Legislature(2005 - 2006)BELTZ 211

03/23/2006 03:30 PM STATE AFFAIRS


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Location Change --
*+ SCR 21 VIETNAM WAR MEMORIAL:MOVING WALL TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSCR 21(STA) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
= SB 274 STATE FIREARM DISPOSAL AND INVENTORY
Moved CSSB 274(STA) Out of Committee
= SB 214 APPROP FOR ENERGY DIVIDEND & ASSISTANCE
Moved SB 214 Out of Committee
= SB 215 ENERGY DIVIDEND: INCREASE 2005 PFD
Moved SB 215 Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         March 23, 2006                                                                                         
                           3:38 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Gene Therriault, Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Charlie Huggins                                                                                                         
Senator Bettye Davis                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas Wagoner, Vice Chair                                                                                              
Senator Kim Elton                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 274                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to the disposition of surplus firearms by the                                                                  
state."                                                                                                                         
     MOVED CSSB 274(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 21                                                                                             
Relating to the Vietnam War, to veterans, and to the Vietnam War                                                                
memorial entitled "The Moving Wall."                                                                                            
     MOVED CSSCR 21(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 214                                                                                                             
"An Act making appropriations for energy assistance and                                                                         
weatherization; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
     MOVED SB 214 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 215                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to the energy dividend for 2005; and providing                                                                 
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
     MOVED SB 215 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 274                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: STATE FIREARM DISPOSAL AND INVENTORY                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) DYSON                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/09/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/09/06       (S)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
02/14/06       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/14/06       (S)       <Bill Hearing Rescheduled to 2/23/06>                                                                  
02/23/06       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
02/23/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/23/06       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/06/06       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/06/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/06/06       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/23/06       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SCR 21                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: VIETNAM WAR MEMORIAL:MOVING WALL                                                                                   
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) HUGGINS                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
02/14/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/14/06       (S)       STA                                                                                                    
03/23/06       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 214                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: APPROP FOR ENERGY DIVIDEND & ASSISTANCE                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) THERRIAULT, KOOKESH                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
01/09/06       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 12/30/05                                                                              
01/09/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/09/06       (S)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
01/26/06       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
01/26/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/26/06       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/23/06       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 215                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ENERGY DIVIDEND: INCREASE  2005 PFD                                                                                
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) THERRIAULT, KOOKESH                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
01/09/06       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 12/30/05                                                                              
01/09/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/09/06       (S)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
01/26/06       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
01/26/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/26/06       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/23/06       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator Fred Dyson                                                                                                              
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:   As sponsor  of SB 274, explained  Version X                                                             
and answered questions.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Wes Keller, Staff                                                                                                               
Senator Fred Dyson                                                                                                              
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered a question on SB 274, Version X.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
James Helgoe, Lieutenant                                                                                                        
Division of Alaska State Troopers                                                                                               
Department of Public Safety                                                                                                     
5700 East Tudor Road                                                                                                            
Anchorage, AK  99507-1225                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 274, Version X.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Josh Tempel, Staff                                                                                                              
to Senator Charlie Huggins                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented SCR 21 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bill Thomas                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of SCR  21, Version G,                                                             
and suggested an amendment.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GENE  THERRIAULT called the  Senate State  Affairs Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to order at  3:38:30 PM.  Present were Senators                                                             
Charlie Huggins,  Bettye Davis,  and Chair  Gene Therriault.   He                                                               
noted that the remaining members were in another meeting.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          SB 274-STATE FIREARM DISPOSAL AND INVENTORY                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GENE THERRIAULT announced SB 274 to be up for discussion.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:39:14 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  CHARLIE HUGGINS  moved to  adopt the  proposed committee                                                               
substitute  (CS),  Version  X  [labeled  24-LS1636\X,  Bannister,                                                               
3/22/06], as a work draft.   Without objection, it was so ordered                                                               
and Version X was before the committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:39:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRED DYSON, Alaska State  Legislature, sponsor of SB 274,                                                               
characterized Version X  as a much more polished  version that he                                                               
believes the  Department of Public  Safety (DPS),  the Department                                                               
of Administration,  and the attorneys  are comfortable with.   It                                                               
clarifies  there is  no liability  for  the state  to dispose  of                                                               
firearms.   For guns that  the general population  cannot legally                                                               
own, such as  sawed-off shotguns and fully  automatic weapons, it                                                               
makes provisions for  them to be sold  to a Class 3  dealer.  The                                                               
few weapons that are illegal to  own - such as those with defaced                                                               
serial numbers  - can be  disassembled, the illegal parts  can be                                                               
thrown away,  and the  remaining parts can  be made  available to                                                               
whoever wants them.   Furthermore, DPS must report  yearly to the                                                               
finance committee what firearms it traded in.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
[Due to technical  difficulties, there is no  audio recording for                                                               
the time period 3:41:06 PM to 3:43:18 PM.]                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:41:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT referred to page  2, subsection (d), which talks                                                               
about  a part  of  a  surplus firearm.    He  asked whether  that                                                               
includes ammunition.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
WES  KELLER,  Staff  to  Senator Fred  Dyson,  pointed  out  that                                                               
"surplus firearm"  [page 3, line  3, in the  definitions section]                                                               
means a firearm or ammunition.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:43:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DYSON, in  response to Senator Huggins,  referred to page                                                               
2, line  2, saying this  makes it clear  that the state  is still                                                               
able to trade firearms in.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:44:06 PM                                                                                                                    
JAMES  HELGOE, Lieutenant,  Division  of  Alaska State  Troopers,                                                               
Department of  Public Safety, informed members  that DPS supports                                                               
the bill in its current  version, which gives DPS the flexibility                                                               
to dispose of firearms that come into state possession.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:44:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS  moved to report  CS for  SB 274, Version  X [24-                                                               
LS1636\X,  Bannister,  3/22/06]  from committee  with  individual                                                               
recommendations and attached fiscal  note(s).  Without objection,                                                               
CSSB  274(STA)  was  reported  from   the  Senate  State  Affairs                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
            SCR 21-VIETNAM WAR MEMORIAL:MOVING WALL                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GENE THERRIAULT  announced SCR 21 to be  up for discussion.                                                               
He noted  that a  proposed committee  substitute (CS),  Version G                                                               
was in the packets.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:45:11 PM                                                                                                                    
JOSH TEMPEL, Staff to Senator  Charlie Huggins, presented SCR 21.                                                               
He explained that  this issue is a big one  for numerous veterans                                                               
across the  state.   The memorial  will go  to seven  cities, and                                                               
people are ecstatic.  Noting  that many of Alaska's veterans have                                                               
seen  extreme combat,  Mr. Tempel  suggested  this memorial  will                                                               
provide a chance for closure.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
He  said this  will be  educational, not  just about  the Vietnam                                                               
War,  but  also about  America's  veterans  in general  and  what                                                               
they've given  for our  country.  Although  the memorial  came to                                                               
Alaska about  a decade ago, this  time it will go  to communities                                                               
where  it   has  never  been,   including  Bethel   and  Cordova.                                                               
Mr. Tempe  offered  his  belief  that  Cordova  has  the  highest                                                               
percentage of any city in the nation of fallen Vietnam veterans.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He explained that  in honoring veterans across the  state, it was                                                               
thought an appropriate  title for this summer would  be "a summer                                                               
of honor and a season of  gratitude."  He expressed hope that the                                                               
state would adopt that title for this summer.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:47:57 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  CHARLIE   HUGGINS,  sponsor,  added  that   Vietnam  War                                                               
veterans, including  himself, are  now the majority  of veterans,                                                               
since  those  who  served  in  World War  II  are  passing  away.                                                               
Unfortunately, there  are many scars  from the Vietnam  era, both                                                               
physical  and  mental.    Thus  he  believes  the  wall  will  be                                                               
therapeutic.  For some, it  will bring closure, while others will                                                               
see it  as a  harsh reminder.   What SCR 21  requests is  a voice                                                               
from  the  Senate  in  recognition  that the  wall  is  going  to                                                               
communities where it hasn't yet been, including the Matanuska-                                                                  
Susitna area, Eagle River, Kodiak, and other places.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
He mentioned teleconferencing with  various communities about how                                                               
to make it  happen.  Senator Huggins surmised it  will be a grand                                                               
occasion, though  a somber one.   He  expressed pride in  being a                                                               
small  part  of this,  and  commended  Representative Thomas  for                                                               
having a  big part on behalf  of Southeast Alaska.   He concluded                                                               
by saying this is well deserved by veterans.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:50:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT asked for a motion to adopt the \G Version.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BETTYE DAVIS moved [to  adopt the proposed CS, Version G,                                                               
labeled 24-LS1682\G,  Bannister, 3/14/06, as the  work document].                                                               
Without objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:50:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BILL THOMAS informed members  that he is a Vietnam                                                               
veteran   from   1968.     He   thanked   Senator   Huggins   and                                                               
Representative  Stoltze  for  helping  him get  the  memorial  to                                                               
Cordova, where people were overwhelmed  when they found out about                                                               
this; four  of them  were classmates with  three young  men whose                                                               
names are  on the  wall.   Representative Thomas  expressed great                                                               
pleasure  that this  is happening,  agreeing  there is  a lot  of                                                               
emotional scarring.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:51:57 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE THOMAS  suggested a conceptual amendment  [page 2,                                                               
line 3], to  replace "a" with "the" after "2006";  thus the title                                                               
for  the time  period  would begin  "the summer  of  honor".   He                                                               
offered  his belief  that this  would be  stronger language,  and                                                               
asked if Senator Huggins agreed.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS concurred.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE THOMAS  expressed support for the  resolution.  He                                                               
said he's also working on getting  the names on a citation, which                                                               
could be  taken to  each community.   He  noted that  the platoon                                                               
sergeant for  one young man  who is  listed on the  memorial wall                                                               
lives  in Skagway,  and  two  soldiers in  Haines  and Sitka  had                                                               
served with the young men  he'd mentioned.  Representative Thomas                                                               
said he is  trying to find a  way to take them  to Cordova, where                                                               
the memorial will be on June 23.   He thanked Senator Huggins and                                                               
Representative Stoltze for their assistance in Southeast Alaska.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:53:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR THERRIAULT moved  to adopt Amendment 1, on page  2, line 3,                                                               
after "2006", to change "a" to "the".   Thus it would read:  "the                                                               
summer of  honor and a season  of gratitude".  He  added that the                                                               
drafters  would  be  asked  to  put  it  into  whatever  form  is                                                               
necessary  to clarify  that the  observance is  to be  given that                                                               
title.  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:54:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DAVIS moved  to report  CS for  SCR 21,  Version G  [24-                                                               
LS1682\G, Bannister,  3/14/06], as amended, from  committee [with                                                               
individual   recommendations   and  attached   fiscal   note(s)].                                                               
Without  objection, CSSCR  21(STA) was  reported from  the Senate                                                               
State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
         SB 214-APPROP FOR ENERGY DIVIDEND & ASSISTANCE                                                                     
3:54:25 PM                                                                                                                    
           SB 215-ENERGY DIVIDEND: INCREASE  2005 PFD                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:54:25 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GENE  THERRIAULT announced SB 214  and SB 215 to  be up for                                                               
discussion.   As one  of the bills'  sponsors, he  explained that                                                               
this  is  energy-dividend legislation.    He  noted that  he  had                                                               
touched base  with committee members  and asked them  to consider                                                               
passing  the  bill  on  to  the Senate  Finance  Committee.    He                                                               
reminded members that the bills  propose a dividend to help cover                                                               
increased  energy costs  for Alaskans,  with additional  money to                                                               
make up  a difference  for power cost  equalization (PCE)  in the                                                               
current  fiscal   year.    They   also  propose  a   $10  million                                                               
appropriation for multiple-year use for weatherization for low-                                                                 
income people.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
He pointed out  that when it comes to PCE  for the current fiscal                                                               
year and  the following one,  the issue ultimately will  be dealt                                                               
with  in  the  Senate  Finance   Committee.    He  suggested  the                                                               
likelihood  that funding  would continue  for weatherization  for                                                               
low-income  people,  and  said   he'd  like  the  Senate  Finance                                                               
Committee to consider a multiyear appropriation.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:56:25 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR CHARLIE  HUGGINS moved to report  SB 214 and SB  215 from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
note(s).   Without  objection, SB  214 and  SB 215  were reported                                                               
from the Senate State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair  Therriault adjourned  the  Senate  State Affairs  Standing                                                               
Committee meeting at 3:56:52 PM.                                                                                              

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