Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205

03/12/2015 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
08:03:57 AM Start
08:04:27 AM SB63
08:25:16 AM Confirmation Hearing: Commissioner, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
09:55:21 AM SB4
10:21:13 AM SB24
10:41:32 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Governor's Appointments - Confirmation Hearing: TELECONFERENCED
Col. Laurie Hummel, Commissioner, Department of
Military and Veterans' Affairs
-- Public Testimony --
Moved CSSB 63(STA) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Moved SSSB 4 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
Scheduled but Not Heard
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         March 12, 2015                                                                                         
                           8:03 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Bill Stoltze, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator John Coghill, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Charlie Huggins                                                                                                         
Senator Lesil McGuire                                                                                                           
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 63                                                                                                              
"An Act naming the state library, archives, and museum building                                                                 
in Juneau."                                                                                                                     
     - MOVED CSSB 63(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 4                                                                                        
"An Act relating to financial disclosures required of                                                                           
legislators, legislative directors, public members of the Select                                                                
Committee on Legislative Ethics, and public officials."                                                                         
     - MOVED SSSB 4 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 24                                                                                                              
"An Act relating  to the applicability of  the Legislative Ethics                                                               
Act to legislative  interns, legislative volunteers, consultants,                                                               
independent  contractors, sole  proprietorships, and  other legal                                                               
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
CONFIRMATION HEARING                                                                                                            
     Commissioner, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs                                                                
          Col. Laurie Hummel                                                                                                    
     - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                    
SENATE BILL NO. 62                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating  to the  regulation  of  marijuana,  marijuana                                                               
testing, marijuana products,  and marijuana accessories; relating                                                               
to the  licensing of marijuana retailers,  producers, processors,                                                               
boutique  producers,  brokers,  and  home  growers;  relating  to                                                               
taxation of marijuana; and providing for an effective date."                                                                    
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB 63                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: NAMING STATE LIBRARY & MUSEUM                                                                                      
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) EGAN                                                                                                     
02/27/15       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/27/15       (S)       STA                                                                                                    
03/12/15       (S)       STA AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
BILL: SB 4                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE: FINL. DISCLOSURE: LEGIS AND PUB OFFICIALS                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) GIESSEL                                                                                                  
01/21/15       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/9/15                                                                                
01/21/15       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/21/15       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
01/26/15       (S)       SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED-REFERRALS                                                                
01/26/15       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
03/05/15       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/05/15       (S)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
03/12/15       (S)       STA AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
BILL: SB 24                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: LEGIS. ETHICS ACT: CONTRACTORS, INTERNS                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) GARDNER                                                                                                  
01/21/15       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/21/15       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
03/05/15       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/05/15       (S)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
03/12/15       (S)       STA AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
SENATOR DENNIS EGAN                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 63.                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE NEAL FOSTER                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 63.                                                                                       
CATHRYN FOSTER, Widow                                                                                                           
late Representative Richard Foster                                                                                              
Richland, Washington                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 63.                                                                                       
RICHARD FOSTER                                                                                                                  
Son of the late Representative Richard Foster                                                                                   
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Co-Sponsor of SB 63.                                                                                      
LINDA THIBODEAU, Director                                                                                                       
Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums                                                                                    
Department of Education and Early Development                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information on SB 63.                                                                           
COLONEL LAURIE HUMMEL, Commissioner-designee                                                                                    
Department of Military & Veterans Affairs (DMVA)                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information related to her                                                                      
confirmation hearing.                                                                                                           
SENATOR CATHY GIESSEL                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 4.                                                                                          
VIVIAN STIVER, Staff                                                                                                            
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Explained changes in SB 4.                                                                                
PAUL DAUPHINAIS, Executive Director                                                                                             
Alaska Public Offices Commission                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to SB 4.                                                                       
KATHIE WASSERMAN, Executive Director                                                                                            
Alaska Municipal League                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 4.                                                                             
SENATOR BERTA GARDNER                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 24.                                                                                         
T.J. PRESLEY, Staff                                                                                                             
Senator Berta Gardner                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information on SB 24.                                                                            
JERRY ANDERSON, Administrator                                                                                                   
Legislative Ethics Committee                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information on SB 24.                                                                            
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
8:03:57 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  BILL  STOLTZE called  the  Senate  State Affairs  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 8:03  a.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were Senators Coghill, Huggins,  and Chair Stoltze. Senator                                                               
Wielechowski arrived shortly thereafter.                                                                                        
              SB 63-NAMING STATE LIBRARY & MUSEUM                                                                           
8:04:27 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE announced the consideration of SB 63.                                                                             
SENATOR DENNIS EGAN, Alaska State  Legislature, sponsor of SB 63,                                                               
explained that  the bill names  the state library,  archives, and                                                               
museum (SLAM) building for Father  Andrew P. Kashevaroff in honor                                                               
of his countless contributions to  preserving Alaska history. The                                                               
SLAM will preserve the history of  the people, the state, and the                                                               
territory of  Alaska. Father Kashevaroff  was a  statewide figure                                                               
of Aleut  and Russian descent,  who traveled all over  the state.                                                               
He was married to an Alaska Native woman from Sitka.                                                                            
He thanked Chair  Stoltze and Senator Huggins  for their proposal                                                               
to  name a  reading room  in SLAM  after the  late-Representative                                                               
Richard  Foster. He  said  Richard spent  a lot  of  time in  the                                                               
archives reading history and it  is fitting that the reading room                                                               
be named after him.                                                                                                             
8:06:51 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGGINS  thanked  those  who  worked  on  the  amendment                                                               
honoring  Richard   Foster,  who   was  an  institution   in  the                                                               
legislature. He said they looked  for something that was fitting,                                                               
professional, and deserving  to bear Richard Foster's  name - the                                                               
reading room.                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  HUGGINS   moved  to  adopt  Amendment   1,  labeled  29-                                                               
LS0546\A.2,  which  would  name  the reading  room  in  SLAM  the                                                               
Representative Richard Foster Reading Room.                                                                                     
                          AMENDMENT 1                                                                                       
     OFFERED IN THE SENATE     BY SENATORS HUGGINS, STOLTZE                                                                     
          TO: SB 63                                                                                                             
     Page 1, line I, following "Juneau":                                                                                        
          Insert "and the public reading room in that                                                                           
     Page 4, line5:                                                                                                             
          Delete "Museum."                                                                                                      
          Insert "Museum, and Representative Richard Foster                                                                     
     Reading Room. (a)"                                                                                                         
     Page 1, following line 6:                                                                                                  
          Insert a new subsection to read:                                                                                      
"(b) The public reading room  in the state library, archives, and                                                               
museum  building in  Juneau is  named the  Representative Richard                                                               
Foster Reading Room."                                                                                                           
CHAIR STOLTZE objected.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE NEAL  FOSTER, Alaska State  Legislature, testified                                                               
on SB 63. He recognized family members on line.                                                                                 
CATHRYN FOSTER, Widow of the  late Representative Richard Foster,                                                               
thanked the  sponsor for  honoring her husband  in this  way. She                                                               
said Richard  loved going to the  archives room as an  escape and                                                               
enjoyed reading about the history  of Nome and the Bering Straits                                                               
8:10:22 AM                                                                                                                    
RICHARD FOSTER,  Son of the  late Representative  Richard Foster,                                                               
testified on  SB 63. He  thanked everyone  for their work  on the                                                               
bill.  He  recalled his  dad's  interest  in Alaska  history  and                                                               
shared what the honor means to the family.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE FOSTER voiced appreciation  from the Foster family                                                               
for  the naming  of  the  archives room  after  his dad,  Richard                                                               
Foster. He  shared that one  of his  dad's favorite things  to do                                                               
was  find old  newspaper  clippings about  people's families  and                                                               
make copies to give to  their relatives. He also recalled stories                                                               
about how  things used to be  100 years ago. His  dad often would                                                               
be  absent  for a  vote  and  would have  to  be  called back  to                                                               
CHAIR  STOLTZE  removed his  objection.  There  being no  further                                                               
objections, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                            
He noted the arrival of Senator McGuire.                                                                                        
He  recognized the  addition of  Senators  Coghill, McGuire,  and                                                               
Wielechowski as sponsors to Amendment 1.                                                                                        
SENATOR HUGGINS told a Richard Foster story about shooting.                                                                     
SENATOR MCGUIRE  stated her appreciation for  Richard Foster. She                                                               
shared stories about him.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE FOSTER recalled his  dad's nickname - "machine gun                                                               
LINDA THIBODEAU,  Director, Division of Libraries,  Archives, and                                                               
Museums,   Department  of   Education   and  Early   Development,                                                               
testified on SB 63. She noted the  SLAM project is on time and on                                                               
budget. She  said she  also has  fond memories  of Representative                                                               
Foster  and  would be  happy  to  post an  appropriate  biography                                                               
CHAIR STOLTZE noted two zero fiscal notes.                                                                                      
He closed public testimony.                                                                                                     
8:22:35 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGGINS  moved  to  report   SB  63,  as  amended,  from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
notes.  There  being  no  objection,   CSSB  63(STA)  moved  from                                                               
8:23:10 AM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
^CONFIRMATION HEARING:  Commissioner, Department of  Military and                                                               
Veterans Affairs                                                                                                                
                      CONFIRMATION HEARING                                                                                  
Commissioner, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs                                                                     
          Colonel Laurie Hummel                                                                                                 
8:25:16 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   STOLTZE  announced   a  confirmation   hearing  for   the                                                               
Commissioner of  the Department of Military  and Veterans Affairs                                                               
8:25:37 AM                                                                                                                    
COLONEL  LAURIE  HUMMEL,   Commissioner-designee,  Department  of                                                               
Military  &   Veterans  Affairs  (DMVA),   presented  information                                                               
related  to her  confirmation hearing.  She provided  information                                                               
about her background.  She said she was in a  military family and                                                               
spent  time in  remote  areas as  a child.  She  always knew  she                                                               
wanted  to be  a  soldier. Her  father encouraged  her  to go  to                                                               
college and become  a commissioned officer, so  she attended West                                                               
Point. She related  that she was naïve  and experienced pressures                                                               
and  challenges.  She  said  that  there were  53  women  in  her                                                               
graduation class. She  shared her experience in  various modes of                                                               
serving;  military  intelligence  officer, human  resources,  and                                                               
equal opportunity management.                                                                                                   
8:32:14 AM                                                                                                                    
COLONEL  HUMMEL  said in  1998  she  made  a hard  decision  when                                                               
stationed in  Alaska and  was selected  for battalion  command in                                                               
the field army, but also as  Professor of Military Science for an                                                               
ROTC program at  Oregon State University, and  a tenured position                                                               
at the U.S.  Military Academy in the Department  of Geography and                                                               
Environmental Engineering. She  opted to teach and  mentor at the                                                               
military  academy. She  went  to the  University  of Colorado  at                                                               
Boulder  and earned  a Ph.D.  in geography  where she  researched                                                               
Military Investment  in Alaska  during the  Cold War  period. She                                                               
visited   many   installations   in   Alaska,   a   life-changing                                                               
opportunity. She concluded that she  was an Alaskan and she would                                                               
return to Alaska as her adopted home.                                                                                           
She spoke  of her  time in  West Point as  an instructor.  In the                                                               
summer of  2008 she  became a part  of an  interdisciplinary team                                                               
that did an external evaluation  on the Human Terrain System. She                                                               
explained  that the  Human Terrain  System  attempts to  leverage                                                               
social and environmental science  expertise for the betterment of                                                               
sound decisions  in the field.  Teams of academics  were embedded                                                               
in  brigade  combat  teams  in support  of  staff  functions  and                                                               
command  decisions.  A  group  looked at  how  well  the  program                                                               
She related  that she was able  to volunteer on two  occasions to                                                               
go to Afghanistan as an academic  advisory and as a senior mentor                                                               
to  leadership. She  said  she was  on a  team  that enabled  the                                                               
process needed to  effect the entry of the first  women cadets to                                                               
the National Military Academy of Afghanistan in 2012.                                                                           
8:39:00 AM                                                                                                                    
COLONEL HUMMEL said she retired in  2012 after 30 years of active                                                               
duty service  and moved back to  Alaska. She said she  has been a                                                               
National Guard  spouse since 2001,  which has opened her  eyes to                                                               
the unique  components of  the Guard. She  said she  also learned                                                               
about the Reserve  and Guard when serving  abroad. She understood                                                               
that  the Reserve  and Guard  sacrifice  in many  more ways  than                                                               
active  duty soldiers.  She  shared some  of  the hardships  they                                                               
She  talked about  watching  the  297th Battlefield  Surveillance                                                               
Brigade  activate and  go  to war  for 15  months.  She said  she                                                               
realized the importance of the  Reserve and Guard in combat areas                                                               
and to communities.                                                                                                             
8:42:59 AM                                                                                                                    
COLONEL HUMMEL  spoke of the  difficulty of retiring.  She shared                                                               
the great opportunity she has now  to work as the Commissioner of                                                               
the  Department  of Military  and  Veterans  Affairs (DMVA).  She                                                               
described some  of the  services DMVA  provides. She  thanked the                                                               
committee for listening to her story.                                                                                           
8:45:33 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE asked Ms. Hummel to describe her two roles.                                                                       
COLONEL  HUMMEL explained  as Commissioner  she works  on various                                                               
activities for the state in  the DMVA, such as homeland security,                                                               
emergency management,  Veterans Affairs, and the  Alaska Military                                                               
Youth Academy.  She said she also  works as the Commander  of the                                                               
National  Guard,  Naval  Militia  and the  Alaska  State  Defense                                                               
Force. She  said she is a  state employee and a  soldier and paid                                                               
by both federal  and state governments. She  added that sometimes                                                               
she  wears both  hats  at once  and has  to  be deliberate  about                                                               
income and human resources.                                                                                                     
8:47:27 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI thanked Ms. Hummel  for her service. He said                                                               
she has an impressive resume and  Alaska is fortunate to have her                                                               
serve in the Guard. He inquired  what she would like to convey to                                                               
those who have never served about those who have served.                                                                        
COLONEL HUMMEL replied  that one-half of one percent  of the U.S.                                                               
population  is  in  service.  Many  more  Alaskans  are  directly                                                               
connected to service. She said she  made her decision to join the                                                               
military  in  1978  during  the  Cold  War.  She  stated  she  is                                                               
immensely impressed  by the persons  who have joined up  to serve                                                               
during  the time  of war.  She spoke  of the  sacrifices military                                                               
soldiers  encounter and  said  she honors  those  who serve.  She                                                               
shared a story of  a family she met at West Point  and her job in                                                               
funeral duty  to hand a  flag to a  widow. She described  a quote                                                               
from  a   funeral  card.   She  said   she  uses   that  family's                                                               
selflessness as an inspiration of selflessness for herself.                                                                     
8:55:06 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS asked how she separates her roles.                                                                              
COLONEL HUMMEL  explained that  she retired as  a colonel  with a                                                               
federal rank,  and now she is  a Brigadier General in  the Active                                                               
Reserves  of the  Alaska National  Guard, as  appointment by  the                                                               
Governor in  Alaska. She  is going  through the  federal approval                                                               
process to recognize that same rank.                                                                                            
SENATOR  HUGGINS  asked about  the  number  of stars  allowed  in                                                               
COLONEL HUMMEL thought  there could be up to  three stars allowed                                                               
in Alaska. The  goal of the National Guard Bureau  is to have all                                                               
adjutants  general  be  major generals.  There  is  no  commander                                                               
relationship  between  the  Alaska National  Guard  and  National                                                               
Guard  Bureau,   which  advises   and  provides   resources.  She                                                               
explained  without being  a viable  partner, Alaska's  resourcing                                                               
will  diminish.  She  stressed the  importance  of  good  working                                                               
relations  and   of  the  Alaska  National   Guard  for  defense,                                                               
especially  in  light  of  Arctic  strategy.  Alaska  has  to  be                                                               
relevant and ready.                                                                                                             
9:01:20 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS said  he was a combat soldier.  He questioned her                                                               
ability to lead at her age.                                                                                                     
COLONEL  HUMMEL  said  the  motto  of  military  intelligence  is                                                               
"always out front"  and today everyone is out front.  In terms of                                                               
physical readiness she said she  has some injuries. She said went                                                               
through a  medical evaluation process  in order to  be reinstated                                                               
and she is  fit. She said soldiers look for  command presence and                                                               
she qualifies in spite of a VA  disability. She said it is a 24/7                                                               
job and she has to take care of herself.                                                                                        
SENATOR HUGGINS  asked about nepotism and  the investigation into                                                               
the Guard.                                                                                                                      
COLONEL HUMMEL  said there is  a statute prohibiting  nepotism in                                                               
state  government.  A  Commissioner's close  relative  cannot  be                                                               
employed in the  same department. She explained  that her husband                                                               
was a  Brigade Commander  in the Alaska  Army National  Guard, so                                                               
the  plan is  that he  will stay  a member  of the  Army National                                                               
Guard,  but will  not work  there and  instead will  work in  the                                                               
National  Guard Bureau  J-3 section.  Alaska's nepotism  laws are                                                               
more stringent than in other states.                                                                                            
9:12:37 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MCGUIRE   said  she  is  impressed   with  Ms.  Hummel's                                                               
qualifications. She noted that gender  is sometimes an issue. She                                                               
said she  is proud of  Ms. Hummel as a  role model. She  spoke of                                                               
the recent investigation into the  Alaska National Guard and said                                                               
she  is  waiting for  Judge  Collins'  report. She  stressed  the                                                               
importance of morale in the  National Guard and the perception of                                                               
the inability to report sexual  harassment. She requested to know                                                               
how Ms. Hummel plans to turn the morale around.                                                                                 
COLONEL HUMMEL  said one  of the  problems that  came out  of the                                                               
investigation  was   command  climate,  such  as   a  feeling  of                                                               
powerlessness to  have a voice.  She stressed that the  first key                                                               
to change  is hope. She opined  that due to the  broad changes at                                                               
the  top,  there  is  now  a broad  feeling  of  hope.  The  next                                                               
important step is  to go beyond hope to begin  "walking the walk"                                                               
by   establishing  doctrine-based   processes  that   are  known,                                                               
deliberate, repeatable, and  relatively transparent. She provided                                                               
an example of jockeying and  politicking for getting jobs, rather                                                               
than advancement based on qualifications.  There is now a process                                                               
to  gather  information  about  potential  candidates  and  their                                                               
qualifications  and  includes  input   from  other  leaders.  She                                                               
concluded that  it could be  made more deliberate  by advertising                                                               
what  will  be  discussed  regarding  positions.  She  said  that                                                               
predictability   combined    with   a   standard    process   and                                                               
representation  of leadership  should  dispel  the perception  of                                                               
"clubiness" or "boys' club". Most  people in the organization are                                                               
ready for  that change;  those who  are not  need to  exit. There                                                               
also  needs  to  be  ways  to  recognize  good  performances  and                                                               
increase the esprit de corps.                                                                                                   
9:24:07 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MCGUIRE  asked about prevention and  response programs on                                                               
the issue of sexual harassment and sexual assault.                                                                              
COLONEL  HUMMEL recognized  the  work of  Brigadier General  Mike                                                               
Bridges who led the way  during the investigation. She listed the                                                               
findings of  fault: sexual assault,  equal opportunity  and equal                                                               
employment  opportunity, law  enforcement, military  justice, and                                                               
command  climate, as  well as  fraud, which  was addressed  by an                                                               
audit. The Guard initiated an  implementation planning team. They                                                               
created a robust training program  to educate, assess, and assist                                                               
with  sexual  assault prevention  and  response.  They devised  a                                                               
"commander on  the spot assessment" for  evaluating the reporting                                                               
of  sexual  abuse  and  assault. Corrections  were  made  to  the                                                               
reporting  chain of  the Sexual  Assault Prevention  and Response                                                               
Coordinator (SARC) who  is now in Colonel  Hummel's office. There                                                               
is  a special  victim's counselor,  an attorney  who will  advise                                                               
victims  of sexual  assault.  There is  a  full-time state  equal                                                               
employment manager.                                                                                                             
She  continued to  say that  the Guard  has done  a thorough  re-                                                               
training  of  equal  opportunity  personnel  who  can  now  train                                                               
others.  There is  now  a  full-time provost  marshal  who is  an                                                               
Anchorage police officer  and an active duty  Guard member. There                                                               
is  an  Adverse  Action  Blotter Report  to  manage  and  improve                                                               
transparency on corrective actions and  to build morale. There is                                                               
an   increased    focus   on   mentorship   programs    to   help                                                               
professionalize Guard  relationships. Also, there is  an improved                                                               
process for  officer and enlisted  assignments and  promotions so                                                               
that it is fair and  deliberate and without politicking. She gave                                                               
full credit to General Bridges for these improvements.                                                                          
9:34:22 AM                                                                                                                    
COLONEL  HUMMEL said  she will  focus on  communication with  the                                                               
troops to find  out their needs. She pointed  out that commanders                                                               
need better  information in their training  programs and courses.                                                               
Staff support should  make life easier for  commanders to receive                                                               
excellent training.                                                                                                             
9:35:41 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL noted  entry into the Guard is  voluntary and has                                                               
a variety  of missions. He  asked what  is working well  and what                                                               
can be improved.                                                                                                                
COLONEL HUMMEL spoke  to meaningful missions in  the Air National                                                               
Guard  first. She  said their  federally enacted  missions, which                                                               
are  more than  in  any other  state,  are naturally  meaningful.                                                               
There  are resources  available, the  missions are  relevant, and                                                               
airmen  are motivated.  The  Army  National Guard  is  more of  a                                                               
challenge because  it does  not have  federal missions  and their                                                               
training  is for  things  that may  or may  not  happen, such  as                                                               
emergency  preparedness and  combat  skills.  A small,  full-time                                                               
force is  authorized to engender  the conditions for  the regular                                                               
soldiers to  come to training  on their  weekends and 15  days of                                                               
active duty training.  She said in her estimation,  too much time                                                               
is spent on "make  work projects" that do not go  to the core for                                                               
preparedness for  soldiers. She opined that  improvements need to                                                               
be made in meaningful training.                                                                                                 
9:40:13 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COGHILL  asked  about   lessons  learned  from  previous                                                               
deployments that would lead back to basics.                                                                                     
COLONEL  HUMMEL replied  that they  learned that  taking care  of                                                               
family  is  a  basic  need.  Also, soldiers  need  to  have  full                                                               
confidence  in  the  competence   of  their  leadership,  so  the                                                               
professional education training of leadership is important.                                                                     
9:43:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE asked about the Kodiak Launch Project.                                                                            
COLONEL HUMMEL  said she  would not  speak for  General Campbell.                                                               
She related  that there is a  unique new opportunity to  launch a                                                               
satellite family. People are paying  more attention to the Arctic                                                               
where  there  will   be  more  need  than   ever  for  geographic                                                               
information.  She opined  there  are good  things  ahead for  the                                                               
launch facility.                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STOLTZE  asked if  there  is  a  future for  Alaska  State                                                               
Defense Force (ASDF).                                                                                                           
COLONEL HUMMEL  hoped so, however,  she said that  National Guard                                                               
Regulation 10-4  has emasculated  ASDF and  no federal  funds are                                                               
available  for it.  The department  may ask  for state  money for                                                               
ASDF training.  All states  that have a  state defense  force are                                                               
banning  together to  form a  caucus to  meet with  Congressional                                                               
delegations to state their case.                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE appreciated that effort.                                                                                          
CHAIR STOLTZE asked about declining  recruitment and retention in                                                               
rural Alaska.                                                                                                                   
9:47:16 AM                                                                                                                    
COLONEL HUMMEL  spoke of the value  of all the networks  in rural                                                               
areas. She  said the Governor  is invested in renewing  the Guard                                                               
in  rural areas.  She pointed  out that  she has  put together  a                                                               
Commander's  Action Group  and the  Commissioner's Task  Force to                                                               
research state  travel initiatives  and the  relationship between                                                               
the Guard and rural areas.                                                                                                      
She said  she is addressing  increasing recruiting  and retention                                                               
in  rural areas.  She proposed  to  bring back  a National  Guard                                                               
counter-drug  program -  drug demand  reduction.  It consists  of                                                               
federal resourcing  to help  educate and reduce  drug use  in the                                                               
force.  Currently,  there  is  no  counter-drug  program  in  the                                                               
National Guard.  She said  it is  a learning  process to  get the                                                               
funding  back. Also,  there is  a  need for  medical waivers  for                                                               
rural recruits due  to the common problem of  hearing loss. There                                                               
is also a  need for educational waivers in rural  areas. She said                                                               
she needs to  petition the federal government  to make amendments                                                               
to the joint  travel regulation in order to  allow rural soldiers                                                               
to travel to drill centers. She  said she also needs to find ways                                                               
for  professional   military  education  and   advanced  civilian                                                               
education for  rural soldiers so  they can raise their  rank. She                                                               
stressed the  importance of  making it  known in  Washington that                                                               
Alaska  is  different. She  opined  that  Alaska needs  to  think                                                               
beyond the National  Guard when it comes to  rural engagement and                                                               
leverage  other  sections  of  DMVA  to  enable  improvements  in                                                               
recruiting and retention in rural areas.                                                                                        
9:53:30 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE thanked Colonel Hummel.                                                                                           
[The  name   Colonel  Laurie  Hummel  for   Commissioner  of  the                                                               
Department of  Military & Veterans  Affairs was forwarded  to the                                                               
full legislature sitting in joint session for a vote.]                                                                          
9:53:58 AM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
         SB 4-FINL. DISCLOSURE: LEGIS AND PUB OFFICIALS                                                                     
9:55:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE announced the consideration of SB 4.                                                                              
SENATOR CATHY  GIESSEL, Alaska State  Legislature, sponsor  of SB                                                               
4,  explained that  the  bill  changes the  filing  date for  the                                                               
Annual  Public  Official  Financial Disclosure  required  by  the                                                               
Alaska Public Offices  Commission (APOC) from March  15th of each                                                               
year to  May 15th of each  year. It affects all  citizens serving                                                               
on  certain  boards  and  commissions,  municipal  officers,  and                                                               
public officials  such as  legislators. Some  municipalities have                                                               
opted out of this disclosure date.                                                                                              
She pointed  out that  the required  financial documents  must be                                                               
accurate and  are required  by the  IRS. Many  of those  who must                                                               
file own  their own  businesses and do  not have  their financial                                                               
information  ready by  March 15.  She referred  to a  document in                                                               
members'  packets entitled  "APOC Civil  Assessments" that  lists                                                               
possible  assessed penalties  for inaccurate  filings. She  noted                                                               
letters of support for the bill.                                                                                                
9:58:40 AM                                                                                                                    
She said  SB 4 does  not change what  will be disclosed,  it only                                                               
offers   an   opportunity   to  ensure   100   percent   accurate                                                               
VIVIAN  STIVER,  Staff,  Senator   Cathy  Giessel,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, explained changes  in the bill. It  changes the date                                                               
to May 15 and lists who is required to file.                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS asked why it was written as March 15 originally.                                                                
MS. STIVER  understood that  the date was  chosen because  it was                                                               
during  the legislative  session  and a  financial disclosure  is                                                               
required. She pointed out that  legislators must file a financial                                                               
disclosure when they run for state  office and, if elected, or if                                                               
a person  is appointed to a  commission or board, they  must file                                                               
again within 30 days. The requirement  to file was to give voters                                                               
a chance to see a candidate's financial interests.                                                                              
SENATOR HUGGINS  asked if both  he and his  wife have to  file by                                                               
March 15.                                                                                                                       
MS. STRIVER said yes.                                                                                                           
SENATOR HUGGINS asked where the information is stored.                                                                          
MS. STRIVER said  it is stored on  line. She did not  know if the                                                               
public was aware of those documents.                                                                                            
SENATOR HUGGINS  recalled issues in  the past in  the legislature                                                               
and knee-jerk  reactions to  them. He preferred  a date  based on                                                               
the people,  not the legislature.  He said  many may want  to run                                                               
for office, but don't want  to show their financial interests. He                                                               
spoke in support of the bill.                                                                                                   
10:04:35 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STOLTZE  related that the  change was  made to March  15 in                                                               
1998,  as an  amendment. The  original date  was February  15 and                                                               
coincided with APOC disclosure deadlines.                                                                                       
PAUL  DAUPHINAIS,  Executive   Director,  Alaska  Public  Offices                                                               
Commission, offered to answer questions related to SB 4.                                                                        
CHAIR STOLTZE asked for APOC's opinion of the bill.                                                                             
MR.  DAUPHINAIS  said  APOC  is against  changing  the  date  for                                                               
reasons of  transparency, but would  enforce the deadline  as the                                                               
legislature sees fit.                                                                                                           
10:07:11 AM                                                                                                                   
KATHIE  WASSERMAN, Executive  Director, Alaska  Municipal League,                                                               
testified  in support  of SB  4. She  said the  change will  help                                                               
attract people to run for offices.                                                                                              
CHAIR STOLTZE closed public testimony.                                                                                          
10:08:37 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR HUGGINS asked Mr. Dauphinais  about his comment regarding                                                               
MR. DAUPHINAIS clarified that when  APOC took its position on the                                                               
bill  they   were  concerned  about   the  legislature   and  the                                                               
possibility  of a  legislator running  for  office, submitting  a                                                               
financial  disclosure,  and  then  potentially  signing  business                                                               
contracts, and  not having to  file a disclosure  statement until                                                               
after the session was over and voting on issues was in the past.                                                                
SENATOR  HUGGINS noted  that before  legislators  vote they  must                                                               
declare a conflict of interest.                                                                                                 
MR.  DAUPHINAIS  said that  provision  is  under the  Legislative                                                               
Ethics Act, not APOC.                                                                                                           
SENATOR HUGGINS said it is the same thing.                                                                                      
MR. DAUPHINAIS had no response.                                                                                                 
SENATOR  HUGGINS   said  he   is  not   trying  to   get  special                                                               
consideration for  legislators and  is thinking more  about other                                                               
people who are required to file.                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE asked the sponsor  if she has considered separating                                                               
legislators out.                                                                                                                
10:12:10 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  GIESSEL  maintained  that   legislators  face  the  same                                                               
accuracy issues and are subject to the same fines.                                                                              
CHAIR STOLTZE noted a zero fiscal note.                                                                                         
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI said  he is concerned with  pushing the date                                                               
back   for  legislators   because   the  public   wants  to   see                                                               
legislators' financial disclosures.  He encouraged separating out                                                               
legislators, even though  it is sometimes a challenge  to get the                                                               
paperwork  done.  Candidates  have  to fill  out  disclosures.  A                                                               
better policy is to keep the date where it is.                                                                                  
CHAIR STOLTZE also had concerns, but  wanted to move the bill. He                                                               
maintained  it  was  a straightforward  change  and  he  supports                                                               
moving the bill out of committee.                                                                                               
SENATOR  COGHILL  said  the difference  between  legislators  and                                                               
others  is  that  there  is   a  higher  level  of  scrutiny  and                                                               
accountably required  of legislators.  He said  he does  not mind                                                               
disclosing his finances and supports the change of dates.                                                                       
10:18:31 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STOLTZE said he does not have conflicts to disclose.                                                                      
SENATOR  COGHILL  moved to  report  SSSB  4 from  committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations  and attached zero fiscal  note. There                                                               
being no objection, the motion carried.                                                                                         
10:19:09 AM                                                                                                                   
At ease                                                                                                                         
         SB 24-LEGIS. ETHICS ACT: CONTRACTORS, INTERNS                                                                      
10:21:13 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STOLTZE announced the consideration of SB 24.                                                                             
SENATOR BERTA  GARDNER, Alaska State  Legislature, sponsor  of SB                                                               
24,  explained the  bill  is a  "clean  up bill"  and  is at  the                                                               
request of  the Legislative Ethics  Office. About a year  ago the                                                               
outgoing  administrator   of  Legislative  Ethics   discovered  a                                                               
statute  that had  not been  enforced and  deemed it  needed some                                                               
T.J.  PRESLEY,   Staff,  Senator  Berta  Gardner,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  provided information  on SB  24. Through  a routine                                                               
advisory  opinion process,  the Legislative  Ethics Administrator                                                               
discovered  that  independent  contractors and  consultants  were                                                               
considered legislative  employees in statute and  were subject to                                                               
the ethics  code. The statute  said that all the  requirements of                                                               
legislative  employees   must  be   levied  on   the  independent                                                               
contractors and  consultants. He used  West Law Dictionary  as an                                                               
example of a contractor and said  it is not practical or feasible                                                               
to  ask such  a  contractor  or a  corporation  to  fill out  the                                                               
required paperwork.                                                                                                             
He related that  in 2012 interns and volunteers  were given their                                                               
own place in the Ethics Act  and now legislation is needed to fix                                                               
the problem  of the contractors and  consultants. The Legislative                                                               
Ethics Committee established a  subcommittee with Senator Gardner                                                               
and  Representative Millet  to establish  legislation that  would                                                               
fix the problem.                                                                                                                
10:25:12 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  PRESLEY concluded  that they  came up  with a  solution that                                                               
included a focus on conflicts  of interest and unethical conduct.                                                               
He   referred   to    recommendations   by   Legislative   Ethics                                                               
subcommittee  followed   when  writing  SB  24.   The  bill  puts                                                               
independent contractors  and consultants into their  own category                                                               
in the Ethics Act, with reasonable, enforceable requirements.                                                                   
10:26:50 AM                                                                                                                   
JERRY  ANDERSON,  Administrator,  Legislative  Ethics  Committee,                                                               
provided information  on SB 24. He  said the bill is  the product                                                               
of  14  months  of  meetings.   He  noted  the  subcommittee  did                                                               
extensive work  on the  bill. He  said the  bill is  important to                                                               
delineate  the exact  sections of  the Ethics  Act that  apply to                                                               
contractors.  Contractors   are  not  subject  to   the  training                                                               
requirements. It is an important bill.                                                                                          
CHAIR STOLTZE  asked for  the Ethics  Committee's opinion  of the                                                               
MR. ANDERSON said the Ethics Committee supports the bill.                                                                       
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  noted  the  legislature  hires  a  lot  of                                                               
consultants.  He  voiced concern  about  a  consultant who  is  a                                                               
client of the oil industry.                                                                                                     
MR.  PRESLEY replied  that there  is contract  language in  place                                                               
regarding  unethical  conduct.  There  is an  expectation  of  no                                                               
conflict of  interest in  contract matters.  However, enforcement                                                               
is another issue.                                                                                                               
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  summarized that  the change SB  24 provides                                                               
is  that  contractors   would  not  have  to   file  a  financial                                                               
disclosure form.                                                                                                                
MR. PRESLEY  referred to  challenges other  states have  had when                                                               
dealing  with  ethics  and   subcontractors.  He  questioned  the                                                               
problems   with  determining   if  contractors   are  legislature                                                               
employees.  The  Ethic Statutes  list  what  provisions apply  to                                                               
independent contractors and consultants.                                                                                        
10:33:47 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR GARDNER  pointed out that  this proposal is  not endorsed                                                               
by the Ethics Committee as a  whole, but by the administrator and                                                               
the out-going administrator, by a  public member who is an ethics                                                               
attorney, and by the chair.                                                                                                     
CHAIR STOLTZE asked for something in writing.                                                                                   
SENATOR  GARDNER  said  the  Ethics  Committee  did  request  the                                                               
legislation, but did not take a vote to endorse it.                                                                             
CHAIR STOLTZE asked for the process in writing.                                                                                 
10:35:03 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR MCGUIRE  noted the  matrix of other  states and  she read                                                               
from Connecticut's: "For most purposes  a consultant is neither a                                                               
public nor state official and  therefore not subject to the State                                                               
Ethics Act."  She said another  provision applies  to contractors                                                               
and   consultants  and   prohibits   the   consultant's  use   of                                                               
confidential   information,  the   acceptance   of  other   state                                                               
contracts which  would impair their judgement,  or the acceptance                                                               
or giving  of anything  of value  that influences  a consultant's                                                               
actions. She said she liked that  statement and saw it as getting                                                               
to the core of the issue.                                                                                                       
She voiced concern  about good people not  applying for positions                                                               
because   they  don't   want  to   deal  with   all  the   filing                                                               
requirements. She also had concerns  about a consultant's fear of                                                               
political  ramifications  from  ethics complaints.  She  gave  an                                                               
example  of  an  LB&A  chair  who  might  hire  an  oil  and  gas                                                               
consultant  who   is  targeted   with  an  ethics   complaint  by                                                               
dissatisfied opposition.                                                                                                        
10:37:59 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  HUGGINS   said  he  understands  the   need  for  ethics                                                               
committees,  but  they don't  make  dishonest  people honest.  He                                                               
opined it was not the oil  and gas industry that had the greatest                                                               
conflicts of  interest, but workers compensation  consultants. He                                                               
recommended hiring consultants that are honest.                                                                                 
10:40:11 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR   GARDNER  summarized   that   currently  contracts   and                                                               
consultants are  subject to the  entire ethics code and  the bill                                                               
tries to keep  that which is meaningful and workable  and get rid                                                               
of what  does not  work. She  concluded, "There  is a  place that                                                               
protects  our  interest  and  allows  us to  move  forward  in  a                                                               
meaningful way without creating mountains of data."                                                                             
CHAIR STOLTZE held SB 24 in committee.                                                                                          
10:41:32 AM                                                                                                                   
There being nothing  further to come before  the committee, Chair                                                               
Stoltze adjourned the Senate State  Affairs Standing Committee at                                                               
10:41 p.m.                                                                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Resume - Laurel Hummel - DMVA.pdf SSTA 3/12/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB4 Support Document - Letter Jon Cook 3-5-15.pdf SSTA 3/12/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 4
SB63 Amendment #1 - By Huggins and Stoltze.pdf SSTA 3/12/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 63
SB63 Sponsor Statement.pdf SSTA 3/12/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 63
SB63 Support Documents - Letters of Support 3-10-15.pdf SSTA 3/12/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 63
SB63 Supporting Document - Research Data LAM.pdf SSTA 3/12/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 63
SB63 SLAM Floor Plans.pdf SSTA 3/12/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 63
SB63 Fiscal Note EED-LO 3-6-15.pdf SSTA 3/12/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 63
SB63 Fiscal Note DOT-EDC 3-2-15.pdf SSTA 3/12/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 63
26th Legislature - Citation for Representative Neal Richard Foster.pdf SSTA 3/12/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 63
SB63 Senator Murkowski Remarks on US Senate Floor on Richard Foster.pdf SSTA 3/12/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 63
SB 4 Letter of Support City of Galena.pdf SSTA 3/12/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 4
SB 4 Letter of Support City of Seward.pdf SSTA 3/12/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 4
SB4 Support Document - APOC Biennial Report AS 39 50 060.pdf SSTA 3/12/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 4
SB24 Sponsor Provided - Legislative Ethics Act Applicability to Interns and Volunteers.pdf SSTA 3/12/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 24
Amendment #1 for SB 63 3/12/2015 - Adopted by SSTA.pdf SSTA 3/12/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 63