Legislature(1999 - 2000)

04/18/2000 09:09 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
     CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 331(MLV)                                                                                             
     "An  Act relating  to compensation  of  members of  the                                                                    
     Alaska  National  Guard  and Alaska  Naval  Militia  in                                                                    
     active service;  changing the name of  the Alaska State                                                                    
     Militia to the Alaska  State Defense Force; relating to                                                                    
     compensation and work status  for members of the Alaska                                                                    
     State  Defense Force;  and providing  for an  effective                                                                    
CAROL   CARROLL,   Director,  Division   of   Administrative                                                                    
Services,  Department  of  Military  and  Veterans  Affairs,                                                                    
addressed the  three changes the  legislation would  make to                                                                    
existing law:                                                                                                                   
     ·    The bill  would streamline the process  for paying                                                                    
          members  of  the  Guard  and  Naval  Militia  when                                                                    
          called   to  active   duty  ensuring   timely  and                                                                    
          accurate pay for the soldiers.                                                                                        
     ·    The  bill  would change  the  name  of the  Alaska                                                                    
          State Militia  to the Alaska State  Defense Force,                                                                    
          the name  commonly used to refer  to the volunteer                                                                    
     ·    The bill  would clarify  the status of  the Alaska                                                                    
          State Defense  Force when  called to  State active                                                                    
          duty ensuring that the Defense  Force has Title 26                                                                    
          job  protection and  subject  to military  command                                                                    
          and discipline.                                                                                                       
Co-Chair  Torgerson questioned  the zero  fiscal note  given                                                                    
the proposed pay increase.                                                                                                      
Ms. Carroll responded, currently,  the Alaska National Guard                                                                    
is paid  basic federal  pay scale,  which increases,  by the                                                                    
number of years in service.   Additionally, they are paid an                                                                    
allowance for cost  of living.  The bill  clarifies that the                                                                    
basic pay  would be multiplied  by 200% and no  longer would                                                                    
the pay  allowances be given.   The State's impact  would be                                                                    
that some  members would be  paid a little less  and others,                                                                    
the exact same for most members  on duty.  The 200% would be                                                                    
an attempt to match what  is currently paid.  She reiterated                                                                    
that the impact to the State would be minimal.                                                                                  
Co-Chair Torgerson  noted that it  was based on  the federal                                                                    
government basic pay and asked if  the State could be out of                                                                    
balance if they increase the pay rate.                                                                                          
Ms.  Carroll  explained  that  the  State  would  always  be                                                                    
nearing what the  federal government pays as it  is based on                                                                    
the federal basic minimum pay.                                                                                                  
Co-Chair Torgerson asked  what had been added  in Sections 6                                                                    
& 7.                                                                                                                            
Ms.  Carroll commented  that both  groups would  be eligible                                                                    
for workman's  compensation when  brought on  State's active                                                                    
duty.     Those  sections  speak   to  the   workman's  comp                                                                    
Senator  Leman  questioned  why  Section  5  was  not  being                                                                    
Ms. Carroll replied  that it was left the  same because over                                                                    
the years,  as the  concept has  changed, other  things were                                                                    
applicable.   The  Department believed  that would  be safer                                                                    
since the impact was not known.                                                                                                 
Senator Leman  did not  understand the  retroactivity clause                                                                    
and how that would make a difference.                                                                                           
Ms. Carroll  agreed that it  would make sense to  change it,                                                                    
however,  the State  attorney had  recommended leaving  that                                                                    
language the same.                                                                                                              
MAJOR  RICHARD   THOMAS,  (Testified   via  Teleconference),                                                                    
Assistant  Chief  of  Staff,  Alaska  Army  National  Guard,                                                                    
Department  of Military  and  Veterans  Affairs, offered  to                                                                    
answer  any  questions  the   Committee  had  regarding  pay                                                                    
GENERAL  THOMAS  WESTALL,   (Testified  via  Teleconfernce),                                                                    
Alaska    National   Guard/Naval    Militia/Defense   Force,                                                                    
Department  of Military  and  Veterans  Affairs, offered  to                                                                    
answer  any  questions  from  the  Committee  regarding  the                                                                    
history  of  the defense  force  and  why  the bill  was  so                                                                    
important to the Department.                                                                                                    
Senator Leman  recommended that the Committee  identify what                                                                    
the  minimum  pay  is  for   the  current  fiscal  year  and                                                                    
determine what an appropriate multiplier would be.                                                                              
Co-Chair Torgerson  countered that  he would prefer  to move                                                                    
the  bill from  Committee and  address that  concern on  the                                                                    
Co-Chair  Parnell MOVED  to  report CS  HB  331(MLV) out  of                                                                    
Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal note.  There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                    
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
CS HB  331 (MVL) was  reported out  of Committee with  a "do                                                                    
pass"  recommendation   and  with  a  fiscal   note  by  the                                                                    
Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.                                                                                    

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