Legislature(2005 - 2006)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/06/2005 01:30 PM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 187 AMERADA HESS INCOME; CAPITAL INCOME ACCT. TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 188 STATE OF AK CAPITAL CORP.; BONDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
= HB 122 LIFE INSURANCE FOR NATIONAL GUARD
Moved CSHB 122(FIN) Out of Committee
HOUSE BILL NO. 122                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An  Act relating  to  payment  of premiums  for  Service                                                                   
     members' Group  Life Insurance  on behalf of  members of                                                                   
     the  Alaska National  Guard deployed  to a combat  zone;                                                                   
     and providing for an effective date.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch MOVED  to  ADOPT amended  Amendment                                                                   
#3.  (Copy on  File).  He pointed out that  the original bill                                                                   
had raised questions regarding  what the State could require.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  had discussed provisions  in Section 2                                                                   
with  legal services.   He  noted the  issues with  potential                                                                   
interference  when  entering   into  contractual  agreements,                                                                   
however, he did not want to discus it further in Committee.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:08:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KELLY   HUBER,   STAFF,   REPRESENTATIVE   NANCY   DAHLSTROM,                                                                   
commented   that    the   sponsor   wanted   to    make   one                                                                   
recommendation.   There  has been  positive  feedback on  the                                                                   
fill, but  concern with  "terminating an existing  contract".                                                                   
She  offered  language  to  "suspend   the  contract"  as  an                                                                   
alternative,  allowing  the  companies  to decide  and  would                                                                   
offer guardsmen some relief.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker thought  that could  help but  pointed                                                                   
out  that  the  bill  has  a  long  way  to  go  through  the                                                                   
legislative process.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer  noted that Legal  Services was okay  with the                                                                   
current language.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Stoltze OBJECTED to the amended Amendment #3.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch  WITHDREW  the  motion  on  amended                                                                   
Amendment #3.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:11:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment #4.   Co-                                                                   
Chair Meyer OBJECTED for purposes of discussion.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Weyhrauch  explained   that  the   amendment                                                                   
clarifies that if  there is a penalty or cost,  someone would                                                                   
have to  be responsible and the  party passing the  law would                                                                   
be responsible.  The amendment  adds language clarifying that                                                                   
if someone  is paying, it would  not fall upon  the shoulders                                                                   
of the private sector or the utility  but rather the State of                                                                   
Alaska.   He pointed out that  Amendment #4 offers clarifying                                                                   
language.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:12:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Huber  noted  that  the sponsor  does  not  support  the                                                                   
amendment;  the  part  of concern  is  the  language,  "other                                                                   
heating  fuel".   That had  been added  at the  request of  a                                                                   
member in the previous committee.   The sponsor does not have                                                                   
concerns  on issues  raised  by Representative  Weyrauch  and                                                                   
that higher education already  has an informal policy.  Other                                                                   
reliefs  only provide  time and eventually  they would  still                                                                   
have  to pay  their  bills.   The  legislative  intent is  to                                                                   
stipulate in law that penalties are not imposed.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer  thought  that passing  the  amendment  would                                                                   
change the fiscal note.  Representative  Weyhrauch disagreed.                                                                   
Ms.  Huber  reiterated  that  the  bill  clarifies  that  the                                                                   
companies would not have a penalty.   No one had come forward                                                                   
voicing  opposition  nor  did  the  electric  companies  show                                                                   
concern.   Co-Chair  Meyer inquired  if in  rare cases  could                                                                   
there be additional costs to the  State.  Ms. Huber indicated                                                                   
that  if in  those cases,  the  State picked  up the  penalty                                                                   
costs and the amendment was adopted,  there could be a fiscal                                                                   
impact.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:15:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Chenault asked  about heating  fuel costs  in rural                                                                   
Alaska.  Representative  Joule noted that he  would have that                                                                   
information  available  for  the  House Floor  session.    He                                                                   
thought it would affect them.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:16:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft  disagreed   with  the  intent  of  the                                                                   
amendment.    He  believed  that   large  impacts  should  be                                                                   
compensated.  He thought that  the legislation was relatively                                                                   
minor and  that everyone should  "be in it together".   After                                                                   
reviewing the amendment,  he said it was a  cost that society                                                                   
should bare and that the bill already offers safeguards.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer  asked  how  often   the  National  Guard  is                                                                   
deployed.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  CRAMER,  DIRECTOR,  ADMINISTRATION  SERVICES  DIVISION,                                                                   
MILITARY  AND VETERANS  AFFAIRS, stated  currently there  are                                                                   
180  Alaska National  Guardsmen  deployed.   Since 9-11,  the                                                                   
country has  entered into a  new era of deployment,  becoming                                                                   
more frequent.   It is anticipated  that by FY06,  there will                                                                   
be around 300 Alaskan National Guard deployed.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch WITHDREW Amendment #4.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:19:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster MOVED to  report CS HB 122 (FIN) out of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal notes.  There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS HB  122 (FIN)  was reported  out of  Committee with  a "do                                                                   
pass"  recommendation  and with  a  new  fiscal note  by  the                                                                   
Department  of Fish &  Game, a  new zero  note by the  Alaska                                                                   
Postsecondary Commission,  zero note #1 by the  Department of                                                                   
Commerce, Community and Economic  Development and fiscal note                                                                   
#2 by the Department of Military & Veterans Affairs.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                

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