Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205

03/16/2017 03:30 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
03:31:01 PM Start
03:31:47 PM Confirmation Hearing: Alaska Police Standards Council
03:50:11 PM HB3
04:05:50 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Review of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
-- Public Testimony <Limited to 3 Minutes> --
Luis Nieves - Alaska Police Standards Council
Ronda Wallace - Alaska Police Standards Council
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         HB 3-NATIONAL GUARD LEAVE/REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS                                                                      
3:50:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DUNLEAVY called  the committee back to  order. He announced                                                               
the  consideration  of   HB  3.  [CSHB  3(MLV)   was  before  the                                                               
3:50:34 PM                                                                                                                    
KENDRA KLOSTER,  Staff, Representative  Chris Tuck,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  Juneau, Alaska,  introduced  HB 3  speaking to  the                                                               
following sponsor statement:                                                                                                    
     House  Bill   3  seeks  to  correct   a  deficiency  in                                                                    
     employment protections for Alaskans  who are serving in                                                                    
     the National Guard. This is  a nationwide effort by the                                                                    
     Department of  Defense to ensure those  who serve their                                                                    
     nation  for  all  50  states  when  called  to  duty  -                                                                    
     regardless  of  their  service  location  -  will  have                                                                    
     reemployment  rights  to  their  Alaskan  civilian  job                                                                    
     after  completing  the  various  critical  duties  when                                                                    
     called by a governor for state active duty.                                                                                
     The National  Guard is  a hybrid  state-federal entity.                                                                    
     While  National Guard  members are  subject to  federal                                                                    
     call to  duty by  the President  of the  United States,                                                                    
     they can  also be  called up for  state active  duty by                                                                    
     the Governor  to respond to  state emergencies  such as                                                                    
     fires, tornadoes and floods.                                                                                               
     The  federal  law  Uniformed  Services  Employment  and                                                                    
     Reemployment  Rights Act  (USERRA) protects  members of                                                                    
     the Army  or Air  National Guard  when they  are called                                                                    
     away from their civilian jobs for federal service.                                                                         
     However, USERRA  does not apply  when a  National Guard                                                                    
     member must leave  their job for state  active duty. If                                                                    
     National Guard members are  to have reemployment rights                                                                    
     after state active duty, it must be through state law.                                                                     
     Alaska currently  has a law that  applies to employment                                                                    
     protections  to  the   public  and  private  employees.                                                                    
     However,  it is  explicitly limited  to members  of the                                                                    
     Alaska Army  or Air  National Guard. There  are several                                                                    
     Alaskan residents  who serve  in the National  Guard of                                                                    
     another  state. These  Alaskans currently  do not  have                                                                    
     the reemployment protections for their employment.                                                                         
     By passing House Bill 3,  we will extend the employment                                                                    
     protections  to   Alaskans  who  are  serving   in  any                                                                    
     National   Guard.  The   Department   of  Defense   has                                                                    
     identified this  legislation as a  key quality  of life                                                                    
     issue  and  is actively  seeking  to  make this  policy                                                                    
     change across the nation. So  far, 29 other states have                                                                    
     passed  similar  legislation  and 5  other  states  are                                                                    
     taking it up this session.                                                                                                 
      Please join me in supporting House Bill 3 by making                                                                       
         this important change to protect those who are                                                                         
     honorably serving our nation.                                                                                              
MS. KLOSTER  detailed that 33  Alaskans currently serve  in other                                                               
National  Guard units.  She  noted that  the  number of  Alaskans                                                               
serving elsewhere  is a  self-reported number  so there  could be                                                               
more. She reiterated  that the bill ensures  individuals have the                                                               
same  reemployment rights  if  they are  called  to service.  She                                                               
noted  that  some  of  the reasons  that  individuals  belong  to                                                               
another   National   Guard   includes  education   and   training                                                               
opportunities in the Lower 48.                                                                                                  
3:52:36 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL  asked her to  confirm that the bill  requires an                                                               
individual to be a resident of Alaska.                                                                                          
MS. KLOSTER answered it does.                                                                                                   
SENATOR  COGHILL asked  that Ms.  Kloster  specify the  residency                                                               
requirements.   He  disclosed   that  his   son-in-law  went   to                                                               
Mississippi in  the Air National  Guard under another unit  for a                                                               
year, but retained his job in  Alaska because he was deployed for                                                               
training  outside of  Alaska. He  asked if  his son-in-law  would                                                               
have qualified  under the  state's present  statute or  under the                                                               
legislation proposed in HB 3.                                                                                                   
MS. KLOSTER asked if Senator  Coghill's son-in-law was an Alaskan                                                               
resident serving in another National Guard in the Lower 48.                                                                     
SENATOR  COGHILL answered  yes. He  detailed that  his son-in-law                                                               
was  lent for  training purposes  that benefited  the Alaska  Air                                                               
National  Guard. He  noted that  he did  not know  if either  the                                                               
current   statute   or    his   son-in-law's   employer   assured                                                               
3:54:13 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. KLOSTER answered that the  scenario Senator Coghill described                                                               
would be covered  under the proposed legislation.  She noted that                                                               
she did not  know of any circumstances where  employers have said                                                               
"No, you cannot  have your job back." She opined  that Alaska has                                                               
been  very  friendly  to  the state's  service  members  who  are                                                               
serving. She  specified that HB 3  is an important step  to cover                                                               
those in case  of certain circumstances rather  than presenting a                                                               
bill because  reemployment did  not happen  for someone  that was                                                               
called to duty.                                                                                                                 
SENATOR COGHILL  asked what  would occur  if an  Alaskan resident                                                               
takes a fulltime job with the National Guard in another state.                                                                  
MS.  KLOSTER answered  that the  individual would  have to  be an                                                               
Alaskan resident.  She noted  that a provision  was added  to the                                                               
bill that  protected businesses if circumstances  change where an                                                               
individual's position  no longer  exists due to  downsizing, etc.                                                               
She pointed  out that in  most cases  the time away  for National                                                               
Guard members is not for extended periods of time.                                                                              
SENATOR COGHILL  asked Mr.  Doehl to address  his concern  on the                                                               
Legislature  mandating  that somebody  hold  a  job, explain  the                                                               
deployment process, and if the bill  applies to those that take a                                                               
fulltime position with the National  Guard in another state or to                                                               
those  that  retain  their residency  when  deployed  to  another                                                               
3:57:50 PM                                                                                                                    
ROBERT DOEHL, Deputy Commissioner,  Alaska Department of Military                                                               
and Veterans' Affairs (DMVA), JBER,  Alaska, noted that there are                                                               
various types of duty status.                                                                                                   
He detailed  that Title  10 of the  United States  Code addresses                                                               
overseas guardsman deployment to do  things that are necessary to                                                               
defend the nation.                                                                                                              
He explained  that Title 32  of the United States  Code addresses                                                               
guardsman training, either federal  or state status. He specified                                                               
that federal-status training would  be protected under USERRA. He                                                               
noted that  a guardsman  put into  state-active duty  for another                                                               
state guard is conceivable, but DMVA has never heard of it.                                                                     
He  said where  state-active duty  is  used primarily  is when  a                                                               
guardsman  is  answering  a  call of  the  governor  for  natural                                                               
disasters where tours are 72 hours or less.                                                                                     
He noted that under federal law, not  related to HB 3, there is a                                                               
total time  limit of  five years  where a  guardsman can  be away                                                               
from a  job and still  have reemployment.  He added that  DMVA is                                                               
not aware  of state-active duty ever  running out as far  as five                                                               
SENATOR  COGHILL  asked  Mr. Doehl  to  address  someone  serving                                                               
fulltime  in another  guard  unit  in another  state  and if  the                                                               
individual could still try to claim residency in Alaska.                                                                        
4:00:26 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  DOEHL answered  that  for someone  working  fulltime in  the                                                               
National Guard of another state,  the individual would be working                                                               
under  Title 32  of the  United States  Code. He  added that  the                                                               
individual would  be under the  federal protection to  the extent                                                               
that they exist. He noted that  HB 3 will not impact the scenario                                                               
he previously described.                                                                                                        
SENATOR  WILSON asked  that  Mr.  Doehl address  the  use of  the                                                               
phrase "active state service" in the  bill on page 2, lines 2 and                                                               
MR. DOEHL  replied that "active  state service" or the  term used                                                               
by the National  Guard, "state active duty," would  only apply to                                                               
specific-duty  status   for  performing  duties   that  typically                                                               
entails the role of disaster response.                                                                                          
SENATOR  WILSON   responded  that   he  understood   Mr.  Doehl's                                                               
inference, but noted  that on page 1, line 12  the bill says, "Or                                                               
active National  Guard service under  the law of  another state;"                                                               
however,  on  page 2,  line  2  the  phrase, "Or  National  Guard                                                               
service in  another state" is  used without  the use of  the word                                                               
MS. KLOSTER  replied that the sentence  on page 2, line  2 states                                                               
that, "A  result of  'active state  service' or  'National Guard'                                                               
service  in  another state."  She  explained  that when  she  had                                                               
talked to  the bill's  drafters, they  said "active"  would cover                                                               
both the  "active state  service" and the  next line  that notes,                                                               
"National  Guard."  She said  she  would  double check  with  the                                                               
drafters to address Senator Wilson's question.                                                                                  
CHAIR DUNLEAVY welcomed invited testimony for HB 3.                                                                             
4:02:41 PM                                                                                                                    
MARK SAN SOUCI, Regional  Legislative Liaison, Military Community                                                               
and  Family   Policy,  United   States  Department   of  Defense,                                                               
Lakewood,  Washington,   testified  in   support  of  HB   3.  He                                                               
summarized that HB 3 is  about protecting those people in private                                                               
employment who get  called for things like forest  fires and have                                                               
a private  employer who  wants to  fire them.  He said  29 states                                                               
have  passed  legislation  like  HB  3 and  5  other  states  are                                                               
considering the legislation.                                                                                                    
4:05:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DUNLEAVY held HB 3 in committee.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 3 Fiscal Note DOLWD-WHA 2.23.17.pdf SSTA 3/16/2017 3:30:00 PM
HB 3
HB 3 Fiscal Note MVA-COM 2.23.17.pdf SSTA 3/16/2017 3:30:00 PM
HB 3
HB 3 Memo of Changes 2.23.17.pdf SSTA 3/16/2017 3:30:00 PM
HB 3
HB 3 Sponsor Statement 2.23.17.pdf SSTA 3/16/2017 3:30:00 PM
HB 3
HB 3 Supporting Document-Dept of Defense One Pager 2.23.17.pdf SSTA 3/16/2017 3:30:00 PM
HB 3
HB 3 Supporting Document-Letter Dept of Defense 2.23.17.pdf SSTA 3/16/2017 3:30:00 PM
HB 3
HB 3, Version D.pdf SSTA 3/16/2017 3:30:00 PM
HB 3