Legislature(2009 - 2010)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/13/2010 09:00 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 20 FISHERIES LOANS:ENERGY EFFICIENCY/AMOUNT TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS CSHB 20(FIN) Out of Committee
+= HB 344 SALMON PRODUCT DEVELOP. TAX CREDIT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 344(FIN) Out of Committee
+= HB 52 POST-TRIAL JUROR COUNSELING TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 52 Out of Committee
+= HB 354 AK CAPSTONE AVIONICS REVOLVING LOAN FUND TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 354 Out of Committee
+ HB 168 TRAUMA CARE CENTERS/FUND TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 306 STATE ENERGY POLICY TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 114 USE STATE TRANS FACILITY FOR DISASTER AID TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 186 AK FIREARMS EXEMPT FROM FED. REGULATION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 319 FIREARMS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 315 PUBLIC ACCOUNTING TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      April 13, 2010                                                                                            
                         9:37 a.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:37:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman   called  the  Senate   Finance  Committee                                                                    
meeting to order at 9:37 a.m.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lyman Hoffman, Co-Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Bert Stedman, Co-Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Charlie Huggins, Vice-Chair                                                                                             
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
Senator Dennis Egan                                                                                                             
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Senator Joe Thomas                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bryce Edgmon,  Sponsor; Peter Ecklund, Staff,                                                                    
Representative Bill Thomas,  Sponsor; Hannah McCarty, Staff,                                                                    
Representative  Beth Kerttula,  Sponsor; Representative  Wes                                                                    
Keller,  Sponsor; Matt  Johnson,  Staff, Representative  Wes                                                                    
Keller,    Sponsor;   Senator    John   Coghill,    Sponsor;                                                                    
Representative Bob  Herron, sponsor; William  Streur, Deputy                                                                    
Commissioner, Division  of Health Care  Services, Department                                                                    
of Health  and Social Services; Wilda  Laughlin, Legislative                                                                    
Liaison,  Department of  Health and  Social Services;  Chris                                                                    
Rose,  Executive Director,  Renewable Energy  Alaska (REAP);                                                                    
Steve   Haagenson,   Executive   Director,   Alaska   Energy                                                                    
Authority;     Representative    Jay     Ramras,    Sponsor;                                                                    
Representative  Mike Kelly,  Sponsor;  Derek Miller,  Staff,                                                                    
Representative  Mike  Kelly;  Gary Marbut,  Shooting  Sports                                                                    
Association, Montana;  Representative Mike  Hawker, Sponsor;                                                                    
Dan Boone, Juneau                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Dr. Frank  Sacco, Alaska  Trauma Systems  Review Commission;                                                                    
Brian Bjorkquist,  Senior Assistant Attorney  General, Labor                                                                    
and  State   Affairs  Section,  Department  of   Law;  Kathy                                                                    
Monfreda,   Chief,  Criminal   Records  and   Identification                                                                    
Bureau,  Division  of   Statewide  Services,  Department  of                                                                    
Public Safety                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 20     FISHERIES LOANS: ENERGY EFFICIENCY/AMOUNT                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
          SCS CSHB 20 (FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee                                                                       
          with a "do pass" recommendation and with                                                                              
          previously published FN 2 CED.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 344    SALMON PRODUCT DEVELOP. TAX CREDIT                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 344 (FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee with                                                                     
          a "do pass" recommendation and with previously                                                                        
          published FN 2 REV.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB 52     POST-TRIAL JUROR COUNSELING                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
          HB 52 was REPORTED out of Committee with a "do                                                                        
          pass" recommendation and with previously                                                                              
          published FN 1 CRT.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB 354    AK CAPSTONE AVIONICS REVOLVING LOAN FUND                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
          HB 354 was REPORTED out of Committee with a "do                                                                       
          pass" recommendation and with previously                                                                              
          published zero FN 1 CED.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HB 168    TRAUMA CARE CENTERS/FUND                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
          HB 168 was heard and HELD in Committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 306    STATE ENERGY POLICY                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
          HB 306 was heard and HELD in Committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 114    USE STATE TRANS FACILITY FOR DISASTER AID                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
          HB 114 was heard and HELD in Committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 186    AK FIREARMS EXEMPT FROM FED. REGULATION                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
          HB 186 was heard and HELD in Committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 319    FIREARMS                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
          HB 319 was heard and HELD in Committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 315    PUBLIC ACCOUNTING                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          HB 315 was scheduled but not heard.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:37:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 20(FIN)                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to commercial fishing loans for                                                                           
     energy efficiency upgrades and increasing the maximum                                                                      
     amount for certain loans under the Commercial Fishing                                                                      
     Loan Act; and providing for an effective date."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  related that  this was the  second hearing                                                                    
on HB 20. He noted one previously published fiscal note.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:39:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRYCE  EDGMON, SPONSOR, addressed  a question                                                                    
brought  up   from  the   previous  meeting   regarding  the                                                                    
definition  of engines  and generators.  He related  that he                                                                    
had checked  with the Division  of Investments  director and                                                                    
discovered  that  generators  are  sufficiently  covered  in                                                                    
terms of the statutory language in the bill.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman  MOVED to report  SCS CSHB 20 (FIN)  out of                                                                    
Committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal  note. There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                    
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SCS CSHB 20  (FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee  with a "do                                                                    
pass"  recommendation and  with  previously  published FN  2                                                                    
CED.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:40:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 344(FIN)                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to the salmon product development tax                                                                     
     credit; and providing for an effective date by                                                                             
     amending an effective date in sec. 7, ch. 57, SLA                                                                          
     2003, as amended by sec. 4, ch. 3, SLA 2006, and by                                                                        
     sec. 4, ch. 8, SLA 2008."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman said  it  was the  second  hearing on  the                                                                    
bill.  He  noted one  fiscal  note  from the  Department  of                                                                    
Revenue.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
PETER ECKLUND,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE BILL  THOMAS, SPONSOR,                                                                    
thanked the committee for hearing the bill.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman requested a summary of the bill.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Ecklund stated  that the  bill proposes  to extend  the                                                                    
existing salmon  product development tax credit  four years,                                                                    
from 2011 to 2015. The tax  credit would give 50 percent tax                                                                    
credit for a qualified  investment for value-added equipment                                                                    
to  add  value to  salmon  products.  Fish processors  could                                                                    
deduct 50  percent of their  fisheries business  tax against                                                                    
the  tax  credit.  There  is  also a  change  that  adds  to                                                                    
existing statute  that ice machines  would also  qualify for                                                                    
the tax credit.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hoffman MOVED  to  report CSHB  344  (FIN) out  of                                                                    
Committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal  note. There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                    
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CSHB  344 (FIN)  was REPORTED  out of  Committee with  a "do                                                                    
pass"  recommendation and  with  previously  published FN  2                                                                    
REV.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:42:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 52                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act authorizing psychological counseling for                                                                           
     jurors serving in criminal trials who are traumatized                                                                      
     by graphic evidence or testimony."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman said  it  was the  second  hearing on  the                                                                    
bill.  He  noted one  fiscal  note  for $15,000  in  general                                                                    
funds.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HANNAH   MCCARTY,  STAFF,   REPRESENTATIVE  BETH   KERTTULA,                                                                    
SPONSOR,  reviewed the  purpose  of HB  52.  The bill  would                                                                    
allow for  up to  ten hours  of counseling  for a  juror who                                                                    
experiences a  trial that is excessively  graphic, gruesome,                                                                    
or has emotional testimony or evidence.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman  MOVED to  report HB  523 out  of Committee                                                                    
with individual recommendations  and the accompanying fiscal                                                                    
note. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HB  52  was REPORTED  out  of  Committee  with a  "do  pass"                                                                    
recommendation and with previously published FN 1 CRT.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:43:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 354                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to eligibility for loans from the                                                                         
     Alaska capstone avionics revolving loan fund."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  related it was  the second hearing  on the                                                                    
bill.  He  noted one  fiscal  note  from the  Department  of                                                                    
Commerce, Community and Economic Development.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WES  KELLER, SPONSOR, summarized HB  354. The                                                                    
bill changes  the eligibility  for funds  so that  those who                                                                    
lease an aircraft can also qualify  to use the loan to equip                                                                    
their airplane.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MATT  JOHNSON, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE  WES KELLER,  SPONSOR,                                                                    
addressed a previous concern  about Capstone avionics placed                                                                    
in an aircraft  that leaves the state. There  is a provision                                                                    
that allows 120  days to pay the loan in  full, to re-up the                                                                    
lease, or purchase the aircraft.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:46:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson  asked  who  was   taking  advantage  of  the                                                                    
Capstone loan. Representative Keller did not know.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman  MOVED to  REPORT HB  354 out  of Committee                                                                    
with individual recommendations  and the accompanying fiscal                                                                    
note. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HB  354 was  REPORTED  out  of Committee  with  a "do  pass"                                                                    
recommendation and with previously published zero FN 1 CED.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:47:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 168(FIN)                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     "An   Act   relating   to   state   certification   and                                                                    
     designation of trauma centers; creating the trauma                                                                         
     care fund to offset trauma care provided at certified                                                                      
     and designated trauma centers; and providing for an                                                                        
     effective date."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman noted  the committee  heard the  companion                                                                    
bill, SB 168 on March 10.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  JOHN COGHILL,  SPONSOR, said  the sponsor  from the                                                                    
House would explain the bill.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BOB HERRON,  SPONSOR,  related  that HB  168                                                                    
would  create  a  trauma care  fund  which  could  reimburse                                                                    
trauma   centers  for   uncompensated  or   undercompensated                                                                    
services  and create  incentives  for  becoming a  certified                                                                    
trauma center.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Coghill related  the purpose  of the  bill to  give                                                                    
incentives to hospitals to raise  their level of designation                                                                    
for  trauma.  The  request  is  for  $2.5  million  and  the                                                                    
authorization to  go after disproportionate share  money. He                                                                    
spoke  of  a 50  percent  match.  He  said the  approach  is                                                                    
incentive driven, which works best in Alaska.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:50:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ellis MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 1:                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 13                                                                                                            
     Following "AS 18.08.082(c)" insert "that is a higher                                                                       
     level than a designation received by the center in the                                                                     
     preceding fiscal year."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman OBJECTED for discussion purposes.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ellis voiced support for  the bill. He explained the                                                                    
amendment  would require  hospitals to  show improvement  in                                                                    
the level of trauma care to be eligible for the funds.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  asked if the  bill sponsor  was supportive                                                                    
of the amendment. Senator Coghill said he was.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Thomas understood  that  there  was a  professional                                                                    
organization that  designates the  various levels  of trauma                                                                    
care.  Senator  Coghill  explained  that it  is  a  national                                                                    
organization  that   entails  a  rigorous   examination  and                                                                    
review.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:53:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Stedman  WITHDREW   his  OBJECTION   to  adopting                                                                    
Amendment 1. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman reviewed  the two  zero fiscal  notes, one                                                                    
from the  Department of Health  and Social Services  and one                                                                    
from the  Department of  Revenue. There  is also  one fiscal                                                                    
note from  the House  Finance Committee reflecting  the need                                                                    
for  $2.5 million  in general  funds to  match $2.5  million                                                                    
from federal funds.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WILLIAM  STREUR,  DEPUTY  COMMISSIONER, DIVISION  OF  HEALTH                                                                    
CARE  SERVICES, DEPARTMENT  OF HEALTH  AND SOCIAL  SERVICES,                                                                    
introduced himself.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WILDA  LAUGHLIN, LEGISLATIVE  LIAISON, DEPARTMENT  OF HEALTH                                                                    
AND SOCIAL  SERVICES, reported that the  department supports                                                                    
the legislation, but is neutral on the fiscal note.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:55:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  FRANK SACCO,  ALASKA TRAUMA  SYSTEMS REVIEW  COMMISSION                                                                    
(via  teleconference), shared  information about  the Alaska                                                                    
Trauma  System. He  said that  trauma is  a huge  problem in                                                                    
Alaska and is the number two  cause of death. Alaska has the                                                                    
second highest  trauma rate in  the country.  Evidence shows                                                                    
that trauma centers  decrease mortality by 15  to 25 percent                                                                    
for  those seriously  injured. A  review of  trauma care  in                                                                    
Alaska  by the  College  of Surgeons  shows  that Alaska  is                                                                    
behind other  states and is  the only state without  a level                                                                    
two  trauma   center  that  serves   the  majority   of  the                                                                    
population. The  report suggested  ways to improve  and some                                                                    
of those  changes have  been made.  Having an  incentive for                                                                    
hospitals not currently participating  will improve care and                                                                    
improve outcomes.  The bill  will provide  the means  for an                                                                    
incentive.  Other  states  have mandated  this  program.  He                                                                    
concluded that  40 to 50 lives  a year can be  saved by this                                                                    
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson commented  that  the bill  goes  a long  ways                                                                    
toward  improving health  care  in rural  Alaska. He  agreed                                                                    
that a number of lives would be saved.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:59:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Coghill  reported that  a lot  has been  invested in                                                                    
EMS Systems and First Responders;  however, there is a great                                                                    
need for trauma  systems in hospitals. He  stressed that the                                                                    
bill is one step in  the process and would bring consistency                                                                    
to trauma care and contribute to preventative care.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HB  168  was  heard  and   HELD  in  Committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:01:35 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 306(RES)                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act declaring a state energy policy."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Bryce Edgmon,  Sponsor,  explained that  the                                                                    
bill would create  a statewide energy policy. The  bill is a                                                                    
product  of  a  working  group from  the  energy  sector  of                                                                    
Alaska. It  ties together  all the  facets of  energy moving                                                                    
forward  in   the  21st  Century,   including  conservation,                                                                    
efficiency,   renewable   and  non-renewable   energy,   and                                                                    
community-level  involvement. The  bill  addresses the  fact                                                                    
that Alaska  is a resource  development state and  energy is                                                                    
tied   to  economic   development.   He   pointed  out   the                                                                    
legislative  intent language  in the  bill. The  bill passed                                                                    
the House unanimously and has a zero fiscal note.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  noted one  zero fiscal  note by  the House                                                                    
Energy Committee.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:04:51 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS  ROSE,  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR, RENEWABLE  ENERGY  ALASKA                                                                    
PROJECT  (REAP),   testified  in  support  of   HB  306.  He                                                                    
explained  the  process  of  working on  the  bill  and  how                                                                    
consensus was  attained. He stressed  the importance  of the                                                                    
bill due to the fact that  the state does not have an energy                                                                    
policy. The goal  of the bill was to provide  a framework or                                                                    
vision in which  to put strategic goals. Those  goals can be                                                                    
implemented through projects. He  listed the benefits of the                                                                    
bill,  which  promotes   both  renewable  and  non-renewable                                                                    
alternative  fuels. Energy  efficiency  and conservation  is                                                                    
foremost.  The bill  also  supports  training and  workforce                                                                    
development and  works on coordinating  government functions                                                                    
so that the goals can be efficiently implemented.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:07:48 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
STEVE   HAAGENSON,   EXECUTIVE   DIRECTOR,   ALASKA   ENERGY                                                                    
AUTHORITY, testified in favor of HB 306.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman  pointed  out  that the  bill  targets  50                                                                    
percent  of the  state's  electrical generation  to be  from                                                                    
renewable energy  sources by 2025.  He questioned  where the                                                                    
state currently is and how that goal might be attained.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Haagenson  reported that  the state  is currently  at 24                                                                    
percent  energy  from  renewable  sources,  including  hydro                                                                    
electricity.  He stated  that it  was a  realistic goal.  He                                                                    
talked about the Railbelt's renewable resource plan.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman commented  that  there  was currently  $10                                                                    
million in  the capital budget for  hydro electric projects.                                                                    
Mr.  Haagenson agreed.  He added  that  there is  a goal  to                                                                    
develop  renewable  energy  plans   for  each  community  in                                                                    
Alaska, not just Southeast and the Railbelt.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:11:19 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  asked if there  had been  much integration                                                                    
with the idea of a bullet line  or a major gas line and gas-                                                                    
fired  electric  turbines.   Mr.  Haagenson  responded  with                                                                    
information on natural gas energy  in the Railbelt. He noted                                                                    
that the bill does not include bullet lines or pipelines.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Thomas  requested  further explanation  of  the  24                                                                    
percent. Mr. Haagenson state that only .3 percent is non-                                                                       
hydro; the majority is hydro-driven.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BRIAN BJORKQUIST,  SENIOR ASSISTANT ATTORNEY  GENERAL, LABOR                                                                    
AND   STATE  AFFAIRS   SECTION,  DEPARTMENT   OF  LAW   (via                                                                    
teleconference), introduced himself.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  asked what exposure  Alaska has if  the 50                                                                    
percent goal  is not  met by  2025. Mr.  Bjorkquist reported                                                                    
that that  information is  found in Section  1 of  the bill,                                                                    
which is  part of the  legislative intent. If the  state did                                                                    
not  meet that  goal,  there isn't  a  statutory mandate  or                                                                    
liability  that could  arise. The  legislative intent  would                                                                    
not have been  met and the consequences  would be political,                                                                    
rather than legal in nature.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Bjorkquist made  two additional  comments.  He said  on                                                                    
page  3, line  22, the  word "national"  is problematic.  He                                                                    
suggested deleting that word,  otherwise the word may impose                                                                    
upon the state an obligation to meet federal targets.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Bjorkquist  addressed  the   goal  of  50  percent.  He                                                                    
suggested  it  could be  used  to  suggest that  the  policy                                                                    
points would  affect litigation.  He suggested  codifying it                                                                    
in order to prevent unintended consequences.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:16:51 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas  asked about national  issues and  its affect                                                                    
throughout the bill. He cited page  2, lines 15 and 16 as an                                                                    
example. Mr. Bjorkquist concurred.  He said that obligations                                                                    
could cross over  to other state agencies  and be unintended                                                                    
consequences.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB  306  was  heard  and   HELD  in  Committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:18:20 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 114(TRA) am                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An   Act    relating   to   availability    of   state                                                                    
     transportation facilities and state-owned or state-                                                                        
     operated    transportation    modes   for    delivering                                                                    
     compassionate aid."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman noted  it  was the  first  hearing on  the                                                                    
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAY RAMRAS,  SPONSOR, explained  the content                                                                    
of  HB 114.  The  need for  the legislation  came  out of  a                                                                    
economic  disaster in  Western  Alaska.  He shared  problems                                                                    
experienced  when  trying  to  move  food  and  aid  to  the                                                                    
villages.  The bill  "passionate  aid" would  allow, at  the                                                                    
governor's discretion,  the use  of state  transportation to                                                                    
transport  food and  aid. He  noted a  zero fiscal  note. He                                                                    
shared his involvement with delivering food to the sites.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:21:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson commented about how  frustrating it was during                                                                    
the crisis. He spoke strongly in favor of the bill.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Senator Huggins  thanked Representative Ramras for  his work                                                                    
on the bill.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ramras  thanked the committee. He  shared the                                                                    
need  to  address and  prevent  future  situations in  rural                                                                    
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:23:44 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  commented that  the state must  respond to                                                                    
citizens' needs in every way  possible. He opined that there                                                                    
was a need to put into  statute what once would have been an                                                                    
automatic response.  Representative Ramras reported  that he                                                                    
was told in a House caucus  that it would be against the law                                                                    
to use  state assets  to move  food to a  place in  need. He                                                                    
said  that  HB  114  was  the  emotional  response  to  that                                                                    
statement.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  noted four zero fiscal  notes. He stressed                                                                    
that the state must respond to its citizens.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson suggested passing the bill out today.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HB  114  was  heard  and   HELD  in  Committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:26:31 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 186(FIN) am                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An   Act   declaring   that   certain   firearms   and                                                                    
     accessories are exempt from federal regulation."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hoffman noted  it  was the  first  hearing of  the                                                                    
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MIKE  KELLY, SPONSOR, reported that  the bill                                                                    
would allow firearms  built in Alaska for use  in Alaska not                                                                    
be  subject  to federal  regulations  and  would permit  the                                                                    
Attorney  General  to  protect  anyone who  engages  in  the                                                                    
production of firearms in  Alaska from federal interference.                                                                    
He  thought the  bill could  cause problems  at the  federal                                                                    
level, but he believed it shouldn't.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:28:10 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DEREK MILLER,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE MIKE KELLY,  shared the                                                                    
sectional  analysis.   Section  1  is  a   findings  section                                                                    
declaring the authority of the  Act to be the Second, Ninth,                                                                    
and  Tenth  Amendments to  the  Constitution  of the  United                                                                    
States.  Section 2  is  the Alaska  Firearm  Freedom Act  as                                                                    
stated in the  bill. It declares that a  personal firearm, a                                                                    
firearm  accessory,  or   ammunition  that  is  manufactured                                                                    
commercially or privately in Alaska  and that remains in the                                                                    
state is not subject to federal law or regulation.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hoffman noted  an indeterminate  fiscal note  from                                                                    
the Department of Law.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:30:29 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
GARY   MARBUT,   SHOOTING   SPORTS   ASSOCIATION,   MONTANA,                                                                    
explained that he  wrote the Firearms Freedom  Act and seven                                                                    
states  now have  this law.  It  has been  introduced in  20                                                                    
other states.  It is a  states' rights challenge  to federal                                                                    
commerce  clause  authority.  He spoke  about  the  economic                                                                    
impact of  this legislation to Alaskans.  He suggested there                                                                    
would be  no litigation  from the federal  government. There                                                                    
is  currently private  litigation regarding  the legislation                                                                    
in Montana. He  said that the purpose of  the legislation is                                                                    
to  challenge  the  federal   government  and  overturn  the                                                                    
commerce clause precedent.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:33:24 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Huggins asked  which categories  of firearms  would                                                                    
qualify under  the bill. He  wondered if the  Kodiak Company                                                                    
that markets  bullets nationally  would qualify.  Mr. Marbut                                                                    
stated  that   existing  manufacturers  must   have  federal                                                                    
firearms  licenses and  would not  avail themselves  of this                                                                    
legislation.  He gave  an example  of  smaller, local  shops                                                                    
that would qualify.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Senator Huggins  asked if two examples  of hypothetical guns                                                                    
would qualify. Mr. Marbut said  the first example would not,                                                                    
but  the second  one would.  Only an  Alaska-made gun  would                                                                    
qualify.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  asked if handguns  are included in  the bill.                                                                    
Mr. Marbut said they were.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HB  186  was  heard  and   HELD  in  Committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:37:11 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 319(FIN)                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to firearms; and providing for an                                                                         
     effective date."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MIKE HAWKER, SPONSOR,  reported on HB 319. He                                                                    
termed it  a housekeeping  bill. Its  purpose is  to protect                                                                    
Alaskan's citizens'  rights to own and  possess firearms. He                                                                    
acknowledged   Senator   Coghill's  participation   in   the                                                                    
legislation.  He  explained   the  concealed  handgun  carry                                                                    
permit. The  bill clarifies that  a permit does not  have to                                                                    
be  surrendered when  it  expires or  when  a permit  holder                                                                    
moves out  of the state.  It also clarifies that  an expired                                                                    
permit can be displayed as long  as the permit holder is not                                                                    
claiming that it is a valid permit.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:40:29 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  continued  to explain  that  HB  319                                                                    
requires the  Department of Public  Safety to mail  a notice                                                                    
to  the  permit  holder  at  least  90  days  prior  to  the                                                                    
expiration of  a permit.  It also  allows the  Department of                                                                    
Public Safety  to use electronic  applications and  post the                                                                    
regulations  and   statutes  on  its  website,   instead  of                                                                    
providing paper copies.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:42:09 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  related that  the bill  also requires                                                                    
the  chief   law  enforcement   officer  (CLEO)   in  Alaska                                                                    
jurisdictions to complete, in  a timely manner, the required                                                                    
certification  on an  application to  the Bureau  of Alcohol                                                                    
Tobacco,  Firearms and  Explosives (BATFE)  for approval  to                                                                    
transfer a  firearm registered  under the  National Firearms                                                                    
Act (NFA) of  1934 to a person who is  qualified under state                                                                    
law  to possess  the firearm.  The CLEO  certification is  a                                                                    
mandatory   step  in   the   BATFE   transfer  process   and                                                                    
unjustified  delays in  processing or  refusal to  cooperate                                                                    
compromise Second Amendment rights.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:45:35 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker read the CLEO certification:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     I have  no information  indicating the  transferee will                                                                    
     use   the  firearm   or   device   described  in   this                                                                    
     application for  other than lawful purposes.  I have no                                                                    
     information  that  the  receipt or  possession  of  the                                                                    
     firearm  or device  described  in  this document  would                                                                    
     place the transferee  in violation of a  state or local                                                                    
     law.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  voiced concern  about a  CLEO officer                                                                    
abusing the  transfer process. The  bill would place  a duty                                                                    
upon CLEO's  to execute the forms.  Execute means exercising                                                                    
judgment, in this case. He  stressed that the legislation is                                                                    
important to improving rights for citizens.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:48:19 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman noted  two zero fiscal notes,  one from the                                                                    
Department of Public  Safety and one from  the Department of                                                                    
Law.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DAN  BOONE,  JUNEAU, testified  in  support  of HB  319.  He                                                                    
shared   his  experience   with  a   CLEO  not   signing  an                                                                    
application,   therefore   putting   a   heavy   burden   on                                                                    
beneficiaries  of an  estate. He  also  shared his  thoughts                                                                    
from the perspective of a  small firearms business. He spoke                                                                    
strongly in favor of the legislation.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:51:53 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
KATHY MONFREDA,  CHIEF, CRIMINAL RECORDS  AND IDENTIFICATION                                                                    
BUREAU,  DIVISION  OF   STATEWIDE  SERVICES,  DEPARTMENT  OF                                                                    
PUBLIC SAFETY  (via teleconference), stated support  for the                                                                    
bill.  However,   she  cautioned  that  the   measure  could                                                                    
jeopardize reciprocity with other states.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Huggins reported hearing a  lot of concern about the                                                                    
subject.  He  recalled   Representative  Foster's  favorable                                                                    
opinion of this type of legislation.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker addressed  the  Department of  Public                                                                    
Safety's  concern   about  reciprocity.  He   reported  that                                                                    
conversations  with other  states have  shown that  there is                                                                    
not  a  problem.  He  believed  the  core  issue  was  state                                                                    
residency. To  have a concealed  weapon permit, a  person is                                                                    
not mandated to  be an Alaska state resident.  A person must                                                                    
be a  state resident  to acquire the  license in  Alaska and                                                                    
can  maintain   it  when  moving  around   the  country.  In                                                                    
particular,  he mentioned  Colorado as  a state  about which                                                                    
there had  been department concerns.  He stated that  he had                                                                    
no anxiety about reciprocity.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB  319  was  heard  and   HELD  in  Committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 315                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to public accounting; and providing                                                                       
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB 315 was scheduled but not heard.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 10:55 AM.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 168 Amendment 1 Ellis 041310.pdf SFIN 4/13/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 168
HB 315 Proposed SCS Version R 041310.pdf SFIN 4/13/2010 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 4/13/2010 1:30:00 PM
SFIN 4/13/2010 2:30:00 PM
HB 315