Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205

04/17/2018 03:30 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HCR 19 GOVERNOR: AK NATIVE LANGUAGES EMERGENCY TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ HB 97 REPEAL AK FIRE STANDS. COUNCIL TAX CREDIT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 97(STA) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
+= HB 7 MARKED BALLOT PHOTOS; PERSUASION AT POLLS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 235 NORTH STAR MEDAL TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 235(STA) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         April 17, 2018                                                                                         
                           3:32 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Kevin Meyer, Chair                                                                                                      
Senator David Wilson                                                                                                            
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
Senator John Coghill                                                                                                            
Senator Dennis Egan                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 19(CRA) AM                                                                               
Urging Governor Bill Walker to issue an administrative order                                                                    
recognizing a linguistic emergency.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 97(STA)                                                                                 
"An Act repealing the insurance tax credit for gifts to the                                                                     
Alaska fire standards council; and providing for an effective                                                                   
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 97(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 7(CRA)                                                                                  
"An Act relating to the exhibition of marked ballots and the                                                                    
prohibition on political persuasion near election polls."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 235(STA)                                                                                
"An Act creating the North Star Medal."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 235(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HCR 19                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: GOVERNOR: AK NATIVE LANGUAGES EMERGENCY                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) ORTIZ                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
02/16/18       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/16/18       (H)       CRA                                                                                                    
03/06/18       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/06/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/06/18       (H)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
03/08/18       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/08/18       (H)       Moved CSHCR 19(CRA) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/08/18       (H)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
03/09/18       (H)       CRA RPT CS(CRA) 5DP                                                                                    
03/09/18       (H)       DP:    SADDLER,    DRUMMOND,    LINCOLN,                                                               
                        RAUSCHER, PARISH                                                                                        
03/19/18       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
03/19/18       (H)       VERSION: CSHCR 19(CRA) AM                                                                              
03/21/18       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/21/18       (S)       CRA, STA                                                                                               
04/03/18       (S)       CRA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/03/18       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/03/18       (S)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
04/10/18       (S)       CRA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/10/18       (S)       Moved CSHCR 19(CRA) AM Out of Committee                                                                
04/10/18       (S)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
04/11/18       (S)       CRA RPT  3DP                                                                                           
04/11/18       (S)       DP: BISHOP, GARDNER, HOFFMAN                                                                           
04/17/18       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 97                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: REPEAL AK FIRE STANDS. COUNCIL TAX CREDIT                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) THOMPSON                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
02/01/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/01/17       (H)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
02/28/17       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
02/28/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/28/17       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/02/17       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/02/17       (H)       Moved CSHB 97(STA) Out of Committee                                                                    
03/02/17       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/06/17       (H)       STA RPT CS(STA) 5DP                                                                                    
03/06/17       (H)       DP: JOHNSON, WOOL, BIRCH, TUCK, KREISS-                                                                
                         TOMKINS                                                                                                
03/12/18       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM ADAMS ROOM 519                                                                          
03/12/18       (H)       Moved CSHB 97(STA) Out of Committee                                                                    
03/12/18       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/14/18       (H)       FIN RPT CS(STA) 10DP 1NR                                                                               
03/14/18       (H)       DP: GARA, WILSON, THOMPSON, PRUITT,                                                                    
                         ORTIZ,   GRENN,    GUTTENBERG,   TILTON,                                                               
                         SEATON,                                                                                                
03/14/18       (H)       FOSTER                                                                                                 
03/14/18       (H)       NR: KAWASAKI                                                                                           
04/09/18       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/09/18       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 97(STA)                                                                                  
04/10/18       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/10/18       (S)       STA                                                                                                    
04/17/18       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 7                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE: MARKED BALLOT PHOTOS; PERSUASION AT POLLS                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KREISS-TOMKINS                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
01/18/17       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/9/17                                                                                
01/18/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/18/17       (H)       STA, CRA                                                                                               
01/31/17       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
01/31/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/31/17       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/02/17       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
02/02/17       (H)       Moved CSHB 7(STA) Out of Committee                                                                     
02/02/17       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/06/17       (H)       STA RPT CS(STA) NT 7DP                                                                                 
02/06/17       (H)       DP: JOHNSON, WOOL, LEDOUX, KNOPP,                                                                      
                         BIRCH, TUCK, KREISS-TOMKINS                                                                            
02/18/17       (H)       CRA AT 10:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                             
02/18/17       (H)       Moved CSHB 7(CRA) Out of Committee                                                                     
02/18/17       (H)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
02/22/17       (H)       CRA RPT CS(CRA) NT 3DP 2NR                                                                             
02/22/17       (H)       DP: WESTLAKE, DRUMMOND, PARISH                                                                         
02/22/17       (H)       NR: TALERICO, FANSLER                                                                                  
03/01/17       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
03/01/17       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 7(CRA)                                                                                   
03/03/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/03/17       (S)       CRA, STA                                                                                               
03/21/17       (S)       CRA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/21/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/21/17       (S)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
03/13/18       (S)       CRA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/13/18       (S)       Moved CSHB 7(CRA) Out of Committee                                                                     
03/13/18       (S)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
03/16/18       (S)       CRA RPT 2DP 1DNP                                                                                       
03/16/18       (S)       DP: BISHOP, GARDNER                                                                                    
03/16/18       (S)       DNP: MACKINNON                                                                                         
04/10/18       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/10/18       (S)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
04/17/18       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 235                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: NORTH STAR MEDAL                                                                                                   
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KREISS-TOMKINS                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
04/16/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/16/17       (H)       STA                                                                                                    
04/18/17       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
04/18/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/18/17       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/20/17       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
04/20/17       (H)       Moved CSHB 235(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/20/17       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/21/17       (H)       STA RPT CS(STA) 4DP                                                                                    
04/21/17       (H)       DP: JOSEPHSON, BIRCH, TUCK, KREISS-                                                                    
                         TOMKINS                                                                                                
05/01/17       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
05/01/17       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 235(STA)                                                                                 
05/08/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/08/17       (S)       STA                                                                                                    
04/10/18       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/10/18       (S)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
04/17/18       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAN ORTIZ                                                                                                        
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HCR 19.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
JODIE GATTI, Staff                                                                                                              
Representative Ortiz                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided an overview of HCR 19 and answered                                                               
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEVE THOMPSON                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 97.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
GORDON DESUTNER, Fire Training Administrator                                                                                    
Department of Public Safety                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions regarding HB 97.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JONATHAN KREISS-TOMKINS                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 7, provided an overview.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NOAH STAR, Staff                                                                                                                
Representative Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided an overview of HB 7 and answered                                                                 
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ANDERS MARIUS, representing self                                                                                                
Sitka, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 7.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BRIAN JACKSON, Program Manager                                                                                                  
Alaska Division of Elections                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions regarding HB 7.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JONATHAN KREISS-TOMKINS                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 235, provided an overview.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
GRIFFIN PLUSH, Staff                                                                                                            
Representative Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided an overview of HB 235 and answered                                                               
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
WALT MONEGAN, Commissioner                                                                                                      
Alaska Department of Public Safety                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 235.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JACOB WILSON, Business Agent                                                                                                    
Alaska Correctional Officers Association                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 235.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:32:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  KEVIN  MEYER  called the  Senate  State  Affairs  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 3:32  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order  were Senators  Giessel, Wilson,  Egan, Coghill,  and Chair                                                               
Meyer.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
         HCR 19-GOVERNOR: AK NATIVE LANGUAGES EMERGENCY                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:33:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MEYER announced the consideration of House Concurrent                                                                     
Resolution 19 (HCR 19).                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:34:18 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DAN ORTIZ, Alaska State Legislature, Juneau,                                                                     
Alaska, sponsor of HCR 19, provided an overview as follows:                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Over  ten thousand  years ago  anthropological evidence                                                                    
     suggests that  the first  human beings  began migrating                                                                    
     into  the area  we now  call the  State of  Alaska, and                                                                    
     when they migrated, they brought  with them, of course,                                                                    
     their  culture,  their  language,  and  it  became  the                                                                    
     initial, these different  languages and these different                                                                    
     cultures became the  foundation of what we  now have as                                                                    
     Alaskan culture.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Over the years  and in more recent  history, we've seen                                                                    
     an  increasing problem  in that  key  elements of  that                                                                    
     culture of  language are  beginning to  disappear. This                                                                    
     resolution  is attempting  to at  least bring  light to                                                                    
     that particular problem.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The  state   has  moved  in  the   right  direction  by                                                                    
     acknowledging  and  recognizing  the 20  Alaska  native                                                                    
     languages as official languages  of the state; however,                                                                    
     recognition is just the first step.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The  intent   of  this  resolution  is   the  heed  the                                                                    
     suggestions  put forth  by the  Alaska Native  Language                                                                    
     Preservation   and  Advisory   Council  (ANLPAC).   The                                                                    
     council  strongly  urges  the  governor  to  issue  and                                                                    
     administrative   order   recognizing   the   linguistic                                                                    
     emergency that exits and state  that it's the policy of                                                                    
     the State  of Alaska  to actively promote  the survival                                                                    
     and continued  use of all  20 Alaska  native languages.                                                                    
     In ANLPAC's  biennial 2018 report  to the  governor and                                                                    
     Legislature, ANLPAC  warned that  all 20  Alaska native                                                                    
     languages  are  in crisis  and  most  are predicted  to                                                                    
     become extinct or  dormant by the end  of 21st century.                                                                    
     The State of  Alaska can no longer  sustain these rates                                                                    
     of  language loss  unless  policy  changes are  enacted                                                                    
     that  support  people  who are  learning  and  speaking                                                                    
     Alaska native languages throughout  the state. The loss                                                                    
     of language represents the loss  of a critical piece of                                                                    
     our history, culture and traditional way of life.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     I respectively request that the  Legislature join me in                                                                    
     the support of ANLPAC  and the languages that represent                                                                    
     intergenerational knowledge.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     As an added note, in 2008,  we the State of Alaska lost                                                                    
     last Eyak  fluent speaker we  now have  Tanana language                                                                    
     have only one speaker left who  is now 93 years old, so                                                                    
     that is  two specific  examples of  where we  truly are                                                                    
     looking  at a  crisis  or looking  at  the prospect  of                                                                    
     losing some  of these  key languages  that are  part of                                                                    
     our Alaskan culture.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL asked  what the process would be  if an emergency                                                               
administrative order was put forward.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:38:21 PM                                                                                                                    
JODIE   GATTI,   Staff,   Representative  Ortiz,   Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature,  Juneau, Alaska,  addressed  ANLPAC's 2018  biennial                                                               
report and noted five specific  recommendations by the council as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
   1. Support for emersion programs.                                                                                            
   2. Statewide assessment program.                                                                                             
   3. Official apology from the State of Alaska.                                                                                
   4. Language normalization activities such as recognizing                                                                     
     indigenous place names.                                                                                                    
   5. Language restoration by making Alaska native languages                                                                    
     a requirement for high school graduation.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ added that the  intent of the resolution was                                                               
not necessarily for  the governor to specifically  adopt any type                                                               
of recommendations, but to submit a plan to deal with the issue.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:40:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL  disclosed that  he was raised  in a  village and                                                               
noted his  historical understanding and desire  to keep languages                                                               
but remarked  that he would not  raise the issue to  an emergency                                                               
level. He continued as follows:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     I  would  say it  is  definitely  a cultural  priority,                                                                    
     there's no  doubt about  it; in  fact, when  we debated                                                                    
     whether they  should be  official languages,  I debated                                                                    
     them on  whether that was  going to get them  what they                                                                    
     really  wanted  to  do,  and I  think  I  was  somewhat                                                                    
     vindicated on  that, but the  question really is  if we                                                                    
     do an  emergency rather  than, let's  just say  we stop                                                                    
     the resolution at the second  resolve, to me that would                                                                    
     compel us to  some action, but when I think  you put an                                                                    
     emergency on it, you are  asking for drama that may not                                                                    
     do well in this arena.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     I'm just giving  you my thinking on this,  that's why I                                                                    
     wanted  to  know  what  the  emergency  recommendations                                                                    
     might looks  like; for example,  I was born  and raised                                                                    
     here,  many of  us were  born and  raised here,  but my                                                                    
     population  up  in the  Fairbanks  area  turns over  20                                                                    
     percent every  year, sometimes 30 percent.  To ask them                                                                    
     to apologize for something that  happened 100 years ago                                                                    
     may very  well be a tall  ask and may not  raise to the                                                                    
     level of an emergency; however,  if there are things as                                                                    
     a  state  can  do  to facilitate  the  growth  of  that                                                                    
     language, most of us would be willing to do that.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     So, when you  ask for an emergency, I begin  to ask the                                                                    
     drama  questions because  that's exactly  what you  are                                                                    
     doing, you  are raising it to  a level of drama  that I                                                                    
     don't  know  it's  going to  be  beneficial.  I'm  just                                                                    
     bringing  that point  up because  if the  governor then                                                                    
     writes out  an emergency  order and  we don't  act like                                                                    
     it's an emergency, then I  think those who would expect                                                                    
     something  to happen  might  actually  feel a  backlash                                                                    
     that  would be  less than  productive. I'm  just giving                                                                    
     you  my  opinion  after  having  been  through  several                                                                    
     discussions on  native language issues. I  agree, let's                                                                    
     keep  the language  rich and  the culture  rich, but  I                                                                    
     think  by  demanding  this dramatic  language,  I  just                                                                    
     haven't bought into that part yet.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:42:34 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ replied as follows:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     I fully appreciate  the point that you  are making with                                                                    
     the point that you just  made and understand it and get                                                                    
     it in terms  of what it is you are  saying. I think the                                                                    
     word "emergency"  as a part  of the title was  more not                                                                    
     in  the  sense  of  trying  to, it's  just  more  of  a                                                                    
     recognition  that it's  happening right  now; in  other                                                                    
     words, these  languages are  disappearing, it's  just a                                                                    
     fact that  they are  disappearing. So,  it was  more in                                                                    
     recognition of  that and  knowing that  if we  don't do                                                                    
     everything  that  we  can,  I  don't  think  that  this                                                                    
     resolution   is   saying    that   it's   the   state's                                                                    
     responsibility  to deal  with the  issue. I  think it's                                                                    
     calling on  the state to  do everything that it  can to                                                                    
     facilitate, like you say,  to facilitate activities and                                                                    
     to  promote  actions that  help  to  address the  issue                                                                    
     because  2 years  ago or  back when  we adopted  the 20                                                                    
     Alaska  native  languages,  that  was  done,  that  was                                                                    
     positive,   I  think   that  was   under  the   Parnell                                                                    
     Administration, it was very positive  but we still have                                                                    
     the problem.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     The reason for the resolution  was to address that fact                                                                    
     that we  still have  a problem in  that the  problem is                                                                    
     probably only increased since that  time. The sense of,                                                                    
     for a lack  of a better word, sense  of "emergency" has                                                                    
     increased  since  that  time   because  we  are  seeing                                                                    
     concrete examples  now where  the threat is  very real,                                                                    
     perhaps more real than it was a couple of years ago.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:44:58 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL replied as follows:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Only  two  things, first  of  all  you are  asking  the                                                                    
     administration  to declare  a  linguistic emergency,  I                                                                    
     struggle with that;  and then I remember  the debate on                                                                    
     the language  issue and they  were put in  the official                                                                    
     language  section  and  the argument  I  remember  very                                                                    
     clearly because I  had to deal with it is  they said it                                                                    
     was  going  to  be  very  symbolic  so  that  we  could                                                                    
     actually  get some  of these  things done,  now we  are                                                                    
     coming  back  stepping  on  the   fact  that  they  are                                                                    
     official, not  symbolic, but official  and that  we are                                                                    
     going to now require an emergency.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     So, I just  struggle with those kind  of approaches and                                                                    
     I  know,   I've  already  stuck  my   finger  into  the                                                                    
     politically correct light socket,  but at the same time                                                                    
     I tend to appreciate the  language. I was raised around                                                                    
     the Athabascan  language and I spoke  Gwich'in language                                                                    
     as a  kid, I  loved it,  and I  loved the  culture that                                                                    
     went along with  it, and our school  didn't promote it,                                                                    
     they didn't  forbid it, there  was a  generation before                                                                    
     me that did forbid it, I  get that, but it is also true                                                                    
     that since  probably the Native Claims  Settlement Act,                                                                    
     there  are now  more native  speakers in  my home  town                                                                    
     than when I was  a kid, and I spoke it.  I think we are                                                                    
     doing what  we can, but I  just don't know that  I want                                                                    
     to put an emergency moniker on it, that's all.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:46:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MEYER  noted that the  previous year the  governor declared                                                               
an  opioid  emergency, an  act  that  allowed access  to  federal                                                               
dollars to  help with the  crisis. He asked  Representative Ortiz                                                               
if he anticipated  and federal dollars coming from  the Bureau of                                                               
Indian Affairs (BIA) or somebody if an emergency is declared.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ  answered that  he has not  considered Chair                                                               
Meyer's question and does not know how to answer.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  MEYER opined  that  using the  word  "emergency" that  the                                                               
intent is  to get  somebody's attention,  like what  the governor                                                               
had done  with opioids  where the  federal government  agreed and                                                               
provided  monies  to  help  with  the  crisis.  He  said  he  was                                                               
wondering if BIA maybe had a similar program.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:48:08 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. GATTI  specified that  what the governor  did for  the opioid                                                               
crisis was issue  a disaster declaration which  is different from                                                               
HCR 19 where the resolution is an administrative order.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER asked Ms. Gatti to repeat what the governor issued.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GATTI  specified  that the  governor  announced  a  disaster                                                               
declaration,  which  is  probably  the  reason  he  was  able  to                                                               
leverage federal funding.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ORTIZ stated  that  he failed  to  note that  Ms.                                                               
Gatti is  a First Alaskan intern  and that she has  been the main                                                               
driver  for HCR  19  and  has done  an  amazing  job pushing  the                                                               
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:49:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL commented as follows:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Following up with Senator  Coghill's comments, the word                                                                    
     "emergency" appears in here twice  at least as far as I                                                                    
     can see, the  last word and of course the  last word in                                                                    
     the  title. Emergencies  typically mean  eminent danger                                                                    
     of life and limb, so after  a flood or an earthquake we                                                                    
     declare  a state  of emergency,  people  are dying,  we                                                                    
     need  federal money,  we need  troops to  come in,  the                                                                    
     National  Guard;  but,  what   you  are  describing  is                                                                    
     actually a need for  urgent action, right, because that                                                                    
     is a  word you keep using  is "urgent" and I  get that,                                                                    
     that's  actually  what  you are  portraying  here.  So,                                                                    
     would  it be  more helpful  to with  the last  words of                                                                    
     this  recognizing a  "linguistic preservation  urgency"                                                                    
     versus an  "emergency" which portrays  that life  is in                                                                    
     danger,  because I  think the  word "urgency"  actually                                                                    
     gets to  what you  want, and it  portrays the  need for                                                                    
     focus on the subject, quickly, a suggestion.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:50:51 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ replied that he  would not be opposed to the                                                               
proposed change. He agreed with  Senator Giessel that what he and                                                               
the committee members are talking about is an urgent problem.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GIESSEL  remined  Representative  Ortiz  that  he  is  a                                                               
legislator and sometimes legislators defer too much.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILSON shared  his background when moving  to Alaska when                                                               
he  was 18.  He noted  that all  Alaskan educators  must take  an                                                               
Alaska Studies  course, a  course that he  had taken  because his                                                               
intent was  to become  a teacher.  He revealed  that his  wife is                                                               
from  the Lower  Yukon area  and her  sister-in-law is  fluent in                                                               
Yup'ik and works  with schools. He disclosed that he  had met Ms.                                                               
Jones,  the last  Yup'ik speaker  before  she died  in the  early                                                               
2000s.  He  referenced  the  Alaska  Native  Language  Center  in                                                               
Fairbanks  as an  institution that  has  started documenting  the                                                               
languages. He said he  was not sure that the state  has had a lot                                                               
of cultural emergency  programs. He explained that  he was trying                                                               
to  figure out  what more  the State  of Alaska  can do  with the                                                               
emergency   identified   in  HCR   19   and   queried  what   the                                                               
administration  is being  asked to  do by  issuing the  emergency                                                               
order.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:53:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  ORTIZ replied  that he  did not  have a  specific                                                               
goal in  his vision  for the  resolution in  terms of  having the                                                               
governor  dedicate funds.  He specified  that his  intent was  to                                                               
bring light to  the issue and to encourage the  governor to issue                                                               
an  urgent  order, if  the  resolution  becomes an  urgent  order                                                               
rather than an emergency order, and  to bring together a group of                                                               
interested people that would look at  the issue again to submit a                                                               
report on recommendations. He said he  did not know if the report                                                               
would  recommend money  to be  included. He  conceded that  there                                                               
would be great hesitancy in  dedicating monetary resources due to                                                               
the state's fiscal situation.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WILSON  asked  if  he   was  looking  for  more  than  a                                                               
proclamation but less than an emergency declaration.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ commented as follows:                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     The issue  of the  word "emergency" was  brought before                                                                    
     me  for the  first  time today.  In  the previous  bill                                                                    
     hearings that we  had nobody that I  can recall brought                                                                    
     up the  issue of the word  "emergency" versus "urgent,"                                                                    
     so that just came to me  today. I do think that Senator                                                                    
     Giessel makes a good point  in the sense that really we                                                                    
     are talking  about an urgent  problem, so I am  open to                                                                    
     that idea,  but in  terms of what  my goal  in bringing                                                                    
     this  forward  is  something, I  think  it's  making  a                                                                    
     little  bit too  much  of an  interpretation, I  didn't                                                                    
     even come  up with the concern  about "emergency" until                                                                    
     just ten minutes ago.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILSON  asked if his  intent was  to receive more  than a                                                               
proclamation from the governor.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ answered correct.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:56:58 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COGHILL  asked Ms.  Gatti  to  confirm that  the  Alaska                                                               
Native Language  Preservation and  Advisory Council was  still an                                                               
authorized body.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. GATTI answered correct.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   COGHILL  inquired   if  the   Alaska  Native   Language                                                               
Preservation  and Advisory  Council  was about  to bring  forward                                                               
some recommendations.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. GATTI answered yes.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL  asked if recommendations from  the Alaska Native                                                               
Language Preservation  and Advisory  Council will be  ongoing. He                                                               
inquired  if   the  council  is  a   501(c)(3)  organization.  He                                                               
requested  that  Ms.  Gatti help  him  understand  the  council's                                                               
structure a bit more.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. GATTI explained that the  Alaska Native Language Preservation                                                               
and Advisory Council was a state  council created in 2012 from SB                                                               
130.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL  replied that he  recalled the bill. He  asked if                                                               
the council was given a sunset date or a charge in perpetuity.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:58:21 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. GATTI replied that there is no sunset date.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL  explained that the  reason why he asked  will be                                                               
part of  the ongoing conversation.  He inquired if  Senator Olson                                                               
was on the council.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER  asked if Representative Kreiss-Tompkins  was also on                                                               
the council.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL continued as follows:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     I'm then  trying to  then correlate  why we  would have                                                                    
     the  governor  sign  something   unless  they  are  not                                                                    
     empowered to do  something similar and so  can you help                                                                    
     me  understand what  the governor  could  do to  either                                                                    
     empower  them  or add  extra  drive  to what  they  are                                                                    
     doing.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GATTI replied  that the  council  has six  members with  one                                                               
member that  is employed  through the  state. She  specified that                                                               
council  members  are  essentially  volunteers,  native  language                                                               
experts from different regions throughout the state.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL commented as follows:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     The reason  I'm asking is  they are actually  doing the                                                                    
     work. I  was just wondering  if we do ask  the governor                                                                    
     to  sign a  proclamation of  some kind,  just name  it:                                                                    
     emergency, urgency, whatever it  is. What do you expect                                                                    
     that that might do there?  Do you think that that would                                                                    
     empower them  differently or if  it did, what  would be                                                                    
     maybe a  responsibility the state  might take  on more?                                                                    
     Just from your perspective  of somebody who has worked,                                                                    
     looks like you have worked  this issue between them and                                                                    
     us,  so I'm  just trying  to get  a feel  for what  you                                                                    
     might expect that would happen within that council.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:00:32 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. GATTI replied as follows:                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The council was created to  advise the governor and the                                                                    
     Legislature  on  programs,  policies  and  projects  to                                                                    
     provide  for programs  and  recommendations that  would                                                                    
     enhance  and revitalize  Alaska  native languages.  The                                                                    
     structure that  they are currently housed  under, to my                                                                    
     understanding, can  be prohibitive to their  efforts in                                                                    
     some  ways.  So,  they are  only  allowed  one-fulltime                                                                    
     staff  and they  are  only allowed  one-paid trip  each                                                                    
     year.  Certainly,  part  of  it  could  be  them  being                                                                    
     empowered, but again,  I would have to go  back to what                                                                    
     the representative  said about the  governor consulting                                                                    
     a group of people.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL  explained that  he was trying  to get  a context                                                               
for the  council. He  asserted that the  council was  trying hard                                                               
under austere circumstances, but so was everybody in Alaska.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL  shared that she  just looked up the  council and                                                               
shared that  one Senate member and  one House member are  part of                                                               
the council.  She conceded that she  did not know who  the people                                                               
are that  serve on  the Alaska  Native Language  Preservation and                                                               
Advisory Council.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR EGAN noted that Senator Olson is a member.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL reiterated  that she was not sure  and noted that                                                               
she would  like to  hear from the  senator and  representative as                                                               
far as what the council was doing. She continued as follows:                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     I'm  not sure  where the  group  is going  in terms  of                                                                    
     recommendations. The  staff read  some recommendations,                                                                    
     one  of  which  was  suggesting  that  native  language                                                                    
     proficiency be part  of graduation requirements, that's                                                                    
     a  bit far  in my  opinion,  and it's  not possible  to                                                                    
     execute that.  I'm just trying to  get more information                                                                    
     about  something   that  we're   wishing  to   be  more                                                                    
     empowered and  I want to  know more about  who's there,                                                                    
     what  they are  doing, and  I'd like  to hear  from the                                                                    
     senator that is on this council.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:03:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MEYER  asked who the  representative is that serves  on the                                                               
Alaska  Native Language  Preservation  and  Advisory Council.  He                                                               
assumed that Senator Olson serves on the council.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. GATTI replied  correct, Senator Olson serves  on the council.                                                               
She  said to  her knowledge  there is  not a  representative that                                                               
serves on the council.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ responded that he did not know.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  MEYER remarked  that  Senator Giessel  brought  up a  good                                                               
point.  He asked  if anyone  had contacted  Senator Olson  to see                                                               
what  the  Alaska  Native   Language  Preservation  and  Advisory                                                               
Council is doing and if they agreed with the resolution.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. GATTI  noted that  the committee members  received a  copy of                                                               
the  biennial report  that was  recently released  by the  Alaska                                                               
Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:04:30 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:05:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MEYER called the committee back to order.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GIESSEL   detailed  that  the  Alaska   Native  Language                                                               
Preservation  and  Advisory  Council  is under  the  Division  of                                                               
Community  and  Reginal Affairs,  which  is  part of  the  Alaska                                                               
Department of Commerce, Community,  and Economic Development. She                                                               
said  the  Alaska  Native   Language  Preservation  and  Advisory                                                               
Council is  an advisor  council that  currently has  six members,                                                               
one  of which  is Senator  Olson.  She pointed  out that  council                                                               
members  are  appointed  by the  governor  and  serve  three-year                                                               
terms. She  noted that she  did not recall having  a confirmation                                                               
hearing  for  anyone  appointed to  the  Alaska  Native  Language                                                               
Preservation and Advisory Council.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:06:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MEYER opened and closed public testimony.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:07:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MEYER held HCR 19 in committee.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:07:34 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     HB 97-REPEAL ALASKA FIRE STANDARDS COUNCIL TAX CREDIT                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:08:44 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MEYER called the committee  back to order and announced the                                                               
consideration of House Bill 97 (HB 97).                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:09:19 PM                                                                                                                    
FORREST  WOLFE,  Staff,  Representative  Thompson,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  Juneau,  Alaska,   announced  his  availability  to                                                               
answer questions regarding HB 97.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:09:26 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STEVE THOMPSON,  Alaska State Legislature, Juneau,                                                               
Alaska, sponsor of HB 97, provided an overview as follows:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     House Bill  97 would  repeal the Alaska  Fire Standards                                                                    
     Council tax  credit program  that was  established back                                                                    
     in  2000, it  came about  because we've  been reviewing                                                                    
     the indirect  expenditure reports.  The tax  credit was                                                                    
     intended to provide a funding  mechanism for the Alaska                                                                    
     Fire   Standards  Council   via   donations  from   the                                                                    
     insurance  companies  and   these  insurance  companies                                                                    
     would then be  able to take a tax  credit against their                                                                    
     Alaska  tax; but  in  the mean  time  before this  bill                                                                    
     passed, the  Alaska Fire Standards Council  found their                                                                    
     own  funding  mechanism  through  a  certification  fee                                                                    
     schedule from all of their members.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The  2015  Legislative   Finance  Indirect  Expenditure                                                                    
     Report recommended  that the tax credit  be reviewed to                                                                    
     determine if  it was  still applicable  and potentially                                                                    
     terminated if  the credit is deemed  ineffective. While                                                                    
     the original  legislation was  no doubt  well intended,                                                                    
     it's proven to not  only be ineffective but unnecessary                                                                    
     as  well  and  therefore  it  should  be  repealed  and                                                                    
     removed  from statutes.  In the  18 years  that it  has                                                                    
     been in statutes there have  been no donations made, no                                                                    
     tax credits  issued under this program.  So, House Bill                                                                    
     97  would  take the  tax  credit  established under  AS                                                                    
     21.96.075 out of  the statute books and not  have it be                                                                    
     printed every year.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER asked if he  said the Alaska Fire Standards Council's                                                               
tax credit has never been used.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMPSON answered  that  since 2000,  no one  has                                                               
ever donated  or applied for a  tax credit under the  statute. He                                                               
reiterated  that the  Alaska Fire  Standards Council  found their                                                               
own funding mechanism through member fees.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:11:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MEYER asked when the tax credit expires.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE THOMPSON answered  that with HB 97  the tax credit                                                               
would expire January 1, 2019.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER  asked when  the tax credit  would expire  without HB                                                               
97.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMPSON answered  that  there  is no  expiration                                                               
date or sunset.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILSON asked why the  sunset date is effective January 1,                                                               
2019 rather than upon passage.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE THOMPSON explained that  the effective date was in                                                               
the bill  as a pre-file in  2017 with the thinking  that the bill                                                               
would pass  in 2017. He specified  that the intent was  to ensure                                                               
there  were no  problems with  the bill  until the  expiration on                                                               
January 1, 2019.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILSON  admitted that  his fear is  someone will  rush to                                                               
file  and  take  advantage  of   the  tax  credit  prior  to  its                                                               
expiration date.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMPSON  replied  that he  assumed  because  the                                                               
Alaska Fire  Standards Council  has its own  funding and  the tax                                                               
credit has  never been used  that it was time  to get rid  of the                                                               
credit.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILSON  thanked Representative  Thompson and  opined that                                                               
the  Legislature should  go through  the statutes  more often  to                                                               
find out what is being used and what is not being used.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  MEYER asked  if Representative  Thompson  could find  more                                                               
statutes that addressed expenditures.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMPSON   replied  that   House  Bill   97  also                                                               
addresses indirect expenditures.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER  asked if there  was any  interest in the  tax credit                                                               
program prior to expiration.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:13:47 PM                                                                                                                    
GORDON  DESUTNER,  Fire  Training  Administrator,  Department  of                                                               
Public  Safety,  Anchorage,  Alaska,  replied  that  he  has  not                                                               
received any letters  of interest. He noted that  the Alaska Fire                                                               
Standards  Council  did  opt  to  send letters  out  to  all  the                                                               
insurance companies that were operating  in the state in 2016 and                                                               
no meaningful responses were received.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GIESSEL  commended  Representative  Thompson  for  going                                                               
through the  indirect expenditure documents that  all legislators                                                               
receive.  She said  she  appreciated  the representative  finding                                                               
obsolete tax credits and for bringing the bill forward.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:14:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MEYER opened and closed public testimony.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:15:24 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GIESSEL moved  to report  the  committee substitute  for                                                               
House  Bill   97,  [CSHB   97(STA)],  version   30-LS0180\D  from                                                               
committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  attached  zero                                                               
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:15:42 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  MEYER  announced  there being  no  objection,  the  motion                                                               
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:15:49 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
         HB 7-MARKED BALLOT PHOTOS; PERSUASION AT POLLS                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:16:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MEYER called the committee  back to order and announced the                                                               
consideration of House Bill 7 (HB 7).                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:17:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE    JONATHAN     KREISS-TOMKINS,    Alaska    State                                                               
Legislature,  Juneau,  Alaska,  sponsor  of  HB  7,  provided  an                                                               
overview as follows:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     This bill would officially  allow Alaska voters to take                                                                    
     and  share "ballot  selfies"    the photos  that people                                                                    
     take  of  themselves or  their  ballots  in the  voting                                                                    
     booth.  Technically,  it's  illegal  to  share  one  in                                                                    
     Alaska  right now,  though in  practice,  the law  goes                                                                    
     unenforced.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Sharing ballot  photos was traditionally  prohibited to                                                                    
     prevent  voter  intimidation  and  vote  buying  (e.g.,                                                                    
     someone tells  or pays you  to vote a certain  way, and                                                                    
     makes you  show a picture  of your ballot to  prove you                                                                    
     did). But technology and the  internet have changed the                                                                    
     reasons  we take  and  share  pictures: ballot  selfies                                                                    
     have  become a  common  way to  express  support for  a                                                                    
     candidate, a cause, or the act of voting itself.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska  would be  stepping into  well-charted territory                                                                    
     by   allowing  ballot   selfies.   Many  other   states                                                                    
     recognize  ballot  selfies  as   a  form  of  political                                                                    
     speech, protected  under the  First Amendment.  Bans on                                                                    
     selfies have  been struck  down as  unconstitutional in                                                                    
     New   Hampshire,  Indiana,   Nebraska,  Rhode   Island,                                                                    
     Michigan,  California, and  Utah,  joining states  like                                                                    
     Washington,  Oregon,  California,   and  Montana  which                                                                    
     never outlawed selfies to begin with.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     There's  no  evidence to  suggest  ballot  buying is  a                                                                    
     widespread  problem  in  Alaska:  the  state  does  not                                                                    
     enforce  the current  law that  bans ballot  photos. If                                                                    
     ballot  selfies  are  legalized,  standing  laws  which                                                                    
     criminalize  voting   interference  would   remain  (AS                                                                    
     15.56).                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS summarized  that "ballot  selfies"                                                               
is  technically   illegal  but  is  not   enforced  and  arguably                                                               
unconstitutional.  He   noted  that  the   law  has   never  been                                                               
challenged in  court. He set  forth that HB 7  effectively brings                                                               
the law  into alignment  with what  is currently  happening while                                                               
acknowledging and  recognizing the  "ballot selfies"  practice is                                                               
legal and  an expression of  free speech.  He added that  the law                                                               
results  in ambiguity  where the  Division  of Election  receives                                                               
calls who  might have posted a  photo of their ballot  to enquire                                                               
if their act was illegal.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WILSON  noted  that  Section  1(a)(2)  pertains  to  the                                                               
prohibition  of  political  persuasion  near  election  polls  as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Physically display  a photo,  video, or other  image of                                                                    
     the person's  or another person's  market ballot  in an                                                                    
     attempt to persuade  a person to vote for  or against a                                                                    
     candidate, proposition, or question.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
He asked  if the  intent of  the section is  to address  a person                                                               
that displays their selfie photo.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:19:29 PM                                                                                                                    
NOAH  STAR, Staff,  Representative  Kreiss-Tomkins, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, answered as follows:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     What  that section  allows is  for someone  to share  a                                                                    
     photo of their  ballot with another person  or with the                                                                    
     public on line  11. So, if I were to  take a picture of                                                                    
     my ballot,  I could post  it on Instagram  or Facebook,                                                                    
     or share  it with  my friend, "Hey,  this is  my ballot                                                                    
     selfie, this is who I  vote for, I'm very excited about                                                                    
     it," after I left the polling place.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER  noted that Anchorage  has gone  to a ballot  by mail                                                               
and  asked what  would happen  if a  person takes  a selfie  with                                                               
their ballot.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. STAR replied  that the prohibition only deals  with voting in                                                               
the polling place.  He added that there is a  separate section of                                                               
election  statutes  that  talks   about  absentee  law,  but  the                                                               
proposed prohibition  does not apply  to the absentee  section of                                                               
law.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER asked if the proposed  bill would not be necessary if                                                               
the state goes to a mail-in ballot.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS  answered  correct.  He  disclosed                                                               
that he  is on the  elections working group with  Senator Stevens                                                               
and noted that  the group has been contemplating  how things have                                                               
worked  for the  Municipality  of Anchorage.  He  opined that  if                                                               
Alaska ever considered  vote by mail, the system  would likely be                                                               
a hybrid that continues to incorporate polling places.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER asked if allowing  selfies in polling places would be                                                               
disruptive.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:22:22 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  noted that selfies  were currently                                                               
happening. He  remarked that it  is hard  to say within  a ballot                                                               
booth if  a person  is taking  a long  time to  contemplate their                                                               
ballot or taking a photo.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER pointed  out that currently a poll  worker could tell                                                               
a person they could not take  a selfie whereas there is nothing a                                                               
poll worker could do should the proposed bill pass.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS answered as follows:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Right now I'm  not sure there is any  scenario in which                                                                    
     a poll  worker can, I mean  if someone is taking  a lot                                                                    
     of time in  the ballot box I'm not sure  anyone is able                                                                    
     to because you're not allowed  to look in, whether they                                                                    
     are  just reading  every  last  word at  excruciatingly                                                                    
     slow pace  of a  ballot initiative or  a constitutional                                                                    
     amendment  or whether  it's because  they are  taking a                                                                    
     photo, I'm  not sure  what recourse exists  if somebody                                                                    
     is taking  a long time  in a ballot box,  I've actually                                                                    
     never contemplated  the question.  I can say  it hasn't                                                                    
     come up thus far as an  issue or concern, at least from                                                                    
     the Division  of Elections,  not to  say that  it isn't                                                                    
     happening out there somewhere.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL asked for a sectional analysis because she was                                                                  
not clear what the bill is doing                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:24:58 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. STAR provided the sectional analysis for HB 7 as follows:                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1                                                                                                              
     Amends  AS   15.15.170  to  prohibit  any   attempt  to                                                                    
     persuade other  voters through the physical  display of                                                                    
     a photo, video, or other  image of a person's ballot in                                                                    
     a polling place  or within 200 feet of  any entrance to                                                                    
     a polling place.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2                                                                                                              
     Conforming change  to existing AS 15.15.280  due to the                                                                    
     new subsection created in section 3.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3                                                                                                              
     This section  is the central  policy change.  Amends AS                                                                    
     15.15.280   to  exempt   "ballot   selfies"  from   the                                                                    
     statutory prohibition  on exhibiting marked  ballots. A                                                                    
     new subsection (b)(2) allows a  voter to share a photo,                                                                    
     video, or other  image of her or his  own marked ballot                                                                    
     with  the public,  if they  so choose,  subject to  the                                                                    
     restriction established in section 1.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He summarized that the bill creates a narrow exception to the                                                                   
existing prohibition on exhibiting a marked ballot. He specified                                                                
that the exception is authorized in section 3.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:26:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL addressed section 2 as follows:                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     So,  it  says here  that  the  voter cannot  display  a                                                                    
     photograph  of the  ballot  that  would enable  another                                                                    
     person to  ascertain how the  voter market  the ballot.                                                                    
     Is that  a correct interpretation of  the words written                                                                    
     on that section?                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. STAR answered yes. He added that the "B" point in section 3                                                                 
establishes the exception.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL continued as follows:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Right, I'm  sticking to section  2 right now.  So, they                                                                    
     can take a picture of  themselves with a ballot but not                                                                    
     the actual marked areas of the ballot?                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. STAR answered yes. He said section 2 says that a person                                                                     
cannot take a picture of their ballot so that one could figure                                                                  
out how a person marked their ballot.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL continued as follows:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Okay, that's correct,  that's what I just  said and I'm                                                                    
     asking you if that's a correct interpretation?                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Now  I'm going  to ask  you about  section 3.  So, what                                                                    
     section  3 seems  to be  saying is  once you  leave the                                                                    
     polling place,  you can send  that picture  that you've                                                                    
     taken that  does not show  how you marked  your ballot,                                                                    
     but you can  send it after you leave the  200 feet from                                                                    
     the entrance of the polling place.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. STAR replied as follows:                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     If I'm understanding correctly,  I think I'd only amend                                                                    
     what you  said to say  that you  can take a  picture of                                                                    
     the ballot  and once you  leave the polling  place this                                                                    
     section 3  allows you  to post  that picture  and share                                                                    
     your  marked ballot  on the  internet  or with  someone                                                                    
     else.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL responded as follows:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Which is what I think I  just said but perhaps I wasn't                                                                    
     clear,  but the  fact of  the matter  is when  you say,                                                                    
     "marked ballot,"  the person who receives  this picture                                                                    
     regardless of  where you are  standing or what  time of                                                                    
     day  it is,  cannot  ascertain how  you  voted on  that                                                                    
     ballot.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:28:18 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. STAR explained as follows:                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     You can  post a picture  of your  ballot in such  a way                                                                    
     that shows who you voted  for as established by section                                                                    
     3, that's  what the exception allows  and apologizes if                                                                    
     I'm   not   understanding   properly   what   you   are                                                                    
     suggesting, but what  section 3 allows is  that you can                                                                    
     post a  picture of your  ballot in  such a way  that it                                                                    
     does show who you voted for.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL replied as follows:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     This seems  to want it both  ways then. So, it  says in                                                                    
     section 1 that the  person who receives this photograph                                                                    
     can't tell  how you marked  the ballot, that's  what it                                                                    
     says, excuse  me, section 2  says, you are not  able to                                                                    
     ascertain  how the  voter marked  the  ballot. So,  I'm                                                                    
     confused,  it says  the voter  can exhibit  the voter's                                                                    
     ballot, so  you can't  tell how it  is marked,  now you                                                                    
     are saying  in section 3,  "Oh, well yes you  can." Can                                                                    
     you explain that?                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. STAR explained as follows:                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     AS  15.15.280  in  section   2  establishes  a  general                                                                    
     prohibition  saying  that  in  most  cases  one  cannot                                                                    
     display  their  marked  ballot  by  photo  or  whatever                                                                    
     reason.  Section 3  establishes a  narrow exception  to                                                                    
     that  general  prohibition  saying   that  if  you  are                                                                    
     requesting assistance  under AS  15.15.240 in  order to                                                                    
     vote,  or if  you are  not  posting a  photo, video  or                                                                    
     other image of your marked  ballot in the polling place                                                                    
     within 200 feet then you are  okay, it is legal for you                                                                    
     to post that photo, video or other image.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL replied that Mr. Star's explanation made no                                                                     
logical sense to her.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER commented as follows:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     If I'm understanding  this correctly, and I  may not be                                                                    
     either, is that  once I get outside of the  200 feet of                                                                    
     the polling place  then I can post that  picture in how                                                                    
     I voted, how I marked the ballot, is that correct?                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. STAR answered correct. He  specified that section 1 was meant                                                               
to prohibit  someone with malicious  intent, taking a  picture of                                                               
their ballot in  the privacy of the voting  booth, coming outside                                                               
waiving their photo  around to show what he or  she voted for. He                                                               
emphasized  that the  intent  of  the bill  was  to prohibit  the                                                               
behavior he  previously described.  He specified that  the intent                                                               
of HB  7 was to  allow an individual to  post a picture  of their                                                               
ballot on social media once they leave the polling place.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:31:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MEYER  asked if it is  currently illegal for him  to post a                                                               
photo of  how he voted within  200 feet of the  high school where                                                               
he voted.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS explained as follows:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     I believe  the origin of the  200-feet language relates                                                                    
     to  election law  that presently  exists and  you can't                                                                    
     have signs, etc.  The thought is that if  you have this                                                                    
     image on  your phone  and you are  showing it  to other                                                                    
     people,  that  kind  of  falls in  the  same  class  of                                                                    
     behavior,  but  to answer  your  question,  if you  are                                                                    
     posting that  photo on your  phone or showing  to other                                                                    
     people, that is prohibited until  you are 200 feet from                                                                    
     the doors of your high school.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER inquired when a person  would know when they are able                                                               
to post a picture.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS replied as follows:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     I think  the same way that  people need to if  they are                                                                    
     wearing the button of a  candidate they are supporting,                                                                    
     I think  what happens in  a lot of  Alaskan communities                                                                    
     in  my  experience is  they've  got  poll workers  that                                                                    
     remind  people  when  they  see   them,  they  are  not                                                                    
     necessarily  on specific  perimeter patrol  exactly 200                                                                    
     feet from  the door of  the polling place, but  if they                                                                    
     get close  and a  polling person  is around  they would                                                                    
     say as  a general  reminder that  an individual  has to                                                                    
     take  their political  display down  because it  is the                                                                    
     law.  I  would  be  surprised  if  it  is  enforced  in                                                                    
     overwhelming precision  but probably the spirit  of the                                                                    
     law was what really matters.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR EGAN disclosed that he  has received photos from "friends                                                               
and  enemies" showing  how they  voted. He  pointed out  that the                                                               
bill just tries,  "To make it a little more  legal if they follow                                                               
the law."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:33:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MEYER  argued that poll  workers currently can  say, "Don't                                                               
do that because it is illegal."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR EGAN  noted that  poll workers have  yet to  tell someone                                                               
not to  take a  photo. He pointed  out that no  one knows  what a                                                               
person is doing in a voting booth once the curtain is drawn.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER noted that the bill says, "within 200 feet."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR EGAN  explained that a  person can send their  photo when                                                               
they are 200 feet away from the polling station.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER pointed  out that a person taking a  selfie when they                                                               
enter a polling station is illegal.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR EGAN  agreed and  asked Representative  Kreiss-Tomkins to                                                               
confirm that                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS answered correct.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  MEYER noted  that there  was a  question brought  up about                                                               
whether  to allow  selfie photos  would  be based  on freedom  of                                                               
speech.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS commented as follows:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     My recollection  is that a  similar law  was challenged                                                                    
     in   New    Hampshire   and   was   struck    down   as                                                                    
     unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL remarked as follows:                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     I think  with our right  to privacy in Alaska  and your                                                                    
     ability to be private within  the voting booth it would                                                                    
     be quite  a stretch to  be able  to prohibit it  in the                                                                    
     polling booth,  but what  you could  do is  keep people                                                                    
     from playing a  video or something as soon  as they got                                                                    
     out  of it.  I  think it's  the  impact of  influencing                                                                    
     other people  over against your  private life.  I think                                                                    
     they probably would never stop  it if it was happing in                                                                    
     the  polling booth,  but if  you came  out and  started                                                                    
     running a video of you  doing it, you would probably be                                                                    
     asked to leave  and shut it off.  Even bumper stickers,                                                                    
     people  drive  up  to  a   polling  booth  with  bumper                                                                    
     stickers and  they will genteelly  ask you to  cover it                                                                    
     up or take  it off. I think that is  the issue here and                                                                    
     it looks  like an  artful way  of doing  it and  yes, I                                                                    
     think it's one of those  things where you are trying to                                                                    
     guard  people's  privileges  of  expressing  themselves                                                                    
     while  protecting   those  from  being   unduly  overly                                                                    
     influenced.  It's just  an artful  way of  dealing with                                                                    
     the technology that we have  to deal with in our world.                                                                    
     The 200-foot  limit probably is  going to be  a problem                                                                    
     because it  used to be  just sign-waving, that  was the                                                                    
     big deal, but  they could get themselves  a little blue                                                                    
     tooth speak and  put it out there, so I  think 200 feet                                                                    
     is probable okay.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:36:46 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL commented as follows:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     I  just have  a  comment in  response  to what  Senator                                                                    
     Coghill has just said about  freedom of expression, and                                                                    
     the sponsor and his staff  saying you can't come out of                                                                    
     the voter's  booth and try  to influence  other people.                                                                    
     Now, as I look at this  section you've given us of HB 7                                                                    
     testimonies,  of course  most  of  the testimony  comes                                                                    
     from  Juneau, which  is interesting,  there's one  here                                                                    
     from Anchorage  and this looks  like a young  woman who                                                                    
     is  18. I  appreciate the  power of  social media  over                                                                    
     young people, that to me  speaks to influence and undue                                                                    
     influence,  in my  opinion. We  know that  social media                                                                    
     has  caused a  lot of  behavior that  we in  this body,                                                                    
     certainly, and society would not  condone. I do believe                                                                    
     that it is a very  powerful media that drives people to                                                                    
     do things  that they don't  think about. I  don't share                                                                    
     Senator  Coghill's  feeling  that  this  is  harmlessly                                                                    
     constitutional.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILSON asked why consideration was not given to include                                                                 
absentee or mail-in ballots.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:38:50 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS explained as follows:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     My understanding  is that presently  it is  not illegal                                                                    
     or criminal  if you  have an  absentee ballot  for that                                                                    
     ballot to  be displayed  to another  person. Presently,                                                                    
     ballot parties or just  for non-Anchorage elections, if                                                                    
     a  husband and  wife  both get  their absentee  ballots                                                                    
     before going off  on a trip that is going  to prompt to                                                                    
     be gone on  election day, it's not illegal  for them to                                                                    
     fill it out  at the same time and if  they want to show                                                                    
     the other who they are voting  for, they are able to do                                                                    
     so  and it's  not  technically against  the law.  We're                                                                    
     just not going  there and changing that law  one way or                                                                    
     the other given that all  of that is presently legal. I                                                                    
     haven't  been  made  aware of  any  problems  with  the                                                                    
     status quo.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILSON asked if photos during early voting was included                                                                 
in the legislation.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS replied as follows:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     My  understanding  is  the  real  demarcation  line  is                                                                    
     whether or  not you  are at a  polling place  and since                                                                    
     early voting  happens at a  polling location,  a ballot                                                                    
     selfie or  taking an  image and  sharing it  with other                                                                    
     people  is technically  illegal or  criminal. So,  even                                                                    
     though  it is  not election  day because  you are  at a                                                                    
     polling place,  that's the criteria  that is  really at                                                                    
     play.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:40:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MEYER opened public testimony.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:41:08 PM                                                                                                                    
ANDERS  MARIUS, representing  self, Sitka,  Alaska, testified  in                                                               
support of HB 7. He said being  allowed to take a picture of your                                                               
ballot  and  posting it  is  a  personal  choice and  a  personal                                                               
freedom that would be granted by HB 7.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:42:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MEYER closed public testimony.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
He asked the Alaska Division of Elections if taking photos in                                                                   
voting booths was an issue.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:43:01 PM                                                                                                                    
BRIAN JACKSON, Program Manager, Alaska Division of Elections,                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska, answered as follows:                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     I  don't  know that  I  would  necessarily call  it  an                                                                    
     issue,  but  the  Division of  Elections  does  receive                                                                    
     phone  calls in  the  election cycle  asking about  the                                                                    
     legality  of  this.  Obviously as  Senator  Egan  spoke                                                                    
     people  are doing  this, taking  selfies of  themselves                                                                    
     and sharing it with others.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER asked if poll  workers currently can tell someone not                                                               
to take a photo.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. JACKSON replied that poll  workers could address the issue if                                                               
someone was identified.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER asked  if the bill would make it  legal for voters to                                                               
take a photo of their ballot in the ballot booth.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. JACKSON  answered that  taking a photo  would be  legal under                                                               
the proposed legislation, but if someone  were to come out of the                                                               
ballot booth and display their  ballots to anybody within the 200                                                               
foot  range then  the poll  worker would  identify that  and they                                                               
would have  to "spoil the  ballot," then  the voter could  have a                                                               
second attempt at voting without displaying their ballot.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER replied as follows:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     When  you say,  "spoil the  ballot," what  if they  are                                                                    
     just taking a picture of it, doing a selfie?                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. JACKSON answered  that if the person voting  does not display                                                               
their  ballot within  the 200-foot  range, then  taking a  ballot                                                               
selfie would be allowed under the proposed legislation.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER commented as follows:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     How  would  you  know  that?  Sometimes  when  you  are                                                                    
     waiting in line you've got  your iPhone out and you are                                                                    
     looking at  it, that  person could be  displaying their                                                                    
     ballot to somebody in the line, how would you know?                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. JACKSON answered as follows:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The poll worker  would be able to identify  that at the                                                                    
     time,  more  than  likely. If  they  recognized  it  as                                                                    
     displaying  their  ballot  to  others  in  the  polling                                                                    
     location,  then they  work with  them to  "spoil" their                                                                    
     ballot.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:46:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MEYER asked if the Division  of Elections has a position on                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JACKSON answered  that the  Division of  Elections does  not                                                               
oppose HB 7.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:46:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MEYER held HB 7 in committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
He remarked  that the bill is  confusing as written as  to what a                                                               
person can  or cannot do  and the legislation would  be addressed                                                               
at the next committee meeting.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILSON asked if the  Division of Elections has considered                                                               
allowing voters  to use "sample  ballots" in the interim  to take                                                               
photos with should the legislation not pass.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JACKSON  answered  that  the  Division  of  Elections  could                                                               
discuss  Senator Wilson's  proposal.  He noted  that the  "sample                                                               
ballot" idea might create more  work for poll workers and pointed                                                               
out that some polling stations are busy.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILSON opined that taking  pictures of your sample ballot                                                               
would be perfectly legal.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. JACKSON replied that a person  could take a photo of a sample                                                               
ballot unless  the polling station  ran out of ballots.  He noted                                                               
that there is a provision  for polling stations to utilize sample                                                               
ballots as  official election ballots should  the polling station                                                               
run out of ballots.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
                    HB 235-NORTH STAR MEDAL                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:49:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MEYER announced the consideration of HB 235.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:49:55 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE    JONATHAN     KREISS-TOMKINS,    Alaska    State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska, sponsor  of HB 235,  referenced the                                                               
sponsor statement for HB 235 as follows:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     HB 235 creates  a rare and high honor to  be awarded by                                                                    
     the  State  of  Alaska  to  first  responders  who  are                                                                    
     injured  or killed  while exhibiting  great courage  in                                                                    
     the service  of their  fellow Alaskans. The  North Star                                                                    
     Medal  is reserved  for  firefighters, peace  officers,                                                                    
     first responders, and search and rescue volunteers.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The  idea for  the  bill came  from Representative  Bob                                                                    
     Lynn,  the  former chair  of  the  House State  Affairs                                                                    
     Committee,  who  envisioned  the   award  as   a  small                                                                    
     thanksgiving"  for the  valor  and  sacrifice shown  by                                                                    
     these men and women.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     One comparable award currently  exists. The State Medal                                                                    
     for Heroism was  created by the Legislature  in 1965 to                                                                    
     recognize  the heroic  and valorous  deed  of saving  a                                                                    
     life. In  contrast to the  North Star Medal,  the Medal                                                                    
     for Heroism can be awarded  to any Alaskan and has been                                                                    
     awarded to individuals  of all ages for  what are often                                                                    
     spontaneous  acts of  bravery. For  example, the  Medal                                                                    
     for Heroism  was awarded to  a 10-year-old boy  in Nome                                                                    
     who  lost his  life  rescuing a  woman  from a  burning                                                                    
     house  in 1984,  and to  others who  have saved  people                                                                    
     from  drowning,  or  from  death   and  injury  in  the                                                                    
     aftermath of airplane and car crashes.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     The  North Star  Medal does  not duplicate  this award;                                                                    
     while  the recipients  of the  State Medal  for Heroism                                                                    
     have  responded to  extraordinary events  with courage,                                                                    
     the North Star Medal  honors those individuals who show                                                                    
     up each  day knowing that  they could be asked  to give                                                                    
     their  lives   to  protect   and  serve   their  fellow                                                                    
     Alaskans.  Other   states  such  as   Idaho,  Illinois,                                                                    
     Oregon, and Texas have similar  awards that honor first                                                                    
     responders  for  meritorious  conduct and/or  death  or                                                                    
     injury in the line of duty.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Nominations  for the  North  Star  Medal can  originate                                                                    
     within  communities  and   organizations  and  will  be                                                                    
     passed  on to  the  highest-ranking  supervisor in  the                                                                    
     department   or  organization,   who  will   then  make                                                                    
     recommendations to  the Commissioner of  Public Safety.                                                                    
     After consideration, the  Commissioner of Public Safety                                                                    
     will submit the names of  the nominees for the award to                                                                    
     the governor.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     At  a ceremony  held  no  more than  once  a year,  the                                                                    
     governor will  present the recipient of  the North Star                                                                    
     Medal with  a ribbon, a  medal, and a citation.  If the                                                                    
     honoree  is  no  longer  living or  cannot  accept  the                                                                    
     award, the next of kin may accept it on their behalf.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     The North  Star Medal is  a sign of gratitude  from the                                                                    
     people of  Alaska to first responders  whose dedication                                                                    
     is a constant in a changing world.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:50:20 PM                                                                                                                    
GRIFFIN  PLUSH,  Staff,   Representative  Kreiss-Tomkins,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska,  summarized  that the  North                                                               
Star Medal  would be  a regular  award given  by the  governor to                                                               
first responders  from nominations  submitted by  departments and                                                               
organizations throughout  the state  to recognize  the sacrifices                                                               
made by first responders.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  MEYER  asked  if  the  governor has  currently  a  way  of                                                               
recognizing people  who have  done a great  job whether  they are                                                               
police officers, fire fighters or school teachers.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. PLUSH explained as follows:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     There  are   several  different  awards,   for  heroism                                                                    
     specifically  there is  only one  comparable award  and                                                                    
     that  is the  Alaska Medal  for Heroism;  however, that                                                                    
     award is an award that  is awarded to any Alaskan based                                                                    
     on an  individual heroic deed or  valor [inaudible] and                                                                    
     it is something that is not awarded very frequently.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     The North  Star Medal  on the  other hand  is something                                                                    
     that  would be  more regular  and specifically  for our                                                                    
     first    responders,   for    our   police    officers,                                                                    
     firefighters,  corrections  officers,  and  search  and                                                                    
     rescue   volunteers   that   are  making   that   daily                                                                    
     sacrifice. So,  it's a medal  that is more  specific to                                                                    
     those   first   responders   and  more   awarded   more                                                                    
     regularly.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:53:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  MEYER noted  that there  is some  overlap between  the two                                                               
medals  and  asked   Mr.  Plush  to  confirm  that   there  is  a                                                               
difference.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. PLUSH answered as follows:                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Yes,  specifically  awarded  for  displays  of  extreme                                                                    
     bravery  and  heroism,  and awarded  by  the  governor;                                                                    
     those are kind  of the two main  categories where there                                                                    
     is   overlap,   but   the  medals   are   substantially                                                                    
     different.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER  noted Mr.  Lynn's comments that  he calls  the North                                                               
Star Medal the "Purple Heart."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. PLUSH explained as follows:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Yes, that's language the we've  been using as well, and                                                                    
     I think that is sort of  a fitting description of it as                                                                    
     well,  sort   of  a  "Purple   Heart"  for   our  first                                                                    
     responders. There are military  honors, of course, like                                                                    
     the "Purple Heart"  that are awarded as  well, but this                                                                    
     is  specifically  for  our civilian  first  responders,                                                                    
     public servants who are putting their lives at risk.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER  asked why  Representative Lynn was  not able  to get                                                               
the legislation passed.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KREISS-TOMKINS   said   he   did   not   believe                                                               
Representative Lynn ever introduced  legislation to establish the                                                               
North Star Medal.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  MEYER asked  if  Representative Lynn  would  have won  his                                                               
reelection   that  he   would  have   probably  introduced   that                                                               
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    KREISS-TOMKINS    answered   that    was    his                                                               
understanding from his conversation with Representative Lynn.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:56:01 PM                                                                                                                    
WALT MONEGAN,  Commissioner, Alaska Department of  Public Safety,                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska, testified in support of HB 235 as follows:                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     When  this idea,  this medal  was  first introduced  or                                                                    
     brought  to my  attention, it  made a  lot of  sense in                                                                    
     regard to that we have  many people out there, not only                                                                    
     in  the  police  and  fire   realm,  but  also  in  the                                                                    
     volunteers that we have with  search and rescue, pretty                                                                    
     much all  over the state. Barring  anybody getting hurt                                                                    
     or worse,  I think  this award  is something  that they                                                                    
     can put  on the wall  or their  family can have  on the                                                                    
     wall as a very poignant reminder of their efforts.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     On a personal  note, my father was killed  in combat in                                                                    
     Korea and his Medal of Honor  is hanging on our wall as                                                                    
     a daily  reminder of  what sometimes  we are  called to                                                                    
     do.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     I support this  concept and I want to speak  for all of                                                                    
     the  people  out  there  who work  for  the  safety  of                                                                    
     everybody out there.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER asked if an individual can currently receive a medal                                                                
for heroism. He added that if so, how often do individuals                                                                      
currently received medals for heroism.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER MONEGAN answered as follows:                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     The  last time  we presented  a medal  of sorts  was in                                                                    
     action in a  state trooper medal and it was  to our BPO                                                                    
     that was  shot and wounded  in the Bethel area  about a                                                                    
     year  or so  ago. So,  this particular  medal would  be                                                                    
     something that  would be  bestowed upon  him or  her by                                                                    
     the governor  as opposed to  something from  the Alaska                                                                    
     State  Troopers or  myself. I  think it  is significant                                                                    
     and  hopefully we  don't have  to present  too many  of                                                                    
     them because usually it involves somebody being hurt.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He continued as follows:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     I like it because it  goes beyond the uniform services,                                                                    
     it goes to the search and  rescue folks that do this as                                                                    
     volunteers. I  think it is  very significant and  it is                                                                    
     honoring those who spend their time helping others.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:59:36 PM                                                                                                                    
JACOB WILSON, Business Agent, Alaska Correctional Officers                                                                      
Association, Anchorage, Alaska, testified in support of HB 235                                                                  
as follows:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     I wanted to echo  the commissioner's comments on behalf                                                                    
     of  correctional officers.  We have  about 860  members                                                                    
     now  and  on  behalf  of those  members  we  absolutely                                                                    
     support HB  235 and  the intent  of the  legislation to                                                                    
     recognize  peace  officers in  Alaska  who  die or  are                                                                    
     seriously injured in the line of duty.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     As  peace  officers,   Alaska's  correctional  officers                                                                    
     place   their   lives   on   the   line   "24/7,"   and                                                                    
     unfortunately  at  times,   correctional  officers  and                                                                    
     other  law enforcement  officers around  the state  are                                                                    
     seriously  injured  on  a  line of  duty  and  in  rare                                                                    
     occasions  lose  their  lives  while  performing  their                                                                    
     jobs.  While  nothing can  replace  their  loss or  can                                                                    
     replace the  fact that  some people  will never  be the                                                                    
     same   after   an   on-the-job   injury,   the   public                                                                    
     recognition  of  the  sacrifice  that  they  made  will                                                                    
     provide some consolation to  the surviving relatives or                                                                    
     the injured  worker who is  the recipient of  the North                                                                    
     Star Medal.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     We appreciate the steps that  this legislation takes to                                                                    
     recognize our brave  and selfless women and  men who go                                                                    
     to  work everyday  not  knowing if  they  are going  to                                                                    
     return home safely.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:01:25 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MEYER closed public testimony.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:01:51 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL moved to report CSHB 235(STA), version 30-                                                                      
LS0816\J from committee with individual recommendations and                                                                     
attached zero fiscal note.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:02:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MEYER announced that there being no objection, the motion                                                                 
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:02:26 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Meyer adjourned the Senate State Affairs Committee at 5:02                                                                
p.m.                                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HCR 19 Sponsor Statement.pdf SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HCR 19
HCR 19 Version R A.PDF SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HCR 19
HCR 19 Previous Letters of Support.pdf SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HCR 19
ANLPAC2018 Report to the Governor and Legislature.pdf SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HCR 19
HCR 19 Fiscal Note.pdf SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HCR 19
HB 97 Sponsor Statement ver D 3.12.18.pdf SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 97
HB 97 Version D.PDF SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 97
HB 97 Sectional Analysis ver D 4.10.18.pdf SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 97
HB 97 Support Indirect Expenditure Report 2.22.17.pdf SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 97
HB 97 Fiscal Notes.pdf SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 97
HB 7 Sponsor Statement.pdf SSTA 4/10/2018 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 7
HB 7 Version J.PDF SSTA 4/10/2018 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 7
HB 7 Summary of Changes.pdf SSTA 4/10/2018 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 7
HB 7 Sectional Analysis ver J.pdf SSTA 4/10/2018 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 7
HB 7 Supporting Document-Article Columbia University.pdf SSTA 4/10/2018 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 7
HB 7 Supporting Document-Article Denver Post.pdf SSTA 4/10/2018 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 7
HB 7 Support Material Testimonies.pdf SSTA 4/10/2018 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 7
HB 7 Supporting Document-Article Washington Post.pdf SSTA 4/10/2018 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 7
HB 7 Fiscal Note.pdf SSTA 4/10/2018 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 7
HB 7 Letter of Support Cora Dow.pdf SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 7
HB 235 Sponsor Statement.pdf SSTA 4/10/2018 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 235
HB 235 Summary of Changes.pdf SSTA 4/10/2018 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 235
HB 235 Supporting Document - NCSL Awards for Law Enforcement or First Responders.pdf SSTA 4/10/2018 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 235
HB 235 Officer Down Memorial Pages.pdf SSTA 4/10/2018 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 235
HB 235 Letters of Support.pdf SSTA 4/10/2018 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 235
HB 235 Venn Diagram AK Medal for Heroism North Star Medal.pdf SSTA 4/10/2018 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 235
HB 235 Fiscal Note.pdf SSTA 4/10/2018 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 235
HB 235 Letter of Support Bob Lynn.pdf SSTA 4/17/2018 3:30:00 PM
HB 235