Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205

03/24/2016 09:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 154 BLOOD BANK OF ALASKA LICENSE PLATES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 154(STA) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+= SCR 16 SPECIAL SESSION TO BE HELD ON ROAD SYSTEM TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSCR 16(STA) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ HB 175 ESTABLISH MILITARY FAMILY DAY TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 175 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 171 DOA PAYMENTS; REPEAL OTHER DOA DUTIES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         March 24, 2016                                                                                         
                           9:02 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bill Stoltze, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator John Coghill, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Charlie Huggins                                                                                                         
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lesil McGuire                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 175                                                                                                              
"An Act establishing November 1 as Military Family Day."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 175 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 154                                                                                                             
"An  Act relating  to special  registration plates  commemorating                                                               
the Blood Bank of Alaska."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSB 154(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 171                                                                                                             
"An   Act  relating   to  the   duties  of   the  Department   of                                                               
Administration;  relating  to  payment of  judgment  against  the                                                               
state; relating to pre-audit of  claims; relating to travel costs                                                               
and  travel  outside  the   state;  repealing  authorization  and                                                               
administration  of  the  Department  of  Administration  to  make                                                               
advances to  the University of  Alaska; and repealing  the United                                                               
States savings bond purchase plan."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 16                                                                                             
Urging  the  Governor  to  designate a  location  for  a  special                                                               
session of  the Twenty-Ninth Alaska State  Legislature, if called                                                               
after adjournment  of the  First Regular  Session of  the Twenty-                                                               
Ninth Alaska State Legislature, that is in a community on the                                                                   
state's road system.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSCR 16(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 175                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ESTABLISH MILITARY FAMILY DAY                                                                                      
SPONSOR(s): LYNN                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
04/01/15       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/01/15       (H)       STA                                                                                                    
01/21/16       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
01/21/16       (H)       Moved HB 175 Out of Committee                                                                          
01/21/16       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
01/22/16       (H)       STA RPT 7DP                                                                                            
01/22/16       (H)       DP:    TALERICO,     STUTES,    VAZQUEZ,                                                               
                         GRUENBERG, KREISS-TOMKINS, LYNN, KELLER                                                                
01/25/16       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
01/25/16       (H)       VERSION: HB 175                                                                                        
01/27/16       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/27/16       (S)       STA                                                                                                    
03/24/16       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 154                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: BLOOD BANK OF ALASKA LICENSE PLATES                                                                                
SPONSOR(s): STATE AFFAIRS BY REQUEST                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
01/21/16       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/21/16       (S)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
03/24/16       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 171                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DOA PAYMENTS; REPEAL OTHER DOA DUTIES                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/05/16       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/05/16       (S)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
02/18/16       (S)       STA AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/18/16       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/18/16       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SCR 16                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SPECIAL SESSION TO BE HELD ON ROAD SYSTEM                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): STOLTZE                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
04/18/15       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/18/15       (S)       STA                                                                                                    
03/15/16       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM FAHRENKAMP 203                                                                          
03/15/16       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/15/16       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/24/16       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ESTER MIELKE, Staff                                                                                                             
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided an overview of HB 175.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
LAURIE HUMMEL, Commissioner                                                                                                     
Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 175.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
VERDIE BOWEN, Director                                                                                                          
Office of Veterans' Affairs                                                                                                     
Alaska Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions regarding HB 175.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BRANDON BREFCZYNSKI, Staff                                                                                                      
Senator Bill Stoltze                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Explained the committee substitute for SB                                                                 
154.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
TIM BENINTENDI, Secretary                                                                                                       
Board of Directors                                                                                                              
Blood Bank of Alaska                                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 154.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT SCANLON, Chief Executive Officer                                                                                         
Blood Bank of Alaska                                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 154.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS MELLO, Member                                                                                                             
Board of Directors                                                                                                              
Blood Bank of Alaska                                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 154.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
AMY ERICKSON, Director                                                                                                          
Division of Motor Vehicles                                                                                                      
Alaska Department of Administration                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered administrative  questions regarding                                                             
SB 154.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
VERDIE BOWEN, Director                                                                                                          
Office of Veterans' Affairs                                                                                                     
Alaska Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 154.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DANIEL GEORGE, Staff                                                                                                            
Senator Bill Stoltze                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:  Provided  an   overview  of  the  committee                                                             
substitutes for SB 171 and SCR 16.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:02:48 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  BILL  STOLTZE called  the  Senate  State Affairs  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 9:02  a.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order  were Senators  Wielechowski, Coghill,  Huggins, and  Chair                                                               
Stoltze.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
              HB 175-ESTABLISH MILITARY FAMILY DAY                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:03:55 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE announced the consideration of HB 175.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:04:01 AM                                                                                                                    
ESTER  MIELKE,  Staff,  Representative  Bob  Lynn,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska, read  the sponsor statement  for HB                                                               
175 as follows:                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Military  families are  the folks  back  home who  help                                                                    
     keep  our   warriors  at  peak  effectiveness,   be  it                                                                    
     stateside  duty or  combat  duty.  Worrying about  your                                                                    
     kid's  homework, getting  the  bills paid  on time,  or                                                                    
     worrying  about  anything  at  all  back  home  is  not                                                                    
     something  that  is  safe  to  do  when  the  enemy  is                                                                    
     attempting to kill you.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     The military family  is major source of  morale and the                                                                    
     foundation of  what's good about our  military. The day                                                                    
     someone joins the  military is the day  that the family                                                                    
     virtually joins  the military too. When  we support the                                                                    
     military family, we support the military member.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Many  service  members  transfer   from  one  place  to                                                                    
     another about  every two years,  this means  the family                                                                    
     also moves to somewhere  else. The kids change schools,                                                                    
     maybe in  their senior year; churches  are changed; the                                                                    
     spouse may  have to  give up their  job; and  of course                                                                    
     the curtains don't fit the  new place. The spouse, some                                                                    
     say, has the toughest job in our military.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     The military deserves  having a day set  aside to honor                                                                    
     their  military  families  and  to  recognize  a  major                                                                    
     source   of  their   morale   and   strength.  HB   175                                                                    
     establishes "Military Family Day"  to honor and support                                                                    
     families of our  service men and women  in Alaska every                                                                    
     year   on  November   1st.   Nationally,  November   is                                                                    
     designated  as  National  Military  Family  Month.  The                                                                    
     President  of  the  United States  typically  makes  an                                                                    
     annual  announcement to  inform the  public about  this                                                                    
     month. We  thought it was  fitting to have  our Alaskan                                                                    
     Military Family  Day to coincide with  the beginning of                                                                    
     the nationally designated month.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:06:33 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL noted that November 1 was "All Saints' Day" and                                                                 
asked if there was any correlation.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. MIELKE answered no.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL remarked that military families quite often                                                                     
could be nominated for sainthood.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STOLTZE commented  that  the  committee members  represent                                                               
communities that  support veterans  and their families.  He noted                                                               
that two  committee members  were veterans  and guessed  that the                                                               
bill would have a lot of receptivity.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGGINS   commented  that   his  wife  asked   to  thank                                                               
Representative Lynn  for his thought  and consideration  put into                                                               
the  bill.  He noted  that  his  wife  was  the mother  of  three                                                               
children that were in the military.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:09:26 AM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER LAURIE  HUMMEL, Department  of Military  & Veterans'                                                               
Affairs  (DMVA), Anchorage,  Alaska, testified  in support  of HB                                                               
175. She stated that while  she was always prepared to publically                                                               
acknowledge  the patriotism,  dedication, and  skill of  Alaska's                                                               
military men  and women, she  was especially pleased to  focus on                                                               
the  enormous contributions  made by  the military  families that                                                               
the  public rarely  sees. She  revealed that  she understood  the                                                               
importance of  service members' families  because her  father was                                                               
in the military for  24 years and noted that she,  as well as her                                                               
spouse, have  been deployed soldiers  as well. She  remarked that                                                               
the spouse  left behind has the  harder job with twice  the work,                                                               
all  the worry,  more time  to think  about it,  and none  of the                                                               
credit.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He  said there  were a  lot  of families  whose service  members'                                                               
deployments  resulted in  life-altering injuries  and the  family                                                               
members'  lives were  just as  effected as  those of  the service                                                               
members. She added  that when a member of the  military loses his                                                               
or  her life  in service,  the "Gold  Star" families  left behind                                                               
find a way to move forward; but really, they never fully heal.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
She  disclosed that  74,000  veterans call  Alaska  home and  the                                                               
state has  the highest  veterans per capita  in the  country. She                                                               
said Alaska was lucky to keep  the experience of its veterans and                                                               
fortunate that  their families  follow suit.  She set  forth that                                                               
Alaska's  veterans   and  their  families  deserve   the  state's                                                               
unwavering support.  She asserted  that Alaska's  veteran success                                                               
was not  sustained by what they  had already done, but  what more                                                               
they would provide.  She set forth that HB 175  shows the state's                                                               
appreciation, especially  to the military families,  the backbone                                                               
of the  military. She said  she agreed with Senator  Coghill that                                                               
recognizing   military   families   on  All   Saints'   Day   was                                                               
appropriate.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STOLTZE asked  Mr. Bowen  if he  had attended  all of  the                                                               
Alaska Veterans Advisory Council (AVAC) meetings.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:14:15 AM                                                                                                                    
VERDIE  BOWEN,  Director,  Office of  Veterans'  Affairs,  Alaska                                                               
Department of  Military and Veterans Affairs,  Anchorage, Alaska,                                                               
answered yes.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STOLTZE asked  if AVAC  had any  discussions regarding  HB                                                               
175.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOWEN answered no.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:16:16 AM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:17:05 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STOLTZE  called the  committee  back  to order.  He  asked                                                               
Senator Huggins, the  senior veteran committee member,  to make a                                                               
motion on HB 175.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:17:34 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGGINS  moved to  report  HB  175, [29-LS0814\A],  from                                                               
committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  attached  zero                                                               
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:17:45 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE announced  that hearing no objection,  HB 175 moves                                                               
from committee.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:17:50 AM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
           SB 154-BLOOD BANK OF ALASKA LICENSE PLATES                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:18:33 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE  called the committee  back to order.  He announced                                                               
the consideration of  SB 154 and asked for a  motion to adopt the                                                               
committee substitute (CS).                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:19:08 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGGINS moved  to  adopt  the proposed  CS  for SB  154,                                                               
version H, as the working document.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:19:27 AM                                                                                                                    
BRANDON  BREFCZYNSKI,   Staff,  Senator  Stoltze,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska, explained  that the  CS for  SB 154                                                               
was a result  of an oversight. He specified that  on page 2, line                                                               
1,   the   added  language   would   allow   the  Department   of                                                               
Administration to  separately account  and appropriate  funds for                                                               
the Blood Bank of Alaska license plate.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE  removed his  objection and  announced that  the CS                                                               
was before the  committee. He set forth that  the committee would                                                               
hear public testimony.  He asked the Mr. Benintendi  be the first                                                               
to address  the committee. He  noted that Mr. Benintendi  was the                                                               
Alaskan  citizen  who brought  the  legislation  forward and  the                                                               
State Affairs  Committee noted  the bill  as being  sponsored "by                                                               
request" in  order to reflect  that sponsorship was on  behalf of                                                               
the  Blood  Bank   of  Alaska  and  those   who  supported  their                                                               
activities.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:20:48 AM                                                                                                                    
TIM  BENINTENDI, Secretary,  Board  of Directors,  Blood Bank  of                                                               
Alaska, Anchorage,  Alaska, testified  in support  of SB  154. He                                                               
thanked  the committee  and the  Legislature  for supporting  the                                                               
grant  funding to  help construct  the new  Blood Bank  of Alaska                                                               
facility. He  said SB  154 authorizes the  issuance of  the Blood                                                               
Bank  of Alaska  license plate  and its  extra revenue;  but more                                                               
importantly, the  license plates would provide  extra promotional                                                               
opportunity and visibility for the Blood Bank of Alaska as well.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:22:53 AM                                                                                                                    
ROBERT SCANLON,  Chief Executive  Officer, Blood Bank  of Alaska,                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska,  testified in  support of  SB 154.  He thanked                                                               
the Legislature  for its generosity  in supporting  Alaska's sole                                                               
blood  supplier. He  said without  the Legislature's  assistance,                                                               
the project would not have been possible.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:23:41 AM                                                                                                                    
CHRIS MELLO,  Member, Board of  Directors, Blood Bank  of Alaska,                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska,  testified in  support of  SB 154.  He thanked                                                               
the Legislature  for its  generous support of  the Blood  Bank of                                                               
Alaska.  He  detailed  that  the  Blood  Bank  of  Alaska  was  a                                                               
501(c)(3)  public  charity with  an  all-Alaskan  board and  all-                                                               
Alaskan outfit. He  added that the Blood Bank of  Alaska has over                                                               
30,000  donors statewide.  He set  forth that  the license  plate                                                               
would help the Blood Bank of Alaska as follows:                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
   · Generates revenue.                                                                                                         
   · Allows anonymous donors and recipients to let everyone know                                                                
     their support.                                                                                                             
   · Acts as a reminder for people to donate.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE asked  if the administration had  concerns with the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:25:10 AM                                                                                                                    
AMY ERICKSON, Director, Division  of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Alaska                                                               
Department  of Administration,  Anchorage,  Alaska, replied  that                                                               
the administration had  no concerns. She added that  she was glad                                                               
that  the committee  was  able  to fix  the  oversight where  the                                                               
license plate was not tied to a fund.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:25:48 AM                                                                                                                    
VERDIE  BOWEN, Director  of Veteran  Affairs, Anchorage,  Alaska,                                                               
testified in support  of SB 154. He revealed that  he was a Blood                                                               
Bank of  Alaska recipient  due to  an accident.  He said  the new                                                               
license  plate would  provide advertising  and awareness  for the                                                               
Blood Bank of Alaska.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE closed  public testimony. He asked  Ms. Erickson to                                                               
provide  a brief  narrative on  the bill's  $250 fiscal  note. He                                                               
inquired if  Ms. Erickson had any  projected expectations judging                                                               
from past history on "cause" license plates.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:28:33 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. ERICKSON  specified that DMV  would work with the  Blood Bank                                                               
of Alaska  to design the  license plate that the  commissioner of                                                               
the  Department  of  Administration   would  ultimately  have  to                                                               
approve. She  detailed that  the plate would  have a  $200 design                                                               
fee. She  noted that  a previous "cause"  plate example  would be                                                               
for "breast cancer awareness."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE added that "cause"  plates would include "promotion                                                               
of life" and the Second Amendment.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. ERICKSON  answered yes. She  said she could not  forecast how                                                               
many plates  would be sold, but  remarked that the Blood  Bank of                                                               
Alaska has a big following in the Anchorage area.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STOLTZE opined  that some  "cause" plates  have a  limited                                                               
pool  and others  were a  lot broader.  He noted  that the  Pearl                                                               
Harbor  survivors' plate  was limited,  where the  plate for  the                                                               
Second Amendment has a lot of fans.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:30:09 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. ERICKSON replied that only one  license plate was issued to a                                                               
Pearl Harbor survivor. She noted  that the "cause" plates did not                                                               
have a minimum order.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS asked if DMV would  be able to accept $250 from a                                                               
collection to cover the $250 fiscal note.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. ERICKSON  replied that DMV  did not  have a way  of accepting                                                               
the money. She noted that  committees had zeroed-out fiscal notes                                                               
in the past.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STOLTZE concurred  that the  committee could  zero-out the                                                               
fiscal  note. He  noted that  a bill  like SB  154 tends  to have                                                               
"extra cargo" thrown on it.  He stated that the Finance Committee                                                               
can decide  whether to zero-out  or amortize the fiscal  note. He                                                               
said  any  committee  member  could  offer  amendments  or  other                                                               
suggestions and Ms. Erickson would  nimbly deal with whatever she                                                               
was dealt.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:33:58 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI moved Conceptual Amendment 1.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                     CONCEPTUAL AMENDMENT 1                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Expands  the eligibility  for veteran's  designation on                                                                    
     an ID card  or driver's license in the  State of Alaska                                                                    
     in  an effort  to  recognize Laotian  veterans and  the                                                                    
     Hmong Special Guerrilla Unit that  fought in support of                                                                    
     American interests during the Vietnam era.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI   set  forth  that  he   was  offering  the                                                               
amendment  on behalf  of a  number of  constituent groups  in his                                                               
district and all around Anchorage  as well. He specified that the                                                               
amendment would expand the  eligibility for veterans' designation                                                               
on an ID  card or driver's license  in the State of  Alaska in an                                                               
effort  to  recognize  Laotian veterans  and  the  Hmong  Special                                                               
Guerrilla  Unit  that fought  in  support  of American  interests                                                               
during the Vietnam era.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He revealed that  tens of thousands of Hmong  people were trained                                                               
covertly by  the Central  Intelligence Agency  (CIA) to  fight on                                                               
behalf of  the United States.  He quoted Edgar Buell,  CIA Senior                                                               
Aide  that  worked  with  the Hmong  Special  Guerrilla  Unit  as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Every Hmong that  died, that was an  American back home                                                                    
     that didn't  die, or one  that was injured  that wasn't                                                                    
     injured.  Somebody in  nearly  every  Hmong family  was                                                                    
     either  fighting or  died  from  fighting, they  became                                                                    
     refuges  because  we,  the  United  States  government,                                                                    
        encouraged them to fight for us. I promised them                                                                        
     myself, have no fear, we will take care of you.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  remarked that the United  States government                                                               
made promises to the Hmong. The  Hmong that emigrated to the U.S.                                                               
have been  fighting to  get recognition  as veterans  on driver's                                                               
licenses.  He   detailed  that  the  amendment   would  have  the                                                               
Department  of  Military  and Veteran's  Affairs  work  with  the                                                               
Department  of  Administration and  DMV  to  find an  alternative                                                               
proof of veteran's status because  the Hmong did not have Defense                                                               
Department (DD) Form 214 (DD214).  He said the amended bill would                                                               
be a  way of  recognizing the  Hmong's service  on behalf  of our                                                               
country. He noted  that the Department of  Military and Veteran's                                                               
Affairs have expressed their support for the amendment.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:37:05 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  BOWEN testified  in support  of Conceptual  Amendment 1.  He                                                               
revealed  that he  had spent  a  lot of  time with  the Hmong  on                                                               
different issues  of recognition, specifically with  U.S. Senator                                                               
Murkowski  in  allowing the  Hmong  to  be interred  in  national                                                               
cemeteries. He  detailed that under  the command of  General Vang                                                               
Pao,  the  Hmong  army  was  a 30,000  man  fighting  force  that                                                               
assisted downed  U.S. pilots  in Laos.  He presumed  that Senator                                                               
Huggins  fought with  Hmong  soldiers  and he  might  be able  to                                                               
provide  additional insight.  He  explained  that the  difference                                                               
between  the Hmong  and most  soldiers was  the amount  of people                                                               
that  were in  their army  was probably  equal to  the amount  of                                                               
people lost during  the conflict. He asserted  that anything that                                                               
the  Legislature  could  do  to  recognize  the  Hmong  would  be                                                               
outstanding. He  suggested that a  program could be  put together                                                               
that  was  similar  to  the Alaska  Territorial  Guard  where  an                                                               
Alaskan DD214 would recognize Hmong soldiers.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE asked  if the Veteran's Advisory  Council had taken                                                               
a position on the issue.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOWEN answered  yes. He specified that the  council had voted                                                               
in the  past against  adding the  identification on  the driver's                                                               
license, but the council had voted positive on a license plate.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:39:09 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE stated  that he opposed the  amendment, but offered                                                               
that the  specific bill regarding  Hmong recognition be  heard in                                                               
committee the following week.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   WIELECHOWSKI  thanked   Chair   Stoltze  and   withdraw                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 1.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE  confirmed that  Senator Wielechowski's  bill would                                                               
be heard the  following week. He said the bill  would be properly                                                               
vetted  and notice  provided  to veterans  groups  and the  Hmong                                                               
community.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He asked if there were any other amendments.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS stated  that he had no amendments  and no further                                                               
comment.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE suggested that the  committee could meet the intent                                                               
and zero-out the  fiscal note; however, the fiscal  note would be                                                               
left as presented due to  the limitations of accepting funds into                                                               
the state's treasury.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:41:32 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL  moved to  report CS  for SB  154, [29-LS1127\H],                                                               
from  committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  attached                                                               
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:41:43 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE announced that hearing  no objection, CSSB 154(STA)                                                               
moves from committee.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          SB 171-DOA PAYMENTS; REPEAL OTHER DOA DUTIES                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:42:02 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE  announced the  consideration of  SB 171.  He asked                                                               
for a motion to adopt the proposed committee substitute (CS).                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:42:34 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS  moved to adopt the  CS for SB 171,  [version 29-                                                               
GS2811\H], as the working document.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:43:00 AM                                                                                                                    
DANIEL  GEORGE,   Staff,  Senator  Bill  Stoltze,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska, explained  that the CS  would place                                                               
the  University of  Alaska  System and  the  Alaska Court  System                                                               
under the  state consolidated travel  program. He added  that the                                                               
CS would  put the state's "online  checkbook" continuously online                                                               
and  statutorily  require  public   access  for  the  purpose  of                                                               
transparency in  government spending.  He added that  the "online                                                               
checkbook" would  be required  to list  where the  spending takes                                                               
place and where the spending would take place from.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STOLTZE commented  that state  agencies  have exhibited  a                                                               
defensiveness  regarding the  "online  checkbook"  and said  "not                                                               
us." He  stated that  he welcomed  consideration that  the Alaska                                                               
Railroad,  Alaska  Housing  Finance  Corporation  (AHFC),  Alaska                                                               
Industrial  Development and  Export  Authority  (AIDEA), and  the                                                               
Alaska  Gasline Development  Corporation  (AGDC)  be included  as                                                               
well.  He noted  that  he appreciated  that Senator  Wielechowski                                                               
came  forward with  the "online  checkbook,"  a relevant  concept                                                               
that  addressed   reforms  and   cost  savings.  He   added  that                                                               
Representative Reinbold offered suggestions as well.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STOLTZE  removed his  objection.  He  stated that  without                                                               
objection, the CS was adopted.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:46:02 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE announced that SB 171 would be held in committee.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
        SCR 16-SPECIAL SESSION TO BE HELD ON ROAD SYSTEM                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:46:05 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE announced the consideration of SCR 16.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:46:17 AM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:47:52 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE called the meeting back to order.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:48:09 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS  moved to adopt the  CS for SCR 16,  version [29-                                                               
LS0906\W], as the working document.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:48:19 AM                                                                                                                    
DANIEL GEORGE, Staff, Senator  Stoltze, Alaska State Legislature,                                                               
Juneau,  Alaska,   explained  that   the  CS  would   update  the                                                               
resolution to  reflect any special  session that might  be called                                                               
after adjournment of the second  session of the 29th Legislature.                                                               
He summarized  that SCR  16 would simply  advise where  a special                                                               
session would be held.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:49:04 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE  removed his objection  and announced  that hearing                                                               
no objection, the CS was adopted.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE  set forth that SCR  15 was very specific  to date,                                                               
time,  and circumstances.  He  affirmed  that SCR  15  was not  a                                                               
legislative move.  He affirmed  that he has  been an  advocate in                                                               
moving  the  capitol,  but reiterated  that  the  resolution  was                                                               
specific   to   the   circumstances  regarding   the   building's                                                               
remodeling for safety and seismic  improvements. He stated the he                                                               
did  not want  the Legislature  to interfere  with the  capitol's                                                               
construction company in completing the  project on time. He noted                                                               
that the capitol's  remodel had a performance bond  to finish the                                                               
project in  excess of $5  million. He summarized that  spring and                                                               
summer housing  becomes an  issue in Juneau  due to  tourism, the                                                               
special session would  be in a location that was  closer to where                                                               
most  Alaskans  live, and  meeting  in  Anchorage would  be  less                                                               
expensive for a very special circumstance.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:55:09 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS remarked that he  seconded Chair Stoltze's words.                                                               
He explained that the governor  intends to call a special session                                                               
to  address  his proposal  to  take  the people's  money  through                                                               
taxation. He stated  that he would rather hear  directly from his                                                               
neighbors  and noted  that his  constituents have  overwhelmingly                                                               
told him  that they opposed  an income  tax. He asserted  that he                                                               
adamantly  opposed an  income  tax based  upon  feedback and  his                                                               
natural instincts. He summarized that  the business of how much a                                                               
special  session  costs in  Juneau  versus  Anchorage was  almost                                                               
irrelevant if the  numbers were close because  the subject matter                                                               
pertained to taking people's money.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL stated that he  supported the resolution. He said                                                               
special sessions were unique because  topics are narrowed down to                                                               
a few  issues. He remarked  that one of the  general population's                                                               
hidden  taxes was  the lack  of  accessibility to  Juneau due  to                                                               
expense.  He  said the  general  population  really depends  upon                                                               
sending their  representatives, lobbyists, and groups  to Juneau.                                                               
He asserted  that allowing  people to  use the  Southcentral road                                                               
system to  let their voices  be heard during the  special session                                                               
was important. He added that  retrofitting the capitol was also a                                                               
pressure point for holding the special session in Juneau.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:59:25 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE  noted that  in 2015, the  senator from  Juneau was                                                               
complaining about commissioners not  being in Anchorage and noted                                                               
that  he  said,  "Teleconferences  are  fine,  but  there  is  no                                                               
substitute for  face-to-face." He  said he  was sure  the senator                                                               
regrets  his statement,  but  he remarked  that  you cannot  have                                                               
arguments both ways.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STOLTZE stated  that SCR 16 was not  a complicated measure,                                                               
but  noted   that  the  perception   of  a  capitol   move  would                                                               
unnecessarily divide  people philosophically  and geographically.                                                               
He explained  that the  resolution was  carefully crafted  with a                                                               
lot   of   consideration    to   specifically   address   special                                                               
circumstances.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
He  admitted that  99.9  percent of  his  constituents would  not                                                               
attend  legislative proceedings  because they  are busy.  He said                                                               
constituents expect legislators to  exercise their good judgement                                                               
and reach out to them when there were important things.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He  stated that  his  motives would  be  reassigned and  assessed                                                               
because of  his record.  He asserted  that SCR  16 was  a vehicle                                                               
specific to circumstances for the  two legislative bodies to come                                                               
together  and deliberate  what was  in the  best interest  of the                                                               
treasury and the people of Alaska.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:03:19 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  HUGGINS moved  to report  the CS  for SCR  16(STA), [29-                                                               
LS0906\W],  from committee  [with individual  recommendations and                                                               
attached fiscal note].                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:03:31 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STOLTZE  announced that seeing no  objection, CSSJR 16(STA)                                                               
moves from committee.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:04:55 AM                                                                                                                   
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair  Stoltze adjourned  the Senate  State Affairs  Committee at                                                               
10:04 a.m.