Legislature(2001 - 2002)

03/08/2001 03:40 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                       HB 100-JUNETEENTH DAY                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
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REPRESENTATIVE   MGUIRE,   prime  sponsor  of  HB  100,   said  that                                                            
Juneteenth  Day is the  oldest known celebration  commemorating  the                                                            
end of slavery  and is observed in  Alaska on the third Saturday  of                                                            
each June.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Juneteenth Day  has been celebrated in Anchorage and  the Park Strip                                                            
for many years  and HB 100 is an effort to have the  State of Alaska                                                            
give it the recognition  it is due. HB 100 respectfully requests the                                                            
Governor  to  issue   a  proclamation  commemorating   the  day  and                                                            
providing  Alaskans a time  to gather in celebration  of the  end of                                                            
slavery.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
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CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  asked Representative  MGuire  to remain  at the                                                            
witness table while teleconference testimony was taken.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DINO ALLEN,  from Anchorage,  said he had  organized Juneteenth  Day                                                            
celebrations on  the Park Strip since 1993 and he  heartily supports                                                            
the celebration  and the legislation. It is a wonderful  opportunity                                                            
to educate  Alaskans on the  long and difficult  history of  African                                                            
Americans.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  said that he spoke with Representative  McGuire                                                            
just before  the meeting and she said  the legislation started  as a                                                            
resolution. He  asked whether the drafter recommended  a change from                                                            
the resolution to a section of statute.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
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REPRESENTATIVE   MGUIRE   said   that  initially,   she  thought   a                                                            
resolution was sufficient,  but decided that it was important enough                                                            
to  deserve   a  place   in  statute.   Because  resolutions   carry                                                            
distinction  through  just  one legislative  session,  a  resolution                                                            
would need to  be passed each session for yearly recognition  so she                                                            
decided it was best to put it into law.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  observed that  language for bills is  much more                                                            
concise than that  for resolutions and that language  in the statute                                                            
needs to clearly  explain that Juneteenth  Day celebrates  an end of                                                            
slavery  in  the United  States  and  its territories  in  1865  and                                                            
requests  that the  Governor  make a proclamation  for  the day.  He                                                            
recommended that  on page 1, line 6, the sentence  end after "1865".                                                            
The  second sentence  would  read,  "The  Governor shall  issue  the                                                            
proclamation to  commemorate the day." The third sentence  would say                                                            
"On Juneteenth  Day, the citizens of the state are  urged to reflect                                                            
on the plight  of early African Americans and appreciate  the unique                                                            
freedom and equality enjoyed by all state citizens today."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He asked for Representative  McGuire's response to  the more concise                                                            
wording.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
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REPRESENTATIVE  MGUIRE  thought the comments  were constructive  but                                                            
wanted assurance  that if she agreed  to the changes, the  amendment                                                            
would be  passed as a conceptual  amendment  so passage wouldn't  be                                                            
delayed.  She objected  to removing  "suffering  and sacrifice"  and                                                            
changing  it  with  "the plight"  because  it  doesn't  capture  the                                                            
essence of  what she intended. However,  her primary goal  is to get                                                            
the measure  passed  from committee  so she  would acquiesce.  Other                                                            
changes seemed to be technical and clean up.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  said that passing a conceptual  amendment would                                                            
allow opportunity to work with the language.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
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REPRESENTATIVE  MGUIRE  agreed but said that "plight"  is a nebulous                                                            
concept and she would prefer specifics.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  said they would work on the wording  to reflect                                                            
her desire to use "suffering and sacrifice."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
He asked for questions  or objections from committee  members. There                                                            
were none  so amendment  1 was adopted.  He noted  that there  was a                                                            
zero fiscal note for the bill.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
He asked for the will of the committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DAVIS  made a motion  that SCS HB  100 (STA) and its  fiscal                                                            
note move out of committee with individual recommendations.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being  no objection,  SCS HB  100 (STA)  moved from  committee                                                            
with individual recommendations.                                                                                                

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