Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/15/1996 03:05 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 HB 373 - EDUC FOR FAMILY OF DECEASED MILITARY                               
 Number 025                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced the first order of business was HB 373,              
 Education for Families of Deceased Military.  He asked Tom                    
 Anderson, Legislative Aide to Representative Martin, to present the           
 Number 055                                                                    
 TOM ANDERSON, Legislative Aide to Representative Terry Martin, said           
 HB 373 is in response to the Yukla 27 airplane crash in which 24              
 service men lost their lives on September 22, 1995.  A review of              
 the statutes by Mr. Anderson revealed that currently members,                 
 spouses and dependents of service men only receive a free tuition             
 waiver from the university system in the event of a death in the              
 line of duty.   Representative Martin felt it would be appropriate            
 to expand that to include a stipend to pay for fees and expenses,             
 as well as free room.  Mr. Anderson said the fiscal note was based            
 on the assumption that two students per year would request these              
 benefits.  In the last six years, the tuition waiver has been                 
 requested by only four people, so there is no significant fiscal              
 impact anticipated.                                                           
 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS arrived at 3:07 p.m.                                
 Number 216                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Mr. Anderson what the educational support is             
 under current law.                                                            
 MR. ANDERSON referred to Section 1, AS 14.43.085 which states in              
 part, "...member of the armed services and who died in the line of            
 duty or who died as a result of injuries sustained while in the               
 line of duty for the state or federal government or was listed by             
 the United States Department of Defense as a prisoner of war or as            
 missing in action."                                                           
 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON arrived at 3:08 p.m.                            
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if someone serving in Bosnia qualified, why              
 didn't the service men in the airplane crash qualify.                         
 MR. ANDERSON responded they do qualify; HB 373 just expands the               
 current law to include room, board and fees.                                  
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if the four individuals who used this in the             
 past had just received tuition waivers.                                       
 MR. ANDERSON responded that was correct.  Of the 24 service men               
 that died, very few of them had children or spouses in the                    
 university system, but there's a few that would take part in this             
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if the cost of the room, board and books was             
 calculated with the advice of the university.                                 
 MR. ANDERSON replied that it calculates out to $6,800.                        
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if those costs were based on attending school            
 at a particular location.                                                     
 MR. ANDERSON thought it was an average cost for the University of             
 Number 381                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE asked Mr. Anderson if he had an idea of              
 how many people were participating in just the tuition program.               
 MR. ANDERSON said based on information received from the                      
 university, four students have requested the tuition waiver in the            
 last six years.  He added that Representative Martin wanted to                
 further extend assistance to this group of individuals.                       
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if this applied only to the University of               
 Alaska system.                                                                
 MR. ANDERSON responded any state school.                                      
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY clarified this would not apply to an individual who           
 wanted to get their degree at a school out of the state.                      
 MR. ANDERSON said the individual would have to stay in the state of           
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE clarified it would have to be a state school; for              
 example, this would not extend to a tuition waiver from APU, which            
 is a private school.                                                          
 Number 478                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Mr. Anderson if he knew what a                  
 Division 1 athletic scholarship at the University of Alaska                   
 Fairbanks would be worth.                                                     
 MR. ANDERSON replied no.                                                      
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Mr. Anderson to explain the Alaska              
 Naval Militia.                                                                
 MR. ANDERSON said he had never heard of it until he read this bill.           
 He thought it was probably a subsidiary branch of the Armed Forces.           
 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS noted the fiscal note is not written in             
 the normal manner and actually reflects $13,600 not $13 million.              
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said while this is a relatively simply bill, it is             
 the policy of the House HESS Committee not to pass a bill out of              
 committee the first time it's heard.  He asked Mr. Anderson if he             
 would research the question regarding the Alaska Naval Militia as             
 well as the cost of a Division 1 athletic scholarship.  He added he           
 supports the intent of the bill, but would like to have those                 
 questions answered.                                                           

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