Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

04/04/2017 05:30 PM House STATE AFFAIRS

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              HB 165-STATE PERSONNEL ACT: VETERANS                                                                          
5:41:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that the first  order of business                                                               
would  be HOUSE  BILL NO.  165, "An  Act relating  to hiring  for                                                               
positions  in state  service based  on  substitution of  military                                                               
work  experience  or training  for  civilian  work experience  or                                                               
training requirements."                                                                                                         
5:41:21 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JUSTIN PARISH, Alaska  State Legislature, as prime                                                               
sponsor  of HB  165, stated  that  Alaska has  more veterans  per                                                               
capita than  any other  state; more  than 200  military personnel                                                               
leave  service  and  re-enter  civilian life  every  month.    He                                                               
offered that  re-entry can  be very difficult.   He  relayed that                                                               
veterans  consistently report  that finding  employment is  their                                                               
greatest challenge to re-entry.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH  asserted that  HB  165  would reduce  the                                                               
likelihood  of a  veteran  being  excluded for  a  job for  which                                                               
he/she   is  qualified.     He   maintained  that   the  proposed                                                               
legislation   would  require   explicitly   that  Department   of                                                               
Administration   (DOA)   personnel  consider   germane   military                                                               
experience when reviewing applicants  for employment, which would                                                               
be a benefit to former service personnel.                                                                                       
5:42:54 PM                                                                                                                    
ROBERT  EDWARDSON, Staff,  Representative  Justin Parish,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, on  behalf  of  Representative Parish,  prime                                                               
sponsor of  HB 165, offered that  much of what is  being proposed                                                               
under  HB  165  is  already   being  accomplished  through  [DOA]                                                               
policies  and procedures  but is  not incorporated  into statute.                                                               
He  explained  that  the proposed  legislation  would  put  these                                                               
policies and  procedures into statute; therefore,  they could not                                                               
be changed by future changes in policies and procedures.                                                                        
MR. EDWARDSON relayed  that HB 165 would add a  26th paragraph to                                                               
the  Alaska Personnel  Act, and  it  would permit  DOA to  create                                                               
policies and  procedures allowing  veterans to use  experience in                                                               
lieu  of minimum  qualifications.   This would  be applicable  in                                                               
situations  in  which  there  is no  good  comparison  between  a                                                               
person's  military duties  and those  of civilian  work, yet  the                                                               
military  experience  clearly  meets   the  requirements  in  the                                                               
position description or classification.                                                                                         
5:45:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  stated  that   he  has  worked  with  many                                                               
veterans; he  has respect  for veterans;  and he  is appreciative                                                               
that  the  consideration  of military  experience  in  hiring  is                                                               
already represented in policy.   He relayed his hiring experience                                                               
in  which   he  considered   military  experience   as  qualified                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH referred  to the  paragraph in  the sponsor                                                               
statement which  mentions that  HB 165 would  be applicable  to a                                                               
"former  prisoner  of war."    He  asked  if under  the  proposed                                                               
legislation, time spent in a prisoner  of war camp would count as                                                               
qualifying experience for employment.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH responded  that there is nothing  in HB 165                                                               
that would  count "time"  as a qualification;  it refers  only to                                                               
experience  gained.    He  stated   that  Legislative  Legal  and                                                               
Research Services  offered the  language that  includes "prisoner                                                               
of  war."   He  explained  that  in  the  unlikely event  that  a                                                               
prisoner of war was compelled  to perform an activity and through                                                               
that  activity,  gained  experience,   the  experience  would  be                                                               
equivalently  recognized  under  the proposed  legislation.    He                                                               
admitted  that the  scenario is  a bit  far-fetched; however,  he                                                               
said that he did not wish to  exclude a prisoner of war under the                                                               
proposed legislation.                                                                                                           
MR. EDWARDSON stated that in Title  39, Chapter 25, of the Alaska                                                               
Statutes there  are eleven references to  eligibility for certain                                                               
veteran benefits, and "prisoner of  war" is a qualifying category                                                               
for those  benefits; therefore,  the language  in HB  165 matches                                                               
what is already  in statute.  He stated that  there are two types                                                               
of applicants  that are required  to be interviewed:   a disabled                                                               
veteran and a former prisoner of war.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH reiterated  that  he is  heartened to  hear                                                               
that  the proposed  legislation  is unnecessary,  because it  has                                                               
been adopted through policy.                                                                                                    
5:48:28 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS expressed that he supports HB 165.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  relayed his appreciation  for Representative                                                               
Parish's testimony  stating that  veterans often  have difficulty                                                               
finding employment  in civilian life.     He offered that  in the                                                               
military,  everyone  starts  from  "ground  zero"  regardless  of                                                               
nationality, culture, background, or  social class; they learn to                                                               
work  together in  teams;  they learn  quickly;  and they  become                                                               
leaders.   He  opined that  veterans  make great  employees.   He                                                               
asserted  that if  the proposed  legislation assists  veterans in                                                               
being  able   to  apply  their  military   training  to  civilian                                                               
employment, then it is a good thing.                                                                                            
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS announced that HB 165 would be held over.                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 74 H STA Rep. Tuck Follow Up 4.3.17 FINAL.PDF HSTA 4/4/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 74
HB074 2017.01.30 ACLU Testimony re House Bill 7.pdf HSTA 4/4/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 74
HB074 2017.03.27 ACLU to House State Affairs Committee re Follow Up to Questions.pdf HSTA 4/4/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 74
REAL ID Commissioner Questions corrected 3.23.pdf HSTA 4/4/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 74 REAL ID verification systems.pdf HSTA 4/4/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 74
HB 74 Letter to Commissioner Fisher.pdf HSTA 4/4/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 74
HB-74-EFF-Oppose.pdf HSTA 4/4/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 74
HB 74 Passport Process.pdf HSTA 4/4/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 74
HB 74 DHS Waiver Letter and Enclosure 10.7.2016.pdf HSTA 4/4/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 74
HB074 Draft Proposed CS ver J 4.5.17.pdf HSTA 4/4/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 74
HB074 Alaska Right to Travel Identity Project Letter 4.5.17.pdf HSTA 4/4/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 74