Legislature(1999 - 2000)

03/21/2000 08:10 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 21, 2000                                                                                         
                            8:10 a.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Jeannette James, Chair                                                                                           
Representative Joe Green                                                                                                        
Representative Bill Hudson                                                                                                      
Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                                    
Representative Hal Smalley                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Jim Whitaker                                                                                                     
Representative Scott Ogan                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
OTHER HOUSE MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carl Moses                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 330                                                                                                              
"An  Act establishing  Prisoners  of  War  and Missing  in  Action                                                              
Recognition  Days and  Women Veterans  Day; and  providing for  an                                                              
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 330 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 236                                                                                                             
"An  Act establishing  Prisoners  of  War  and Missing  in  Action                                                              
Recognition  Days and  Women Veterans  Day; and  providing for  an                                                              
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - WAIVED SB 236 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 331                                                                                                              
"An Act relating  to payment, allowances, and  benefits of members                                                              
of the  Alaska National Guard and  Alaska Naval Militia  in active                                                              
service; relating  to computation of certain benefits  for members                                                              
of  the Alaska  State  Militia;  and  providing for  an  effective                                                              
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 331(MLV) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 137                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the municipal dividend program; and providing                                                               
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 330                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: POW/MIA DAY & WOMEN VETERANS DAY                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 2/02/00      2065     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 2/02/00      2065     (H)  MLV, STA                                                                                            
 2/02/00      2065     (H)  ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DMVA)                                                                             
 2/02/00      2065     (H)  GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER                                                                       
 2/24/00               (H)  MLV AT  4:30 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                         
 2/24/00               (H)  Moved Out of Committee                                                                              
 2/24/00               (H)  MINUTE(MLV)                                                                                         
 2/28/00      2330     (H)  MLV RPT 5DP                                                                                         
 2/28/00      2330     (H)  DP: KOTT, PORTER, CROFT, CISSNA,                                                                    
 2/28/00      2330     (H)  MURKOWSKI                                                                                           
 2/28/00      2330     (H)  ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DMVA) 2/2/00                                                                      
 3/16/00               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                         
 3/16/00               (H)  Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                             
 3/21/00               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 236                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: POW/MIA DAY & WOMEN VETERANS DAY                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 2/02/00      2157     (S)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 2/02/00      2157     (S)  STA                                                                                                 
 2/02/00      2157     (S)  ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DMVA)                                                                             
 2/02/00      2157     (S)  GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER                                                                       
 2/22/00      Text     (S)  STA AT  3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                           
 2/22/00      Text     (S)  Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                             
 3/02/00      Text     (S)  STA AT  3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                           
 3/02/00      Text     (S)  Moved Out of Committee                                                                              
 3/02/00      Text     (S)  MINUTE(STA)                                                                                         
 3/03/00      Text     (S)  RLS AT 11:30 AM FAHRENKAMP 203                                                                      
 3/03/00      Text     (S)  MINUTE(RLS)                                                                                         
 3/03/00      2508     (S)  STA RPT 4DP                                                                                         
 3/03/00      2508     (S)  DP: WARD, ELTON, GREEN, PHILLIPS                                                                    
 3/03/00      2508     (S)  PREVIOUS ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DMVA)                                                                    
 3/06/00      2530     (S)  RULES TO CALENDAR  3/6/00                                                                           
 3/06/00      2531     (S)  READ THE SECOND TIME                                                                                
 3/06/00      2531     (S)  ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN                                                                      
                            CONSENT                                                                                             
 3/06/00      2531     (S)  READ  THE THIRD TIME  SB 236                                                                        
 3/06/00      2531     (S)  PASSED Y17 N- E2 A1                                                                                 
 3/06/00      2531     (S)  EFFECTIVE DATE(S) SAME AS PASSAGE                                                                   
 3/06/00      2531     (S)  DONLEY NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION                                                                    
 3/07/00      2549     (S)  RECON TAKEN UP - IN THIRD READING                                                                   
 3/07/00      2550     (S)  PASSED ON RECONSIDERATION Y20 N-                                                                    
 3/07/00      2550     (S)  EFFECTIVE DATE(S) SAME AS PASSAGE                                                                   
 3/07/00      2551     (S)  TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                  
 3/08/00      2442     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 3/08/00      2442     (H)  STA                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 331                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ALASKA NATL GUARD/NAVAL & STATE MILITIA                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 2/02/00      2067     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 2/02/00      2067     (H)  MLV, STA, FIN                                                                                       
 2/02/00      2067     (H)  ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DMVA)                                                                             
 2/02/00      2067     (H)  GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER                                                                       
 2/24/00               (H)  MLV AT   4:30 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                        
 2/24/00               (H)  Heard & Held                                                                                        
 2/24/00               (H)  MINUTE(MLV)                                                                                         
 2/29/00               (H)  MLV AT   4:30 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                        
 2/29/00               (H)  Moved CSHB 331(MLV) Out of Committee                                                                
 2/29/00               (H)  MINUTE(MLV)                                                                                         
 3/03/00      2394     (H)  MLV RPT CS(MLV) NT 5DP                                                                              
 3/03/00      2394     (H)  DP: CROFT, PHILLIPS, JAMES, CISSNA,                                                                 
 3/03/00      2394     (H)  MURKOWSKI                                                                                           
 3/03/00      2394     (H)  ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DMVA)                                                                             
 3/16/00               (H)  STA AT   8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                        
 3/16/00               (H)  Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                             
 3/21/00               (H)  STA AT   8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 137                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MUNICIPAL DIVIDEND PROGRAM                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 3/15/99       454     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                                                                   
 3/15/99       454     (H)  CRA, STA, FIN                                                                                       
 2/03/00               (H)  CRA AT   8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                        
 2/03/00               (H)  Moved CSHB 137(CRA) Out of Committee                                                                
 2/03/00               (H)  MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                         
 2/04/00      2085     (H)  CRA RPT  CS(CRA)  1DP 4NR 1AM                                                                       
 2/04/00      2085     (H)  DP: KOOKESH; NR: MURKOWSKI, HALCRO,                                                                 
 2/04/00      2085     (H)  DYSON, JOULE; AM: HARRIS                                                                            
 2/04/00      2085     (H)  2 ZERO FISCAL NOTES (DCED, REV)                                                                     
 2/04/00      2085     (H)  REFERRED TO STATE AFFAIRS                                                                           
 2/17/00               (H)  STA AT   8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                        
 2/17/00               (H)  Heard & Held                                                                                        
 2/17/00               (H)  MINUTE(STA)                                                                                         
 3/16/00               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                         
 3/16/00               (H)  Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                             
 3/21/00               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                         
 3/21/00               (H)  MINUTE(STA)                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CAROL CARROLL, Director                                                                                                         
Administrative Services Division                                                                                                
Department of Military and Veterans Affairs                                                                                     
400 Willoughby Avenue Suite 500                                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska 99811                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided department's position and answered                                                                
questions regarding HB 330.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LADDIE SHAW, Coordinator                                                                                                        
Veterans Affairs                                                                                                                
Department of Military and Veterans Affairs                                                                                     
PO Box 5800                                                                                                                     
Ft. Richardson, Alaska 99505-0800                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided department's position regarding HB
330.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CLEM BOUCHER                                                                                                                    
PO Bo 258                                                                                                                       
Glennallen, Alaska 99588                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 330.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
TOM WESTALL, General                                                                                                            
Alaska State Defense Force                                                                                                      
PO Box 5800                                                                                                                     
Ft. Richardson, Alaska 99505                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information on HB 331.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CRAIG CHRISTENSEN, Colonel                                                                                                      
Chief of Staff                                                                                                                  
Alaska Army National Guard                                                                                                      
PO Box 5800                                                                                                                     
Ft. Richardson, Alaska 99505                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 331.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MIKE SCOTT, Manager                                                                                                             
Matanuska-Susitna Borough                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on HB 137.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN RITCHIE, Executive Director                                                                                               
Alaska Municipal League                                                                                                         
217 Second Street, Suite 200                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information on HB 137.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 00-22, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  JEANNETTE JAMES  called the  House  State Affairs  Standing                                                              
Committee meeting  to order at 8:10  a.m.  Members present  at the                                                              
call  to   order  were   Representatives  James,  Green,   Hudson,                                                              
Kerttula,  and Smalley.   Representatives  Whitaker and Ogan  were                                                              
absent.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HB 330-POW/MIA DAY & WOMEN VETERANS DAY                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0086                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES  announced the first  order of business is  HOUSE BILL                                                              
NO. 330,  "An Act  establishing Prisoners  of  War and Missing  in                                                              
Action Recognition Days and Women  Veterans Day; and providing for                                                              
an effective date."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CAROL   CARROLL,  Director,   Administrative  Services   Division,                                                              
Department of  Military and Veterans  Affairs, deferred  to Laddie                                                              
Shaw, Coordinator for Veterans Affairs.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0215                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LADDIE  SHAW,   Coordinator,  Veterans   Affairs,  Department   of                                                              
Military and  Veterans Affairs, testified via  teleconference from                                                              
Anchorage.    He said  the  Department  of Military  and  Veterans                                                              
Affairs supports HB 330.  He has  met with former prisoners of war                                                              
and  has attended  meetings with  women veterans  from around  the                                                              
state, and  HB 330  is supported  by those two  groups.   He asked                                                              
that the committee move HB 330 forward.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0331                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CLEM BOUCHER  testified  via teleconference  from Glennallen.   He                                                              
said he fully  supports HB 330  except for the Women  Veterans Day                                                              
part.   He  commented that  he felt  that women  are being  doubly                                                              
recognized  for Veterans  Day, and  he feels that  one day  should                                                              
take care of  all veterans.  He  explained that he is  not opposed                                                              
to women having a day [but not two days].                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0411                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES mentioned  that she tended to agree  with Mr. Boucher;                                                              
however, she does support HB 330.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CLEM BOUCHER acknowledged that a  Veterans Day already exists, but                                                              
having another  Women Veterans Day gives women  double recognition                                                              
for their work.   He indicated he is not disputing  their work but                                                              
he  is just  pointing  out  that women  are  getting  two days  of                                                              
recognition.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0491                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUDSON  made  a  motion  to move  HB  330  out  of                                                              
committee with  individual recommendations  and the  attached zero                                                              
fiscal  note; he  asked for  unanimous  consent.   There being  no                                                              
objection,  HB 330  moved from  the House  State Affairs  Standing                                                              
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SB 236-POW/MIA DAY & WOMEN VETERANS DAY                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0560                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES  announced the next order  of business is  SENATE BILL                                                              
NO. 236,  "An Act  establishing Prisoners  of  War and Missing  in                                                              
Action Recognition Days and Women  Veterans Day; and providing for                                                              
an effective date."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  JAMES informed  members that  she  wanted to  waive SB  236                                                              
because it is identical  to HB 330 and it does  not seem necessary                                                              
to hear SB 236.   There being no objection, SB  236 was waived out                                                              
of committee.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB 331-ALASKA NATL GUARD/NAVAL & STATE MILITIA                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0628                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES announced  the next order of business,  HOUSE BILL NO.                                                              
331,  "An Act  relating to  payment, allowances,  and benefits  of                                                              
members of the  Alaska National Guard and Alaska  Naval Militia in                                                              
active service;  relating to computation  of certain  benefits for                                                              
members  of  the  Alaska  State  Militia;  and  providing  for  an                                                              
effective date."  [Before the committee was CSHB 331(MLV).]                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CAROL   CARROLL,  Director,   Administrative  Services   Division,                                                              
Department of Military  and Veterans Affairs, said  she has online                                                              
Colonel  Craig Christensen,  Rick Turcic,  and General Westall  to                                                              
answer  questions.   She  explained  that  HB 331  proposes  three                                                              
amendments to  current statute.  The  first is to change  the name                                                              
of the  Alaska State  Militia to the  Alaska State Defense  Force.                                                              
Therefore,  Sections 1-4 and  Section 11  merely change  the name.                                                              
She explained  that in statute now  there is something  called the                                                              
Organized  Militia,  made up  of  the  National Guard,  the  Naval                                                              
Militia, and the  Alaska State Militia (to be  called Alaska State                                                              
Defense Force).                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARROLL explained that second,  HB 331 streamlines the process                                                              
for calculating pay  for the National Guard and  the Naval Militia                                                              
section of Alaska's  Organized Naval Militia when  they are called                                                              
to state active  duty.  She mentioned that the  governor does that                                                              
for  search and  rescue,  an  emergency or  a  disaster.   In  the                                                              
[legislators'] packet  she had provided a two-page  description of                                                              
current  calculations used  to calculate  both pay and  allowances                                                              
for members  of the  National Guard  and the  Naval Militia.   She                                                              
informed the  committee that HB 331  will allow the  department to                                                              
multiply the minimum  base pay by 200 percent to  arrive at active                                                              
duty pay.   The  first page  shows how  many steps the  department                                                              
must perform now to accomplish payment,  and the second page shows                                                              
how much the process would be streamlined by HB 331.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARROLL  remarked that  the third  thing that  HB 331  does is                                                              
institute a  statutory method of  paying the Alaska  State Defense                                                              
Force when  called to state active  duty.  She added that  about a                                                              
year ago  the department  was notified  by the  Department  of Law                                                              
that  the Department  of Military  and Veterans  Affairs had  been                                                              
paying the  Alaska State Defense  Force in error.   She recognized                                                              
that her  department was  paying them  the same  way as  the Naval                                                              
Militia and  the National Guard.   Since that time  the department                                                              
has been  bringing members  of the Alaska  State Defense  Force on                                                              
active  duty and  paying them  as  non-permanent state  employees.                                                              
That does  cause some  problems because  the Alaska State  Defense                                                              
Force  is a  military unit  under military  command structure  and                                                              
discipline.    The  Alaska  State   Defense  Force  also  has  the                                                              
protection  of  statute  in  that the  members  have  other  jobs;                                                              
therefore, they have a protection  from their employers to go back                                                              
to  that job  after  they have  fulfilled  their  service for  the                                                              
state.  She  said that the  fact that the department  hires Alaska                                                              
State  Defense  Force  members  as  state  employees  causes  some                                                              
confusion  in the [payment]  process.   She noted  that the  third                                                              
section of  HB 331 would  fix the  confusion because  Alaska State                                                              
Defense  Force  members  would  be  paid as  if  they  were  state                                                              
employees using  state employee pay  scales, but they  would still                                                              
be under military command discipline.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0955                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GREEN   asked  how  National  Guard   members  are                                                              
compensated now.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0964                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARROLL replied that they are paid federal wages.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked at what  [pay scale] they work, and how                                                              
that is established.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARROLL  answered that  all National  Guard and Naval  Militia                                                              
people  are paid  based on  their  federal pay  level and  housing                                                              
allowance, rations allowance and other factors.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if the  federal pay level and allowance                                                              
are  higher  or   lower  for  a  Naval  Militia   captain  who  is                                                              
temporarily placed into a National Guard unit.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARROLL replied that the National  Guard and the Naval Militia                                                              
will still be paid.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1006                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN  asked if Alaska State Defense  Force members                                                              
are compensated upon being called  to active duty at the same rate                                                              
as  National  Guard  members  when  National  Guard  members  have                                                              
replaced  the  Alaska  State  Defense  Force at  the  scene  of  a                                                              
disaster  or  emergency.   He  further  asked  if the  formula  as                                                              
written in HB 331 compensates the  Alaska State Defense Force at a                                                              
rate comparable to the [National] Guard.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARROLL answered that the method  of payment is different, but                                                              
she cannot say if pay rates are different.   She said the National                                                              
Guard and the Naval Militia will be paid a daily rate.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1061                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GREEN asked  if HB  331  pays a  higher rate  than                                                              
National Guard pay.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES  pointed out that there  is a zero fiscal note  for HB
331.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1092                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TOM WESTALL,  General, Alaska State  Defense Force,  testified via                                                              
teleconference from Anchorage.  He  said that Alaska State Defense                                                              
Force  soldiers,  since they  are  in state  military  formations,                                                              
would get pay  commensurate with whatever job they  happen to take                                                              
in  an  emergency  situation.   During  an  emergency  the  Alaska                                                              
Division of  Emergency Services or  [Alaska State]  Troopers would                                                              
have to  hire civil employees anyway,  and certain tasks  would be                                                              
assigned.   He explained  that to pay  Alaska State Defense  Force                                                              
members  by rank  is  cumbersome when  coming  in under  emergency                                                              
capacity because the  first one on the scene may  be an individual                                                              
with the  rank of major,  but the job  needing attention may  be a                                                              
telephone  receptionist or  telephone coordinator.   He  commented                                                              
that the major would not be paid  by his rank but would be paid by                                                              
the  classified job  description of  whatever job  that major  was                                                              
performing.   He indicated this  method of payment  is beneficial,                                                              
economically manageable  for the state, and provides  an immediate                                                              
service.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1223                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GENERAL WESTALL mentioned  that the Defense Force can  call up 100                                                              
soldiers within 24  hours at any given moment.   This [capability]                                                              
provides  an  excellent  utility  for the  Division  of  Emergency                                                              
Services to go  into operation in any emergency  without having to                                                              
stop to do outside  hiring to fill all those  positions needed for                                                              
a  24-hour  operation.   In  72  hours,  the current  staffing  of                                                              
Emergency Services  would be exhausted without  some augmentation.                                                              
The State  Defense Force  supplies the  force multiplier  that can                                                              
make the  organization  operate for  24 hours  a day and  provides                                                              
immediate  emergency response.   The  Defense Force  has had  much                                                              
experience  since  1983  in  emergency  response;  therefore,  the                                                              
utility aspects are  very advantageous to the state,  plus the pay                                                              
is appropriate  to the  job being  performed instead  of paying  a                                                              
high-ranking person to do an ignominious  task.  He added that the                                                              
jobs are  already classified in  the personnel management  system;                                                              
therefore, the  department is  not changing any  pay scale  or pay                                                              
rate  but merely  providing  a service  that  is  already a  known                                                              
quantity.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1311                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GREEN said  it seems  the  pay system  could be  a                                                              
nightmare if  the major  came on duty  in an ignominious  position                                                              
for three hours and then went to  another job and over a period of                                                              
24 hours he  had seven different jobs.   He asked if  the major in                                                              
such an  instance would  fill a  timecard in  for seven  different                                                              
positions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
GENERAL  WESTALL replied  that such  a scenario  does not  usually                                                              
happen.   He noted that he  has one battalion  already pre-trained                                                              
to  go   into  emergency   services  in   their  state   emergency                                                              
coordination center.   He explained  that those jobs  have already                                                              
been pre-[assigned]  and  those personnel  know exactly what  they                                                              
are going  to do  so the  emergency center  can [start]  operating                                                              
very  quickly.    He  mentioned  that  pre-trained  personnel  are                                                              
staffed  appropriate to  their rank  and so most  of them  receive                                                              
minimum  daily  pay anyway  but  there  will be  some  supervising                                                              
officers that  would naturally  take a  supervisory position.   He                                                              
indicated that  the scenario as described by  Representative Green                                                              
happens when soldiers are rapidly  deployed into the field and end                                                              
up performing  a variety of jobs.   He agreed that in  those cases                                                              
there  is some  mismatch of  Defense  ranks versus  the job  being                                                              
performed  and  occasionally  a  switch  from  one  job  title  to                                                              
another.  He remarked that Emergency  Services staff keep track of                                                              
the payroll and try to minimize administrative  nightmares, but he                                                              
acknowledged  that what  Representative Green  had described  does                                                              
occur occasionally.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1459                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GREEN   said  he  is  concerned   because  if  the                                                              
department  has established  an emergency  team and then  replaces                                                              
them with soldiers  from the Naval Militia, for  example, then the                                                              
second group should receive comparable  pay.  It seems much easier                                                              
to  him that  the  department would  pay  like  [duties] for  like                                                              
[duties] instead of going through  extra work to figure pay rates.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON  inquired as to  what was the basis  for the                                                              
200 percentile.   He asked if the percentile was  supposedly going                                                              
to  hold  everybody  on  par  with  the  position  that  they  are                                                              
replacing.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1577                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CRAIG CHRISTENSEN,  Colonel, Chief of Staff, Alaska  Army National                                                              
Guard, testified  via teleconference from  Anchorage.  He  said he                                                              
has become  familiar with the pay  system by reason of  his senior                                                              
position.   He noted  that National  Guard officers are  federally                                                              
recognized.   He added that they  have a federal  promotion system                                                              
that  requires  years  of service  and  determining  factors  that                                                              
require  education,  which system  is  totally separate  from  the                                                              
Alaska  State  Defense Force.    He  explained that  Alaska  State                                                              
Defense Force individuals  are promoted under a  different system,                                                              
are appointed and can be appointed  with no military service based                                                              
on their civilian  experience, so the department  is talking about                                                              
two totally separate systems.  He  commented that the Alaska State                                                              
Defense Force also is a cadre outfit,  meaning that it is top-rank                                                              
heavy  and  has  many  officers  in  the  cadre  leadership.    He                                                              
mentioned  that   the  Alaska  State   Defense  Force   waits  for                                                              
mobilization before filling its enlisted ranks.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1714                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COLONEL  CHRISTENSEN informed  the committee  that the  department                                                              
had reviewed  pay rates  from colonel  down to  private and  found                                                              
that it required 345 hand calculations  across pay tables to start                                                              
with basic pay entry date, years  of service, how many dependents,                                                              
ration  allowances,  cost of  living  allowance  (COLA), and  many                                                              
other calculations  to produce  payroll.   He emphasized  that the                                                              
department was seeking a simple,  equitable way to pay individuals                                                              
according to their rank and benefits  they were already receiving.                                                              
He  remarked that  the  department made  two  schedules wherein  a                                                              
captain's  pay was  calculated  using the  current  method of  345                                                              
steps  and  then  captain's  basic  military  pay  using  the  200                                                              
percentile was calculated.   He said  that 200 times the basic pay                                                              
for a captain was $18 less than he/she  would have received if pay                                                              
had been  calculated with the 345  steps; therefore, the  pay rate                                                              
is  very close.   He  added  that for  first  lieutenant pay,  the                                                              
calculations happened  to be equal, and a second  lieutenant makes                                                              
a little more  using the 200 percentile.   He stated that  the 200                                                              
percentile  initiative has  been  offered to  the Alaska  National                                                              
Guard Officer's  Association and Enlisted Associations,  and there                                                              
has been no objection from either one of those associations.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1776                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN  made a motion  to move CSHB 331(MLV)  out of                                                              
committee with  individual recommendations  and the  attached zero                                                              
fiscal  note; he  asked for  unanimous  consent.   There being  no                                                              
objection,  CSHB  331(MLV)  moved  from the  House  State  Affairs                                                              
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HB 137-MUNICIPAL DIVIDEND PROGRAM                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1807                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES announced  the next order of business,  HOUSE BILL NO.                                                              
137,  "An Act  relating  to the  municipal  dividend program;  and                                                              
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1860                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GREEN   made  a  motion  to  adopt   the  proposed                                                              
committee substitute  (CS), version 1-LS0591\K, Cook,  3/15/00, as                                                              
a  work draft.    There being  no  objection,  proposed CSHB  137,                                                              
Version K, was before the committee.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES said  Version K uses excess earnings  of the permanent                                                              
fund  (PF)  after full  dividends  and  inflation proofing.    She                                                              
explained that the amount of the  municipal dividend is calculated                                                              
by multiplying $125  times the number of permanent  fund dividends                                                              
(PFD) paid  in the  previous fiscal  year.   Last year there  were                                                              
570,000 PFDs,  so it  would yield  a total  of $71.25 million  for                                                              
fiscal year (FY 2001) if the legislature passed HB 137.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  JAMES  commented that  the  proposed  CS also  changes  the                                                              
current  way  of  supporting  municipal   assistance  and  revenue                                                              
sharing.  She  mentioned that the change is designed  to encourage                                                              
boroughs and  municipalities to provide services  identified under                                                              
this revenue sharing  program.  She indicated  that the identified                                                              
services are  police protection, fire, emergency  medical services                                                              
(EMS) and  roads.  The proposed  CS also provides a  $25,000 basic                                                              
amount and raises it to $45,000 for small communities.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2061                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES reminded the committee  that one advantage of adopting                                                              
the municipal  dividend system  is simplicity.   If a  [community]                                                              
did not  have police  [protection], it would  not receive  $17 per                                                              
person  for  police;  the same  is  true  for  lack of  any  other                                                              
identified  service   under  the   revenue  sharing  plan.     She                                                              
recognized that there  is encouragement in the proposed  CS for an                                                              
area to  provide identified services.   The proposed CS  also sets                                                              
aside  $21  million  for  a  municipal   capital  matching  grants                                                              
program,  which would  replace any  general  funds designated  for                                                              
that purpose.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  JAMES  noted  that  a  spreadsheet   in  committee  packets                                                              
illustrates what the proposed CS  would do for municipalities. She                                                              
said that  in order  to review a  particular municipality  to find                                                              
net result  in comparison to  what that municipality  is receiving                                                              
now, look  under the  title Total  New PS  Found., fourth  to last                                                              
column, FY 2000  Current column, and Compare FY 2000  column.  She                                                              
noted that  the last  column shows  the percent  of increase  that                                                              
each municipality would receive under the proposed CS.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES  commented that one other  good selling point  is that                                                              
there  would  be  $46.9  million  in  reduction  to  general  fund                                                              
spending under the  proposed CS.  She mentioned  that the proposed                                                              
CS is a much simpler way of distributing money.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2240                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SMALLEY said he understood  that the calculation is                                                              
not a simple "$125 times population"  but must also be accountable                                                              
to the other  criteria listed on  the spreadsheet.  He  noted that                                                              
Kenai then would receive $606,086 under the proposed CS.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  JAMES explained  that under  the proposed  CS, Kenai  would                                                              
receive $278,203  more revenue sharing  than it had  received last                                                              
year.   She commented  that there is  no relationship  between the                                                              
number  of  dividends  that  may  be  allocated  to  an  area  and                                                              
municipal revenue sharing  for that area.  She  mentioned that the                                                              
dividends are figured  statewide and the $125 for  each PF is used                                                              
only  to  establish  a fund.    She  indicated  that the  fund  is                                                              
distributed in the manner illustrated on the spreadsheet.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2299                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  SCOTT,  Manager, Matanuska-Susitna  Borough,  testified  via                                                              
teleconference  from Palmer.   He  said he was  speaking today  on                                                              
behalf of the  Alaska Municipal League's legislative  committee of                                                              
which  he  is  co-chair.    He  noted  that  the  proposed  CS  is                                                              
consistent  with what the  Municipal League  has been speaking  to                                                              
for  the  last four  years  both  as  a priority  in  its  overall                                                              
platform as  well as  policy statement in  support of  a community                                                              
dividend.   He commented  that it  is clear  that the proposed  CS                                                              
does some things  that would be beneficial for  municipalities and                                                              
local  taxpayers.   He  observed  that  revenue sharing  and  safe                                                              
communities funding have been reduced  over the past several years                                                              
whereas property taxes  have risen.  He stated that  in the Mat-Su                                                              
Borough  revenue  sharing goes  to  pay  for roads,  fire  service                                                              
areas,  and  libraries   but  does  not  go  to   support  general                                                              
government.  Therefore,  he added, as funds are  reduced, taxes in                                                              
road and  fire service  areas rise, and  then the borough  reduces                                                              
payments to  Palmer and Wasilla.   In turn, he stated,  Palmer and                                                              
Wasilla have  to come up with  local tax revenues to  offset those                                                              
losses.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. SCOTT reiterated  that the proposed CS would  hopefully set up                                                              
an endowment  that would  allow for funding  in the long  term and                                                              
help the  state meet  its goal of  a long-range  fiscal plan.   He                                                              
said that when  the Municipal League has met during  the last four                                                              
years there  is no  higher issue  than setting  a course  for long                                                              
range fiscal  health  of both state  and municipality.   He  noted                                                              
that the proposed  CS is a huge  step in the right  direction, and                                                              
from  that standpoint,  it  concurs  with the  Municipal  League's                                                              
legislative committee.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2452                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. SCOTT  said in committee  packets there  is a letter  from the                                                              
Municipal  League's  Revenue  and  Finance Committee.    From  the                                                              
Municipal League's  point of view,  the proposed CS  is consistent                                                              
with the people's vote last November.   He commented that there is                                                              
a property  tax cap due  up for vote  in November [2000],  and the                                                              
proposed CS is a way for municipalities  to advise the people that                                                              
there  is a  way to  backfill revenue  losses.   He cannot  stress                                                              
enough the  importance of how consistent  the proposed CS  is with                                                              
the Municipal League's top legislative effort.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2460                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  JAMES said  the proposed  CS does  not affect  the way  the                                                              
current  PFD system  is  calculated and  would  have very  minimal                                                              
affect on the  PFD in future years.   She acknowledged  that it is                                                              
true that  the PFD is  calculated on total  income of the  PF plus                                                              
earnings, and if $71.25 million is  deducted from PF earnings, PFD                                                              
calculation will  be affected to a  small degree.  She  added that                                                              
no matter  what long term  plan is chosen,  the proposed  CS could                                                              
still be  calculated and  continued alongside  any long-term  plan                                                              
that is implemented.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  JAMES noted  that  stress  has been  heightened  by the  83                                                              
percent vote  on September 14, 1999,  which said no to  any use of                                                              
PF earnings.   After speaking with  many folks, she  believes that                                                              
the  people  voted  no  because   they  did  not  like  the  plan.                                                              
Therefore, the  plan is  being scrapped.   It is her  opinion that                                                              
people would be  willing to allow use of PF earnings  if the money                                                              
was benefiting  their communities, as  the proposed CS does.   She                                                              
commented that distributing PF earnings  money to local government                                                              
is  more  palatable  to  people  than  giving  the  money  to  the                                                              
legislature   because  people   do  not   necessarily  trust   the                                                              
legislature.  She envisioned that  if a pot of money is set up and                                                              
sent  back to  local governments  for  expenditure decisions  then                                                              
people would be more inclined to use of PF earnings.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2596                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. SCOTT  agreed with Chair James.   He said that  when taxpayers                                                              
understand that a  reduction in revenue sharing  means a reduction                                                              
in  their services  and increase  in  local taxes,  two thirds  of                                                              
property tax payers say they do not  want to see further reduction                                                              
in revenue  sharing and municipal  assistance.  He noted  that the                                                              
proposed  CS provides  an opportunity  to  assist local  taxpayers                                                              
without impacting the PFD because  out in the Mat-Su the PFD is in                                                              
fact a  big part of the  economy.  There  is much support  for the                                                              
PFD, but  there is also  much angst  about increasing  pressure on                                                              
property taxes.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2650                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN RITCHIE,  Alaska Municipal League, said revenue  sharing has                                                              
had  an  impact  on  local  taxes   and  now  a  property  tax-cap                                                              
initiative  is  in  place,  partly  in  response  to  what  people                                                              
perceive as a rise in taxes.  He  said if there were small cuts to                                                              
revenue   sharing   obviously   they    could   be   absorbed   by                                                              
municipalities.  However,  over the past 13 years  revenue sharing                                                              
has been cut from  $140 million a year down to  the current amount                                                              
of $28 million,  which is a $112 million cut per  year.  When cuts                                                              
of that  magnitude are made, it  has to affect  services, assuming                                                              
that  municipalities  are still  doing  about  the same  types  of                                                              
things.  The proposed CS would set  up a way of permanently fixing                                                              
revenue  sharing,  taking a  huge  step toward  stabilizing  local                                                              
property  taxes.  He  explained that  the proposed  CS is  not the                                                              
long-range  financial  plan,  as  Chair James  has  already  said.                                                              
Nevertheless,  he has learned  in 25  years of government  service                                                              
that nothing happens in government  except incrementally.  The old                                                              
saying that  "the longest  journey begins with  a single  step" is                                                              
absolutely true in  government, and this looks like  a single step                                                              
to  him -  one  that he  can  understand as  a  citizen and  would                                                              
probably endorse.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2753                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. RITCHIE said that the impact  of the proposed CS on the PFD is                                                              
somewhere between  zero and very  small, as Chair James  had said.                                                              
However,  the  dollar   impact  is  $125  per   person  spread  to                                                              
municipalities where  local taxpayers can control the  use of that                                                              
money.   He  said that  the proposed  CS shifts  funding from  the                                                              
state general  fund to  the new program  for both revenue  sharing                                                              
and capital matching  grants.  He noted that the  Alaska Municipal                                                              
League's number one  priority is a long range  fiscal plan, number                                                              
two is revenue sharing, number three  is education, number four is                                                              
deferred maintenance, and number  five is power cost equalization.                                                              
He commented  that the  proposed CS would  provide the  ability to                                                              
meet some  or all  of those needs  to a  certain extent  and still                                                              
maintain   a  reduction   in   overall  general   fund   spending.                                                              
Therefore, the proposed  CS seems like a win on a  few fronts.  He                                                              
emphasized that  the spreadsheet under  discussion is not  a legal                                                              
document but  is the  best estimate available  right now  so those                                                              
numbers might  go up or  down as the  Municipal League  talks with                                                              
municipalities about  what municipalities actually do  and how the                                                              
money is distributed.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2845                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JAMES  said she thinks  that in  order to have  control over                                                              
government  funding, it  is better  to distribute  money to  local                                                              
governments.  She explained that  she thinks the proposed CS might                                                              
even encourage  some districts to incorporate and  start providing                                                              
services for themselves.  She commented  that she believes that if                                                              
money is  sent to local government  to perform many  services that                                                              
the state now  does statewide, local government  could perform for                                                              
much less  than the state.   Also, it would lessen  aggravation of                                                              
local  citizens because  they can  attend  their borough  assembly                                                              
meetings and be heard.  Being heard  at a borough assembly meeting                                                              
is much  more real to  people than arguing  to get money  from the                                                              
state for state  expenditures; the proposed CS is  the first step.                                                              
She mentioned that the proposed CS  establishes $125 per dividend,                                                              
and it  is very  likely that  the amount  could be increased  when                                                              
additional services are identified  as being provided by the state                                                              
[when they could be provided just as well by local government].                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2961                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. RITCHIE reminded  the committee that local taxes  are not low.                                                              
For example, Juneau  has a five percent sales tax  and some places                                                              
in Alaska have  a seven percent sales  tax.  Alaska is  the leader                                                              
in the United States of increasing  property taxes as a percentage                                                              
of the  entire state budget;  the reason  for that is  because the                                                              
state budget has been going down.   Property taxes are providing a                                                              
bigger portion of money that runs  government, and the whole issue                                                              
is  money.   The proposed  CS  is a  very  reasonable approach  to                                                              
showing local taxpayers  that they can still maintain  local taxes                                                              
at a reasonable rate and provide more services.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 00-22, SIDE B                                                                                                              
Number 2914                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GREEN  said  he   is  concerned  that  legislative                                                              
prerogative to spend  state money being committed  to the proposed                                                              
CS is very similar to a dedicated  fund which is unconstitutional.                                                              
He  explained   he  is  not  saying   that  the  proposed   CS  is                                                              
unconstitutional,  but   it  is  right  on  the   borderline;  the                                                              
committee  needs  to find  out  for sure  if  the proposed  CS  is                                                              
constitutionally  correct.  He  noted that  he thinks PF  earnings                                                              
are ultimately going to be needed,  which was intended when the PF                                                              
was initiated.   He suggested that the proposed CS  be modified to                                                              
become  one  of  the  budget categories  to  be  approved  by  the                                                              
legislature every year; then he could  accept the proposed CS, but                                                              
right now he has a real problem with it.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2846                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  JAMES  said  the  committee   can  get  a  reading  on  the                                                              
constitutionality  issue.  She explained  that she would  agree in                                                              
part to what Representative Green  stated.  She agreed that when a                                                              
fund is  set up, such  as dedicated  program receipts,  though the                                                              
legislature is  not bound to abide  by the intent, it  is expected                                                              
that the  legislature  will fulfill  the intent.    She  commented                                                              
that dedicated  program receipts  identifies money coming  in, and                                                              
the legislature has  allowed the state to dedicate  those receipts                                                              
for   a  certain   program  without   suffering   unconstitutional                                                              
repercussions. The  legislature has  to appropriate the  funds for                                                              
dedicated program  receipts, and  the legislature would  also have                                                              
to appropriate funds for the proposed  CS; so she does not see any                                                              
difference between  the two.   She mentioned that  the legislature                                                              
has the option  to change the dollar amount [$125]  and can change                                                              
the  allocation because  the  proposed CS  is  a statutory  scheme                                                              
completely  under legislative control.   She  stated she  does not                                                              
believe that the proposed CS sets up a dedicated fund.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  JAMES  announced the  HB  137  would  be held  for  further                                                              
discussion.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further business  before the committee,  the House                                                              
State Affairs Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 9 a.m.                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects