Legislature(1999 - 2000)

04/06/2000 03:36 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
            SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                    April 6, 2000                                                                                               
                      3:36 p.m.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator Jerry Ward, Chairman                                                                                                    
Senator Lyda Green, Vice Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Gary Wilken                                                                                                             
Senator Randy Phillips                                                                                                          
Senator Kim Elton                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
All Members Present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 16                                                                                             
Relating to Avalanche Awareness Month.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     -MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 292                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to public school student immunizations."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     -HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 120                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to qualifications of voters; relating to the                                                                   
registration of voters; relating to election districts and                                                                      
officials; relating to election procedures and ballots; relating to                                                             
special procedures for elections; relating to nomination of                                                                     
candidates; relating to national elections; relating to special                                                                 
elections and appointments; relating to constitutional amendments;                                                              
relating to election offenses and corrupt practices; relating to                                                                
election pamphlets; relating to the deferral of jury service for                                                                
certain election officials; relating to an exemption from the State                                                             
Procurement Code regarding election ballots; relating to the                                                                    
provision and use of mailing addresses on permanent fund dividend                                                               
applications for election purposes; relating to the inclusion of                                                                
voter registration forms with permanent fund dividend applications;                                                             
making conforming amendments in references to 'election district'                                                               
and 'chairman'; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     -HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 237                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to payment, allowances, and benefits of members of                                                             
the Alaska National Guard and Alaska Naval Militia in active                                                                    
service; relating to computation of certain benefits for members of                                                             
the Alaska State Militia; and providing for an effective date."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     -MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 238                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to payment, benefits, and work status of members                                                               
in the active service of the Alaska State Militia; and providing                                                                
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     -MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 270                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to return of contributed capital, or payment of a                                                              
dividend, to the state by the Alaska Student Loan Corporation; and                                                              
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     -HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SCR 16 - No previous Senate action.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SB 292 - See State Affairs minutes dated 3/23/00.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SB 120 - No previous Senate action.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SB 237 - No previous Senate action.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SB 238 - No previous Senate action.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SB 270 - No previous Senate action.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Jerry Burnett                                                                                                               
Legislative Staff for Senator Lyda Green                                                                                        
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK 99802-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor statement for SCR 16.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Aedene Arthur                                                                                                               
HC 02 Box 7300                                                                                                                  
Palmer, AK 99645                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Supports SCR 16.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Chris Noakes                                                                                                                
P.O. Box 521667                                                                                                                 
Big Lake, AK 99652                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT: Supports SCR 16.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Cleve Coyne                                                                                                                 
P.O. Box 874064                                                                                                                 
Wasilla, AK 99687                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Supports SCR 16.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Patsy Coyne                                                                                                                 
P.O. Box 86                                                                                                                     
Sutton, AK 99674                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Supports SCR 16.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Loretta Brown                                                                                                               
Legislative staff for Senator Jerry Ward                                                                                        
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK 99802-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on CSSB 292 and SB 120.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Dr. Peter Nakamura                                                                                                              
Director of the Division of Public Health                                                                                       
Department of Health & Social Services                                                                                          
P.O. Box 110610                                                                                                                 
Juneau, AK 99811                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on CSSB 292.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Lyle Axelarris                                                                                                              
Address Not Provided                                                                                                            
Tok, AK 99780                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Supports CSSB 292.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Tabitha Parker                                                                                                              
Address Not Provided                                                                                                            
Tok, AK 99780                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Supports CSSB 292.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Jamie Nalepinski                                                                                                            
Address Not Provided                                                                                                            
Tok, AK 99780                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Supports CSSB 292.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Joyce Wojciehouski                                                                                                          
Address Not Provided                                                                                                            
Dillingham, AK 99576                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposes CSSB 292.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Dr. John Middaugh, MD                                                                                                           
Chief of Epidemiology Section                                                                                                   
Division of Public Health                                                                                                       
Department of Health & Social Services                                                                                          
P.O. Box 240249                                                                                                                 
Anchorage, AK 99524-0249                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposes CSSB 292.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Colleen Drake Wilke                                                                                                         
Public Health Nurse                                                                                                             
Disease Prevention and Control                                                                                                  
Municipality of Anchorage                                                                                                       
825 L Street                                                                                                                    
Anchorage, AK 99501                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposes CSSB 292.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Dr. Beth Funk                                                                                                                   
3601 C Street #540                                                                                                              
Anchorage, AK 99503                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposes CSSB 292.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Beverly Wooley                                                                                                              
Manager of Division of Community Health Services                                                                                
Department of Health & Human Services                                                                                           
Municipality of Anchorage                                                                                                       
2023 Dimond Drive                                                                                                               
Anchorage, AK 99507                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposes CSSB 292.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Carol Shelley                                                                                                               
12640 Ridgewood Rd.                                                                                                             
Anchorage, AK 99516                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposes CSSB 292.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. J.J. Tower                                                                                                                  
Student                                                                                                                         
7645 Griffith Street                                                                                                            
Anchorage, AK 99516                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposes CSSB 292.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Gail Fenumiai                                                                                                               
Election Program Specialist                                                                                                     
Division of Elections                                                                                                           
P.O. Box 110017                                                                                                                 
Juneau, AK 99811-0017                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 120.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hal Smalley                                                                                                      
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK 99802-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on CSSB 120.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Carol Carroll                                                                                                               
Director of Administrative Services Division                                                                                    
Department of Military & Veterans Affairs                                                                                       
400 Willoughby Avenue Suite 500                                                                                                 
Juneau, AK 99811                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 237 and SB 238.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Colonel Craig Christensen                                                                                                       
Alaska National Guard                                                                                                           
P.O. Box 5800                                                                                                                   
Fort Richardson, AK 99505                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 237 and SB 238.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Rick Turcik                                                                                                                 
Administrative Officer                                                                                                          
Department of Military & Veterans Affairs                                                                                       
P.O. Box 5800                                                                                                                   
Fort Richardson, AK 99505                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 237.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Thomas Westall                                                                                                              
Brigadier General                                                                                                               
Alaska State Defense Force                                                                                                      
Address Not Provided                                                                                                            
Fort Richardson, AK 99505                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 238.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Diane Barrans                                                                                                               
Executive Director                                                                                                              
Alaska Commission of Postsecondary Education                                                                                    
3030 Vintage Blvd.                                                                                                              
Juneau, AK 99801                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Supports SB 270.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 00-07, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 001                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN WARD called the Senate State Affairs Committee to order at                                                             
3:36 p.m.  Present were Senators Ward, Green, Phillips, and Elton.                                                              
The first order of business to come before the committee was SCR                                                                
16.                                                                                                                             
                SCR 16-AVALANCHE AWARENESS MONTH                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. JERRY BURNETT, Legislative staff for Senator Lyda Green, stated                                                             
each year Alaskans lose their lives as a result of avalanches.  One                                                             
of the worst years was 1999, when 14 people were killed by                                                                      
avalanches in Alaska.  Often, nothing can be done to prevent                                                                    
avalanches from occurring, much can be done to prevent the loss of                                                              
life from avalanches.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SCR 16 would proclaim November as "Avalanche Awareness Month."                                                                  
This proclamation would raise public awareness of the hazards                                                                   
associated with avalanches, and the opportunities to participate in                                                             
avalanche safety training at the beginning of the winter recreation                                                             
season.  It is hoped that the public participation in avalanche                                                                 
safety programs would be increased and that this increased                                                                      
participation would result in saved lives during the winter.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The need for SCR 16 was brought to Senator Green's attention by the                                                             
Backcountry Avalanche Awareness Response Team (BAART).                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. AEDENE ARTHUR, representing herself, stated her son Aaron, was                                                              
one of the 14 people who lost their lives in 1999.  In memory of                                                                
these people BAART was founded, in hopes that other deaths would                                                                
not occur from avalanches.  November was chosen for "Avalanche                                                                  
Awareness Month" so a campaign for avalanche safety measures would                                                              
be given at the beginning of the winter season.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SCR 16 would educate Alaskans on avalanche awareness, safety                                                                    
measures, proper equipment, and how to use it.  November is an                                                                  
optimum time to emphasize awareness and safety equipment, as this                                                               
is when Alaskans thoughts turn to winter activities and many                                                                    
purchase outdoor equipment.  Emphasizing these topics in November                                                               
would allow time for people to think about purchasing safety                                                                    
equipment such as: probes, shovels, and avalanche beacons as                                                                    
Christmas gifts.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
November is a prime time for presentations of awareness and safety                                                              
classes in schools and community classes.  Many response teams will                                                             
be practicing at this time, by raising awareness for the importance                                                             
of these groups perhaps more people will be inclined to be trained                                                              
to help in emergency situations.  Ms. Arthur stated support for SCR                                                             
16.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. CHRIS NOAKES, President of BAART, stated support for SCR 16.                                                                
The State no longer has an avalanche warning system in place,                                                                   
federal law does mandate Alaska have an avalanche warning system.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN stated this year's budget money was returned to an                                                                
avalanche awareness program.  That money should increase next year,                                                             
and continue to grow from there on.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLEVE COYNE, representing himself, stated support for SCR 16.                                                               
Losing someone to an avalanche affects everyone in the family and                                                               
in Alaska.  Information should be made more available on avalanches                                                             
and awareness.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. PATSY COYNE, representing herself, stated support for SCR 16.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON stated SCR 16 is an important step toward informing                                                               
people on the dangers of avalanches.  Financial resources should be                                                             
given to groups like BAART so they have an enhanced ability to                                                                  
inform Alaskans.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN moved SCR 16 out of committee with individual                                                                     
recommendations.  Without objection, the motion carried.                                                                        
           SB 292-PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENT IMMUNIZATIONS                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN moved to adopt CS for SB 292 (STA)(version G) as the                                                              
working version of the committee.  Without objection, CS for SB 292                                                             
(STA)(version G) was adopted.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. LORETTA BROWN, Legislative staff for Senator Jerry Ward, stated                                                             
the language in section 1 (a)(7),"unless the commissioner of the                                                                
Department of Health and Social Services certifies that there is no                                                             
risk of harm to an individual child from the vaccine or" was                                                                    
deleted.  The language "a parent or legal guardian of the child                                                                 
objects to the immunization based on religious or personal                                                                      
beliefs;" was inserted on page 2, line 21 and page 3, line 22.                                                                  
Section 3, subsection (b) has been added to the bill "The                                                                       
commissioner of Health and Social Services shall make available to                                                              
the public a safety and public needs brochure that describes the                                                                
risks and benefits of vaccines and immunizations that are required                                                              
for attendance in a licensed day care center, public school, or                                                                 
private school.  The brochure described in this subsection must                                                                 
disclose the source of the information used in the brochure."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN WARD announced the committee would stand at ease.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR GREEN stated she would be chairing the meeting in lieu                                                               
of CHAIRMAN WARD.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. BROWN said 17 states provide a personal belief exemption.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON asked how the State will determine what is a                                                                      
legitimate excuse, and not an excuse of convenience.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. BROWN referred to a survey conducted in California.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1169                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON asked what will be determined if parents disagree                                                                 
with one another on immunizations of the child, and who will                                                                    
arbitrate.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. BROWN stated that was not addressed, therefore, she is unsure.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DR. PETER NAKAMURA, Director of the Division of Public Health,                                                                  
Department of Health & Social Services, stated the language in CS                                                               
for SB 292 (STA) is still troublesome.  There are many physicians                                                               
in the State who would be more than willing to sign off on                                                                      
exemptions for vaccines, and that puts many people at risk.  A                                                                  
personal exemption could be used as a convenience method for                                                                    
parents who are too lazy to have their children immunized, and that                                                             
is putting the child at risk.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR GREEN asked what the standard is in current statute.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
DR. NAKAMURA answered regulations are in place that require a sign                                                              
off for a valid medical or religious reason.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON asked whether Dr. Nakamura would be called upon to                                                                
dissolve a dispute between parents.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DR. NAKAMURA stated a legal advisor would be better equipped to                                                                 
answer the question.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON asked whether Dr. Nakamura could define what a                                                                    
personal belief is.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DR. NAKAMURA answered no, the subject is too broad.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. LYLE AXELARRIS, representing himself, stated support for CS for                                                             
SB 292.  Choices should be left up to the parents, not the                                                                      
government.  For a state to assume responsibility for a child's                                                                 
welfare by making blanket health care decisions for all children is                                                             
to act as a communist state.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1703                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. TABITHA PARKER, representing herself, stated support for CS for                                                             
SB 292.  It is important for parents to make the decision about                                                                 
their children's health care, parents should not need to use                                                                    
religion as a safety net.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. JAMIE NALEPINSKI, representing herself, stated support for CS                                                               
for SB 292.  Vaccinations are very traumatic for young children,                                                                
and parents should have the choice whether to subject their                                                                     
children to them.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. JOYCE WOJCIEHOUSKI, representing herself, stated opposition for                                                             
CS for SB 292.  Being a registered nurse she has witnessed the                                                                  
devastation these diseases can cause.  Some children do have                                                                    
legitimate medical reasons for not receiving a vaccine.  If parents                                                             
choose not to immunize their children for personal beliefs it puts                                                              
the children at risk because of medical reasons.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHN MIDDAUGH, Division of Public Health, Department of Health                                                              
& Social Services, stated he was assigned to the State Health                                                                   
Department in 1975, and inheritrd an epidemic of diphtheria                                                                     
followed by an epidemic of measles.  Parents moving in and out of                                                               
Alaska were able to exercise a philosophical exemption, or schools                                                              
stopped enforcing the existing requirements at that time.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
The State was reminded in 1996, with an outbreak of measles in                                                                  
Juneau, and in 1998 in Anchorage, how important and significant                                                                 
vaccinations are.  Vaccines simply protect children in the settings                                                             
where these diseases spread rapidly and place individuals at risk.                                                              
The decision of a parent to not vaccinate their child because of                                                                
personal beliefs is respected, but that child cannot attend day                                                                 
care or school, and then the child's education is at risk.  Dr.                                                                 
Middaugh stated opposition for CS for SB 292.  Studies in other                                                                 
states have shown that exempted persons are 35 times more likely to                                                             
contract measles than vaccinated persons.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. COLLEEN DRAKE WILKE, Public Health Nurse for the Municipality                                                               
of Anchorage, stated she has been investigating whooping cough                                                                  
cases in young children who are too young to receive vaccines.  The                                                             
immunization goal in a community is to develop pert-immunity (ph),                                                              
where you immunize as many individuals as possible to decrease                                                                  
disease, so those who cannot benefit from vaccines are protected by                                                             
lack of infectious disease in the community.  Ms. Wilke stated                                                                  
opposition for CS for SB 292.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR. BETH FUNK, stated opposition for CS for SB 292.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. BEVERLY WOOLEY, Manager of Community & Health Services for the                                                              
Municipality of Anchorage, stated opposition for CS for SB 292.                                                                 
CSSB 292 would result in reduced immunization levels and an                                                                     
increase in disease.  Vaccines are known to be the most effective                                                               
protection against disease that continues to threaten our children.                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. CAROL SHELLEY, representing herself, stated opposition for CS                                                               
for SB 292.  Alex, her son, contracted whooping cough at four weeks                                                             
old and could have died.  Whooping cough is a vaccine preventable                                                               
disease, the lack of vaccinations puts small children at risk who                                                               
are too small to receive the immunization.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Tape 00-07, Side B                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. J.J. TOWER, student, stated opposition for CS for SB 292.  He                                                               
does not want to become exposed to infectious diseases because                                                                  
another child has not been immunized.  If there are no                                                                          
vaccinations, millions of children may become afflicted with a                                                                  
deadly disease, and become highly contagious because of the closely                                                             
knit school environments.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR GREEN stated CS for SB 292 would be held in committee.                                                               
                  SB 120-DIVISION OF ELECTIONS                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON asked, because of the unusual circumstances, if any                                                               
amendments offered would be held for a later meeting.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR GREEN replied the remainder of the meeting is for the                                                                
purpose of hearing public testimony, and to recess to the call of                                                               
the chair.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. GAIL FENUMIAI, Election Program Specialist for the Division of                                                              
Elections, stated SB 120 was an identical bill to HB 163 but                                                                    
changes have been made.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. BROWN stated a proposed committee substitute for SB 120                                                                     
contains some of the changes made to HB 163.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS moved to adopt CS for SB 120 (STA) (version H) for                                                             
discussion purposes only.  SENATOR ELTON objected for the purpose                                                               
of making the following statement:  debating the merits of SB 120                                                               
v. the merits of CS for SB 120, SENATOR ELTON removed his                                                                       
objection.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. BROWN explained the changes made in CSSB 120.  The use of                                                                   
stickers that was adopted in HB 163 was incorporated into CS for SB                                                             
120.  Jury service exemption was included in CS for SB 120.                                                                     
Sections 63-70 were deleted from HB 163 and CS for SB 120.  On page                                                             
6, line 25, Section 12 regarding seals and emblems, have been                                                                   
added.  Sections regarding run-off elections and redistricting                                                                  
have been added.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. FENUMIAI stated general support for CS for SB 120.  Some                                                                    
provisions in CS for SB 120 the Division of Election (DOE) does not                                                             
support.  The use of stickers DOE does not support, also section 45                                                             
regarding run-off elections DOE has concerns about.  Ms. Fenumiai                                                               
referred to the 1998 election.  DOE has concerns about the                                                                      
certification process for absentee ballots, the estimated cost of                                                               
a House District run-off would be about $18,000 and a Senate                                                                    
District run-off would be about $37,500.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The effective date of CS for SB 120 is July 1, 2000 and DOE has                                                                 
asked for a delayed effective date.  DOE would like to have an                                                                  
effective date for sections 51-52 of January 1, 2001.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON asked for a list of legislative races, in the last                                                                
decade, that have been decided by less than 50 percent of the vote.                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1790                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HAL SMALLEY referred to HB 155, regarding municipal                                                              
assemblies forms of reapportionment.  Representative Smalley                                                                    
expressed concerns about CS for SB 120.  He proposed an amendment                                                               
to delete sections 86-89 and part of the title that refers to that.                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON stated opposition for the 50 percent requirement, and                                                             
expressed concerns about other provisions in the bill.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR GREEN stated CS for SB 120 with the proposed amendment                                                               
would be held in committee.                                                                                                     
         SB 237-ALASKA NATL GUARD/NAVAL & STATE MILITIA                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. CAROL CARROLL, Director of Administrative Services Division for                                                             
the Department of Military & Veterans Affairs, stated SB 237 will                                                               
streamline some functions within the Department of Military &                                                                   
Veterans Affairs (DMVA) and call on Alaska Defense Forces (ADF) to                                                              
respond to a disaster or search and rescue.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SB 237 deals with the federal side of DMVA and calling on ADF; it                                                               
takes the method of calculation for pay for ADF during active duty,                                                             
replaces the allowance, and multiplies the active pay by 200                                                                    
percent.  SB 237 will eliminate over 345 steps taken to calculate                                                               
active duty pay for each individual.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR GREEN stated it is just a different calculation method.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARROLL agreed.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1483                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COLONEL CRAIG CHRISTENSEN, Alaska National Guard, stated the Alaska                                                             
National Guard talked with many other states on how active duty pay                                                             
was calculated, and how other states have adopted a simplified                                                                  
method of payment of by taking a basic pay amount and multiplying                                                               
it by a specific percentage.  Colonel Christensen stated support                                                                
for SB 237.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS asked how many people would be effected by SB 237.                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COLONEL CHRISTENSEN stated approximately 2000 Air National Guard                                                                
members, approximately 2000 Army National Guard members, and                                                                    
approximately 50 Naval Militia.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. RICK TURCIK, Administrative Officer for Department of Military                                                              
and Veterans Affairs, stated SB 237 will ensure the pay calculation                                                             
for the guard member on State active duty in a timely and accurate                                                              
manner.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS moved SB 237 out of committee with individual                                                                  
recommendations.  Without objection, the motion carried.                                                                        
             SB 238-MEMBERS OF ALASKA STATE MILITIA                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARROLL stated SB 238 clarifies how the Alaska State Militia                                                                
will be paid during State active duty.  SB 238 would mandate the                                                                
Alaska State Militia be paid as State employees according to the                                                                
work.  Prior to SB 238, DMVA were paying the Alaska State Militia                                                               
in the same manner as the Alaska National Guard.  The Department of                                                             
Law contacted DMVA and informed them that it was an incorrect                                                                   
method.  If the Alaska State Militia is called for duty, they are                                                               
hired as emergency employees.  That does disrupt the military                                                                   
command structure, and it questions their regular job protection.                                                               
SB 238 is a method of payment for the Alaska State Militia when                                                                 
called to State active duty only.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR GREEN asked if this is the method that DMVA was advised                                                              
to use.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARROLL stated this is the easiest way to pay these employees,                                                              
and provide for regular job protection.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
GENERAL THOMAS WESTALL, Brigadier General for the Alaska State                                                                  
Defense Force, stated since 1984, the Alaska State Defense Force                                                                
(ASDF) has been the principle responder to emergencies and                                                                      
disasters in the State.  ASDF is a State troop, therefore, they do                                                              
not need federal authorization to maneuver.  ASDF can maneuver on                                                               
the order of the Governor and the Adjutant General.  SB 238                                                                     
clarifies the question in payment for ASDF.  ASDF is not a federal                                                              
task force and the Department of Justice determined ASDF should not                                                             
be paid in the same manner as a federal task force.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON asked what the structure of command is for the ASDF.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARROLL replied some confusion arose about whose disciplinary                                                               
action the ASDF falls under.  SB 238 would clarify that ASDF would                                                              
be under military discipline, and have regular job protection.  Ms.                                                             
Carroll referred to Title 26.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON asked if the disciplinary structure in place for DMVA                                                             
was standard.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHRISTENSEN stated ASDF is under the State regulations.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GENERAL WESTALL stated ASDF are brought into service under the                                                                  
Governor and State regulations.  ASDF does not function under                                                                   
federal military control.  When ASDF is called into active duty,                                                                
ASDF operates under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the                                                                
discipline prescribed by Congress that all militias of the United                                                               
States must comply with.  Title 26 of the Alaska statute compels                                                                
people in ASDF to report for duty, but Title 26 provides statutory                                                              
protection for those people to leave their regular jobs and report                                                              
for duty.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS moved SB 238 out of committee with individual                                                                  
recommendations.  Without objection, the motion carried.                                                                        
           SB 270-STUDENT LOAN CORP PAYMENTS TO STATE                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. DIANE BARRANS, Executive Director for Alaska Commission on                                                                  
Postsecondary Education, stated support for SB 270.  Changes to the                                                             
Alaska Student Loan Program in recent years have resulted in an                                                                 
annual net income.  The program goals are to continue in a                                                                      
direction of fiscal strength and good credit standing, to continue                                                              
to reduce the cost of borrowing for Alaska residents, to continue                                                               
to reduce the corporation's equity deficit, currently at $43                                                                    
million, and to propose a mechanism that makes possible a return of                                                             
contributed capital to the corporation's original financing source;                                                             
the State of Alaska.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
In 1999, the program's improved financial standing was rewarded by                                                              
a double A upgrade.  The interest rate on the 2000/2001 State                                                                   
student loan was reduced to 8 percent.  The interest free borrowing                                                             
policy while students are attending school remains intact, and the                                                              
corporation's equity deficit has been reduced by $7 million over                                                                
the last two years.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SB 270 provides that in any year the corporation has a $2 million                                                               
net income, the board will declare return of capital payment to the                                                             
State between 10-35 percent of the income amount.  SB 270 has                                                                   
received support from the House and Senate.  Ms. Barrans referred                                                               
to graphs produced by the program.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 329                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILKEN stated the graphs should show more previous years,                                                               
and the graphs are an indication the program is doing great work.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR GREEN stated SB 270 would be held in committee.                                                                      
There being no further business to come before the committee, VICE                                                              
CHAIR GREEN recessed to the call of the chair at 5:15 p.m.                                                                      

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