Legislature(1997 - 1998)

03/31/1998 02:25 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 HOUSE BILL NO. 356                                                            
                                                                               
"An Act establishing the Joint Committee on Military                           
Bases in Alaska; and providing for an effective date."                         
                                                                               
TIM SULLIVAN, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE ELDON MULDER, testified                    
that HB 356 would establish a Joint House and Senate                           
Committee on military bases in Alaska.  The committee would                    
monitor the activities of a new Base Realignment and Closure                   
Commission (BRAC) and would work to strengthen the military                    
presence in Alaska.  In the case of reauthorizing, the BRAC                    
process would work with the Military, the Administration and                   
the affected community in order to protect our bases from                      
closure.                                                                       
                                                                               
Mr. Sullivan stated that the joint committee would have an                     
existence longer than that called for in the Uniform Rules,                    
Rules 21 (b) & (c), because of the reactivation of the                         
federal BRAC Commission.  Creating the joint committee for                     
longer than the duration of the current 20th Legislature                       
would require a change in statute.  It could not be done by                    
means of a concurrent resolution, hence the bill.  The joint                   
committee would expire on the date in which the 22nd                           
Legislature convenes.  The time frame corresponds with the                     
activity period of federal BRAC which will be reviewing all                    
military facilities in North America for justification of                      
their continued existence.                                                     
                                                                               
Mr. Sullivan indicated that the attention by the federal                       
BRAC given to Alaska bases, presents a considerable                            
challenge and necessitates vigilance and a strong unified                      
response from the Legislature.  The military establishment                     
in Alaska accounts for approximately $1.7 billion general                      
fund dollars.  In addition, the base closures experienced to                   
date, have shown that the process requires considerable                        
attention on the part of State government to monitor the                       
economic impact and the reuse potential.  The joint                            
committee could provide that focus.                                            
                                                                               
Mr. Sullivan noted that the work draft reflected a couple of                   
clean-up measures.                                                             
                                                                               
Representative Mulder commented that without a state BRAC,                     
the U.S. military would try to close at least one military                     
installation in Alaska.  He suggested that the process was                     
political.  Representative Mulder recommended that the                         
Committee adopt a new House Finance Committee fiscal note to                   
replace the note passed from the Senate Finance Committee.                     
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault asked what the time-line would be for                      
the committee.  Representative Mulder replied that it would                    
cover the next three interim sessions.                                         
                                                                               
Representative Mulder MOVED that work draft, 0-LS1436\H,                       
Bannister, 3/28/98, be the version before the Committee.                       
There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                      
                                                                               
Representative J. Davies MOVED a conceptual amendment to                       
Page 2, Line 11 and 13, with the insertion of language: "two                   
from the majority and one from the minority".  There being                     
NO OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                                  
                                                                               
Representative Kohring MOVED to report CS HB 356 (FIN) out                     
of Committee with individual recommendations and with the                      
new fiscal note.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so                          
ordered.                                                                       
                                                                               
CS HB 356 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with a "do                       
pass" recommendation and with a fiscal note by the House                       
Finance Committee.                                                             

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