Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

05/10/2019 01:00 PM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 71 2019 REVISOR'S BILL TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 123 ELECTRIC-ASSISTED BICYCLES TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 123 Out of Committee
+= HB 115 ABSENTEE VOTING TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 142 NATIVE ORGANIZATIONS VPSO & TANF PROGRAMS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
        HB 142-NATIVE ORGANIZATIONS VPSO & TANF PROGRAMS                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:19:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL   NO.  142,  "An   Act  relating  to   Alaska  Native                                                               
organizations;  relating to  the  village  public safety  officer                                                               
program;  and   relating  to  the  Alaska   temporary  assistance                                                               
program."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:19:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    JONATHAN     KREISS-TOMKINS,    Alaska    State                                                               
Legislature, said  HB 142 is  a  technical fix bill"  relating to                                                               
the   Village  Public   Safety  Officer   (VPSO)  and   Temporary                                                               
Assistance  for Needy  Families  (TANF) programs  that have  been                                                               
administered for  decades by the  Central Council of  Tlingit and                                                               
Haida Indian Tribes  of Alaska (CCTHITA).  He  explained that the                                                               
current  statutes authorizing  partnerships with  regional native                                                               
nonprofit organizations  such as  Tanana Chiefs  Conference allow                                                               
those  organizations to  administer the  VPSO and  TANF programs.                                                               
The  problem, he  said, is  that  CCTHITA has  a different  legal                                                               
identity than  the other regional native  nonprofit organizations                                                               
and is therefore technically not  eligible to partner with SOA to                                                               
administer  those programs.   He  noted that  CCTHITA is  already                                                               
administering  VPSO and  TANF programs  and has  without incident                                                               
for  a long  time.    He said  the  issue  was recently  realized                                                               
between the  Department of Public  Safety (DPS) and CCTHITA.   He                                                               
added that both sides are keen  to resolve it.  He explained that                                                               
HB  142 would  adjust the  statutes  to add  another category  of                                                               
eligible  entity that  would  encompass CCTHITA  so  that it  can                                                               
legally continue to administer the VPSO and TANF programs.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CLAMAN disclosed  for the  record that  his wife  works as                                                               
General  Counsel  to the  Cook  Inlet  Tribal Council  (CITC),  a                                                               
regional  native nonprofit  organization.   He said  he does  not                                                               
believe CITC  has any financial interest  in HB 142 and  that his                                                               
wife's employment does  not create a conflict.   He explained his                                                               
intention was to make the record clear.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:22:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN said there  are over a dozen organizations                                                               
that  qualify as  "Alaska Native  organizations.    He asked  how                                                               
many of  those organizations want to  have VPSOs.  He  noted that                                                               
he does not think any of them currently have VPSOs.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS  said  he  is  not  aware  of  any                                                               
organizations  other  than  CCTHITA  that  have  an  interest  in                                                               
administering the VPSO and/or TANF programs.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:23:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN opened public testimony on HB 142.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
RALPH WOLFE, 5th  Vice President, Central Council  of Tlingit and                                                               
Haida Indian Tribes  of Alaska, said he is speaking  on behalf of                                                               
Richard  Peterson,   President  of  CCTHITA.     He  echoed  what                                                               
Representative  Kreiss-Tomkins   said  about   HB  142   being  a                                                               
technical  fix  to  an  issue  relating  to  the  VPSO  and  TANF                                                               
programs.  He said CCTHITA  has been administering those programs                                                               
for 20  years.  He  explained that in  2018 the VPSO  program was                                                               
administered via a  corporation established by CCTHITA.   He said                                                               
this  setup created  administrative difficulties.   He  explained                                                               
that the TANF program has  been administered through an agreement                                                               
with the understanding that a technical  fix would be made to the                                                               
statute.      He  restated   that   CCTHITA   has  already   been                                                               
administering  these  programs  and  said it  has  endeavored  to                                                               
achieve long-term productivity.  He  said DOL has determined that                                                               
there would be no negative impact to the enactment of HB 142.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:25:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CLAMAN, after  ascertaining  that no  one  else wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HB 142.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:26:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  asked whether  it is the  prime sponsor's                                                               
intent for  HB 142 to relate  solely to CCTHITA or  if he intends                                                               
to  open  a  potential  new avenue  for  other  organizations  to                                                               
administer VPSOs.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS said  the intent  of the  bill "is                                                               
just  looking   at  [CCTHITA].      He   characterized  CCTHITA's                                                               
organizational  structure as  distinct,  explaining  that it  was                                                               
recognized  by  the  federal  government  as  a  regional  tribal                                                               
organization  - "an  actual sovereign  government"    well before                                                               
the Alaska Native  Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA)  was signed into                                                               
law.  He said  the goal of the bill is  to encompass only CCTHITA                                                               
since  the other  regional nonprofits  are partnering  at present                                                               
and without incident with SOA on these programs.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN  posited that HB 142  would put CCTHITA on  the same                                                               
level  as  other organizations  that  currently  could choose  to                                                               
participate in  the VPSO  program, so the  bill would  not change                                                               
the eligibility  of other  organizations.  He  said it  would put                                                               
CCTHITA  on  par  with  other  similarly  situated  organizations                                                               
because   CCTHITA  is   defined   differently   by  the   federal                                                               
government.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS   said  that   is  correct.     He                                                               
clarified that  it would  put CCTHITA "on  par with  [SOA]" given                                                               
SOA is ultimately funding the programs.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN  suggested that if  there were  another organization                                                               
listed in  the present statute  that wanted to contract  with the                                                               
state for a VPSO program, it could  do that already.  He said the                                                               
difference with  HB 142  is that  it would  place CCTHITA  on the                                                               
same level  as those other organizations.   He said it  would not                                                               
require CCTHITA to  reach agreement with SOA, but  it would allow                                                               
it to do so.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS said that is an accurate summary.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:28:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN said that is  different from what he heard                                                               
earlier.  He  noted that there are 13 organizations  listed in AS                                                               
47.27.070.   He asked, "Do  we want  to solidify in  statute that                                                               
each of  these organizations can  be running the VPSO  program in                                                               
their various areas and so forth?"                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  consulted AS 47.27.070.   He asked                                                               
Representative Eastman to restate his question.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  addressed lines  28 and 29  on page  2 of                                                               
the bill,  located in Section  4.   He said the  language therein                                                               
would add a  new definition of "Alaska  Native organization" that                                                               
draws in  the list of  organizations in  AS 47.27.070.   He asked                                                               
how the prime sponsor would  feel about grandfathering CCTHITA in                                                               
to  VPSO and  TANF eligibility  rather than  impacting the  other                                                               
statutes.  He cited the  potential for other implications and the                                                               
fact  that  there is  no  desire  to  change  the way  the  other                                                               
organizations operate.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS said  he  would  have to  consider                                                               
that proposal.  He explained that  HB 142 was generated through a                                                               
partnership between  DOL, DPS, and CCTHITA,  plus private counsel                                                               
retained by  CCTHITA.  He  said HB 142  was the final  product of                                                               
several  months of  conversations  and  negotiations between  all                                                               
stakeholders.    He said  all  the  stakeholders knew  what  they                                                               
wanted to accomplish;  it was just a question of  the right means                                                               
to accomplish it.   He remarked that he would  not want to "upset                                                               
the  apple  cart"  given  that HB  142  represents  a  settlement                                                               
between different stakeholders.  He  said he would prefer to stay                                                               
with the bill  as presently structured.  He noted  that he is not                                                               
able to speak for the other  entities that agreed on the language                                                               
of the bill.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  said he  would  like  to talk  to  those                                                               
stakeholders to discuss whether an amendment is necessary.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:32:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease from at 2:32 p.m.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:32:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CLAMAN announced  that HB  142 would  be held  for further                                                               
review.   He expressed uncertainty  that the bill would  be taken                                                               
up again  during the current  session.  He explained  the process                                                               
through which members may submit amendments.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  quipped that he fully  expects the                                                               
governor to put HB 142 on the call for a special session.                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB071 ver S 5.10.19.PDF HJUD 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 5/11/2019 9:30:00 AM
SB 71
SB071 Sponsor Statement 5.10.19.pdf HJUD 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 5/11/2019 9:30:00 AM
SB 71
SB071 Sectional Summary 5.10.19.pdf HJUD 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 5/11/2019 9:30:00 AM
SB 71
SB071 Supporting Document-Statutory Instruction 5.10.19.pdf HJUD 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 5/11/2019 9:30:00 AM
SB 71
SB071 Supporting Document-Department of Law Approval 5.10.19.pdf HJUD 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 5/11/2019 9:30:00 AM
SB 71
SB071 Fiscal Note LAW-CIV 5.10.19.pdf HJUD 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 5/11/2019 9:30:00 AM
SB 71
HB123 ver M 5.3.19.PDF HJUD 5/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 123
HB115 ver A 5.1.19.pdf HJUD 5/1/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 5/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 5/6/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 5/11/2019 9:30:00 AM
HB 115
HB115 Amendments #1-6.pdf HJUD 5/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 5/6/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 5/11/2019 9:30:00 AM
HB 115
HB142 ver K 5.8.19.pdf HJUD 5/8/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 142
HB142 Sponsor Statement 5.8.19.pdf HJUD 5/8/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 142
HB142 Sectional Analysis 5.8.19.pdf HJUD 5/8/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 142
HB142 Fiscal Note DPS-VPSO 5.8.19.pdf HJUD 5/8/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 142