She asked whether there were any questions.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  LINCOLN  asked  whether  HB  75  had  exactly  the  same                                                               
language.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. JACKSON replied  the language was the  same. Although someone                                                               
could have asked  for reconsideration in order to  make a change,                                                               
when she left her office a short time ago that had not happened.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN said she is a big supporter of ARDORs.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  TAYLOR asked  whether Legislative  Budget and  Audit had                                                               
done an audit since this was a sunset issue.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. JACKSON wasn't aware of one having been done.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON commented the ARDOR is  one of the best ways to get                                                               
value   for  the   dollar  on   regional  economic   development.                                                               
Previously he  suggested shifting  money from  the commissioner's                                                               
office to  make sure some  of the economic  development decisions                                                               
are  made in  the regions.  Although he  was not  suggesting that                                                               
now, he did want  it clear this is one of  the few state programs                                                               
that  meets market  test. They  leverage the  money they  receive                                                               
five  fold,  which  is  seldom  seen  in  governmental  programs.                                                               
Increasing  the   money  given  to   this  program  is   a  sound                                                               
investment.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WAGONER called for public testimony.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MEILANI SCHIJVENS, Southeast Conference Administrative Director,                                                                
urged members to authorize and fully fund the ARDOR program. She                                                                
gave the following testimony.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     ARDORS  use the  seed money  provided by  the state  to                                                                    
     build  on -  leveraging approximately  5 times  as much                                                                    
     money    for   business    assistance,   infrastructure                                                                    
     development,    community    assistance,   and    other                                                                    
     functions.                                                                                                                 
     ARDORS   regionally  address   and  support   the  vast                                                                    
     diversity of  economic challenges and  opportunities in                                                                    
     our  huge  state.   Here  in  Southeast, the  Southeast                                                                    
     Conference focuses on  infrastructure issues, primarily                                                                    
     the AMHS,  and the  regional electrical inter-tie  - In                                                                    
     other areas of the state,                                                                                                  
     ARDORS  are  very  involved with  business  assistance,                                                                    
     because  that need  is unfilled.  The NW  Arctic ARDOR,                                                                    
     for  example, developed  an  innovative revolving  loan                                                                    
     fund utilizing PFD payments as loan guarantees.                                                                            
     ARDORS  supply  a  useful resource  to  the  state  and                                                                    
     federal  government  when  it  comes  to  dealing  with                                                                    
     regional or multi-regional issues.  The South West                                                                         
     AK Municipal  Conf ARDOR was designated  by the federal                                                                    
     government to disburse over $30  million in Stellar sea                                                                    
     lion  regulation mitigation  money, and  was successful                                                                    
     in  getting  it done  on  time  with an  administrative                                                                    
     overhead  under  1%.   We  work  to keep  leaders  from                                                                    
     across  the  state  informed  on  regional  issues  and                                                                    
     problems.   Southeast  Conference,  for example,  helps                                                                    
     facilitate  meetings  of  the Southeast  Conference  of                                                                    
     Mayors,  the  Southeast  Conference  of  Chambers,  and                                                                    
     provides information to the Southeast Caucus.                                                                              
     The Southeast Conference has been  around for 45 years.                                                                    
     We  have  over  100  members,  including  29  Southeast                                                                    
     communities.   We have 9 committees,  and 90 volunteers                                                                    
     who  volunteered approximately  10,000 hours  this last                                                                    
     year.   We  leverage 15  times the  value of  the ARDOR                                                                    
     grant in funding for projects around the region.                                                                           
     Our  Ardor  was  instrumental in  obtaining  a  federal                                                                    
     authorization for  a regional electric  inter-tie, with                                                                    
     the help  of then  Senator Frank  Murkowski and  we are                                                                    
     hard at  work on  the next steps  of that  project. For                                                                    
     the last 10 years, we  have been working with the state                                                                    
     on a low cost method  of collecting household hazardous                                                                    
     waste  around  the  region.     Each  year  we  collect                                                                    
     approximately  13,000  gallons  of  hazardous  material                                                                    
     that  could  have  ended  up in  our  ground  water  or                                                                    
     landfills.   All  at a  very low  cost to  the state  -                                                                    
     approximately $1 per gallon.                                                                                               
     ARDORS help  bring people  in remote  regions together.                                                                    
     Our  annual  meeting in  September  held  on Prince  of                                                                    
     Wales  Island, attracted  more  that  200 leaders  from                                                                    
     across the  region, where collectively they  decided to                                                                    
     pursue a whole range of regional projects.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY  STEVENS expressed his  overwhelming support  of the                                                               
ARDOR program.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SUE COGSWELL,  representative  of the  Prince William  Sound                                                               
Economic  Development  District,  briefly outlined  the  projects                                                               
they are involved  in and advised they leveraged  $1.5 million in                                                               
state  funds  into  over  $6  million  in  Prince  William  Sound                                                               
projects. She urged passage of SB 62.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WANETTA  AYERS,  Executive  Director   of  the  Southwest  Alaska                                                               
Municipal Conference (SWAMC),  spoke in favor of SB  62 on behalf                                                               
of the  54 communities and  131 members of SWAMC.  SWAMC received                                                               
ARDOR designation in 1989 and  that funding has provided about 25                                                               
percent of their  funding over the last few years.  They are also                                                               
federally  designated and  save  Southwestern Alaska  communities                                                               
hundreds of thousands  of dollars annually by  reducing the local                                                               
match requirement for many federally funded projects.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Their mission is to increase  economic opportunities and improved                                                               
quality  of   life  by   providing  education,   networking,  and                                                               
communication. She noted  SWAMC was selected to  administer a $30                                                               
million Stellar Sea Lion Mitigation  Fund. They not only operated                                                               
in a  timely manner, they  kept administrative cost to  less than                                                               
one percent.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WAGONER stated  that  was  the second  time  he heard  the                                                               
administrative  costs  were less  than  one  percent and  thought                                                               
others could learn from the example.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JIM  CARTER,  Executive  Director  of  the  Kenai  Peninsula                                                               
Economic Development  District (KPEDD),  testified in  support of                                                               
SB 62 and  explained the KPEDD ARDOR has  been fostering economic                                                               
development since  1988. In the  next several years they  will be                                                               
doing  everything  possible  to  encourage oil  and  natural  gas                                                               
exploration and development on Cook Inlet.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   TAYLOR   complimented   him   on   successful   project                                                               
management.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.   DAVID  LEONE,   Fairbanks  North   Star  Borough   Economic                                                               
Development Commission  representative echoed  support of  SB 62.                                                               
He  described  ARDORs  as  an excellent  method  of  fostering  a                                                               
partnership  between state  and regional  efforts to  bring about                                                               
economic  development.   He  encouraged  expanded  use   of  this                                                               
successful model.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
There was no further testimony on SB 62.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WAGONER  asked  for  a   motion  to  move  the  bill  from                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  TAYLOR made  a motion  to  move SB  62 and  accompanying                                                               
fiscal note from committee with individual recommendations.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          SB  63-MUNICIPAL ANNEXATIONS AND DETACHMENTS                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
CHAIR WAGONER asked Ms. Jackson to introduce SB 63.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARY JACKSON  explained the  bill has  to do  with municipal                                                               
annexations and detachments and  came before the Legislature last                                                               
year  as a  result of  the Homer  annexation. Pieces  of property                                                               
were  annexed and  current  statute does  not  define when  those                                                               
newly annexed properties should be assessed for tax purposes.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The Local Boundary Commission (LBC)  has reviewed the legislation                                                               
and approved it with suggested  additions. However, there are new                                                               
LBC  members and  professional courtesy  suggests  that new  body                                                               
should  be given  the opportunity  to review  and comment  on the                                                               
bill. This could be done during the March 2003 meeting.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The former LBC recommended extending  the time frame for property                                                               
assessment  to  include  many incorporations,  not  just  annexed                                                               
properties.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
She  noted Mr.  Bockhorst  and  Mr. Van  Sant  were available  to                                                               
answer questions  and Ms.  Griswold had  testimony she  wanted to                                                               
deliver.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARY GRISWOLD, Homer resident, spoke  in support of SB 63 and                                                               
asked the committee to amend the  bill as recommended by the LBC.                                                               
Current statutes are confusing and  unclear regarding the ability                                                               
to  levy  property  taxes during  the  initial  period  following                                                               
incorporation,  annexation,  or  detachment.  "The  best  way  to                                                               
promote  an orderly  efficient economical  transition plan  is to                                                               
set simple  straight forward ground  rules. If  everyone involved                                                               
in a  proposed annexation understands  that revenue  streams will                                                               
shift  on January  1 following  an effective  date, everyone  can                                                               
plan accordingly."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SIDE B                                                                                                                          
2:20 pm                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  TAYLOR asked  if  Homer tried  to impose  a  tax out  of                                                               
sequence.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. GRISWOLD  replied they  did, but that  wasn't the  issue here                                                               
and Homer wouldn't be affected.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WAGONER said he would move  the bill from committee and the                                                               
LBC  could  address comments  during  a  State Affairs  Committee                                                               
hearing.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR  made a motion to  move SB 63 and  attached fiscal                                                               
note from committee with individual recommendations.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          HCR  2-EXTEND ALASKA RAILROAD TO FT. GREELY                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WAGONER  announced the Department of  Military and Veterans                                                               
Affairs (DMVA) asked  him to make changes to  this resolution. He                                                               
hasn't had time  to discuss those changes with the  sponsor or to                                                               
draft an amendment so they would take no action that day.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON asked whether public  testimony would be taken when                                                               
the  committee substitute  was heard.  If so,  he would  hold his                                                               
questions until that time.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WAGONER said  public testimony  would be  taken later  and                                                               
agreed  holding questions  until the  CS was  drafted was  a good                                                               
idea.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BOB LYNN asked for  favorable consideration of HCR                                                               
2 to extend  the Alaska Railroad about 70 miles  from Eielson AFB                                                               
near North Pole to the  Fort Greely anti-ballistic missile launch                                                               
facility near Delta Junction. He  noted letters of support in the                                                               
packets  from  General  Pat  Gamble,   President  of  the  Alaska                                                               
Railroad, Brigadier  General Craig Campbell, Commissioner  of the                                                               
Department   of   Military   &  Veterans   Affairs   and   former                                                               
Representative Jeannette James.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Extending  the  railroad  would help  support  and  maintain  the                                                               
missile  site, mining  and agricultural  operations and  increase                                                               
the  economic development  of the  North Pole  to Delta  Junction                                                               
area. It  would also  take the  railroad 70  miles closer  for an                                                               
eventual  connection to  the Lower  48 through  Canada and  bring                                                               
great benefit to Alaska.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR asked why the  language, "and continue from thence                                                               
to the Canadian border." was absent from the resolution.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN replied it was  to keep the resolution simple                                                               
and free of other issues.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR said,  "In deference to your request,  I'll do the                                                               
same."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON  understood missiles  and missile  components would                                                               
necessarily travel  by air  and wondered  what effect  that would                                                               
have on the economic viability of the rail extension.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN didn't  know  whether  missiles and  missile                                                               
components would or would not be  carried by rail, but rail would                                                               
be used to build the infrastructure.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON  asked whether there  was an existing right  of way                                                               
and if not, what needs to be done to create a right of way.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  replied  that   question  would  be  better                                                               
addressed when a bill is introduced.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WAGONER called for teleconferenced testimony.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER CRAIG  CAMPBELL, Department  of Military  & Veterans                                                               
Affairs,  advised the  department supports  the legislation,  but                                                               
they  are encouraging  the Senate  to amend  the resolution.  The                                                               
amendment would  better define some  of the issues  raised during                                                               
the  House debate.  He  said Senator  Elton's  question was  good                                                               
because  the long  range plan  envisioned by  the DMVA  is for  a                                                               
larger use  operation than to  simply transport missiles  to Fort                                                               
Greely. Missiles  will be transported  by air, but  improving and                                                               
supporting the airfield  would be done by rail. The  Army is also                                                               
looking at developing the range  near Fort Greely for the Striker                                                               
Brigade and the brigade vehicles would be transported by rail.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
The  Governor   is  looking  at   rail  expansion   for  economic                                                               
development in  the Delta area  and the department  would support                                                               
rail   expansion  for   mining,   agricultural,  and   industrial                                                               
development  that  may  be  available.  The  department  supports                                                               
enlarging  the resolution  to include  some of  the specifics  of                                                               
reasons why extension  from the Eielson AFB to  Fort Greely makes                                                               
economic sense for both Fort Greely and the region.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS  asked how  far it  was from  Fort Greely  to the                                                               
US/Canada  border  and  the  distance  from  the  border  to  the                                                               
railhead in Canada.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER CAMPBELL  didn't know and suggested  the question be                                                               
directed to the railroad.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON said  since the mission is broader  than service to                                                               
the new  missile sites, it  would be helpful  if he had  a better                                                               
understanding  of  the manpower  and  logistical  needs from  the                                                               
military standpoint.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER CAMPBELL said he would  address the request with the                                                               
Army and  the DMVA. The  development of Fort Greely  is happening                                                               
rapidly with  the increase of  the missile defense  program there                                                               
as  well as  the potential  for  the training  operations of  the                                                               
Striker  Brigade. The  military is  very interested  in the  Fort                                                               
Greely  area for  what it  can provide  for national  security as                                                               
well as for the state.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR  commented there  should still be  a right  of way                                                               
for the  pipeline between Haines  to Eielson AFB even  though the                                                               
pipe is no longer useful.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER CAMPBELL admitted he  knew nothing about the current                                                               
status of that line.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PETE HALLGREN,  City  Administrator for  the  City of  Delta                                                               
Junction,  agreed   with  the   comments  made   by  Commissioner                                                               
Campbell.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
There was no further testimony.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WAGONER announced HCR 2 would be held in committee.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
              HB  58-REINSTATEMENT OF NATIVE CORPS                                                                          
                                                                                                                              
LARRY  LABOLLE, staff  to  Representative  Foster, explained  the                                                               
bill provides  a window of  opportunity for the  reinstatement of                                                               
village corporations  that have been involuntarily  dissolved. In                                                               
many villages, when they are  notified their incorporation is due                                                               
to  expire, they  don't know  to make  a renewal  application and                                                               
once the  grace period passes,  the corporation  is involuntarily                                                               
dissolved. Creating  new corporations is problematic  because the                                                               
new corporation wouldn't have the  same assets or the same status                                                               
as before. The cleanest way to  address the difficulty is to open                                                               
a one  time opportunity for  reinstatement. Creating  a permanent                                                               
stipulation  in  statute  isn't the  answer  because  this  would                                                               
tamper with the corporate laws of the State of Alaska.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Currently  the Savoonga,  the Paimiut  and the  Tununrimiut Rinit                                                               
Native Corporations, have been involuntarily dissolved.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR commented this was a continuing problem.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. LABOLLE  said, "The good news  is the list gets  shorter each                                                               
time."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARY STEVENS asked if  the three organizations were small                                                               
and probably without ready access to counsel.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. LABOLLE said that was true.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR  made a motion to  move HB 58 and  attached fiscal                                                               
note from committee with individual recommendations.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
        HB  68-OFFICE OF VICTIMS' RIGHTS: INCLUDE MUNIS                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RALPH  SAMUELS,  co-sponsor, explained  the  bill                                                               
clarifies language of the 22  Legislature. The Office of Victims'                                                               
Rights was  created by the  22 Legislature  in an effort  to give                                                               
victims an independent voice in  the criminal justice system. The                                                               
difficulty regarding  HB 68  arose after  the shooting  of former                                                               
Commissioner  Glen  Godfrey  and   his  wife  Patty.  The  family                                                               
contacted the victims'  rights office so they would  have a voice                                                               
in the  debacle over  the 911 call  in Anchorage.  Conflict arose                                                               
because the  city attorney adopted  the view  that municipalities                                                               
weren't  specifically  covered  in   the  statute  and  therefore                                                               
wouldn't  release  information on  other  cases  to the  victims'                                                               
rights   office.    This   legislation    specifically   includes                                                               
municipalities in the definition of a justice agency.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  said he  was available for  questions and                                                               
Mr. Branchflower was on line to respond to questions as well.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WAGONER  asked  Mr.  Branchflower  if  he  would  like  to                                                               
testify.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  STEVE  BRANCHFLOWER  from  the  Office  of  Victims'  Rights                                                               
replied  Representative  Samuels'   presentation  adequately  and                                                               
correctly justified the legislation.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Since and because of the  911 debacle in Anchorage, the municipal                                                               
assembly  adopted  a  resolution  wherein  they  acknowledge  the                                                               
Office  of   Victims'  Rights  does   have  oversight   over  the                                                               
municipality.  Subsequently  they  promulgated  Ordinance  2003-2                                                               
where as a matter of law,  they have accepted jurisdiction of the                                                               
office.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He urged passage of the legislation.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
There was no further testimony.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WAGONER called for a motion to move the legislation.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR  made a motion  to move  CSHB 68 (JUD)  \D version                                                               
and  accompanying  fiscal  note from  committee  with  individual                                                               
recommendations.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Wagoner adjourned the meeting at 3:00 pm.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                

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