Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/28/1995 05:30 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                                 
                         April 28, 1995                                        
                           5:30 p.m.                                           
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
 Representative Ivan M. Ivan, Co-Chairman                                      
 Representative Pete Kott, Co-Chairman                                         
 Representative Richard Foster                                                 
 Representative Ed Willis                                                      
 Representative John Davies                                                    
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
 Representative Eldon Mulder                                                   
 Representative Gail Phillips                                                  
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
 *HB 321:  "An Act placing certain persons employed in response to             
           a disaster in the exempt service."                                  
           PASSED CSHB 321(MLV) OUT OF COMMITTEE                               
 *HB 322:  "An Act authorizing grants for temporary housing                    
           assistance during emergencies and disasters."                       
           PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                             
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 JEFF MORRISON, Director                                                       
 Central Office                                                                
 Administrative and Support Services Division                                  
 Department of Military and Veterans Affairs                                   
 P.O. Box 110900                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0900                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4730                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 321 and HB 322                              
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
 BILL:  HB 321                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): SP CMTE MILITARY & VETERANS AFFAIRS                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 04/25/95      1494    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 04/25/95      1494    (H)   MLV                                               
 04/28/95              (H)   MLV AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 BILL:  HB 322                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): SP CMTE MILITARY & VETERANS AFFAIRS                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 04/25/95      1494    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 04/25/95      1494    (H)   MLV, FINANCE                                      
 04/28/95              (H)   MLV AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 95-7, SIDE A                                                             
 Number 003                                                                    
 The House Special Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs was              
 called to order by Co-Chairman Ivan M. Ivan at 5:30 p.m.  Members             
 present at the call to order were Representatives Ivan, Foster,               
 Willis and Davies.  Members absent were Representatives Kott,                 
 Mulder and Phillips.  Co-Chairman Ivan noted the bills on the                 
 Number 027                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN IVAN M. IVAN announced HB 321 was the first bill to be            
 heard.  He invited Jeff Morrison to the table to testify.                     
 JEFF MORRISON, Director, Central Office, Administrative and Support           
 Services Division, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs,               
 said HB 321 and HB 322 are related bills providing additional tools           
 to the Division of Emergency Services to assist in their disaster             
 response.  HB 321 allows for the hire of people in the exempt                 
 service for responding to disaster when the division thinks they              
 will be needed for more than 30 days.  Currently, the state has the           
 ability to hire personal in response to disaster emergencies under            
 these classifications; immediate emergency hire cannot work over 30           
 days; long term non-permanent position takes 30-45 days to hire;              
 short term non-permanent position cannot exceed 120 days and takes            
 2-5 days to hire.  We do not have the ability to hire immediately             
 and work over 30 days.  HB 321 is introduced to address this                  
 problem and authorizes for immediate hire in emergency disasters.             
 MR. MORRISON proposed an amendment to HB 321.  He stated that he              
 has discussed HB 321 with Mike McMullen from the Division of                  
 Personnel, and Majorie Vandor, Assistant Attorney General.  HB 321            
 in its current form requires everybody hired in response to the               
 disaster to be placed in the exempt services.  This is not the                
 intent of the division.  They want to maintain the ability to hire            
 people in non-permanent positions and work off of the register, if            
 it is the best way to go.  The proposed amendment would add the               
 words "to assist classified employees" on line 6 after "Affairs".             
 The Department of Law and the Division of Personnel states this               
 amendment would clarify the situation.  It ensures that they do not           
 have to classify all hires into the exempt services, but exempt               
 services remains an option.  They would still have the ability to             
 hire in other classified positions.  He concluded his testimony on            
 HB 321 and stated he is available if any members have any                     
 Number 086                                                                    
 Co-Chairman Pete Kott joined the committee meeting at 5:36 p.m.               
 Co-Chairman Ivan turned the gavel over to Co-Chairman Kott.                   
 REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES asked why it isn't possible to hire                
 people under the emergency services immediately and then began the            
 paper work to transfer them into non-permanent positions after.               
 MR. MORRISON answered that this has happened but administratively,            
 in response to a disaster, you want to minimize the paper work as             
 much as possible.  Also, if you are going to hire a non-perm and              
 work a register then you have to hire from the register.  The                 
 person you have hired as an emergency hire may not be on the                  
 register.  This boxes you out from being able to continue that                
 person's employment if it is a long term non-perm position.  If it            
 is a short term non-perm position, then they cannot exceed 120                
 Number 121                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE RICHARD FOSTER moved to adopt the proposed amendment           
 for HB 321.                                                                   
 Number 123                                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN PETE KOTT asked if there were any objections, hearing             
 none the amendment was adopted.                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FOSTER moved HB 321, as amended, with individual               
 recommendations and the attached fiscal note.                                 
 CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there was an objection.  Hearing none,              
 CSHB 321(MLV) passed out of committee.                                        
 HB 322 - GRANTS FOR HOUSING DURING DISASTER                                 
 CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the next bill to be heard would be HB
 322.  He asked Mr. Morrison to continue his testimony.                        
 Number 137                                                                    
 MR. MORRISON stated HB 322 has been introduced to improve the               
 administration for temporary housing during state declared disaster           
 emergencies.  This legislation was introduced during the 1994                 
 legislative session as HB 421, and passed the House on March 14,              
 1994, by a 40 to 0 vote.  It died in Senate Rules Committee at the            
 end of the 1994 legislative session.  This bill is slightly                   
 different from the exact language of the bill but the intent is               
 clear.  It has been modified to conform to the last version of the            
 bill that came out of the Senate Finance Committee with one minor             
 change.  The state's current procedure for people who need to be              
 relocated, due to the disaster, is the staff of the Division of               
 Emergency Services arranges for and leases the temporary housing.             
 In Federally declared disasters, the Federal Emergency Management             
 Agency (FEMA) has a tool at their disposal to issue grants to those           
 individuals to make their own housing arrangements.  This is a lot            
 more efficient and exposes the government to less liability.                  
 Additionally, it is less of an intrusion into the personal lives of           
 the people effected by the disaster.                                          
 MR. MORRISON stated the intent of HB 322 is to give the state the             
 ability to issue grants for temporary housing similar to the                  
 methods used by the feds in federal declared disasters.  The                  
 language changed in the Senate Finance Committee in 1994, ensures             
 in statute that there is an offset to make sure that we do not pay            
 people twice if they are receiving funds from FEMA or private                 
 insurance.  The language states as a condition of accepting the               
 grant, the recipient shall agree to repay the state for any                   
 assistance in the event that the recipient is reimbursed from any             
 other source.  It requires a coordination of benefits so they do              
 not get paid twice for the same services.                                     
 Number 192                                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT asked how would you check if a person who receives           
 a state grant does not get paid by an insurance company.                      
 MR. MORRISON replied we would not have a problem in coordinating              
 with FEMA for the federal grants.  With a private insurance                   
 company, we would have the person sign a certification saying they            
 would repay the state.  We would have to audit the individuals to             
 insure that did not take place.                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if the grant application would identify if             
 the person had private insurance and if that person would be                  
 seeking reimbursement.                                                        
 MR. MORRISON replied that he was not aware if that is on the grant            
 application, it is in the procedures of the temporary housing                 
 program.  The Division of Emergency Services has a separate plan              
 just for temporary housing and it is in that procedure that items             
 are not paid for if it is covered by private insurance.                       
 CO-CHAIRMAN asked what the upper cap on the grant is.                         
 MR. MORRISON replied the grant is not limited by a dollar amount,             
 it is limited by time.  He said 18 months is the maximum that a               
 person can be provided for temporary housing under a state                    
 Number 230                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked if this gets in the way of how the                
 division responds to emergencies.                                             
 MR. MORRISON replied that this is just an additional tool.  The               
 best way to respond to disasters would be selected by the people              
 managing the disaster and would depend on the nature of the                   
 disaster.  This does not mandate that grants be made in every case            
 but enables the division to use it when appropriate.                          
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked what kind of conditions are in grant              
 applications.  He asked if there are there reporting requirements             
 and if they have to submit receipts.                                          
 MR. MORRISON replied that he is sure that there will be those type            
 of requirements.  These conditions are required under the federal             
 grant process.  The state does not have this program, that is the             
 intent of this bill.  Under the federal grant program, a person               
 applies for a fixed dollar amount based on estimated expenditures             
 over a three month period.  The cases are reviewed every three                
 months and adjustments can be made at that time.                              
 Number 250                                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN REPRESENTATIVE IVAN moved to pass HB 322 out of                   
 committee with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal             
 CO-CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there was an objection.  Hearing none,              
 the HB 322 was moved out of committee.                                        
 There being no further business to come before the House Special              
 Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs, Co-Chairman Kott                  
 adjourned the meeting at 5:50 p.m.                                            

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