Legislature(2001 - 2002)

02/06/2001 03:30 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
               SJR 9-NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  said SJR 9 was  the next order of business.  He                                                            
asked Senator Leman to give his statement.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LEMAN thanked Chairman  Therriault for the timely scheduling                                                            
of the resolution.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
He said  that the  United States  reigns supreme  as the last  great                                                            
superpower,  but there  is still no  ability to  protect the  nation                                                            
from ballistic  missile attack. He  cited the Department  of Defense                                                            
(DoD) report  titled "Proliferation:  Threat and Response"  pointing                                                            
up  the  growing   threat  the  U.S.  faces  from  foreign   nations                                                            
developing missile  technology. Former Secretary of  Defense William                                                            
S. Cohen wrote that at  least 25 countries possess or are working on                                                            
the capability  to  inflict nuclear,  chemical  or biological  harm.                                                            
They are  working on  either the  weapons or a  means of  delivering                                                            
them.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
General  Norton Schwartz  said  much the  same thing  in his  report                                                            
delivered  to the  Joint Armed  Services  Committee  on January  30,                                                            
2001.  He cited  trouble areas  in North  Korea, Iran  and Iraq.  In                                                            
response to  the perceived threats,  the U.S. has been developing  a                                                            
national  missile  defense  system,  but it  has  yet to  be  built.                                                            
Although Alaska  has been mentioned  as a preferred alternative  for                                                            
the  location of  key  system components  like  the  radar site  and                                                            
location  of   the  ground  based   interceptor  sites,   there  are                                                            
unanswered  questions such as design  type, deployment location  and                                                            
building timeline.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 650                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Defense  Secretary  Donald   Rumsfield  feels  that  the  1972  Anti                                                            
Ballistic  Missile  Treaty   with  the Soviet   Union  is  outdated.                                                            
According to  this treaty, Alaska  is not an eligible site.  Current                                                            
thinking  is that Alaska  is the  only location  that would  provide                                                            
defense of all 50 states.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
During the  campaign, President Bush  said he supported development                                                             
of the National  Missile Defense System  and Alaska's delegation  is                                                            
supportive  as well.  The resolution  encourages  President Bush  to                                                            
move development forward as soon as technologically possible.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  asked for questions  for Senator Leman.  Seeing                                                            
none, he called  on Leanna Dube from  Delta Junction to testify  via                                                            
teleconference.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
LEANNA DUBE said  she works for the City of Delta  Junction and that                                                            
the  economy  of  Delta  Junction  continues   to  suffer  from  the                                                            
downsizing  of  Fort   Greeley.  The  national  missile   deployment                                                            
environmental  impact statement of  2000 identifies Fort  Greeley as                                                            
the  preferred  alternative   for  placement  of  the  ground  based                                                            
interceptor  and command  and control  elements.  The City of  Delta                                                            
Junction  therefore, supports  both SJR  9 and SB  39 as a means  of                                                            
revitalizing the economy of the area.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  asked Ms. Dube  to fax a copy of her  letter to                                                            
him at (907) 465-3884.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
He asked for any other  questions or anyone else wanting to testify.                                                            
There were none.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT  noted  that  there  was  a  zero  fiscal  note                                                            
accompanying  the resolution.  He asked for  amendments. There  were                                                            
none. He asked for the rule of the committee.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS made a  motion to move SJR 9 and fiscal note to the                                                            
next committee of referral.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There were no objections.                                                                                                       

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