Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

03/26/2009 08:00 AM House STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
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= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved Out of Committee
+ Overview: Alaska Public Offices TELECONFERENCED
Commission (APOC)
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 123(STA) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 193(STA) Out of Committee
SB  29-NAMING THOMAS B. STEWART LEG. OFFICE BLDG                                                                              
8:28:58 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN announced  the next order of business  was SENATE BILL                                                               
NO. 29,  "An Act naming the  Capitol Annex the Thomas  B. Stewart                                                               
Legislative Office Building."                                                                                                   
8:29:13 AM                                                                                                                    
KRISTEN  BRESSETTE,  Staff,  Senator   Kim  Elton,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, introduced SB  29 on behalf of  Senator Elton, prime                                                               
sponsor.   She  offered information  from the  sponsor statement,                                                               
which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
     SB  29  would name  the  Capitol  Annex the  Thomas  B.                                                                    
     Stewart Legislative  Office Building in honor  of Judge                                                                    
     Thomas B.  Stewart and  his countless  contributions to                                                                    
     the State  of Alaska.   The Capitol Annex  was formerly                                                                    
     known  as the  Scottish  Rite Temple  and is  currently                                                                    
     under renovation.                                                                                                          
     Tom   Stewart  was   known  and   respected  throughout                                                                    
     Alaska.   He   served  in  the  territorial   House  of                                                                    
     Representatives  and was  a  driving  force behind  the                                                                    
     Alaska    Constitutional    Convention    and    Alaska                                                                    
     statehood.  Tom then  served as a state  senator in the                                                                    
     first  Alaska   Legislature.   The  remainder   of  his                                                                    
     professional  career was  spent serving  as a  Superior                                                                    
     Court judge.                                                                                                               
     More than the distinguished  positions he held, Tom was                                                                    
     known  and respected  for  his  character, wisdom,  and                                                                    
     leadership.   He   led  by   example  and   remains  an                                                                    
     inspiration  to  Alaskans.   As we  celebrate  Alaska's                                                                    
     50th  anniversary  of  statehood  this  year,  it's  an                                                                    
     appropriate time to honor Judge Thomas B. Stewart.                                                                         
     The  estimated completion  date  of  the renovation  of                                                                    
     Capitol Annex is August 31, 2009.                                                                                          
MS.  BRESSETTE  noted that  there  are  letters of  support  from                                                               
former Governors Walter  J. Hickel and Steve  Cowper [included in                                                               
the committee packet].   Governor Sarah Palin  has also expressed                                                               
her support for the proposed legislation, she added.                                                                            
8:31:18 AM                                                                                                                    
CALEB STEWART told  the committee that he is the  son of the late                                                               
Judge Thomas  B. Stewart.  He  indicated that five out  of six of                                                               
the children  of Judge Stewart support  the proposed legislation.                                                               
In response  to Chair Lynn,  he shared  his memory of  his father                                                               
splitting wood  at the  age of  74.  He  relayed that  during the                                                               
time his father  ran the territorial committee  equivalent to the                                                               
House State Affairs  Standing Committee, he wrote  the bill which                                                               
established the Constitutional Convention.                                                                                      
CHAIR LYNN commented that the state  is young enough, at 50 years                                                               
of age, that many of its founders are still alive.                                                                              
8:33:42 AM                                                                                                                    
MICHELLE  SYDEMAN  specified that  [although  she  works for  the                                                               
legislature], she is testifying as  a private citizen.  She spoke                                                               
of having  the privilege  of knowing the  late Judge  Tom Stewart                                                               
and his many accomplishments.  She stated:                                                                                      
     In  the deepest  sense of  the  word, he  was a  public                                                                    
     servant; he  devoted his life  to serving  his country,                                                                    
     his  state,   his  community,   his  family,   and  his                                                                    
     extraordinarily  large  circle  of friends.    I  doubt                                                                    
     anyone has ever compiled a  complete list of the boards                                                                    
     and   commissions   on   which  Tom   served   or   the                                                                    
     organizations  to which  he  contributed  his time  and                                                                    
     money or the  individuals to whom he lent a  hand.  Tom                                                                    
     was  a  marvelous,   highly  principled,  and  generous                                                                    
     person.  He was a consummate gentleman.                                                                                    
MS. SYDEMAN  stated her belief  that it  is a fitting  tribute to                                                               
this founding  father of Alaska  to name the capitol  annex after                                                               
him.    It will  be  a  small and  daily  reminder  of his  great                                                               
contributions to a state he deeply loved, she concluded.                                                                        
MS. SYDEMAN,  in response to  Chair Lynn, recollected  that Judge                                                               
Stewart passed away a year ago,  December.  She noted that he had                                                               
been writing  a book about  the constitutional  convention, which                                                               
some have expressed interest in finishing.                                                                                      
8:35:46 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON  directed  attention  to an  entry  [in  a                                                               
compilation of  remembrances, included in the  committee packet],                                                               
which was  written by a  granddaughter of Judge  Stewart [Jessica                                                               
Dillon],  and   which  read  as  follows   [original  punctuation                                                               
     I  was stranded  one  day  and could  not  get hold  of                                                                    
     anyone to  provide me with a  ride down-town, including                                                                    
     Grandpa.   So, I went  to the bus  stop and got  on the                                                                    
     next bus.   I found Grandpa sitting in  the first seat,                                                                    
     first row, and  was so surprised, because  at that time                                                                    
     he had three  cars.  I asked him why  he was riding the                                                                    
     bus.   He responded  that he had  a lot  of houseguests                                                                    
     who needed  his cars,  and that  he enjoyed  taking the                                                                    
     bus.  His generosity  and unselfishness never ceased to                                                                    
     amaze me.   Since it  was raining, I tried  to persuade                                                                    
     him to get  off the bus at  a stop where it  would be a                                                                    
     short walk to  his house, instead of at  his usual stop                                                                    
     that was  several blocks  further away.   He  turned to                                                                    
     me, and  said, "of  course it's raining,  we live  in a                                                                    
     rain  forest  and we  need  the  rain."   And  he  then                                                                    
     continued, "and we need the  exercise too."  Of course!                                                                    
     What  was I  thinking?   So, we  had a  nice stroll  up                                                                    
     through Evergreen Cemetery, and  although I returned to                                                                    
     work soaked  from the  rain, I  felt fortunate  to have                                                                    
     had  this  additional time  with  him  before I  headed                                                                    
     south,  and to  have  gained a  few  more "little  life                                                                    
     lessons" from him.                                                                                                         
8:37:20 AM                                                                                                                    
KATIE HURLEY  testified that  she thinks it  is wonderful  that a                                                               
building will  be named after  the late Judge Thomas  B. Stewart.                                                               
She  related that  two  reasons  for the  success  of the  Alaska                                                               
Constitutional Convention  were Thomas Stewart's  insistence that                                                               
it be  held on the  campus of the now  University of Alaska  - at                                                               
that time a college - and Bill Egan's election as the chair.                                                                    
8:39:51 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN closed public testimony.                                                                                             
The committee took an at-ease from 8:40:04 AM to 8:40:56 AM.                                                                
8:40:58 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON moved  to report  SB 29  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  There  being no objection, SB 29 was  reported out of the                                                               
House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 SB 29.pdf HSTA 3/26/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 29
02 SB 29 Sponsor Statement.pdf HSTA 3/26/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 29
HB 123 Legislative Audit 06-20055-08.pdf HSTA 3/26/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 123
CS for HB 123 Version R.pdf HSTA 3/26/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 123
03 SB 29 Memorial Quotes.pdf HSTA 3/26/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 29
04 SB 29 Letters of Support.pdf HSTA 3/26/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 29
05 SB 29 Hickel Letter of Support.doc HSTA 3/26/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 29
06 SB 29 Fiscal Note.pdf HSTA 3/26/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 29
REVISED InsightOverviewLegCopy.ppt HSTA 3/26/2009 8:00:00 AM