Legislature(2001 - 2002)
03/08/2001 03:40 PM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 100-JUNETEENTH DAY C 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. c 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. C 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. C 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. C 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.