Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205

03/10/2017 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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Audio Topic
08:00:23 AM Start
08:02:34 AM SB17
08:43:26 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 10, 2017                                                                                         
                           8:00 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Shelley Hughes, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
Senator John Coghill                                                                                                            
Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                              
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 17                                                                                                              
"An  Act  authorizing  the University  of  Alaska  to  establish,                                                               
through  an agreement  with  the University  of  Hawaii, the  Ted                                                               
Stevens  -  Daniel  K.  Inouye  Exchange  Program  for  political                                                               
science students at  the University of Alaska  and the University                                                               
of  Hawaii  to  commemorate  the  bipartisan  friendship  between                                                               
Senator Ted Stevens and Senator Daniel K. Inouye."                                                                              
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
SENATE BILL NO. 66                                                                                                              
"An Act redesignating  the Alaska State Council on the  Arts as a                                                               
public  corporation  and   governmental  instrumentality  of  the                                                               
state;  defining  the  powers  and duties  of  the  Alaska  State                                                               
Council on  the Arts; providing exemptions  from certain statutes                                                               
for  the Alaska  State  Council on  the  Arts; making  conforming                                                               
amendments; and providing for an effective date."                                                                               
     - BILL HEARING CANCELED                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB 17                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: STEVENS/INOUYE UNIVERSITY EXCHANGE PROG.                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) COSTELLO                                                                                                 
01/13/17       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/13/17                                                                               
01/18/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/18/17       (S)       EDC                                                                                                    
03/10/17       (S)       EDC AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
SENATOR MIA COSTELLO                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 17.                                                                                         
JULIANA MELIN, Staff                                                                                                            
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented the sectional analysis for SB 17.                                                               
SAICHI OBA, Associate Vice President for Students                                                                               
University of Alaska                                                                                                            
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 17.                                                                            
MILES BAKER, Associate Vice President                                                                                           
Government Relations                                                                                                            
University of Alaska                                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Explained the fiscal note for SB 17.                                                                      
TIM MCKEEVER, Chairman of the Board                                                                                             
Ted Stevens Foundation                                                                                                          
Portland, Oregon                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 17.                                                                            
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
8:00:23 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SHELLEY  HUGHES  called   the  Senate  Education  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 8:00  a.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were Senators Giessel, Begich,  Coghill, Stevens, and Chair                                                               
         SB 17-STEVENS/INOUYE UNIVERSITY EXCHANGE PROG.                                                                     
CHAIR HUGHES announced  the consideration of SB 17.  She said the                                                               
committee will  wait until the  next meeting  to hear SB  66. She                                                               
spoke of  the remarkable friendship  between Senator  Stevens and                                                               
Senator Inouye of Hawaii. She hoped the bill would provide an                                                                   
opportunity for the younger generation to learn about their                                                                     
8:02:34 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MIA COSTELLO, Alaska State Legislature, sponsor of SB                                                                   
17, thanked the committee for hearing her bill. She read from                                                                   
the following sponsor statement:                                                                                                
     As recently as yesterday  in the news, the decades-long                                                                    
     alliance  between the  late Senators  Daniel Inouye  of                                                                    
     Hawaii  and Ted  Stevens  was mentioned.  "The two  men                                                                    
     struck up  a bond, both representing  then-young states                                                                    
     in   the  1960s   and  formed   a  powerful   alliance,                                                                    
     particularly  on  the  Appropriations  Committee  where                                                                    
     they   protected  federal   aid  to   our  states   via                                                                    
     This  bill  puts in  statute  an  exchange between  the                                                                    
     University of  Alaska and the  University of  Hawaii to                                                                    
     commemorate  that  friendship.  The  details  would  be                                                                    
     worked  out by  the  Universities, but  the concept  is                                                                    
     that students would apply and  a UA student would spend                                                                    
     time at the University of Hawaii and vice versa.                                                                           
     The  similarities between  Senators Stevens  and Inouye                                                                    
     are  many. They  both  served in  WWII. Senator  Inouye                                                                    
     lost his right  arm serving with the  442nd Regiment in                                                                    
     Italy and received the Medal  of Honor. Senator Stevens                                                                    
     flew in the  Airforce with the Flying  Tigers in China.                                                                    
     They worked  together as ranking members  of the Senate                                                                    
     Commerce  Committee and  they co-sponsored  legislation                                                                    
     in  1996  to  re-write  the  nation's  telephone  laws,                                                                    
     making it  fair for  residents in  their states  to pay                                                                    
     the  same rates  the Lower  48 pays.  They sat  next to                                                                    
     each other on the  Defense Appropriations Committee and                                                                    
     served for four decades.                                                                                                   
     The   similarities  between   Alaska  and   Hawaii  are                                                                    
     significant.  They  are  the  only  two  non-contiguous                                                                    
     states  in  the  nation,  both  have  thriving  tourism                                                                    
     industries,  healthy  military   presence,  and  Native                                                                    
     populations  that  play  a   significant  role  in  the                                                                    
     cultural fabric of  both states. Also, both  are in the                                                                    
     Pacific  Rim  and  share economic,  political,  social,                                                                    
     cultural, and  educational connections.  Senator Inouye                                                                    
     stood with Stevens for almost  every ANWR vote taken in                                                                    
     She shared a  caption in a photo of  Senator Inouye and                                                                    
     Senator  Stevens. "Senator  Daniel  Inouye, who  served                                                                    
     with  Ted   Stevens  for   four  decades,   called  the                                                                    
     Republican his brother and said  their friendship was a                                                                    
     very  special one."  Ted Stevens  was one  of the  most                                                                    
     powerful figures in Alaska's  history and is considered                                                                    
     a hero from the greatest generation, an Alaskan icon.                                                                      
     The bill  aims to  keep alive Senator  Stevens' largest                                                                    
     legacy,  a simple  friendship.  All  politics is  about                                                                    
     relationships  and in  this  both  Senator Stevens  and                                                                    
     Senator  Inouye set  the standard.  She referred  to an                                                                    
     article in  members' packets titled the  "The Stevens -                                                                    
     Inouye  Friendship."  Senator  Stevens'  daughter  Lily                                                                    
     wrote, "In the  midst of this season  of firmly divided                                                                    
     politics, here  is a  reminder of  how two  people from                                                                    
     different    political     perspectives,    and    even                                                                    
     personalities, can  come together. Thank  you, Charlie,                                                                    
     for the  musing on  their great friendship.  There will                                                                    
     never be  two like them again,  but I hope we  can find                                                                    
     our way back to this  model of friendship, service, and                                                                    
8:06:51 AM                                                                                                                    
JULIANA MELIN, Staff, Senator Mia Costello, Alaska State                                                                        
Legislature, read the following from sectional analysis:                                                                        
     Senate Bill 17  adds new language in  Title 14. Section                                                                    
     14.40.105  creates  an  opportunity  for  a  reciprocal                                                                    
     agreement to  be made between the  University of Alaska                                                                    
     and  the University  of Hawaii  to establish  a student                                                                    
     exchange    program   commemorating    the   bipartisan                                                                    
     friendship  between  Senator  Ted Stevens  and  Senator                                                                    
     Daniel  K. Inouye.  This commemoration  is accomplished                                                                    
     by  providing  educational services  and  opportunities                                                                    
     for students  who are  pursuing a  baccalaureate degree                                                                    
     in  political  science  at  either  the  University  of                                                                    
     Hawaii or the University of Alaska.                                                                                        
8:08:48 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL asked what the Hawaiian delegation thinks of the                                                                
MS. MELIN related  that they have been working  with the Hawaiian                                                               
delegation,  the Daniel  K. Inouye  Institute, and  University of                                                               
Hawaiian University  members. She added  that Saichi Oba  from UA                                                               
has also been working with UH on the bill.                                                                                      
8:09:25 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL  noted it  was an open-ended  bill. She  asked if                                                               
there is a fiscal note.                                                                                                         
MS. MELIN said there is  an indeterminate fiscal note in members'                                                               
packets. She said Mr. Baker from UA would address it.                                                                           
8:10:11 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL asked if any  student exchanges between UA and HA                                                               
takes place now.                                                                                                                
MS.  MELIN  said there  are  currently  established exchanges  in                                                               
SENATOR GIESSEL asked  why this exchange is being  put into state                                                               
8:10:56 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COSTELLO said  the  bill  elevates it  to  the level  of                                                               
legislative  support for  the university's  ability to  have this                                                               
type of  exchange. The statute  encourages communication  such as                                                               
existed in this friendship. Without  the statute the exchange may                                                               
not happen.                                                                                                                     
SENATOR  GIESSEL  reiterated that  it  is  open-ended and  raises                                                               
8:12:11 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS appreciated  the bill.  He noted  that the  East                                                               
West Center at  UH has had an extensive  relationship with Alaska                                                               
students  over   the  years.  This  particular   bill  speaks  to                                                               
political science which he deemed  important. He spoke in support                                                               
of the bill.                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES thought there could be  a large cost to the exchange                                                               
if  it were  one-sided.  She asked  how it  could  be a  balanced                                                               
SENATOR COSTELLO replied  that she has met with  the president of                                                               
UA  and they  decided to  leave the  exchange open-ended  so that                                                               
various forms  could exist as the  program expands. It can  be as                                                               
small or as  large as the university would like  to see. She said                                                               
she sits  on the Civics  Task Force and  has seen that  there are                                                               
many ways to fashion an exchange.                                                                                               
8:15:09 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES asked where Senator Costello got the original idea.                                                                
SENATOR COSTELLO  related a  story about  an experience  during a                                                               
leadership  meeting where  she discussed  the  importance of  the                                                               
Stevens/Inouye   friendship.   She   thought  it   important   to                                                               
memorialize this friendship.                                                                                                    
8:16:49 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL asked if tuition would be aligned.                                                                              
MS. MELIN said  some programs align tuition, but  the details can                                                               
be worked out between the universities.                                                                                         
SENATOR  STEVENS noted  that the  exchange program  is for  those                                                               
seeking  a baccalaureate  degree. He  inquired if  there was  any                                                               
consideration for graduate program students.                                                                                    
MS. MELIN said it could be considered.                                                                                          
8:17:55 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH spoke  in support  of the  bill and  the positive                                                               
emphasis on political science. He  assumed the primary purpose of                                                               
the  bill  is  to  emphasize   a  collaborative  relationship  in                                                               
politics and modeling good behavior.                                                                                            
SENATOR  COSTELLO envisioned  that students  would have  to apply                                                               
and  in that  process,  would  have to  look  into the  senators'                                                               
relationship,  which  would  help  keep  the  history  alive  and                                                               
provide opportunities to further positive elements of politics.                                                                 
CHAIR HUGHES opened public testimony.                                                                                           
8:19:45 AM                                                                                                                    
SAICHI OBA, Associate Vice President  for Students, University of                                                               
Alaska,  testified in  support of  SB 17.  He said  that exchange                                                               
programs,   in  general,   provide  benefits   to  students   and                                                               
institutions. SB  17 helps leverage the  long-time friendship and                                                               
working relationship of  both Senators. He said  UA has extensive                                                               
experience  in  both  national and  international  exchanges.  He                                                               
shared  that he  is originally  from Hawaii  and thought  Senator                                                               
Stevens would be pleased with this legislation.                                                                                 
He described  how current student exchanges  work. The university                                                               
belongs  to  a  consortium  that allows  UA  students  to  attend                                                               
exchanges with all fifty states.  They would pattern the Stevens-                                                               
Inouye Exchange  after those the  university currently  has. Most                                                               
exchanges are for one year, but can be as short as one semester.                                                                
He explained that the national student exchange allows out-of-                                                                  
state students to  pay in-state tuition so that UA  will have the                                                               
same benefit  when they  go out  on exchange.  He said  they have                                                               
reached out to the University  of Hawaii regarding this exchange,                                                               
but  have not  heard back  yet.  There is  a small  team that  is                                                               
looking at the requirements of this proposed legislation.                                                                       
8:24:04 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES asked if UH is interested.                                                                                         
MR. OBA said UA has not heard back from them yet.                                                                               
SENATOR STEVENS asked about past exchanges with Hawaii.                                                                         
MR. OBA  said the national student  exchange is in place  with UH                                                               
and the  numbers are not overly  dramatic. It has been  a part of                                                               
the UA system since the 90's.                                                                                                   
SENATOR  STEVENS agreed  that reciprocity  is  a good  way to  do                                                               
exchanges so there is no outlay of monies.                                                                                      
8:25:54 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES asked whether exchange numbers must be balanced.                                                                   
MR. OBA  said the exchange  could be set  up in several  ways. It                                                               
could be on  a one-to-one basis or open-ended.  Those are details                                                               
that would need to be worked out.                                                                                               
8:27:17 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GIESSEL  asked  for  clarification   whether  a  lot  of                                                               
students are doing an exchange.                                                                                                 
MR. OBA said he  does not have exact numbers; maybe  50 are on an                                                               
exchange in a given year. He  called that very little. He offered                                                               
to provide those numbers.                                                                                                       
SENATOR GIESSEL  wanted specific  numbers related to  Hawaii. She                                                               
provided an example  of an out-of-state student wishing  to go on                                                               
an exchange.                                                                                                                    
8:29:32 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. OBA thought it was a detail that had to be worked out.                                                                      
CHAIR   HUGHES  asked   how  student   residence  is   considered                                                               
MR. OBA  explained that if the  student has been in  Alaska for a                                                               
year in-state tuition would be allowed.                                                                                         
SENATOR  STEVENS  thought  there  should be  an  opportunity  for                                                               
graduate students to be a part of the exchange.                                                                                 
8:30:54 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  OBA was  not aware  of  graduate student  going on  national                                                               
exchange due to the specific  requirements of masters programs. A                                                               
graduate exchange is not impossible  to offer and could be looked                                                               
8:31:53 AM                                                                                                                    
MILES  BAKER,  Associate  Vice President,  Government  Relations,                                                               
University of  Alaska, explained  the fiscal note  for SB  17. He                                                               
noted the fiscal  note was indeterminate because there  are a lot                                                               
of  details to  work out,  but  the university  expects any  cost                                                               
associated with the bill to  be minimal because staff are already                                                               
in place.                                                                                                                       
CHAIR HUGHES commented that no  new staff are planned and tuition                                                               
would basically cover costs. The  university doesn't expect to be                                                               
approaching the legislature in a few years for funding.                                                                         
MR. BAKER said correct.                                                                                                         
8:33:29 AM                                                                                                                    
TIM  MCKEEVER, Chairman  of the  Board,  Ted Stevens  Foundation,                                                               
testified in support of SB 17.  He commented on the importance of                                                               
the  Senate  Commerce  Committee  to  both  Senator  Stevens  and                                                               
Senator Inouye  since they represented non-contiguous  states and                                                               
worked together  on issues  of concern. He  listed many  of their                                                               
common  interests,  such  as national  defense  and  Pacific  Rim                                                               
resources, across party lines.                                                                                                  
He concluded  that the  Foundation supports  the bill  because it                                                               
recognizes  their contributions,  but  also  because they  worked                                                               
together. Given  today's political system, cooperation  should be                                                               
noted  and  encouraged.  He  hoped   the  program  could  include                                                               
students in other  fields besides political science,  as well. He                                                               
said Senator Inouye's Foundation also supports the bill.                                                                        
8:39:22 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL  asked if the Foundation  might provide financial                                                               
MR. MCKEEVER  thought that  was a possibility  and they  would be                                                               
interested  in  doing  so.  The   cost  does  not  appear  to  be                                                               
SENATOR   STEVENS  thought   the   bigger  issue   is  that   the                                                               
relationship  between   the  two   Senators  be   documented  and                                                               
MR. MCKEEVER agreed and said they are working on that.                                                                          
8:41:58 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  suggested that  if the bill  becomes law,  one of                                                               
the requirements could  be to include an aspect  of the Senators'                                                               
relationship in the application essay.                                                                                          
CHAIR  HUGHES agreed.  It would  provide opportunity  to research                                                               
and preserve their legacy.                                                                                                      
CHAIR  HUGHES  closed   public  testimony  and  held   SB  17  in                                                               
8:43:26 AM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair  Hughes adjourned  the Senate  Education Committee  at 8:43                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 66 - Supporting Document - Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation Letter.pdf SEDC 3/10/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 66
SB 17 - Supporting Document- Ted Stevens Foundation.pdf SEDC 3/10/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 17
SB 17 - Legislation-Ver. J.PDF SEDC 3/10/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 17
SB 17 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SEDC 3/10/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 17
SB 17 - Fiscal Note - UA-SYSBRA-3-10-17.pdf SEDC 3/10/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 17