Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/10/1994 05:00 PM House MLV

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                   HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON                                  
                  MILITARY AND VETERANS AFFAIRS                                
                        February 10, 1994                                      
                            5:00 p.m.                                          
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
  Representative Eldon Mulder, Co-Chair                                        
  Representative Richard Foster, Co-Chair                                      
  Representative Mike Navarre                                                  
  Representative Ed Willis                                                     
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  Representative Pete Kott                                                     
  OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                    
  Representative Jim Nordlund                                                  
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
  *HJR 51:  Requesting the governor to file suit in the United                 
            States Supreme Court against the United States                     
            government alleging violations of the civil rights                 
            of Americans listed as prisoners of war or missing                 
            in action in Southeast Asia; and requesting the                    
            other states to join in this suit.                                 
            MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                             
  *HB 364:  "An Act relating to allowable absences from the                    
            state for purposes of eligibility for permanent                    
            fund dividends; and providing for an effective                     
            MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                             
  *HB 421:  "An Act authorizing grants for temporary housing                   
            assistance during emergencies and disasters."                      
            MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                             
  (* First public hearing.)                                                    
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
  JEFF MORRISON, Director                                                      
  Administrative Services                                                      
  Department of Military & Veterans Affairs                                    
  P.O. Box 110900                                                              
  Juneau, AK  99801-0900                                                       
  Phone:  (907) 465-4730                                                       
  Position Statement:  Observer                                                
  WALT WILCOX, Legislative Aide                                                
  Representative Jeannette James                                               
  Alaska State Legislature                                                     
  State Capitol, #501                                                          
  Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                       
  Phone:  (907) 465-3743                                                       
  Position Statement:  Addressed committee on HJR 51 ON                        
                       behalf of sponsor                                       
  ERV MARTIN, Director                                                         
  Division of Emergency Services                                               
  Department of Military & Veterans Affairs                                    
  P.O. Box 5750                                                                
  Ft. Richardson, AK  99505                                                    
  Phone:  (907) 428-7000                                                       
  Position Statement:  Observer                                                
  TOM WILLIAMS, Director                                                       
  Permanent Fund Dividend Division                                             
  Department of Revenue                                                        
  P.O. Box 110460                                                              
  Juneau, AK  99811                                                            
  Phone:  (907) 465-2323                                                       
  Position Statement:  Addressed the committee on HB 364                       
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
  BILL:  HJR 51                                                                
  SHORT TITLE: SUIT RE POWS & MIAS AGAINST U.S. & OTHERS                       
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) JAMES,Therriault,Martin,Mulder                 
  JRN-DATE    JRN-PG                     ACTION                                
  01/19/94      2108    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/19/94      2109    (H)   MLV, STATE AFFAIRS                               
  02/09/94      2327    (H)   COSPONSOR(S):  MARTIN, MULDER                    
  02/10/94              (H)   MLV AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 17                       
  BILL:  HB 364                                                                
  SHORT TITLE: PFD PROGRAM/ALLOWABLE ABSENCES                                  
  JRN-DATE    JRN-PG                     ACTION                                
  01/12/94      2038    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/12/94      2039    (H)   MLV, FINANCE                                     
  02/10/94              (H)   MLV AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 17                       
  BILL:  HB 421                                                                
  JRN-DATE    JRN-PG                     ACTION                                
  01/31/94      2206    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/31/94      2206    (H)   MLV, FINANCE                                     
  02/10/94              (H)   MLV AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 17                       
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 94-3, SIDE A                                                            
  Number 000                                                                   
  CO-CHAIR ELDON MULDER called the meeting of the House                        
  Special Committee on Military & Veterans Affairs to order at                 
  5:25 p.m.  Members present were Representative Kott and                      
  Representative Navarre.                                                      
  CHAIR MULDER also noted for the record that Tom Williams                     
  from the Permanent Fund Division (PFD), Jeff Morrison from                   
  the Department of Military & Veterans Affairs (DMVA), and                    
  Erv Martin from the Division of Emergency Services (DES)                     
  were also present at the meeting.                                            
  Number 005                                                                   
  HJR 51 - SUIT RE POWS & MIAS AGAINST U.S. AND OTHERS                         
  Sponsor of HJR 51, stated that HJR 51 requests the Governor                  
  to sue the U.S. and some other foreign countries to find out                 
  where MIA's and POW's from Alaska are located.  He stated                    
  that Thomas Anderson, United States Marine Corps, and Howard                 
  M. Koslosky, United States Navy, are still not accounted for                 
  and he believes that the federal government has not told                     
  everything they know.  Mr. Wilcox asked if there were any                    
  Number 011                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE asked if the families of Thomas                       
  Anderson and Howard Koslosky had been contacted regarding                    
  this resolution.                                                             
  MR. WILCOX answered that he had not contacted them.                          
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE asked if the reference to the                         
  "inferior courts" on page 2, line 20, meant the lower                        
  courts.  He noted that this seemed fairly negative.                          
  MR. WILCOX replied that this was what they are called and                    
  further stated that the court of jurisdiction was the                        
  Supreme Court, as noted in the resolution.                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE stated he believed that Senator                       
  Murkowski chaired the Military & Veterans Affairs Committee                  
  and was fairly active in attempting to report on what had                    
  happened to POW's & MIA's.  He stated he thought the whereas                 
  clause beginning on page 2, line 17, was a direct criticism                  
  on Senator Murkowski.                                                        
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE also noted that on page 2, line 24,                   
  the resolution authorizes another suit against the federal                   
  government and he asked if anyone had assessed the                           
  likelihood of success of the suit and what the costs would                   
  be.  He also noted the resolution did not have a fiscal note                 
  and that a suit against the federal government would cost                    
  money.  Representative Navarre stated that the resolution                    
  ought to be referred to the Finance Committee so that the                    
  costs could be considered.                                                   
  Number 030                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked if Representative Navarre had                    
  any suggested amendments.                                                    
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE suggested amending the bill on page 2                 
  to delete lines 17-19.                                                       
  MR. WILCOX stated that the sponsor would accept that                         
  amendment.  He stated that the point was there are 512                       
  people still unaccounted for, so the government has failed                   
  somewhere.  Mr. Wilcox requested that lines 17-19 on page 2                  
  be deleted.                                                                  
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE moved the amendment.                                  
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked if there was any objection to                    
  the amendment.  Hearing none, the amendment passed.                          
  Number 036                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER stated that he had the same question                   
  regarding a fiscal note for the bill.  He asked if the other                 
  states who had approved this type of legislation have                        
  recommended suit or authorized suit.                                         
  MR. WILCOX answered that the other states had recommended                    
  suit.  Mr. Wilcox further stated that this resolution                        
  respectfully requests the Governor to authorize suit and                     
  that the Governor does not have to do this if he so chooses.                 
  Mr. Wilcox stated that this was a nationwide effort among                    
  all 50 states.                                                               
  Number 044                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked Representative Navarre what his                    
  concerns were on page 2, line 21.                                            
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE stated that he did not have any.                      
  Number 050                                                                   
  MR. WILCOX told Representative Navarre that he would not a                   
  oppose changing the word "inferior" on page 2, line 20, to                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE said that he would suggest that.                      
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked Representative Navarre if he                     
  would like to offer that as an amendment.                                    
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE replied that he would and moved the                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER stated that it had been moved that the                 
  committee amend page 2, line 20, to read "Whereas the lower                  
  courts of the federal judiciary . . ." and asked if there                    
  was any objection.  Hearing none, the amendment passed.                      
  Number 056                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE stated that he was concerned with                     
  this problem, but he really did not know enough about it                     
  because his only exposure on this was from the media.  He                    
  stated that he would not propose moving this bill out of                     
  committee because he did not feel he knew enough about the                   
  facts presented in this bill.                                                
  MR. WILCOX offered to provide Representative Navarre with                    
  further background.                                                          
  Number 066                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER stated that he thought the delegation                  
  has been good proponents for greater information, release                    
  and exploration for those unaccounted for in Southeast Asia.                 
  He further stated that his reasons for cosponsoring this                     
  legislation and scheduling it for a hearing is that while                    
  there are still individuals lost or unaccounted for, it is                   
  worthwhile in his mind to continue the pursuit of closure,                   
  not only for the affected families, but for the sake of the                  
  country as a whole.                                                          
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE said that he was aware that when                      
  President Clinton opened trade relations with Vietnam he                     
  made comments that he was concerned with this problem and                    
  that this might help get more information on POW's and                       
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT called the member's attention to lines                   
  1-3 on page 2.  He asked if the resolution was using the                     
  correct terminology in referring to Russia and Soviet Union.                 
  MR. WILCOX stated that the Soviet Union no longer exists and                 
  that Russia still exists as a state.                                         
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked if the reference to "the president                 
  of Russia" on page 2, line 1, referred to the current                        
  president of Russia.                                                         
  MR. WILCOX replied that that was correct.                                    
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT stated that since the resolution made                    
  reference to "General Tran Von Kwong" on page 1, line 12,                    
  maybe the resolution should also specify the president of                    
  Russia by name as well.                                                      
  Number 085                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked if it was President Yeltsin.                     
  MR. WILCOX stated that he did not remember.                                  
  Number 087                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE suggested that perhaps the committee                  
  could make a conceptual amendment to find the proper name of                 
  the president of Russia.                                                     
  Number 088                                                                   
  MR. WILCOX stated that the presidents of the Soviet Union                    
  are the ones that we are familiar with and that the                          
  presidents of Russia have been less well known.  He again                    
  stated that he did not recall what the name was.                             
  Number 089                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked if the sponsor would consider a                  
  friendly conceptual amendment to list that individual by                     
  MR. WILCOX stated that Representative James would consider                   
  that a friendly amendment.                                                   
  Number 091                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE referenced page 2, lines 1-2,                         
  "...that the Soviet Union took members of the American armed                 
  forces into Russia..." and asked if that was the Soviet                      
  Union or Russia.                                                             
  MR. WILCOX replied that it stated that they were taken into                  
  Russia and also said that the sponsor would consider adding                  
  this to the conceptual amendment since there is some                         
  confusion over the proper names in that part of the world.                   
  Number  095                                                                  
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER stated that it could be more clearly                   
  specified.  Representative Mulder said that there was a                      
  conceptual amendment made to page 2, lines 1 and 2, in                       
  relation to specifying who the president of Russia is and                    
  where exactly in Russia U.S. personnel were held.                            
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked if there were any objections to                  
  the amendment.  Hearing none, the amendment was adopted.                     
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT moved HJR 51 as amended from committee                   
  with individual recommendations.                                             
  Number 104                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked if there was any objection to                    
  moving HJR 51 as amended from committee.  Hearing no                         
  objection, HJR 51 was passed out of the committee.                           
  Number 106                                                                   
  HB 364 - PFD PROGRAM/ALLOWABLE ABSENCES                                      
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER welcomed Representative Jim Nordlund,                  
  Prime Sponsor of HB 364, to the committee and asked him to                   
  present the bill.                                                            
  Number 108                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NORDLUND stated that HB 364 adds service in                   
  the Public Health Service (PHS) and in the U.S. Merchant                     
  Marine to the list of allowable absences for eligibility for                 
  permanent fund dividends.  He stated that he sponsored this                  
  bill at the request of constituents, one of which is a                       
  Merchant Mariner and one who is a member of the Public                       
  Health Service, because he believes that these people are                    
  entitled to the exemptions.  Representative Nordlund stated                  
  that members of the Public Health Service are commissioned                   
  officers, much like military personnel, and are required to                  
  leave the state on assignment against their will for duty                    
  assignments.  He said, due to the nature of their job,                       
  Merchant Mariners cannot be physically located in the state                  
  because their job requires them to be on their ship.  He                     
  said that his intention is to ensure that these people who                   
  are domiciled in the state are still considered eligible                     
  when they are required to be at sea for more that six                        
  REPRESENTATIVE NORDLUND also added that there was a recent                   
  Superior Court decision that stated that PHS commissioned                    
  officers should be eligible for statutory allowable absences                 
  under the permanent fund dividend program.                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NORDLUND stated that even if this bill does                   
  not pass, he thought the court would order the payment of                    
  these PHS officers.  Representative Nordlund then said that                  
  he would be happy to answer any questions.                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE asked what the position of the                        
  Department of Revenue was.                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER replied that Tom Williams from the                     
  Permanent Fund Dividend Division would present the                           
  department's position.                                                       
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER stated that he saw that there would be                 
  532 members of the PHS who would be affected and asked how                   
  many Merchant Mariners would be affected.                                    
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE answered that there were                              
  approximately 191.                                                           
  REPRESENTATIVE NORDLUND said that number is hard to                          
  determine and the Department of Revenue would probably have                  
  a problem with this and stated further that when you count                   
  the number that apply and meet the requirements for the                      
  dividend program the number would not be that high.  He said                 
  that there were 14,000 Merchant Mariners nationwide.                         
  Number 146                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked if there was an active component                 
  of Merchant Mariners in Alaska.                                              
  REPRESENTATIVE NORDLUND answered that there is no chapter of                 
  Merchant Mariners in the state and that he thought it was a                  
  national service that did not isolate by state.                              
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked if the likely scenario would be                  
  the following:  an Alaskan joins the Merchant Marine and                     
  ends up traveling around the world and not like military,                    
  who sometimes are assigned here, then become residents and                   
  are eligible for the dividend program.                                       
  REPRESENTATIVE NORDLUND replied that this is the intent, but                 
  probably there is nothing to prohibit someone who is in the                  
  Merchant Marine from moving to Alaska and then becoming                      
  eligible for the dividend program, much like the military.                   
  Number 155                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NORDLUND stated that he had an amendment that                 
  he would be willing to offer that may have some                              
  constitutional questions.  He said that it is not his intent                 
  to allow someone who just maintains a mailbox address in                     
  Alaska and is actually domiciled in San Francisco from                       
  benefitting from the program. Representative Nordlund said                   
  that his intent is to provide eligibility for people who are                 
  domiciled in the state except when they are at sea and that                  
  he would be open to any way to clarify that.                                 
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER stated that it is very difficult to                    
  stipulate what you have to have to establish residency in                    
  Alaska.  Representative Mulder stated that it was a policy                   
  question of whether Merchant Mariners should be considered                   
  in the same manner as any other branch of military service.                  
  Number 169                                                                   
  DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, stated that the Department                  
  of Revenue does not support any expansion of allowable                       
  absences.  He stated that there is a challenged court                        
  decision by Judge Dana Fabe that did not conclude that PHS                   
  were military, because they are not classified as such by                    
  federal law, but PHS does have a lot of similarities to the                  
  uniformed military services.  He said that he did not                        
  believe that they are transferred out against their will,                    
  but there is the opportunity to transfer and there have been                 
  agreements by PHS officers where they are guaranteed to come                 
  back to Alaska.  Mr. Williams stated that the court decision                 
  stated that PHS officers should be treated similar to the                    
  military and be allowed to remain eligible when they are                     
  absent because of their similarities to the military.  The                   
  court has remanded the specific cases in the suit back to                    
  the department to make other determinations.                                 
  MR. WILLIAMS said that the department originally determined                  
  that they were not eligible because their absence was not                    
  allowable in statute.  Now, they are remanded back to                        
  determine eligibility based on all factors, after which they                 
  will go back to the court.  Mr. Williams stated that the                     
  department has spoken with the Attorney General's Office                     
  about the appeal of this case once it is finalized.  He said                 
  that the PHS includes mostly physicians and some engineers                   
  that do serve often side-by-side with military personnel,                    
  but not in all cases.                                                        
  With respect to Merchant Mariners, MR. WILLIAMS said that                    
  his investigation has shown that there is no Merchant Marine                 
  corps like the Coast Guard or the Navy.  He said that                        
  nongovernment owned commercial vessels make up the Merchant                  
  Marine of the United States and that the Coast Guard issues                  
  cards to qualified Merchant Mariners.  Mr. Williams stated                   
  that anyone who was issued a Merchant Marine card and was                    
  serving at sea under the auspices of that card would qualify                 
  for an allowable absence.  He said that it is really not                     
  affiliated with the military and is a commercial service and                 
  raises the question of what basic private employment jobs                    
  should be considered an allowable absence.                                   
  MR. WILLIAMS said that the department proposed some                          
  regulations related to working out-of-state.  Under the                      
  current regulations, if you accept a job out-of-state and it                 
  is not for one of the fully allowable absences, you do not                   
  retain eligibility for the permanent fund program.                           
  MR. WILLIAMS explained that the department had proposed                      
  regulations concerning accepting part-time employment                        
  out-of-state that stipulated an individual could remain                      
  eligible if they maintained a physical home here at all                      
  times. He said that these regulations were designed to take                  
  care of construction workers or those who had to leave the                   
  state during a slow period and most often left their family                  
  here.  Upon advice of the Department of Law, these                           
  regulations would be constitutionally questionable because                   
  it faces an economic test, namely, someone may not be able                   
  to financially maintain a home here.  Consequently, these                    
  regulations were not adopted under the advice of the                         
  Attorney General.                                                            
  MR. WILLIAMS said that administering the program to PHS                      
  officers would not be a problem, because they do have leave                  
  and earnings statements from which they would be able to                     
  determine eligibility.  He said that there would be some                     
  problems or questions that would have to be answered for                     
  determining eligibility for service in the Merchant Marine.                  
  Mr. Williams said that when you look at any allowable                        
  absence, you also look at the "piggyback provision" of the                   
  spouse and children.                                                         
  Number 233                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked Mr. Williams if the department                     
  would be neutral or possibly supportive of the inclusion of                  
  the PHS officers, but not so amenable to the Merchant                        
  Marine.  He also asked that if the court decision prevailed,                 
  would the commissioner incorporate this into regulation.                     
  MR. WILLIAMS replied that the department does not support                    
  opening the program to the PHS as opposed to the Merchant                    
  Marine.  He said that the department does not support adding                 
  any additional allowable absences.  Mr. Williams said if the                 
  Supreme Court ruled that Judge Fabe was correct in his                       
  ruling, then the commissioner would go in and add this to                    
  PFD regulations.  He added that he does not believe that                     
  will occur.                                                                  
  Number 250                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked if the department knew how many                    
  Merchant Mariners would be included under this provision.                    
  MR. WILLIAMS answered that he had no way to estimate this,                   
  but that they had some cases from Ketchikan in the past.                     
  Number 257                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE asked if the general philosophy of                    
  the department was against any opening of the allowable                      
  absence provisions and further asked if the department would                 
  prefer to have it closed to the military.                                    
  MR. WILLIAMS asked for clarification.                                        
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE asked if it was correct that the                      
  department did not want any expansion of the current                         
  allowable absences.                                                          
  MR. WILLIAMS said the department is not supportive of any                    
  expansion, and with respect to PHS, the department does not                  
  see any particularly unique argument that would convince                     
  them to open it up.  He said that members of the PHS have                    
  repeatedly asked the commissioner to adopt a regulation and                  
  the department concluded that there were not enough                          
  similarities to the military that would suggest that it was                  
  Number 272                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER stated that during testimony on a                      
  similar bill, the Representative from Kodiak made a                          
  suggestion that perhaps the statutes should be amended to                    
  say that anyone who is gone from the state for longer than                   
  150 consecutive days is not eligible, and the department                     
  liked this idea.                                                             
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said that he understood that this                      
  would make it easier for the department.                                     
  MR. WILLIAMS agreed that it would make the program easier                    
  and more equitable to administer.                                            
  Number 278                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NORDLUND stated that he thought that it was                   
  appropriate for the department to speak of how a program may                 
  be easier to administer, but it is up to the legislature to                  
  decide who in eligible for the dividend program.  He stated                  
  that for whatever the reason, it is up to the legislature to                 
  decide this and it has to be based on the merits.                            
  REPRESENTATIVE NORDLUND referenced a statement made by Mr.                   
  Williams that he was not sure if PHS officers did not have                   
  to leave the state against their will.  He said that the                     
  court stated in its decision that PHS officers, like members                 
  of the armed services, serve at the pleasure of their                        
  superior officers and do not have control over where they                    
  are commissioned.                                                            
  REPRESENTATIVE NORDLUND stated that the question of whether                  
  the legislature should allow anybody who is employed outside                 
  of the state to be eligible for the dividend is a valid                      
  concern, but when your job in on a ship in the middle of the                 
  sea where you couldn't possibly be residing in another                       
  state. He said that if in fact these people are residents                    
  and they just happen to be out at sea for more than six                      
  months a year, they should receive the permanent fund out of                 
  Number 302                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT stated that out of fairness, every                       
  Alaskan citizen who has an occupation that takes them                        
  out-of-state, whether they be a Merchant Mariner or an                       
  employee of ARCO or BP, should then be included, otherwise                   
  it is discriminating one class of occupations against                        
  another.  Representative Kott said that this was discussed                   
  in the Judiciary Committee and that there are constitutional                 
  questions when you start separating classes.  He stated that                 
  when you are a Merchant Mariner, or ARCO employee, quite                     
  often there is no choice of where you are assigned.                          
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT proposed an amendment to include all                     
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE objected.                                             
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked for a roll call on the amendment                 
  Amendment to HB 364                                                          
  Add to AS 43.23.095 (8)                                                      
       "(J) out-of-state employment."                                          
  ROLL CALL:                                                                   
       Representative Mulder:  No                                              
       Representative Navarre: No                                              
       Representative Kott:    No                                              
  YEAS: 0   NAYS: 3   ABSENT: 2                                                
  The Amendment failed.                                                        
  Number 320                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked if there were any further                        
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT stated that he had an amendment that he                  
  would hold at that time                                                      
  Number 323                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE moved HB 364 from committee with                      
  individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal note.                     
  Number 325                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked if there was any objection.                      
  There being none and HB 364 was moved from committee.                        
  HB 421 - GRANTS FOR HOUSING DURING DISASTER                                  
  Number 331                                                                   
  DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY AND VETERANS AFFAIRS, stated that                     
  this bill would amend AS 26.23.100(a) to authorize the DES                   
  to issue grants to victims whose house becomes uninhabitable                 
  due to a disaster.  He stated that present state law does                    
  not parallel federal provisions.  He said that DES has found                 
  that during disasters in Crown Point, Moose Pass and                         
  mudslides in Kodiak, they have to negotiate leases for                       
  temporary housing.  Mr. Martin said that this can be a very                  
  lengthy process, especially when there are a lot of victims,                 
  and it may even preclude victims from getting housing in a                   
  timely fashion.  He said the DES is asking for minor                         
  modifications to the law that would allow DES to issue                       
  direct grants to these people.                                               
  Number 343                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE moved HB 421 from committee with                      
  individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal note.                     
  Number 346                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked if there were objections to                      
  moving HB 421 from committee.  There being none, the bill                    
  was moved from committee.                                                    
  Number 366                                                                   
  There being no further business, CHAIR MULDER adjourned the                  
  committee meeting at 6:03 p.m.                                               

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