Legislature(2011 - 2012)BUTROVICH 205

01/31/2012 09:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS


Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 131 DIVEST INVESTMENTS IN IRAN TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= SB 130 ALASKA NATIVE LANGUAGE COUNCIL TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
= SB 136 INCOME TAX CREDIT FOR EMPLOYING A VETERAN
Moved CSSB 136(STA) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                        January 31, 2012                                                                                        
                           9:01 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bill Wielechowski, Chair                                                                                                
Senator Joe Paskvan, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Albert Kookesh                                                                                                          
Senator Kevin Meyer                                                                                                             
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 136                                                                                                             
"An Act  providing a tax  credit for employing an  Alaska veteran                                                               
that may be taken against a  liability for the tax on corporation                                                               
income; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSB 136(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 131                                                                                                             
"An Act relating  to certain investments of  the Alaska permanent                                                               
fund,  the  state's  retirement  systems,  the  State  of  Alaska                                                               
Supplemental Annuity Plan, and  the deferred compensation program                                                               
for  state employees  in certain  companies that  do business  in                                                               
Iran,  and restricting  those investments;  and providing  for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 130                                                                                                             
"An Act  establishing in the  Office of the Governor  an advisory                                                               
council for the preservation,  restoration, and revitalization of                                                               
Alaska Native languages."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 136                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: INCOME TAX CREDIT FOR EMPLOYING A VETERAN                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) WIELECHOWSKI                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
01/17/12       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/6/12                                                                                
01/17/12       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/17/12       (S)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
01/24/12       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
01/24/12       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
01/26/12       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
01/26/12       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/26/12       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
01/31/12       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 131                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DIVEST INVESTMENTS IN IRAN                                                                                         
SPONSOR(s): STATE AFFAIRS BY REQUEST                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
04/16/11       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/16/11       (S)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
01/31/12       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 130                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ALASKA NATIVE LANGUAGE COUNCIL                                                                                     
SPONSOR(s): OLSON                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
04/15/11       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/15/11       (S)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
01/24/12       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
01/24/12       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
01/31/12       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SAM GOTTSTEIN, Staff                                                                                                            
Senator Bill Wielchowski                                                                                                        
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented SB 131 on behalf of the Senate                                                                  
State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ANGELA RODELL, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                              
Department of Revenue                                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to SB 131.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
AKIVA TOR, Israel Council General                                                                                               
Pacific Northwest                                                                                                               
San Francisco, California                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Spoke in favor of SB 131.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL MAKOVSKY, Foreign Policy Director                                                                                       
Bi-Partisan Policy Center                                                                                                       
Washington, D.C                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DAVID GOTTSTEIN, speaking on his own behalf                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DAVID SCOTT, Staff                                                                                                              
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 130 on behalf of the                                                                      
sponsor.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
LOREN PETERSON, Staff                                                                                                           
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced SB 131 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT RUBY, Director                                                                                                            
Division of Community and Regional Affairs                                                                                      
Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development                                                                      
(DCCED)                                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska.                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to SB 131.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOY HUNTINGTON, Member                                                                                                          
Tanana Chiefs Conference                                                                                                        
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 130.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ANNETTE EVANS-SMITH                                                                                                             
Alaska Native Heritage Center                                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 130.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JON ROSS, President                                                                                                             
Tsiltan Management Group                                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 130.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
LAWRENCE KAPLAN, Director                                                                                                       
Alaska Native Language Center (ANLC)                                                                                            
University of Alaska, Fairbanks                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Spoke in support of SB 131.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ROSITA WORL, PHD., President                                                                                                    
Sealaska Heritage and                                                                                                           
Member                                                                                                                          
Indigenous Languages Institute Board                                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Spoke in support of SB 130.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ALICE TAFF, representing herself                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 130.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PATRICK ANDERSON, Executive Director                                                                                            
Chugachmiut                                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 130.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SELENA EVERSON, Elder                                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 130.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:01:28 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BILL WIELECHOWSKI called the  Senate State Affairs Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 9:01  a.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were  Senators Giessel, Meyer, Paskvan,  Kookesh, and Chair                                                               
Wielechowski.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
        SB 136-INCOME TAX CREDIT FOR EMPLOYING A VETERAN                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:03:10 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   WIELECHOWSKI,   speaking   as  sponsor,   announced   the                                                               
consideration of SB  136. The bill would provide  a $2,000 credit                                                               
for each veteran  a business hires who works at  least 30 hours a                                                               
week for  12 months. The  purpose is  to help those  veterans who                                                               
are  struggling to  find employment  after their  service to  our                                                               
nation.  Young  male veterans  between  the  ages of  18-24  face                                                               
particularly  high  unemployment  rates   -  almost  22  percent.                                                               
Previous testimony in support of  the bill was from the Anchorage                                                               
Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans  of America, Vets Helping Vets in                                                               
Anchorage, and  from the Alaska Veterans  Organization for Women.                                                               
The  committee amended  the bill  last week  to clarify  that the                                                               
credit is not  limited to Alaskan veterans per se,  as that would                                                               
create legal problems, but to all veterans hired in Alaska.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PASKVAN moved to report the  CS for SB 136, version I, as                                                               
amended, from  committee with individual recommendations  and the                                                               
attached fiscal note.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI  announced that  that without  objection, CSSB                                                               
136(STA) moved from the Senate State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
               SB 131-DIVEST INVESTMENTS IN IRAN                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:04:13 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI,  as  chair   of  the  Senate  State  Affairs                                                               
Standing Committee, sponsor  of SB 131, introduced  the bill. The                                                               
bill  would  help  ensure  that  Alaska  does  not  inadvertently                                                               
support  the current  Iranian regime  by  investing in  companies                                                               
that do more than $20 million  of business in Iranian oil and gas                                                               
fields. Iran  has been listed  as a "State Sponsor  of Terrorism"                                                               
by  the   U.S.  State   department  since   1984  and   is  under                                                               
international sanction. The current  regime has been charged with                                                               
supporting  Iraqi insurgents  targeting  U.S.  soldiers. He  said                                                               
that many Alaskans, himself included,  believe that Alaska should                                                               
not  directly or  indirectly help  to finance  a regime  which is                                                               
targeting our troops.  A legitimate question can  be raised about                                                               
whether Alaska  should be  in the  business of  social investing.                                                               
Each case must be evaluated  separately and decided upon based on                                                               
the specific facts.  He emphasized drawing the  line at financing                                                               
regimes that seek to kill Americans.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SAM GOTTSTEIN,  staff to Senator  Bill Wielchowski,  presented SB                                                               
131 on behalf of the  Senate State Affairs Standing Committee. He                                                               
related that SB 131, as currently  drafted, is the same as HB 241                                                               
from the  26th legislature and  identical to HB  2 and HB  241 in                                                               
the current  legislative session. He emphasized  that the Iranian                                                               
regime  is a  threat  to  national security  and  Alaska, by  not                                                               
having  a divestment  policy  in  place, is  in  the position  of                                                               
financing America's  enemies. He highlighted  recent developments                                                               
which show that Iran is a  threat to America's way of life. Since                                                               
1984 the  United States has  listed Iran  as a "State  Sponsor of                                                               
Terrorism."  He  recalled the  history  of  Iran as  a  terrorist                                                               
nation.  The   Iranian  regime  is  under   strong  international                                                               
sanctions. Most  recently, the  United States  Treasury announced                                                               
sanctions against  Iran's National  Bank. The European  Union has                                                               
banned the  purchase of  Iranian oil and  gas. Iran  continues to                                                               
work  toward developing  nuclear  weapon capabilities  and has  a                                                               
long history of  human rights violations. He noted  that there is                                                               
strong bi-partisan support for this  legislation. A recent 100 to                                                               
zero vote in  the U.S. Senate to increase  sanctions against Iran                                                               
highlights the bi-partisan support.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:07:51 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  GOTTSTEIN continued  to explain  how some  foreign companies                                                               
still invest in  Iran because of its oil resources.  SB 131 would                                                               
not  only  make sure  that  Alaska  does  not invest  in  foreign                                                               
companies that help  line the pockets of the  Iranian regime, but                                                               
it  would also  help to  weaken that  regime. The  intent of  the                                                               
legislation is  to bring  Alaska in  line with  America's foreign                                                               
policy.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GOTTSTEIN explained  how  SB 131  works.  The Department  of                                                               
Revenue would  compile a list  of companies who have  invested an                                                               
aggregate  of  $20  million  or  more  in  Iranian  oil  and  gas                                                               
development. Once  the list  is compiled,  companies on  the list                                                               
will have 90  days to justify the investment. If  a company fails                                                               
to do  so, the Department  of Revenue  will ask the  state's fund                                                               
managers, including  the Permanent  Fund, to liquidate  assets of                                                               
that  company within  90  days. He  stressed  that Alaska  should                                                               
divest  from Iran  now for  several reasons.  Federal legislation                                                               
alone  cannot solve  the problem  because the  federal government                                                               
cannot tell states what they can or cannot invest in.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GOTTSTEIN  pointed out  that  over  20 states  already  have                                                               
divested themselves from  Iran. He referred to a  news article in                                                               
the  members'  packets  about New  York's  legislation  regarding                                                               
divestment. The  legislation has both national  and international                                                               
support.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:11:37 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. GOTTSTEIN  dispelled several misconceptions about  SB 131. He                                                               
said   no  North   Slope  operators   would  be   considered  for                                                               
divestment, including new operators. There  will be no changes to                                                               
Alaska's oil and gas incentives on  the North Slope; SB 131 would                                                               
affect only  foreign companies.  He referred to  a list  of those                                                               
foreign  companies in  members' packets.  He reported  that about                                                               
one-tenth of  1 percent of  Alaska's holdings,  approximately $79                                                               
million, would  be subject to divestment  under this legislation.                                                               
He noted  that the Alaska  Permanent Fund Corporation has  a zero                                                               
fiscal note for the bill.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GOTTSTEIN  referred to  written  testimony  from Mr.  Andrew                                                               
Davenport  in members'  packets. Mr.  Davenport, who  has over  a                                                               
decade of experience in risk  management and divestment policies,                                                               
noted  that   there  is  broad,  bi-partisan   support  for  this                                                               
divestment policy. He said that  SB 131 is a "highly conservative                                                               
policy," and would "target an  especially elite category of worst                                                               
offenders."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:14:14 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI requested the administration to testify.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ANGELA  RODELL,  Deputy   Commissioner,  Department  of  Revenue,                                                               
offered to answer questions related to SB 131.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  PASKVAN asked  if the  department has  a position  on SB                                                               
131.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.   RODELL  agreed   with  Senator   Wielechowski  that   these                                                               
situations  should  be evaluated  on  a  case-by-case basis.  She                                                               
added that  the legislation  would not cost  the state  any money                                                               
because  it does  not invest  in  companies that  do business  in                                                               
Iran.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  PASKVAN  asked  for   clarification  if  the  department                                                               
supports the bill.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. RODELL  replied that the  department supports the bill  as it                                                               
is currently written.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MEYER inquired  about  the  impact of  the  bill on  the                                                               
Permanent Fund.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  RODELL said  she could  not speak  for the  Alaska Permanent                                                               
Fund  Corporation. She  reiterated  her  belief that  investments                                                               
should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER questioned how far to go with these protests.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. RODELL shared  the concern about where to draw  the line. She                                                               
said each case should be reviewed and taken up independently.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:17:38 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR PASKVAN questioned the phrase "taken up independently".                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  RODELL explained  her reasoning  that  it was  not a  global                                                               
decision on global investing, but  rather a specific issue of not                                                               
investing in Iran.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:18:39 AM                                                                                                                    
AKIVA  TOR,  Israel  Council   General,  Pacific  Northwest,  San                                                               
Francisco,  California, spoke  in favor  of SB  131. He  said the                                                               
prevention  of  the  Islamic  Republic  of  Iran  from  achieving                                                               
nuclear  weapons is  a vital  security  issue, not  only for  the                                                               
state of Israel,  but for the United States and  the entire West.                                                               
Investments in Iran  cannot be safe. He stressed that  it was the                                                               
right thing and the fiscally wise  thing to do. He concluded that                                                               
the legislation is  a message to Iran and  is significant, moral,                                                               
wise, prudent, and commendable.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:21:05 AM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL  MAKOVSKY, Foreign  Policy  Director, Bi-Partisan  Policy                                                               
Center,  Washington, D.C,  testified  in support  of  SB 131.  He                                                               
maintained  that the  threat  of  a nuclear  Iran  is a  national                                                               
security  threat. He  thought  the legislation  was  in the  best                                                               
interest of  the United  States and was  a bi-partisan  issue. He                                                               
listed reasons  why Iran  was a  threat. He  called on  Alaska to                                                               
join many other states in supporting the legislation.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:25:03 AM                                                                                                                    
DAVID GOTTSTEIN,  Anchorage, Alaska, testified on  his own behalf                                                               
in support of  SB 131. He strongly suggested  setting a precedent                                                               
to help U.S.  military by passing this legislation.  He said that                                                               
federal  legislation  has  granted  a waiver  from  the  "prudent                                                               
investor rule." He agreed with  the Council General that by being                                                               
in a  position of having  investments in  an enemy state  that is                                                               
vulnerable  to military  action would  expose investments  there.                                                               
Trustees  are in  favor  of  this action.  This  request is  very                                                               
different because it has to do with national security.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. GOTTSTEIN  spoke of  investments on the  North Slope  and the                                                               
state's wish to not profit by investments in Iran.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  if  there was  a  link between  Iran's                                                               
funding of  organizations that are harming  American soldiers and                                                               
oil money.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. GOTTSTEIN  reported that Iran  has been a  prime manufacturer                                                               
of improvised explosive  devices, and most of the  deaths of U.S.                                                               
soldiers  in   Iraq  from  explosive  devices   were  from  those                                                               
manufactured in Iran.  He stated that the U.S. is  at war against                                                               
Iran. He  concluded that SB 131  is an opportunity for  Alaska to                                                               
prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI  noted  two fiscal  notes;  an  indeterminate                                                               
fiscal  note from  the Department  of Revenue  and a  zero fiscal                                                               
note from  the Alaska Permanent  Fund Corporation,  Department of                                                               
Revenue.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:30:44 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MEYER  commented  on the  importance  of  becoming  less                                                               
reliant on foreign oil. He  named several floundering attempts at                                                               
domestic oil development.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  said  3.6   million  barrels  of  oil  are                                                               
imported from Iran.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SB 131 was held in committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
             SB 130-ALASKA NATIVE LANGUAGE COUNCIL                                                                          
                                                                                                                              
9:32:52 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI announced  that the CS for SB  130, version X,                                                               
was before  the committee.  It would  establish an  Alaska Native                                                               
Language Preservation and Advisory  Council and was introduced by                                                               
Senator Donny Olson.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PASKVAN  moved to adopt  the CS  for SB 130,  labeled 27-                                                               
LS0779\X, as the working document before the committee.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI objected for discussion purposes.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:34:00 AM                                                                                                                    
DAVID SCOTT, staff,  Senator Donny Olson, testified on  SB 130 on                                                               
behalf of the sponsor.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
LOREN PETERSON, staff, Senator Donny  Olson, introduced SB 131 on                                                               
behalf  of  the sponsor.  He  said  that Senator  Olson's  office                                                               
received  a   resolution  from   the  Northwest   Arctic  Borough                                                               
supporting the formation of an  Alaska Native Language Commission                                                               
at  the state  level.  The intent  of the  bill  is to  preserve,                                                               
maintain and restore Alaska Native  languages, which serve as the                                                               
cultural foundation  of all  cultural elements.  He spoke  of the                                                               
disappearance of the  Eyak tribe's language with the  loss of the                                                               
last  native speaker.  SB 131  would establish  an Alaska  Native                                                               
Language Preservation  and Advisory  Council, which  would assess                                                               
statewide language  policy and  programs with  a mission  to seek                                                               
the most cost-effective programs.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. PETERSON  addressed the changes  in Version X. In  Section 1,                                                               
the  words "are  the foundation  of cultures"  were added  to the                                                               
legislative findings.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
In Section  2, the name  of the  proposed council was  changed to                                                               
"Alaska Native Language Preservation  and Advisory Council."  The                                                               
council was established in the  Department of Commerce, Community                                                               
and Economic  Development (DCCED),  instead of in  the Governor's                                                               
Office. Wording was  changed to say that the  council advises the                                                               
governor  and  the  legislature.  It  was  established  that  the                                                               
council meets at least twice a  year and prepares a report to the                                                               
legislature by January 1 of  each even numbered year. Finally, it                                                               
was established  that the two  non-voting legislative  members of                                                               
the council will come from the Bush Caucus.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
In Section 3,  it was established that the  governor must appoint                                                               
members of the council by December  1, 2012, and the first report                                                               
would be due by July 1, 2014.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. SCOTT offered to answer  questions. He said there is evidence                                                               
that Alaska  Native Languages are  dying. This legislation  is an                                                               
attempt to mitigate that situation.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:39:23 AM                                                                                                                    
SCOTT  RUBY,   Director,  Division  of  Community   and  Regional                                                               
Affairs,   Department  of   Commerce,   Community  and   Economic                                                               
Development (DCCED),  offered to  answer questions related  to SB                                                               
130.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PASKVAN asked if the department supports the bill.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. RUBY said that the department supports the bill, as written.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  requested  an explanation  of  the  fiscal                                                               
note.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. RUBY reported that there is  currently a fiscal note from the                                                               
Governor's Office,  and one  will be  forthcoming from  DCCED for                                                               
about $240,200.  He explained  that the money  would be  used for                                                               
personnel costs  for staff  to serve the  commission and  for the                                                               
preparation of reports.  He said it works better for  staff to be                                                               
assigned to commissions.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI said the fiscal  note from the Office of the                                                               
Governor's  is for  $387,000 in  the first  year. He  inquired if                                                               
DCCED's fiscal note would be in addition to that one.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. RUBY explained  that the new DCCED fiscal  note would replace                                                               
the Office of the Governor's fiscal note.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  concluded that  the fiscal note  would then                                                               
be for $240,000 instead of $387,000.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. RUBY  said it would be  $240,000 for first year  and $216,000                                                               
the following years.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:43:45 AM                                                                                                                    
JOY  HUNTINGTON,  Tanana  Chief  Conference,  Fairbanks,  Alaska,                                                               
testified in  support of SB  130. She  spoke of a  personal story                                                               
regarding her wish to learn the Athabascan language.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:46:09 AM                                                                                                                    
ANNETTE  EVANS-SMITH, Alaska  Native Heritage  Center, Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska,  testified in  support of  SB  130. She  shared that  she                                                               
considers it  her life's work  to learn her Native  language. She                                                               
suggested taking  pro-active action now to  revitalize indigenous                                                               
languages.  She  listed  positive  effects  from  knowing  Native                                                               
languages and stressed the benefits of this legislation.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:50:14 AM                                                                                                                    
JON  ROSS,   President,  Tsiltan  Management   Group,  Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska, testified  in support of  SB 130  and the creation  of an                                                               
Alaska  Native Language  Preservation  and  Advisory Council.  He                                                               
stressed the  importance of passing this  legislation. He thanked                                                               
the sponsor.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:52:01 AM                                                                                                                    
LAWRENCE KAPLAN, Director, Alaska  Native Language Center (ANLC),                                                               
University of Alaska,  Fairbanks, spoke in support of  SB 131. He                                                               
described how the legislation would  support his work and center.                                                               
He  shared information  about the  ANLC and  how the  legislation                                                               
would support its goals.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:55:21 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL asked how many staff members work at ANLC.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. KAPLAN said there were six staff members.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL inquired about the  outcomes of the program since                                                               
its beginnings in 1972.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KAPLAN  shared  successes  of  about  graduation  rates  and                                                               
publications.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:56:57 AM                                                                                                                    
ROSITA   WORL,  PHD.,   President,  Sealaska   Heritage,  Member,                                                               
Indigenous Languages  Institute Board,  Juneau, Alaska,  spoke in                                                               
support of SB  130. She noted in her native  language her Tlingit                                                               
names and how they relate to  her social values and identity. She                                                               
outlined the  status of ANL's.  She quoted  a report to  show how                                                               
the languages  are endangered. She  listed the  various languages                                                               
and their status.  She recalled the history  of revitalization of                                                               
Native  languages.  She  enclosed  a report  from  Sealaska  that                                                               
outlines restoration  programs. She  discussed state  and federal                                                               
efforts to revitalize these languages.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:02:14 AM                                                                                                                   
DR. WORL maintained that the study  of ANL's is important and the                                                               
documentation of  Native language does not  ensure restoration of                                                               
those  languages. Native  organizations  should  be the  eligible                                                               
recipient of  funds to revitalize  ANL programs.  She recommended                                                               
that the  legislation adopt interim  methods to  revitalize those                                                               
languages that are most in  danger. The effect of the legislation                                                               
would  send  a  powerful  message.   She  suggested  reasons  for                                                               
supporting SB  130. She addressed  self-esteem issues  related to                                                               
pride  of  language.  She  stressed   the  importance  of  Native                                                               
language programs in schools.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR. WORL noted she would provide  a study to support the need for                                                               
restoration  of  Native languages.  She  continued  to state  the                                                               
objectives  to  be  achieved  by this  legislation.  She  gave  a                                                               
personal  example  of  the  advantage   of  having  knowledge  of                                                               
indigenous  language. She  dedicated  her testimony  to the  late                                                               
Native,  Bill Demmert.  She  recommended  incorporating his  name                                                               
into the name of the council.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:09:27 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR GIESSEL agreed that  multi-lingual children have advanced                                                               
brain  development.  She  recalled  the  Alaska  Native  Language                                                               
Center just mentioned  and asked if Ms. Worl  had benefitted from                                                               
that program.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR. WORL replied that she lobbied  for the creation of the center                                                               
and spoke highly of Dr. Krauss  and his program at UAF. She said,                                                               
however, that  the study of language  by itself does not  lead to                                                               
language restoration. She shared her community-based philosophy.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL asked  if there would be  interfacing between the                                                               
potential Native Language Council and Dr. Krauss' program.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR.  WORL  described the  possible  interaction  between the  two                                                               
programs. She  gave examples  of the  complexities of  words. She                                                               
stressed that restoration is a very different approach.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL asked what Dr. Worl's degree was in.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DR. WORL replied  that she is an anthropologist with  a PhD. from                                                               
Harvard and a minor in social linguistics.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:14:47 AM                                                                                                                   
ALICE  TAFF, representing  herself,  testified in  support of  SB                                                               
130.  She  shared  examples  of  Alaska  natural  resources,  and                                                               
included  Native   languages  among  them.  She   suggested  that                                                               
restoring language  would reduce the suicide  rate, diabetes, and                                                               
alcoholism  amongst  Native  people. She  concluded  that  UNESCO                                                               
states the right of students to learn their native language.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:18:55 AM                                                                                                                   
PATRICK  ANDERSON,  Executive Director,  Chugachmiut,  Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska, testified  in support of  SB 130. He shared  his language                                                               
history. He  said that  he has  participated in  revitalizing two                                                               
languages, Hawaiian and Tlingit.  He recalled problems in Chugiak                                                               
with  language  restoration  and   the  difficulty  of  receiving                                                               
funding for programs.  He described the historical  trauma of his                                                               
culture.  He stated  that the  legislation would  provide linkage                                                               
between the State of Alaska and Native communities.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:26:25 AM                                                                                                                   
SELENA EVERSON,  elder, Juneau, Alaska,  testified in  support of                                                               
SB 130. She recalled the history  of her language and thanked the                                                               
legislature  for considering  this  important  bill. She  thanked                                                               
Alice Taft, Dr. Worl, and all officials for their work.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:29:51 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  KOOKESH  stressed  the  historical  importance  of  this                                                               
legislation. He  said this is the  first time a program  has been                                                               
developed for  the Alaska Native  Community. He thought  it would                                                               
be a  difficult road  to get the  legislation passed.  He related                                                               
that the program depends on  many organizations working together,                                                               
such as  schools, tribes, and  foundations that have  bought into                                                               
the idea  of restoration. The  State of Alaska has  not committed                                                               
to this program,  unlike Hawaii which recognizes  Hawaiian as its                                                               
national language.  This legislation  is ground  breaking because                                                               
it  would  be the  first  step  toward preserving  Alaska  Native                                                               
languages.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:33:12 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  PASKVAN  shared  his   experience  with  the  Athabascan                                                               
culture while growing up in  Interior Alaska. He related language                                                               
preservation roles  by family members.  He said he  believes that                                                               
Native languages  should not be  relegated to history  or legend.                                                               
The bill  is an extremely  important process to  preserve, honor,                                                               
and encourage indigenous languages in Alaska.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI agreed  that  when the  language dies,  the                                                               
culture dies.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SB 130 was held in committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:34:54 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI adjourned the  Senate State Affairs Standing                                                               
Committee meeting at 10:34 am.                                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 136 Fiscal Note.pdf SSTA 1/31/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 136
SB136.AK Business Monthly.Hiring Military Veterans is Good Business.pdf SSTA 1/31/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 136
SB136 Vet. Tax Credit.pdf SSTA 1/31/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 136
SB136 Sectional Analysis.pdf SSTA 1/31/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 136
SB 136 - Leg Research.Vet Tax Credit Updated Report.12.28.11.pdf SSTA 1/31/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 136
SB136 Ver.I.1.pdf SSTA 1/31/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 136
SB136 Support Letter Vets Helping Vets.pdf SSTA 1/31/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 136
SB136 Letter of Support.pdf SSTA 1/31/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 136
SB 131 S STA PowerPoint Presentation.pdf SSTA 1/31/2012 9:00:00 AM
SSTA 2/2/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 131