Legislature(2021 - 2022)GRUENBERG 120

04/15/2021 01:00 PM House MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
01:02:13 PM Start
01:02:57 PM HB144
01:47:49 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 144(MLV) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
   HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AND VETERANS' AFFAIRS                                                                  
                         April 15, 2021                                                                                         
                           1:02 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Chris Tuck, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Andi Story                                                                                                       
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
Representative Laddie Shaw                                                                                                      
Representative David Nelson                                                                                                     
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                       
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 144                                                                                                              
"An Act establishing the Alaska Military Affairs Commission; and                                                                
relating to the duties and powers of the Alaska Military Affairs                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 144(MLV) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB 144                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ESTABLISH AK MILITARY AFFAIRS COMMISSION                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) HOPKINS                                                                                           
03/20/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/20/21       (H)       MLV, FIN                                                                                               
04/13/21       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
04/13/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/13/21       (H)       MINUTE(MLV)                                                                                            
04/15/21       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
MATT BORRON, Executive Director                                                                                                 
Association of Defense Communities                                                                                              
Washington, D.C.                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 144.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE GRIER HOPKINS                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   As prime  sponsor, answered  questions and                                                             
provided information on HB 144.                                                                                                 
JOMO STEWART, Energy and Military Project Manager                                                                               
Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation                                                                                      
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 144.                                                                          
MIKE COONS                                                                                                                      
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 144.                                                                       
CAROLINE SCHULTZ, Policy Analyst                                                                                                
Office of Management & Budget                                                                                                   
Office of the Governor                                                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided  information and answered questions                                                             
on HB 144.                                                                                                                      
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:02:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CHRIS TUCK  called the House Special  Committee on Military                                                             
and   Veterans'   Affairs  meeting   to   order   at  1:02   p.m.                                                               
Representatives  Rauscher, Nelson,  Story,  Shaw,  and Tuck  were                                                               
present at the  call to order.  Representative  Claman arrived as                                                               
the meeting was in progress.                                                                                                    
        HB 144-ESTABLISH AK MILITARY AFFAIRS COMMISSION                                                                     
1:02:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR TUCK  announced that  the only order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL NO.  144  "An Act  establishing  the Alaska  Military                                                               
Affairs Commission; and relating to  the duties and powers of the                                                               
Alaska Military Affairs Commission."                                                                                            
1:03:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR TUCK opened invited testimony on HB 144.                                                                                  
1:03:38 PM                                                                                                                    
MATT   BORRON,  Executive   Director,   Association  of   Defense                                                               
Communities,  testified  in  favor  of  HB 144.    He  began  his                                                               
testimony   by  speaking   about  the   Association  of   Defense                                                               
Communities  (ADC),  to  give the  committee  members  background                                                               
about why  he found HB  144 important.  He  shared that ADC  is a                                                               
50-year-old organization,  and a non-profit based  in Washington,                                                               
D.C.   He explained  that the Department  of Defense  (DoD) could                                                               
close military bases without having to  go to Congress to ask for                                                               
a base  realignment and  closure (BRAC);  DoD could  just padlock                                                               
the gate, throw  the community the keys and say,  "Good Luck," he                                                               
explained.   This happened quite  a bit,  he continued, and  as a                                                               
result  many  communities  across  the  country  where  this  had                                                               
happened got together and asked what  to do about the [large loss                                                               
of jobs and  community infrastructure].  He said that  is how ADC                                                               
got  its   start,  as  cities   and  counties  were   looking  at                                                               
redevelopment   redevelop   issues   such  as   land   transfers,                                                               
environmental clean-up, and economic redevelopment.                                                                             
MR. BORRON  said fast-forwarding to today,  ADC's communities are                                                               
almost exclusively  those that  host active  military bases.   He                                                               
said  the association  has members  on most  bases in  the United                                                               
States, including cities, counties, a  chamber of commerce, or an                                                               
organization like  the Tiger Team  out of Fairbanks, Alaska.   He                                                               
explained that in communities it  became apparent that [military]                                                               
bases  couldn't  be taken  for  granted,  and that  advocacy  and                                                               
partnership work  had to be  done full time.   He argued  that [a                                                               
military]  installation  had  to   be  treated  like  [an  Amazon                                                               
headquarters] or a Ford Motor Company  plant; it had to be looked                                                               
at through the lens of economic development.                                                                                    
1:06:07 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  BORRON said  ADC's members  have become  sophisticated.   He                                                               
cited the Fairbanks  North Star Borough (FNSB)  and the community                                                               
organizations,  and the  work  being done  there  to support  the                                                               
[military]  installations.    He  offered  that  he  had  visited                                                               
Fairbanks twice  and could  attest to the  great work  being done                                                               
there.    He  shared  that communities  across  the  country  are                                                               
investing increasing  amounts of  resources and dollars  into the                                                               
defense sector.  He clarified  that this doesn't necessarily mean                                                               
looking  at  the  base,  but  looking  at  infrastructure  needs,                                                               
schools,  spouse   employment  opportunities,   roads,  workforce                                                               
development,    university   partnerships,    possible   research                                                               
contracts, and  other types  of missions  an area  could attract.                                                               
He  said  that at  the  end  of the  day,  it  is about  economic                                                               
development; it  is not about  playing defense and waiting  for a                                                               
BRAC to throw  something together ad hoc.  Rather,  this is about                                                               
attracting new missions, which Alaska  is right now in a position                                                               
to do, he stated, because of  the state's strategic location.  He                                                               
argued that there is an opportunity to build upon that.                                                                         
MR. BORRON said this requires  coordination not just at the local                                                               
level, but at  the state level.  All of  the defense industry and                                                               
defense  missions must  be coordinated,  along  with issues  like                                                               
housing and  schools, he  said, and  DoD is only  going to  do so                                                               
1:07:44 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BORRON said that as communities across the country started                                                                  
looking at these issues, more and more they created state level                                                                 
offices responsible for this coordination.  He stated that the                                                                  
committee members have a report ADC did a few years ago that                                                                    
found that 35 states have an entity like [the one proposed under                                                                
HB 144]. He said he believed there were more today, probably in                                                                 
the forties.  He noted that some are more advanced than others,                                                                 
but it is absolutely critical.  He said someone must be the                                                                     
point person when talking with DoD and the defense contractors,                                                                 
and someone must be the person who can be turned to when DoD has                                                                
an issue.  This person would be the mover and shaker at the                                                                     
state level to make sure all the communities that host the                                                                      
installations in Alaska are on the same page, especially when it                                                                
comes to state legislative issues, he said, such as spouse                                                                      
licensure and other key economic development and workforce                                                                      
related issues.  Mr. Borron said usually it starts with a                                                                       
commission, a legislative body created by the state to do this                                                                  
on a volunteer basis, to work with the adjutant general (TAG) or                                                                
other offices.  The evolution, he continued, and the point he                                                                   
encouraged the committee members to get to, is the creation of a                                                                
full-time position, whose day job is looking at how to increase                                                                 
and improve the defense sector of Alaska.                                                                                       
1:09:30 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BORRON said it is a big growth opportunity [for Alaska].  He                                                                
stated that DoD is looking at a lot that is not strategic right                                                                 
now, such as quality of life, housing, [and] child education.                                                                   
He advised that it doesn't take too many issues for a community                                                                 
or a state to get a bad reputation about not being able to                                                                      
provide those things.  He clarified that he wasn't saying Alaska                                                                
had those issues, and members in the service still like to go to                                                                
Alaska.  He reiterated that if Alaska doesn't have that person                                                                  
who can quickly turn and address issues that DoD raises, it can                                                                 
become a challenge.  He cautioned that narratives can be built                                                                  
quickly and can have a detrimental impact on future growth.  He                                                                 
spoke about the economic impact reports and added that it is                                                                    
billions of dollars worth of investment in the state each year                                                                  
that DoD brings.  He reiterated that at the end of the day, the                                                                 
state would need a point person to coordinate that, especially                                                                  
in such a large geographical state.                                                                                             
1:11:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  inquired whether there were  other teams                                                               
available in the state like the Tiger Team in Fairbanks.                                                                        
CHAIR TUCK responded  that he believed the Tiger  Team was unique                                                               
to Fairbanks and invited the bill sponsor to comment.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE GRIER HOPKINS, Alaska  State Legislature, as prime                                                               
sponsor of  HB 144,  confirmed Chair Tuck's  answer and  said the                                                               
Tiger  Team is  Fairbanks specific  and has  stakeholders at  the                                                               
local municipal  level.  He  shared that it  was brought on  by a                                                               
mayor about 10 years ago.  He said  he didn't know off the top of                                                               
his  head [if  there were  other  similar teams],  but he  didn't                                                               
believe  so.   He  said  the Tiger  Team  is  advocating for  the                                                               
Fairbanks  area and  borough  specifically.   This  [legislation]                                                               
would  extend  that  model  state-wide  to  bring  stake  holders                                                               
together  and  make certain  there  is  the economic  development                                                               
voice, he concluded.                                                                                                            
1:13:02 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY asked  if most  of these  associations have                                                               
paid staff, and how many is typical.                                                                                            
MR. BORRON  responded that just  over half  of the states  have a                                                               
paid  person, usually  no more  than two  or three,  he answered.                                                               
Based on a  state with a similar military  footprint to [Alaska],                                                               
he suggested it would be one  person within a system. In response                                                               
to  a  follow  up  question,  he  said  that  without  a  [state-                                                               
appointed] person  in charge, communities  are left to  their own                                                               
devices  and  end up  hiring  their  own consultants,  their  own                                                               
lobbyists, and  talking about their  own missions, and  "that can                                                               
come at  a cross  purpose with  other communities    in  a single                                                               
state."  Issues  like COVID-19 and climate change  must be looked                                                               
at as  state regional issues, he said.                                                                                          
1:14:41 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SHAW asked  if  there was  any  reason that  [the                                                               
legislature] couldn't  blend some  of the  [existing] commissions                                                               
together.    Considering  the overlap  between  what  the  Alaska                                                               
Civilian Armed  Services Team (ACAST)  does, the  Alaska Military                                                               
Affairs Commission (AMAC) [as proposed  by HB 144], and the Joint                                                               
Armed Services  Committee do state-wide.   He said  he understood                                                               
that  value  of this  commission  tends  to  relate more  to  the                                                               
economic benefit and social benefit,  which he argued crosses all                                                               
these  commissions.   He asked  if there  would be  a benefit  if                                                               
somewhere along  the way [the  legislature] could see  a blending                                                               
of all  of these into one,  and that way [the  legislature] could                                                               
cut back on the overhead and still accomplish the same goal.                                                                    
MR. BORRON answered stating, "Absolutely."   He suggested looking                                                               
at Alaska's  defense sector as a  whole.  That doesn't  just mean                                                               
the industry and  DoD, he clarified, but someone who  can look at                                                               
the  veterans, the  families,  and the  guard  holistically.   He                                                               
argued that  there needs to be  a single body or  office that can                                                               
do that.                                                                                                                        
1:16:24 PM                                                                                                                    
JOMO  STEWART, Energy  and  Military  Project Manager,  Fairbanks                                                               
Economic  Development   Corporation  (FEDC),  stated   that  FEDC                                                               
supports  HB 144  and  the establishment  of  a Military  Affairs                                                               
Commission  on behalf  of Alaska.   He  shared that  FEDC did  an                                                               
economic analysis  many years ago that  indicated that [Alaska's]                                                               
own  military  installations  were  a sizable  component  of  the                                                               
economy,  up to  about one  third.   He  added that  anecdotally,                                                               
research showed that  statewide, military installations accounted                                                               
for  about  one-tenth  of  the  economy.   He  shared  that  that                                                               
historical  and  anecdotal research  was  backed  up recently  by                                                               
Nolan Klouda,  who previously testified before  the committee and                                                               
had come  up with similar numbers  to the economic impact  of the                                                               
military across the state.                                                                                                      
1:18:07 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. STEWART said  that for a long time FEDC  has worked to secure                                                               
its military  assets, recognizing  their importance to  the local                                                               
economy, while  also trying to figure  out how it can  build upon                                                               
the [military]  industry for  the greater  benefit of  the state.                                                               
He stated  that the  Tiger Team  has come up  several times  as a                                                               
potential model for a military  affairs commission.  Prior to its                                                               
existence, an Alaska  governor accepted an offer  from some high-                                                               
ranking military serve  as an advisory council,  which became the                                                               
Alaska Military Force  Advocacy and Structure Team  (AMFAST).  He                                                               
described  AMFAST as  having been  comprised of  individuals with                                                               
insight into Alaska's  economy, the workings of  the military all                                                               
the  way up  to and  through the  Pentagon, and  the interactions                                                               
between the  military leadership  and the civilian  leadership of                                                               
the military.   He said AMFAST  offered advice on how  to protect                                                               
the military  assets in Alaska,  but also  to build upon  them as                                                               
Alaska sought  more missions, and  the expansion of  missions and                                                               
1:19:44 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  STEWART  suggested  that what  the  committee  members  were                                                               
talking  about was  to go  back  to that  model, recognizing  the                                                               
importance that the military plays  in the state, and recognizing                                                               
the opportunities it  offers the state.  He argued  that there is                                                               
a  distinction between  ACAST,  "the old  AMFAST,"  and what  the                                                               
committee  is talking  about  with AMAC,  in  terms of  long-term                                                               
planning, closer  coordination with communities,  recognizing the                                                               
commercial potential  relative to  the military, and  giving good                                                               
advice to  the legislature and  the governor's office on  how all                                                               
those  things  can  interplay  as  a benefit  or  to  avoid  risk                                                               
regarding those assets.                                                                                                         
1:20:30 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. STEWART,  regarding the proposed legislation,  expressed that                                                               
his two relatively minor concerns  were how the legislature would                                                               
constitute the commission and how  the good advice would be used.                                                               
He  said there  are some  good people  across the  state, so  the                                                               
human  resources were  available  to well  constitute a  military                                                               
affairs  commission. He  then emphasized  that his  major concern                                                               
upon  hearing the  committee consider  not staffing  or providing                                                               
resources  to this  group, was  whether resources  would be  made                                                               
available to the commission.                                                                                                    
MR.  STEWART  commented  that  he  wasn't  certain  there  was  a                                                               
specific allotment  to support  the Tiger Team,  but he  did know                                                               
that the mayor's staff does attend  [the meetings], so there is a                                                               
tangential resourcing.   He  related that  he attends  [the Tiger                                                               
Team  meetings].   The borough  is a  major funder  for FEDC,  he                                                               
explained, and his boss is part  of the team.  He emphasized that                                                               
[military] is  a multi-billion-dollar  industry that  has brought                                                               
multi-billions  into the  state of  Alaska.   He argued  that the                                                               
committee  members  don't  need  to be  "sheepish  or  shy  about                                                               
resourcing a commission  that is both looking  to safeguard those                                                               
billions of  dollars that are  currently being brought in  to and                                                               
generated across the  state of Alaska, and  then chasing billions                                                               
of dollars more."                                                                                                               
1:23:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR TUCK asked Mr. Stewart whether  he had a suggestion that he                                                               
would like to see [in the proposed legislation].                                                                                
MR. STEWART replied that he didn't  have a direct suggestion.  He                                                               
commented on the Tiger Team's  members having had former military                                                               
experience.   He said he  read the roster  of ACAST and  noted it                                                               
was  a different  constitution, which  is not  necessarily a  bad                                                               
thing.   He  argued that  part of  the purpose  for this  kind of                                                               
grouping is to be able to  take that solid knowledge base and put                                                               
it to  the best  use possible  for economic  development purposes                                                               
within the state of Alaska.   He summarized his remarks saying it                                                               
was important to put the best people forward for the enterprise.                                                                
1:24:57 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. STEWART, in  response to being asked to  address the question                                                               
about overlap, which  had been asked by Representative  Shaw of a                                                               
previous  speaker, told  Representative Shaw  he agreed  with the                                                               
bill  sponsor that  there are  some distinct  differences between                                                               
the different groups.  He agreed  that there was some overlap, as                                                               
well, but he  stressed that there are some real  differences.  He                                                               
said  he would  leave  it to  the committee  members  to get  the                                                               
maximum value from each of  the organizations.  He encouraged the                                                               
legislature and  the governor's office  to properly  resource the                                                               
1:27:32 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS   agreed  with  Mr.  Stewart   about  the                                                               
importance  of  staffing  these  positions  in  the  commissions,                                                               
because  of the  scope,  the sheer  size of  the  state, and  the                                                               
different   information   that   comes  in   regarding   military                                                               
developments  within Alaska.   He  opined  that the  conversation                                                               
during this and the previous committee  hearing on HB 144 was not                                                               
whether the  commission should be  staffed, but rather:   "Should                                                               
we create another fulltime position  to specifically staff   this                                                               
commission?"    He said  the  fiscal  note describes  a  fulltime                                                               
employee.  He  stated his belief that the Office  of the Governor                                                               
has the  capacity to dedicate  a staff  to this commission  as it                                                               
stands  now, either  by sourcing  from  the economic  development                                                               
team  within the  Department of  Commerce,  Community &  Economic                                                               
Development (DCCED) or charging  specific staff member within the                                                               
Office of  the Governor,  either fulltime or  as part  of his/her                                                               
duties.   He  clarified  that creating  another  position in  the                                                               
governor's office  would be  of concern  when attempting  to keep                                                               
the fiscal impact  of new positions in the state  down during the                                                               
current fiscal climate.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS  touched  on  what Mr.  Stewart  and  Mr.                                                               
Borron said  regarding coordination  of municipal  and university                                                               
economic   development  seats.     He   explained  "Having   that                                                               
coordination  outside of  what the  initial scope  is, is  what's                                                               
critical   for   the   HB    144   commission   being   created."                                                               
Additionally, he  stated, this  would be in  statute.   He argued                                                               
that  ACAST  does very  good  work,  but only  by  administrative                                                               
order,  and  it restarts  itself  with  each  new governor.    He                                                               
advised that  the commission created  under HB 144  would provide                                                               
for more long-term, cohesive planning.                                                                                          
1:30:10 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  asked   whether  the  other  previously                                                               
discussed   military  entities   could  be   absorbed  into   the                                                               
commission that would be created under HB 144.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS  explained  that  the  way  the  bill  is                                                               
structured now, it  would not eliminate the  Joint Armed Services                                                               
Committee,  which exists  under statute,  and the  administrative                                                               
order creating  ACAST is under  the Office  of the Governor.   He                                                               
stated that  those charges could  work together  in collaboration                                                               
where if  one is not  needed it  could be addressed  further into                                                               
the future.   He said Representative  Shaw had put it  clearly at                                                               
the end  of the  last meeting  that AMAC  would have  an economic                                                               
development  goal with  coordination  with municipalities,  local                                                               
entities, and  state government,  and that  goal made  AMAC stand                                                               
apart from  the goals of  the Joint Armed Services  Committee and                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  asked it followed there  were statistics                                                               
or  data that  would give  the committee  members assurance  that                                                               
[military councils] produce what they are intended to do.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS responded  that he would be  happy to work                                                               
with Mr. Borron and ADC to  see if there is information following                                                               
the committee meeting.                                                                                                          
1:34:29 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  posed a  clarifying question  about whether                                                               
Representative Hopkins  believed the  Office of the  Governor had                                                               
the current  capacity to take someone  from its EDC to  be tasked                                                               
with this [position].                                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE   HOPKINS  responded   yes.     To  Representative                                                               
Rauscher's  previous question  about  past  successes, he  listed                                                               
many  of  the Tiger  Team's  successes,  including: bringing  the                                                               
entities  together in  Fairbanks to  push back  on warm  storage,                                                               
putting  together  the  effort  to   get  the  F-35  squadron  to                                                               
Fairbanks; continuing the  mission to make sure  that the housing                                                               
of veterans and  their families would be effective  and ready and                                                               
that the  community had  the efforts it  needed; and  bringing in                                                               
the Grey Eagle  drone force, as well as the  Apache Wing that has                                                               
come to  Fort Wainwright in  Fairbanks, the KC-43's, and  the new                                                               
refueler that  is stationed  up at  Eielson Air  Force Base.   He                                                               
said he would provide some anecdotal  examples.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE STORY asked  if the fiscal note on  the bill would                                                               
be changed.                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  commented that  he believed  someone from                                                               
the  administration should  be  on  the line  to  talk about  the                                                               
1:36:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR TUCK opened public testimony on HB 144.                                                                                   
1:37:04 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE  COONS  questioned  if  the  legislation  was  needed,  cost                                                               
effective, and/or duplicative of what  is already being done with                                                               
the  Tiger  Team, and  what  all  the  bases  are doing  from  an                                                               
economic standpoint.   He offered  his understanding that  HB 144                                                               
would  create another  state employee  at the  cost of  over $100                                                               
thousand  a  year.   He  commented  that the  U.S.  congressional                                                               
delegation was  aware of  these issues already.   He  stated that                                                               
all base  posts have housing  officers that work with  locals and                                                               
the  troops as  to [procure  housing].   As a  United States  Air                                                               
Force  noncommissioned  officer(NCO)  of 20  years  stationed  at                                                               
Elmendorf and  many other  bases and  having delt  with available                                                               
housing  and seeing  the  economies of  those  cities related  to                                                               
military,  he  stated  that  he   cannot  support  adding  a  new                                                               
commission  at  the  cost  and   time  that  will  be  spent  for                                                               
duplication of efforts already being done.                                                                                      
1:39:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR TUCK,  after ascertaining  that there was  no one  else who                                                               
wished to testify, closed public testimony on HB 144.                                                                           
1:39:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS  in  response  to  Representative  Story,                                                               
suggested  someone  may  be  available from  the  Office  of  the                                                               
Governor  to answer questions about the fiscal note.                                                                            
1:40:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CAROLINE SCHULTZ, Policy Analyst,  Office of Management & Budget,                                                               
Office of  the Governor, stated  that the Office of  the Governor                                                               
and  the Office  of the  Lieutenant Governor,  in order  to fully                                                               
support  the intent  of  the legislation  and  the commission  as                                                               
proposed, identified the need for  an additional dedicated staff,                                                               
not only to provide administrative  services, but also to provide                                                               
policy  support,   and  the  ongoing,   targeted,  policy-related                                                               
direction  at  the statewide  level.    She  said, "I  think  the                                                               
position is  required in order  for this  group,   which  only is                                                               
required  to meet  four  times  per year,  to  have a  year-round                                                               
functioning  policy directive."                                                                                                 
1:41:37 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STORY discussed the idea  that a position could be                                                               
moved from the  Division of Economic Development  to include work                                                               
on this  commission.  She asked  if Ms. Schultz had  any thoughts                                                               
to add to the possibility of that working out.                                                                                  
MS.  SCHULTZ  answered  that  the  division's  team  was  already                                                               
working  more  than full  time.    She  said if  the  legislature                                                               
chooses not to appropriate funding  for an additional position to                                                               
support this commission,  then that would have  to be considered.                                                               
However,  she argued  that having  this work  compete with  other                                                               
priorities  with  the Office  of  the  Governor would  ultimately                                                               
result in  a less  effective organization and  the intent  of the                                                               
legislation being executed less thoroughly.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  commented her  understanding that  there is                                                               
desire for  all the military  commissions to be  working together                                                               
as  efficiently  as possible.    She  said she  would  appreciate                                                               
hearing  back  from the  Office  of  the Governor  regarding  any                                                               
concerns about the sources of staffing the commission.                                                                          
1:43:27 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  TUCK   noted  that  there   was  a  draft   amendment  for                                                               
1:43:39 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  NELSON moved  to adopt  Amendment 1,  labeled 32-                                                               
LS0486\I.1, Fisher, 4/14/21, which read as follows:                                                                             
     Page 2, line 28:                                                                                                           
          Delete ",quorum, and administrative support"                                                                        
          Insert "and quorum"                                                                                                 
     Page 3, lines 4-5                                                                                                          
          Delete all material.                                                                                                  
1:43:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR TUCK objected for purposes  of discussion. He stated if the                                                               
Office of the  Governor isn't already doing this,  it should have                                                               
been doing  it with its  economic team.   He argued that  this is                                                               
just  formalizing it,  and so  he  sees this  as a  part of  that                                                               
economic team's  function already, not something  additional.  He                                                               
said this  can't be  overlooked as an  economic opportunity.   He                                                               
clarified that  he didn't  feel it was  needed to  add additional                                                               
personnel, especially when the bill  sponsor didn't ask for that,                                                               
when the  state has an economic  team that has been  put together                                                               
to look at these kinds of issues already.                                                                                       
1:44:57 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   RAUSCHER  asked   for  clarification   regarding                                                               
Amendment 1.                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE NELSON  said Amendment 1 would  reflect what Chair                                                               
Tuck said  already, that  an economic team  should be  focused on                                                               
moving this.   He  said he  didn't believe there  needed to  be a                                                               
full-time  person  for  this,  as there  already  should  be  one                                                               
focused  on  "putting  military  construction  and  the  military                                                               
economy up here in the state."                                                                                                  
1:46:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  TUCK  removed  his  objection.   There  being  no  further                                                               
objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                             
1:46:24 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STORY moved to report  HB 144 out of committee, as                                                               
amended,  with individual  recommendations  and the  accompanying                                                               
fiscal  notes.   There  being  no  objection, CSHB  144(MLV)  was                                                               
reported  out of  the  House Special  Committee  on Military  and                                                               
Veterans' Affairs.                                                                                                              
1:47:49 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Special Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs meeting was                                                                 
adjourned at 1:48 p.m.                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 144 Testimony Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation 4.14.2021.pdf HMLV 4/15/2021 1:00:00 PM
HB 144
HB 144 Amendment I.1 Rep Nelson.pdf HMLV 4/15/2021 1:00:00 PM
HB 144