Legislature(2011 - 2012)BUTROVICH 205

03/08/2011 09:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 36 OPT-OUT CHARITABLE GIVING PROGRAM TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 36(STA) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony Closed --
+= SCR 1 LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSCR 1(STA) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony Closed --
+= SB 7 FELONS' RIGHT TO VOTE OR BE JURORS TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 7 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony Closed --
+ HB 28 TEMP LICENSE/FEE WAIVER FOR PROFESSIONALS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 98 HANDLING OF STATE FLAG TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         March 8, 2011                                                                                          
                           9:02 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bill Wielechowski, Chair                                                                                                
Senator Joe Paskvan, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Albert Kookesh                                                                                                          
Senator Kevin Meyer                                                                                                             
Senator Catherine Giessel                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 36                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to an opt-out charitable giving program offered                                                                
by an electric or telephone cooperative."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSB 36(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 1                                                                                              
Designating May 2011 as Lupus Awareness Month.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSCR 1(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 7                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to the civil rights of felons."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 7 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 28(FIN)                                                                                 
"An  Act  relating to  temporary  courtesy  licenses for  certain                                                               
nonresident professionals and to  a temporary exemption from fees                                                               
and other licensing  requirements for active duty  members of the                                                               
armed forces."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 98                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to display, folding, presentment, and                                                                          
retirement of the state flag."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  36                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: OPT-OUT CHARITABLE GIVING PROGRAM                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) THOMAS                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
01/19/11       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/14/11                                                                               
01/19/11       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/19/11       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
03/01/11       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/01/11       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/01/11       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/08/11       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SCR  1                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH                                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) DAVIS                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
01/19/11       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/19/11       (S)       STA, HSS                                                                                               
03/01/11       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/01/11       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/01/11       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/08/11       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB   7                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: FELONS' RIGHT TO VOTE OR BE JURORS                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) DAVIS                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
01/19/11       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/7/11                                                                                
01/19/11       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/19/11       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
02/03/11       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/03/11       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/03/11       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/08/11       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  28                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: TEMP LICENSE/FEE WAIVER FOR PROFESSIONALS                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) THOMAS, HERRON, FEIGE                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
01/18/11       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/7/11                                                                                
01/18/11       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/18/11       (H)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
02/07/11       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/07/11       (H)       Moved CSHB 28(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                    
02/07/11       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/09/11       (H)       L&C RPT CS(L&C) NT 7DP                                                                                 
02/09/11       (H)       DP: THOMPSON, SADDLER, JOHNSON, HOLMES,                                                                
                         MILLER, SEATON, OLSON                                                                                  
02/16/11       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
02/16/11       (H)       Moved CSHB 28(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                    
02/16/11       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
02/18/11       (H)       FIN RPT CS(FIN) NT  11DP                                                                               
02/18/11       (H)       DP:    FAIRCLOUGH,    GARA,    T.WILSON,                                                               
                         GUTTENBERG, JOULE, NEUMAN, COSTELLO,                                                                   
                         EDGMON,                                                                                                
02/18/11       (H)       DOOGAN, STOLTZE, THOMAS                                                                                
02/23/11       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
02/23/11       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 28(FIN)                                                                                  
02/24/11       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/24/11       (S)       STA, L&C                                                                                               
03/08/11       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  98                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: HANDLING OF STATE FLAG                                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) JOHNSON                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
01/18/11       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/18/11       (H)       STA                                                                                                    
02/17/11       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/17/11       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
02/17/11       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/18/11       (H)       STA RPT 5DP                                                                                            
02/18/11       (H)       DP: JOHANSEN, KELLER, SEATON, PETERSEN,                                                                
                         LYNN                                                                                                   
02/25/11       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
02/25/11       (H)       VERSION: HB 98                                                                                         
02/28/11       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/28/11       (S)       STA                                                                                                    
03/08/11       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/16/11       (H)       Moved CSHB 28(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                    
02/16/11       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
02/18/11       (H)       FIN RPT CS(FIN) NT  11DP                                                                               
02/18/11       (H)       DP:    FAIRCLOUGH,    GARA,    T.WILSON,                                                               
                         GUTTENBERG, JOULE, NEUMAN, COSTELLO,                                                                   
                         EDGMON,                                                                                                
02/18/11       (H)       DOOGAN, STOLTZE, THOMAS                                                                                
02/23/11       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
02/23/11       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 28(FIN)                                                                                  
02/24/11       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/24/11       (S)       STA, L&C                                                                                               
03/08/11       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
GRIER HOPKINS, Staff to Senator Joe Thomas                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented CSSB 36 for sponsor.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ED SNIFFEN                                                                                                                      
Assistant Attorney General                                                                                                      
Consumer Protection and Antitrust Enforcement                                                                                   
Civil Division                                                                                                                  
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions regarding CSSB 36(STA),                                                                
version B.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JOE GALLAGHER                                                                                                                   
Homer Electric Association                                                                                                      
Homer, AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of CSSB 36(STA),                                                                     
version B.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BETTYE DAVIS                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SCR 1.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SARAH CHAMBERS                                                                                                                  
Division of Corporations and Professional Licensing                                                                             
Department of Commerce and Economic Development                                                                                 
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions regarding HB 28.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
KACI SCHROEDER, Staff to Representative Bill Thomas                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HB 28 for Representative Bill                                                                   
Thomas, sponsor.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MARK SANSOUCI                                                                                                                   
Department of Defense                                                                                                           
Liaison for Military Families                                                                                                   
Seattle, AK                                                                                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 28.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JEANNE OSTNES, Staff to Representative Craig Johnson                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
POSITION  STATEMENT: Presented  HB  98  for Representative  Craig                                                             
Johnson, sponsor.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BIANCA ARMSTRONG, Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps                                                                         
Diamond High School                                                                                                             
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 98.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT HOWSER, JROTC Battalion Commander                                                                                        
Diamond High School                                                                                                           
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 98.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:01:44 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BILL WIELECHOWSKI called the  Senate State Affairs Standing                                                               
Committee meeting  to order at 9:02  a.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order   were  Senators   Giessel,   Meyer,   Paskvan  and   Chair                                                               
Wielechowski.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
            SB  36-OPT-OUT CHARITABLE GIVING PROGRAM                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:02:05 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI  announced the  first order of  business would                                                               
be SB 36.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  PASKVAN moved  to adopt  CS for  SB 36(  ), labeled  27-                                                               
LS0342\B, as the working document.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI objected for discussion purposes.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
GRIER HOPKINS,  staff to  Senator Joe Thomas,  sponsor of  SB 36,                                                               
said the changes in version B  add a sentence to the title, which                                                               
now includes  the provision allowing  an electric  cooperative to                                                               
assist  persons in  acquiring and  installing weatherization  and                                                               
energy efficiency  products and  services. This change  occurs in                                                               
section 2, page 2, and line 29.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:04:23 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KOOKESH joined the meeting.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Currently,  utilities can  only  provide  financing programs  for                                                               
electrical  appliances  and  plumbing  upgrades.  Homer  Electric                                                               
Association runs a line of credit  program for its members, and a                                                               
number of  them have  asked for help  with energy  efficiency and                                                               
weatherization  programs.  On page  4,  lines  13  - 17,  the  CS                                                               
defines "charitable program" for purposes of the bill.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KOOKESH asked how it works  if a customer asks for a full                                                               
three-year refund.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOPKINS answered  that the cooperatives are  required to keep                                                               
a reserve fund for this purpose.  The donation is a maximum of 99                                                               
cents per bill or $36 per customer over a three year period.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked  Mr.  Sniffen  to  define  "charitable                                                               
purpose."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ED SNIFFEN,  Assistant Attorney General, Consumer  Protection and                                                               
Antitrust Enforcement,  Civil Division, Department of  Law (DOL),                                                               
Anchorage,  said   there  were   some  questions   regarding  the                                                               
definition  of "charitable  purpose," and  limiting language  was                                                               
discussed  at  the  last  meeting. The  CS  language  tracks  the                                                               
language  currently in  the bill  under section  01.013 to  allow                                                               
donations to  a charitable,  scientific, or  educational purpose,                                                               
but specifically  restricts the  use of  money for  any pecuniary                                                               
profit  or for  a  labor organization.  A  charitable purpose  is                                                               
further  defined as  relief of  poverty, distress,  or any  other                                                               
condition of concern to the state.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:10:19 AM                                                                                                                    
JOE GALLAGHER,  Homer Electric Association,  spoke in  support of                                                               
CSSB  36(  ),  version  B.  He said  the  bill  would  allow  the                                                               
association  to assist  people in  installing weatherization  and                                                               
energy efficiency products and  services. The association already                                                               
has a  financing program  for appliances,  which has  worked very                                                               
well.  Members  would  like  to  add  weatherization  and  energy                                                               
efficiency products. Because of  restrictions in the current law,                                                               
the association is  unable to do this.  The goal of the  CS is to                                                               
add language that  allows them to help  finance energy efficiency                                                               
projects.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:11:11 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI  closed  public testimony,  and  removed  his                                                               
objection.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PASKVAN moved to report CS  for SB 36( ), version B, from                                                               
committee  with   individual  recommendations   and  accompanying                                                               
fiscal notes.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI   announced  that  without   objection,  CSSB                                                               
36(STA) passed from the Senate State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                  SCR  1-LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:12:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI  announced consideration  of SCR 1  [version B                                                               
was before the committee].                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
SENATOR  BETTYE  DAVIS,  sponsor  of SCR  1,  offered  to  answer                                                               
question.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI noted there was a zero fiscal note.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PASKVAN  moved to report  CS for  SCR 1, version  B, from                                                               
committee  with   individual  recommendations   and  accompanying                                                               
fiscal notes.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI  announced   that  without  objection,  CSSCR                                                               
1(STA) passed from the Senate State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
           SB   7-FELONS' RIGHT TO VOTE OR BE JURORS                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
9:14:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI announced the next  order of business would be                                                               
SB 7, which  would give convicted felons the right  to vote or be                                                               
jurors  immediately upon  their  release  from incarceration.  He                                                               
noted many states have recently  revised their laws in this area.                                                               
It is  a complex issue  in Alaska because our  state constitution                                                               
specifically provides that:                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     No person may  vote who has been convicted  of a felony                                                                    
     involving moral turpitude unless  his civil rights have                                                                    
     been restored." This phrase is  not defined and has not                                                                    
     been interpreted  by our state courts,  and its meaning                                                                    
     is a matter of speculation.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BETTYE DAVIS, sponsor of SB 7, said the bill is needed.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  PASKVAN  moved  to  report  SB  7  from  committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL  objected and  said she  has heard  concerns from                                                               
her constituents who  are crime victims that  felons on probation                                                               
and  parole   are  still   under  sentence,   and  it   would  be                                                               
inappropriate to  give them some  kind of special  exemption from                                                               
fulfilling  that sentence.  Their victims  did not  choose to  be                                                               
victims.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
She noted  a recent article  in the Seattle Times  that discusses                                                               
granting special  privileges to ex-convicts. The  author provides                                                               
interim housing  for felons, and  talks at length about  how this                                                               
is a  very tricky business.  These people have  committed serious                                                               
crimes, and they  are not victimless crimes.  People on probation                                                               
and parole  are still  under sentence. Allowing  them to  vote is                                                               
the wrong  direction; instead,  we should  help them  serve their                                                               
parole and probation to regain their rights and credibility.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:20:12 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI agreed it is  a delicate issue. But, he noted,                                                               
the recidivism  rate appears to  drop when people are  allowed to                                                               
vote. If the state  can cut that rate by even  2 percent, it will                                                               
save money and prevent future victims.  He also said the bill has                                                               
a referral to the Judiciary committee.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KOOKESH said giving ex-felons  the right to vote does not                                                               
absolve them of their crimes; it  just gets them a step closer to                                                               
being part  of society.  He stated the  Native community  has the                                                               
highest  number  of incarcerated  people  in  the state.  Forcing                                                               
people  on probation  to stay  in urban  centers is  part of  the                                                               
recidivism  problem.  Whatever can  be  done  to return  them  to                                                               
society is what  we should do. Recidivism would  drop. This would                                                               
be a good  step. Perhaps we should give felons  the right to vote                                                               
when their probationary period is done.  He said he wants to move                                                               
the bill on for further discussion.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:23:56 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GIESSEL said  that felons  already regain  the right  to                                                               
vote after their probation is completed.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL removed her objection.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  PASKVAN  moved  to  report  SB  7  from  committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  attached  fiscal note(s).  There                                                               
being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
        HB  28-TEMP LICENSE/FEE WAIVER FOR PROFESSIONALS                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI announced the next  order of business would be                                                               
HB 28. [CSHB 28(FIN) was before the committee.]                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:28:26 AM                                                                                                                    
KACI SCHROEDER,  staff to Representative Bill  Thomas, sponsor of                                                               
HB 28,  said the bill would  allow a military spouse  to obtain a                                                               
temporary license to practice their  profession while they are in                                                               
the  state.  Military spouses  are  some  of the  most  transient                                                               
populations  in   the  country,   and  being  able   to  maintain                                                               
employment  is  extremely  important   to  military  spouses  and                                                               
families. She noted  that teachers and attorneys  are not covered                                                               
in  the  bill.  Teachers  in  Alaska are  not  regulated  by  the                                                               
Department  of  Commerce  (DCCED);  they  are  regulated  by  the                                                               
Department of Education, which has  already addressed this issue.                                                               
Attorneys also  have their  own regulatory  system, and  they can                                                               
come  to the  state  and  practice on  a  temporary basis  before                                                               
taking the bar exam.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI asked if doctors are covered.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHROEDER answered yes.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL  noted that if a  nurse is licensed in  the state                                                               
of  Maryland and  put on  active duty  at Elmendorf,  the federal                                                               
government  covers that  by  maintaining  that person's  license.                                                               
They  are not  licensed in  Alaska or  under jurisdiction  of the                                                               
Board of Nursing in Alaska.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHROEDER replied the intent of  the bill is that if a person                                                               
licensed  in Alaska  is called  to active  duty for  some reason,                                                               
they  are  not at  risk  of  losing  their Alaska  license  while                                                               
serving  on active  duty  anywhere  in the  world.  They are  not                                                               
required  to  pay  licensing  fees or  keep  up  with  continuing                                                               
education while they out of state on active duty.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:31:46 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KOOKESH  asked for clarification that  the section refers                                                               
only to Alaska residents.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHROEDER answered yes.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL asked what is the  intent of the language on page                                                               
2, referring to 180 days after active duty ends.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHROEDER  replied they  wanted an  exemption but  they don't                                                               
want  a person  who has  been gone  to drop  back in  without any                                                               
licensing requirements.  This gives them  six months to  get back                                                               
to speed without practicing; then  they can complete requirements                                                               
and return to practicing their profession.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:33:44 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL asked how this would be enforced.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHROEDER answered DCCED could speak to enforcement.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:34:50 AM                                                                                                                    
SARAH  CHAMBERS,  Program  Coordinator,  Professional  Licensing,                                                               
Division of  Corporations, Department of Commerce,  Community and                                                               
Economic Development (DCCED), said part  of their task will be to                                                               
develop mechanisms to  make sure these things are  done. She said                                                               
that  DCCED   has  an  investigations  wing   and  administrative                                                               
relationships  with the  military  and other  agencies to  gather                                                               
information. They feel confident they can protect the public.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KOOKESH mentioned fees and  other requirements, and asked                                                               
if this applies to 180 days after leaving active duty.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. CHAMBERS stated that was correct.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GIESSEL  said  having  had  the  honor  to  serve  on  a                                                               
regulatory board  she understands the complexities  involved; the                                                               
board has a  responsibility to insure that  ineligible people are                                                               
not practicing and that they  are bringing themselves up to speed                                                               
with whatever they  may have missed. She also  wondered about the                                                               
cost to the regulatory board should there be a violation.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:38:09 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  CHAMBERS  responded  the  division  regulates  40  different                                                               
licenses. Sometimes  a person on  active duty will be  engaged in                                                               
their profession, while  some may not. This is not  really a one-                                                               
size-fits-all program, and will not  be enacted that way. It will                                                               
be  the task  of  DCCED  to work  through  the needed  processes.                                                               
Regarding  a fiscal  note, the  division  director believes  they                                                               
will  work to  be proactive  rather than  reactive. The  division                                                               
feels  the risk  will  be minimal,  and they  should  be able  to                                                               
absorb any costs through current fees and receipts.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KOOKESH  stated  that  many people  returning  from  the                                                               
military  have a  lot of  emotional problems.  They need  the six                                                               
months  afterwards to  get back  on their  feet. This  bill gives                                                               
them time to adjust.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHAMBERS answered  that is  correct. Six  months was  chosen                                                               
because  it does  take time  to  disengage from  active duty  and                                                               
return to society.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER  said the  bill is  interesting and  worthwhile. If                                                               
the division  says there are  no additional costs, he  will trust                                                               
that opinion. He  asked how many people will be  affected, and if                                                               
other states have done this.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SCHROEDER replied  it is  difficult  to track  that kind  of                                                               
data, but they  estimate there are 8,000 military  spouses in the                                                               
state, with maybe 1,000 who require licensing.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:43:38 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER asked about other states.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHROEDER answered  that both Colorado and  Florida have done                                                               
something similar.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  if the  bill had  a Finance  Committee                                                               
referral, and how many people might take advantage.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHROEDER replied there was no Finance referral.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI said  the bill  would seem  to have  a fiscal                                                               
impact.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHAMBERS  responded  that  the first  section  of  the  bill                                                               
requires  military spouses  to  pay all  fees  when applying  for                                                               
licenses.  The  second  portion relates  to  actual  active  duty                                                               
military that would already be currently licensed by the state.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI asked  if there might be  any equal protection                                                               
arguments against the bill.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHROEDER  explained the impacts are  not necessarily out-of-                                                               
state vs. in-state.  The only difference for  military spouses is                                                               
for their licenses to be expedited.  Also, it is not uncommon for                                                               
military groups  to be treated  differently, especially  in times                                                               
of war.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if  the bill  includes the  Coast Guard                                                               
and National Guard.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHROEDER answered that it does.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GIESSEL noted  that some  of the  most exemplary  health                                                               
care  providers in  state are  retired military.  She asked  if a                                                               
board has  more stringent requirements  in place, does  this bill                                                               
lower those requirements.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHROEDER answered no.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:47:19 AM                                                                                                                    
MARK SANSOUCI,  Liaison for military  families in  the Northwest,                                                               
Department of  Defense (DOD), said  military spouse careers  is a                                                               
top  priority of  First Lady  Michelle  Obama. Military  families                                                               
need the  dual incomes  and there is  also concern  for retention                                                               
and  reenlisting.  Fifty-nine  percent of  military  members  are                                                               
married; 72  percent of those are  in the NCO and  officer class.                                                               
DOD data shows that today in  Alaska there are 13,229 active duty                                                               
military spouses.  Roughly 50  percent of  them are  employed, so                                                               
that  would be  about  6,500. They  don't know  how  many may  be                                                               
licensed.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked  what  the percentages  are  in  other                                                               
states.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. SANSOUCI answered  that in Florida the bill  was just enacted                                                               
in July 2010,  so they don't have good numbers  yet. Colorado has                                                               
a  different  way of  handling  licenses,  so  there is  no  real                                                               
comparison.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI said it would be helpful to have that data.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:51:04 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI closed  public testimony  and held  HB 28  in                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                 HB  98-HANDLING OF STATE FLAG                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:51:32 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI announced the next  order of business would be                                                               
HB  98,  which  would  establish  a  standardized  procedure  for                                                               
handling of the state flag.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JEANNE OSTNES, staff to Representative  Craig Johnson, sponsor of                                                               
HB 98, said the bill adds  subsections and two new sections to AS                                                               
44.09.030. The  bill would bring standardization  in handling the                                                               
state  flag  in Alaska.  It  is  designed to  insure  consistent,                                                               
respectful, and appropriate procedures for display of the flag.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:54:21 AM                                                                                                                    
BIANCA ARMSTRONG, Junior Reserve  Officer Training Corps (JROTC),                                                               
Diamond High School,  Anchorage, said the idea for  the bill came                                                               
from  a   service  learning  project.  While   looking  in  state                                                               
statutes, they  noticed there  were no  guidelines for  the state                                                               
flag.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT HOWSER,  JROTC Battalion  Commander, Diamond  High School,                                                               
said they  wanted a more  unique way to  fold the Alaska  flag in                                                               
comparison to the  U.S. flag. They wanted to fold  it so that the                                                               
North Star would be on top.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:56:00 AM                                                                                                                    
Members were shown  a video of a flag ceremony  made by the JROTC                                                               
students, showing how to fold the flag.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. OSTNES  said she wanted  to recognize the students  for their                                                               
work  on the  video and  for taking  the time  to testify  during                                                               
their spring break. They also prepared  a booklet for use by each                                                               
school district or  senate district. She displayed  a draft mock-                                                               
up of  the booklet. Most important  is placement of the  flag and                                                               
folding it properly.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:03:34 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  PASKVAN noted  there  are many  ways  of displaying  the                                                               
state flag. Many  people wear bandanas, patches,  or t-shirts. He                                                               
hopes the  bill would  encourage correct  procedures but  not ban                                                               
other types of display.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  OSTNES responded  that was  correct. There  was no  standard                                                               
procedure  for  vertical hanging  of  the  state flag.  The  bill                                                               
sponsor just  wants to  make a uniform  policy, and  no penalties                                                               
would be involved.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI said perhaps the  bill should refer to display                                                               
in a public place.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:06:19 AM                                                                                                                   
MS. OSTNES replied the booklet goes into extensive etiquette.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  PASKVAN pointed  out that  the flag  could be  displayed                                                               
many  different ways  in  different places;  for  instance, in  a                                                               
newspaper  advertisement. He  said the  first Alaska  Legislature                                                               
did not put a penalty for  improper display of flags. He does not                                                               
want to see any penalty or punishment.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. OSTNES confirmed there are no penalties in the bill, just                                                                   
basic guidelines. The booklet could be educational. It is a                                                                     
draft and things can change.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:09:23 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR MEYER asked how to obtain the booklet.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. OSTNES answered the print shop is printing them now.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER said he recently gave a state flag that had flown                                                                 
over the Capitol Building to a deceased soldier's parents, and                                                                  
the booklet would make a nice addition to such a gift.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI announced HB 98 would be held in committee.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:11:00 AM                                                                                                                   
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Wielechowski adjourned the Senate State Affairs Standing                                                                  
Committee meeting at 10:11 a.m.                                                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CSHB 28 Sponsor Statement 2.pdf SSTA 3/8/2011 9:00:00 AM
HB 28
HB 27 Supporting Document - Professions Covered by HB 28.pdf SSTA 3/8/2011 9:00:00 AM
HB 27
HB 28
HB 28 Supporting Document - Dental Society Letter.pdf SSTA 3/8/2011 9:00:00 AM
HB 28
CSHB 28 Supporting Documents - Article Military Spouses.pdf SSTA 3/8/2011 9:00:00 AM
HB 28