Legislature(2023 - 2024)

2023-02-27 House Journal

Full Journal pdf

2023-02-27                     House Journal                      Page 0278
HB 87                                                                                                                         
HOUSE BILL NO. 87 by the House Rules Committee by request of                                                                    
the Governor, entitled:                                                                                                         
     "An Act relating to record checks for certain employees of the                                                             
     Department of Revenue; relating to permanent fund dividends;                                                               
     and providing for an effective date."                                                                                      
was read the first time and referred to the Labor & Commerce and                                                                
Finance Committees.                                                                                                             
The following fiscal note(s) apply:                                                                                             
1. Zero, Dept. of Revenue                                                                                                       
The Governor's transmittal letter dated February 23 follows:                                                                    
"Dear Speaker Tilton:                                                                                                           
Under the authority of Article III, Section 18, of the Alaska                                                                   
Constitution, I am transmitting a bill that expands Permanent Fund                                                              

2023-02-27                     House Journal                      Page 0279
Dividend eligibility for certain merchant marines; authorizes the                                                               
Department of Revenue (DOR) to obtain national criminal history                                                                 
record checks on employees handling highly personal information; and                                                            
allows DOR to use electronic notice when a levy is made against a                                                               
permanent fund dividend payment.                                                                                                
This bill proposes amendments to the statutes relating to DOR and the                                                           
Permanent Fund Dividend program in order to increase security of                                                                
Alaskans' private information, modernize the department's notice                                                                
requirements, and clarify dividend eligibility for students, including                                                          
students training to be merchant marines. Under our current system,                                                             
Alaskans serving as merchant marines are eligible for an allowed                                                                
absence when serving aboard a vessel, but Alaskans training to be                                                               
merchant marines are not provided an allowed absence. The bill                                                                  
remedies this disparity so that Alaskans training to be merchant                                                                
marines are treated the same as other students.                                                                                 
Moreover, this bill clarifies the meaning of "education on a full-time                                                          
basis." Due to the variability in educational schedules, certain students                                                       
lose dividend eligibility due to breaks in the academic year. The bill                                                          
provides a specific definition for "education on a full-time basis" that                                                        
includes academic year breaks, excluding summer break, so that                                                                  
students are not penalized based on vagaries in academic schedules.                                                             
Additionally, this bill strengthens the security of Alaskans' personal                                                          
information by authorizing the department to perform national                                                                   
criminal history record checks on employees that have access to the                                                             
banking and vital records of nearly every citizen of our state. By                                                              
allowing the department to obtain full background checks, the state                                                             
will have taken every measure to provide the most secure system                                                                 
Finally, the bill updates statutory language to allow for the electronic                                                        
notice of levy. Many Alaskans apply for the dividend online and                                                                 
consent to be contacted by the Permanent Fund Dividend division via                                                             
email. Currently, if another individual attempts to place a levy on a                                                           
dividend payment, DOR is required to contact the levied individual via                                                          
the postal system. Allowing consent to receive electronic notice of                                                             
levy will assist Alaskans in receiving vital information in the manner                                                          
of their choosing.                                                                                                              

2023-02-27                     House Journal                      Page 0280
I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure.                                                                        
Mike Dunleavy