Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

03/03/2022 03:30 PM Senate STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 136 LIMITATIONS ON FIREARMS RESTRICTIONS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 136(CRA) Out of Committee
+= SB 152 LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS IN ANCHORAGE TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+= SB 167 ELECTIONS; FRAUD; BALLOTS TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+= HB 123 STATE RECOGNITION OF TRIBES TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Invited Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
-- Bills Rescheduled from 03/01/22 --
*+ SR 3 NGO SUPPORT FOR STATE VETERANS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+= SJR 20 URGE PASSAGE OF HEARING PROTECTION ACT TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+= SB 92 MISSING PERSONS UNDER 21 YEARS OLD TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+= SB 145 LEGISLATOR RETROACTIVE PER DIEM TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 145 Out of Committee
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+= HB 157 APOC; REPORT REFERENDA/RECALL CONTRIBUTOR TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+= SB 115 ADDRESS CONFIDENTIALITY PROGRAM TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 115 Out of Committee
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+= SB 161 POLITICAL PARTY DEFINITION TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 161 Out of Committee
<Bill Again Added to Agenda After Cancellation>
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
             SR   3-NGO SUPPORT FOR STATE VETERANS                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:43:04 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   SHOWER  reconvened   the   meeting   and  announced   the                                                               
consideration of  SENATE RESOLUTION NO. 3  Relating to nonprofit,                                                               
nongovernmental organization support for veterans in Alaska.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER  stated that this  is the first hearing  and invited                                                               
and public testimony is scheduled.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
He identified  himself as  the sponsor  of SR  3, noted  that the                                                               
attached  fiscal note  is zero,  and said  he did  not prepare  a                                                               
sectional  analysis  because  the  bill  is short  and  it  is  a                                                               
resolution.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:43:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER paraphrased the sponsor statement for SR 3.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     SR 3 was introduced  to encourage nonprofits that serve                                                                    
     military  veterans to  keep a  greater  portion of  the                                                                    
     money raised  for veterans, in  Alaska. Alaska  is home                                                                    
     to the highest  per capita of veterans of  any state in                                                                    
     the  union.  Local  Alaskan's are  very  generous  with                                                                    
     their  support of  our veteran  population. This  makes                                                                    
     Alaska  a  very  lucrative  place  to  raise  money  by                                                                    
     nonprofits  that serve  veterans.  This resolution  was                                                                    
     written   to   encourage   nonprofits  to   honor   the                                                                    
     commitment   Alaskans  make   to   their  veterans   by                                                                    
     supporting   programs   for  veterans   and   encourage                                                                    
     nonprofits  to  keep  the   greatest  amount  of  money                                                                    
     possible  that   is  raised   in  Alaska   for  Alaskan                                                                    
     veterans.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER found no questions  from the committee and turned to                                                               
invited testimony.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:44:19 PM                                                                                                                    
RICHARD HELLER,  representing self,  Butte, Alaska,  testified by                                                               
invitation  in  support of  SR  3.  He  spoke  as a  100  percent                                                               
disabled  veteran  to  offer his  perspective  of  nonprofits  in                                                               
Alaska that work for veterans. He  related that since 2005 he has                                                               
received  help from  the Veterans  Administration  (VA) and  some                                                               
nonprofits in the state.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HELLER stated  that some  of the  nonprofits in  Alaska that                                                               
benefit veterans  are fair weather  and he believes they  need to                                                               
be  controlled. He  noted that  in Wasilla  alone there  are more                                                               
than  3,000 nonprofits.  He said  he uses  the term  fair weather                                                               
because there is no activity in the winter months.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HELLER related  that  he  and a  friend  have been  tracking                                                               
money-laundering  schemes  for three  years.  They  have found  a                                                               
national veteran nonprofit that  has received millions of dollars                                                               
from  Alaskans with  very little  return or  help. He  emphasized                                                               
that  all   groups  need  to   present  their  990s   [return  of                                                               
organizations exempt from federal income  tax] on a regular basis                                                               
so Alaskans understand  where their donations are  going and what                                                               
they are doing  to help Alaskan veterans. He  requested the state                                                               
form  a committee  or  working group  that  holds all  nonprofits                                                               
accountable  for their  spending in  Alaska for  Alaskan veterans                                                               
and  whether  they  are  using   Alaska  or  national  funds.  An                                                               
alternative  would be  to at  least hold  legislators accountable                                                               
for veteran funding issues.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:47:57 PM                                                                                                                    
RICK  CASTILLO, representing  self, Anchorage,  Alaska, testified                                                               
by invitation in support of SR 3.    He stated that he is a proud                                                               
U.S. Army  veteran who first came  to Alaska in 2007  and quickly                                                               
learned  about   integrity,  honor,   and  fortitude.   He  found                                                               
integrity to  be the most  profound and  today he believes  it is                                                               
essential in  all aspects of  business and government. It  is the                                                               
root of transparency.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CASTILLO  stated that  the  past  few  decades have  seen  a                                                               
proliferation of NGOs  [non-governmental organizations], both in-                                                               
state and  nationally, all of  which purport to  assist veterans.                                                               
Some   operate   in  several   states.   While   many  of   these                                                               
organizations   are  desperately   needed,  he   said  some   are                                                               
opportunistic and have done little  to fulfill the mission in the                                                               
state from which they have solicited donations.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. CASTILLO stressed  that his support of SR 3  is not an attack                                                               
on  the NGOs  that work  to fill  the gap  for veterans  in their                                                               
communities.  Rather, he  supports  the resolution  as a  process                                                               
that builds  on the transparency  of good government  that allows                                                               
NGOs  to benefit  from  grants, federal  and  state funding,  and                                                               
charitable donations.  SR 3  also serves as  the foundation  of a                                                               
strong  and charitable  base in  Alaska.  Alaskans recognize  the                                                               
value and  input of  veterans statewide and  the resolution  is a                                                               
promise for  the state to  do its  due diligence. It  will ensure                                                               
that donors  across Alaska know  how much of  their contributions                                                               
go  toward the  support of  veterans within  Alaska and  how much                                                               
leaves the state for uses that are unrelated to Alaska.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:51:10 PM                                                                                                                    
KYLE KAISER,  VIPER Transitions, Peters Creek,  Alaska, testified                                                               
by  invitation  in  support  of   SR  3.  He  stated  that  VIPER                                                               
Transitions  is   an  Alaska-based  veteran  nonprofit   and  his                                                               
testimony today  was to highlight  how incredibly hard it  is for                                                               
local  nonprofits  to  compete with  national  nonprofits.  These                                                               
large  organizations  consume  all   the  funding  and  benefits,                                                               
leaving very little  for the local nonprofits that  are doing all                                                               
they can every day to support veterans.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. KAISER related  that he is a veteran of  Iraq and Afghanistan                                                               
who has  committed his life  to helping veterans deal  with their                                                               
issues that  also affect communities. VIPER  Transitions provides                                                               
training   for  veterans   and   connects   them  to   employment                                                               
opportunities  across multiple  industries.  VIPER also  connects                                                               
veterans with mental health resources.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KAISER stated  that  one of  the  largest frustrations  this                                                               
start-up nonprofit  faces is  tied to  funding. They  see private                                                               
donations going  to groups that do  not use it to  benefit Alaska                                                               
veterans. It  goes out of  state and  this needs to  stop. Donors                                                               
should be able to see where and  how their money is spent. If the                                                               
money is raised in Alaska, it should  stay in Alaska and if it is                                                               
raised in Alaska to support Alaska veterans, it should do that.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:54:05 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HOLLAND  asked if VIPER Transitions  was rehabilitating a                                                               
C-47 in the Federal Express hanger.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. KAISER answered yes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HOLLAND expressed appreciation for  the work they had and                                                               
likely would continue to do in Alaska.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER agreed and mentioned prospects for future projects.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:55:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SEAN BENNETT, representing self,  Ninilchik, Alaska, testified by                                                               
invitation in support of SR 3.  He spoke as the former manager of                                                               
the  Alaska Wounded  Warrior Project.  He related  that for  five                                                               
years  he flew  around the  state  to connect  with veterans  who                                                               
needed  help.  He  cited  the   example  of  going  fishing  with                                                               
Representative Laddie Shaw  and Senator Josh Revak.  He said Rick                                                               
Castillo Kyle Kaiser  with VIPER Transitions are trying  to do so                                                               
much for Alaska  veterans and the state is  not giving sufficient                                                               
support.  He   asked  the  legislature   to  help   veterans  and                                                               
identified Senator Shower as veterans' voice.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER said he was committed to this effort.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  REINBOLD  commented  that  volunteers  and  good-hearted                                                               
people make  the world  go round.  She thanked  him for  the work                                                               
he'd done to help Alaska veterans.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. BENNETT repeated the plea for help.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SHOWER shared  that half  of his  son's platoon  committed                                                               
suicide in the last few years.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:58:30 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER  opened public testimony  on SR 3; finding  none, he                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER held SR 3 in committee for future consideration.                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
support 6 letters.pdf SSTA 3/3/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 156
SB 167opposition letter.pdf SSTA 3/3/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 167