Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

03/08/2022 03:30 PM Senate STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SR 3 NGO SUPPORT FOR STATE VETERANS TELECONFERENCED
Moved SR 3 Out of Committee
+= SB 152 LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS IN ANCHORAGE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 152(STA) Out of Committee
+= SJR 20 URGE PASSAGE OF HEARING PROTECTION ACT TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= SB 92 MISSING PERSONS UNDER 21 YEARS OLD TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 92 Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         March 8, 2022                                                                                          
                           3:33 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Mike Shower, Chair                                                                                                      
Senator Lora Reinbold, Vice Chair                                                                                               
Senator Roger Holland                                                                                                           
Senator Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE RESOLUTION NO. 3                                                                                                         
Relating to nonprofit, nongovernmental organization support for                                                                 
veterans in Alaska.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SR 3 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 20                                                                                                  
Urging the United States Congress to pass the Hearing Protection                                                                
Act.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 152                                                                                                             
"An  Act relating  to the  convening  of the  legislature at  the                                                               
capital and  in the  Municipality of  Anchorage; relating  to the                                                               
location of  legislative sessions; and relating  to the emergency                                                               
relocation of functions of state government."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSB 152(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 92                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to missing persons under 21 years of age."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 92 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SR   3                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: NGO SUPPORT FOR STATE VETERANS                                                                                     
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) SHOWER                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
02/04/22       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/04/22       (S)       STA                                                                                                    
03/01/22       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/01/22       (S)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/03/22       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/03/22       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/03/22       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/08/22       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 152                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS IN ANCHORAGE                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) SHOWER                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
01/18/22       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/7/22                                                                                

01/18/22 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS

01/18/22 (S) STA, FIN 02/15/22 (S) STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205 02/15/22 (S) Heard & Held 02/15/22 (S) MINUTE(STA) 03/03/22 (S) STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205 03/03/22 (S) <Bill Hearing Canceled> 03/08/22 (S) STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205 BILL: SJR 20 SHORT TITLE: URGE PASSAGE OF HEARING PROTECTION ACT SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) REVAK

01/18/22 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS

01/18/22 (S) STA 02/17/22 (S) STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205 02/17/22 (S) Scheduled but Not Heard 03/01/22 (S) STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205 03/01/22 (S) -- MEETING CANCELED -- 03/03/22 (S) STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205 03/03/22 (S) <Bill Hearing Canceled> 03/08/22 (S) STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205 BILL: SB 92 SHORT TITLE: MISSING PERSONS UNDER 21 YEARS OLD SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR 02/22/21 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS 02/22/21 (S) HSS, STA 03/23/21 (S) HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205 03/23/21 (S) Scheduled but Not Heard 03/30/21 (S) HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205 03/30/21 (S) Heard & Held 03/30/21 (S) MINUTE(HSS) 04/06/21 (S) HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205 04/06/21 (S) Moved SB 92 Out of Committee 04/06/21 (S) MINUTE(HSS) 04/07/21 (S) HSS RPT 2DP 1NR 04/07/21 (S) DP: WILSON, BEGICH 04/07/21 (S) NR: REINBOLD 04/27/21 (S) STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205 04/27/21 (S) Heard & Held 04/27/21 (S) MINUTE(STA) 02/10/22 (S) STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205 02/10/22 (S) Scheduled but Not Heard 02/15/22 (S) STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205 02/15/22 (S) Heard & Held 02/15/22 (S) MINUTE(STA) 03/01/22 (S) STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205 03/01/22 (S) -- MEETING CANCELED -- 03/03/22 (S) STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205 03/03/22 (S) <Bill Hearing Canceled> 03/08/22 (S) STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205 WITNESS REGISTER TYLER NEWCOMBE, Staff Senator Josh Revak Alaska State Legislature Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced SJR 20 on behalf of the sponsor. KNOX WILLIAMS, President & Executive Director American Suppressor Association Atlanta, Georgia POSITION STATEMENT: Testified by invitation in support of SJR 20. EMMA TORKELSON, Staff Senator Josh Revak Alaska State Legislature Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions during the hearing on SJR 20. JENNIFER YUHAF, representing self Fairbanks, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified by invitation in support of SJR 20. JESSICA GEARY, Executive Director Legislative Affairs Agency Alaska State Legislature Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions about the fiscal note for SB 152. SCOTT OGAN, Staff Senator Mike Shower Alaska State Legislature Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Provided his perspective during the hearing on SB 152. KELLY HOWELL, Special Assistant Office of the Commissioner Department of Public Safety (DPS) Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Provided supporting testimony on SB 92. ACTION NARRATIVE 3:33:05 PM CHAIR MIKE SHOWER called the Senate State Affairs Standing Committee meeting to order at 3:33 p.m. Present at the call to order were Senators Holland, Reinbold, and Chair Shower. Senator Kawasaki arrived soon thereafter. SR 3-NGO SUPPORT FOR STATE VETERANS 3:34:00 PM CHAIR SHOWER announced the consideration of SENATE RESOLUTION NO. 3 Relating to nonprofit, nongovernmental organization support for veterans in Alaska. [This is the second hearing and public testimony is closed] CHAIR SHOWER asked if there were any questions or comments. Finding none, he solicited the will of the committee. 3:34:25 PM SENATOR REINBOLD moved to report SR 3, work order 32-LS1447\B, from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s). 3:34:47 PM CHAIR SHOWER found no objection and SR 3 was reported from the Senate State Affairs Standing Committee. 3:34:51 PM At ease SENATOR KAWASAKI joined the committee. 3:36:41 PM CHAIR SHOWER reconvened the meeting. SJR 20-URGE PASSAGE OF HEARING PROTECTION ACT 3:36:54 PM CHAIR SHOWER announced the consideration of SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 20 Urging the United States Congress to pass the Hearing Protection Act. 3:37:26 PM TYLER NEWCOMBE, Staff, Senator Josh Revak, Alaska State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, introduced SJR 20 on behalf of the sponsor, speaking to the sponsor statement, Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and tinnitus are significant health problems among adults across the United States. Despite the widespread availability of traditional hearing protection devices like earplugs and earmuffs, these preventable hearing conditions are often the result of firearm noise exposure. When they do occur, they can cause a significant negative impact in the quality of life to those affected by them. Studies from the CDC and NIOSH have shown that the use of noise suppressors on firearms can help protect against hearing loss. That is why the National Hearing Conservation Association recommends their use as a tool to mitigate the risk of hearing damage. For safety and sporting purposes, the majority of hunters do not want to sacrifice their auditory situational awareness by wearing traditional hearing protection devices in the field. Suppressors are the only tool that reduces the noise at the source, making the concussion of a gunshot less dangerous for the hunter and everyone around them. This is especially true for hunting dogs, whose ears are far more sensitive than their human counterparts and all the more important for younger hunters and guides who are accompanying a hunter in the field. While the words silencer and suppressor are often used interchangeably, it is important to note that nothing can completely silence gunshots. The quietest "silenced" gunshot is still as loud as a jackhammer striking concrete. However, a firearm suppressor can reduce the sound signature by an average of 20 to 35 dB, roughly the same as earplugs or earmuffs. The Hearing Protection Act was first introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2015 and in the Senate in 2017. If enacted, it would remove suppressors from the purview of the National Firearms Act and reclassify them as Title 1 firearms. Doing so would eliminate the superfluous barriers to entry that in no way enhance public safety, while still requiring purchasers to submit a Form 4473 and pass an FBI background check when purchasing through a dealer. Its passage would also result in the largest increase of Pittman-Robertson funding in decades, adding tens of millions of dollars to the aggregate budgets of our nation's state wildlife agencies for the management of wildlife resources. SJR 20 urges congress to enact the Hearing Protection Act and enable the 100+ million law-abiding gunowners across our country to take an extra preventative measure for their health without endangering the safety of the general public 3:39:19 PM SENATOR HOLLAND asked if purchasers must submit Form 4473 because they're buying a suppresser or a firearm. MR. NEWCOMBE deferred the question to Knox Williams. SENATOR HOLLAND said he was curious whether purchasing a suppressor elicited a level of paperwork. CHAIR SHOWER offered his experience that purchasing a suppressor was a more detailed process than buying a firearm. 3:40:33 PM KNOX WILLIAMS, President & Executive Director, American Suppressor Association, Atlanta, Georgia, testified by invitation in support of SJR 20. He paraphrased his prepared testimony. It is important to note that no device can silence the sound of a gunshot. They are simply too loud. However, suppressors can reduce the noise to safer levels. That's why the CDC, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the National Hearing Conservation Association all recommend the use of suppressors as a tool to mitigate preventable hearing damage. Suppressors are legal to own in 42 states and are legal to hunt with in 40, Alaska being one of them. That said, under the current regulatory structure of the National Firearms Act, they are one of the most heavily regulated items available to consumers. To legally purchase one, buyers must send in an application to ATF that includes fingerprint cards, passport style photos, pay a $200 transfer tax, notify their chief law enforcement officer, and wait an average of six to 18 months for ATF and FBI conduct a background check and process the application. The Hearing Protection Act would fix this, replacing the complicated and costly antiquated process with the same process used to buy a rifle or shotgun. Customers and dealers would fill out a Form 4473 and still have to pass the same FBI background check. The use of suppressors by criminals is a near statistical anomaly because a) they don't actually silence anything and b) suppressed guns are harder to conceal and there are some severe and strict federal penalties. According to Ronald Turk in his official capacity as the former number two at ATF, "Silencers are very rarely used in criminal shootings. Given the lack of criminality associated with silencers, it is reasonable to conclude that they should not be viewed as a threat to public safety." Passage of the Hearing Protection Act would also result in the largest increase in Pittman Roberts funding in decades, adding tens of millions of dollars to the pool of money that is divided by our nation's state and wildlife agency. For these reasons we urge you to pass Senator Revak's resolution. 3:42:37 PM MR. WILLIAMS asked whether his testimony answered the question about Form 4473. SENATOR HOLLAND asked if this makes it easier for individuals to purchase noise suppressor devices to protect their hearing. MR. WILLIAMS answered yes, it would be easier for law-abiding citizens to purchase these devices. He added that the $200 transfer tax would not be required and an individual would be able to visit a dealer, fill out Form 4473, and pass a background check the same day. That currently takes 6-18 months. He noted an electronic transfer system launched last December and if it works as promised it will reduce wait times to about 90 days. CHAIR SHOWER asked him to describe the penalties if someone is stopped by law enforcement and does not have the required paperwork. MR. WILLIAMS stated that the use of a suppressor in the commission of a crime carries a 5 year and $250,000 penalty CHAIR SHOWER added that the possession of a suppressor is tied to a person and that person must have the paperwork in their possession when using the suppressor. 3:45:01 PM CHAIR SHOWER asked whether the [Hearing Protection] Act changes the way somebody could sell a suppresser or if it stays the same as selling a firearm. MR. WILLIAMS answered that should the Hearing Protection Act pass, the way fees are transferred would change. In addition, suppressors would be removed from the federal registry that maintains the database on anybody who has purchased a National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) item and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) would be required to destroy those personal records. Suppressors would be reclassified as firearms so the same rules for transfer would apply as for a firearm. CHAIR SHOWER recapped the current and said he also wanted to dispel the myth about real suppressors. They are not small; the sound is only reduced, not silenced; and they are expensive. 3:47:57 PM SENATOR KAWASAKI asked why suppressors were originally placed in the National Firearms Act. MR. WILLIAMS replied the history is not clear, although there are several conjectures. What is clear is that the silencer provision in the National Firearms Act was never part of the congressional debate. 3:50:27 PM SENATOR KAWASAKI asked what the $200 transfer tax goes to. MR. WILLIAMS replied ATF sees none of that money; it goes into the general fund of the Treasury. CHAIR SHOWER highlighted that $200 was a lot of money when the transfer tax was initiated and few people could afford it. He asked Mr. Williams to comment. MR. WILLIAMS explained that President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his attorney general Homer Cummings wanted to ban guns, but they knew they didn't have the statutory authority to do so. The solution was to levy a tax that was cost prohibitive. The cost of a suppressor was $5-7 and the added $200 tax effectively killed the suppressor industry for the next 50-60 years. CHAIR SHOWER asked if there was any additional invited testimony. 3:53:23 PM EMMA TORKELSON, Staff, Senator Josh Revak, Alaska State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, said Jennifer Yuhaf was probably online if there were any questions. CHAIR SHOWER asked Ms. Yuhaf if she had anything to add. 3:53:51 PM JENNIFER YUHAF, representing self, Fairbanks, Alaska, Testified by invitation in support of SJR 20. She stated that she is a firearms safety instructor who teaches basic pistol, rife, and home firearms safety. She stated that SJR 20 is about safety and revenue. As a safety instructor she questions why it should be more difficult to obtain a safety device for a firearm than to obtain a firearm. Clearly, it shouldn't. Part of safety is protecting one's hearing and part is being proficient with firearms. She opined that allowing easier access to a safety device for hearing will encourage other safety practices. The second piece is that being able to purchase these safety devices for firearms will generate revenue for the state budget. 3:55:51 PM CHAIR SHOWER held SJR 20 in committee. SB 152-LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS IN ANCHORAGE 3:56:12 PM CHAIR SHOWER announced the consideration of SENATE BILL NO. 152 "An Act relating to the convening of the legislature at the capital and in the Municipality of Anchorage; relating to the location of legislative sessions; and relating to the emergency relocation of functions of state government." CHAIR SHOWER solicited a motion to adopt the proposed committee substitute. 3:56:55 PM SENATOR REINBOLD moved to adopt the committee substitute (CS) for SB 152, work order 32-LS1306\I, as the working document. CHAIR SHOWER objected for purposes of discussion. CHAIR SHOWER, speaking as sponsor of SB 152, explained the CS seeks to address the concern that deleting the phrase "if the legislature is convened in a municipality other than the capital city" in several places throughout the bill might be interpreted as an intent to move the capital from Juneau. The CS addresses that to clarify that the bill is only talking about legislative sessions and the intent is to move the session every other year. SENATOR REINBOLD stated that she plans to be a co-sponsor. 3:59:42 PM CHAIR SHOWER removed his objection; finding no further objection, the CS for SB 152 was adopted. SENATOR KAWASAKI noted that the fiscal note is indeterminate. He said he read the analysis and it raised some questions. 4:00:32 PM JESSICA GEARY, Executive Director, Legislative Affairs Agency, Alaska State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, stated that the analysis reflects the challenge to quantify the costs when there are no specifics in the bill about the policy decisions that need to be made. 4:01:26 PM SENATOR KAWASAKI referenced the second paragraph of the fiscal note analysis. This fiscal note is indeterminate as several policy decisions are necessary to estimate the fiscal impact of this legislation, such as: He asked if she had any cost estimates for the two special sessions under Governor Palin and Governor Walker that were held outside the capital city. MS. GEARY said yes, but it is not an apples to apples comparison. Special sessions are limited in duration and scope and the upfront costs are spread over just a few days whereas for a regular session the upfront costs are spread over a much longer timeframe. The cost for the two day special session in Anchorage under Governor Palin was in the neighborhood of $78,000 per day while the general estimate for a special session in Juneau is about $30,000 per day. In regular sessions the range of topics covered is much broader, more staff is needed, and more bills are drafted, all of which makes a comparison difficult. She offered to provide the historical cost information she had if that would be useful to the committee. SENATOR KAWASAKI said he believes that information is necessary to provide a baseline. SENATOR KAWASAKI asked the sponsor whether a facility in the Municipality of Anchorage had been identified that potentially had 10 committee rooms, 60 legislative offices with adequate space for partisan staff as well as staff for legislative finance, legal services, information technology, security, and printing and documents, all with adequate parking. 4:05:07 PM CHAIR SHOWER asked if he was requesting the cost estimates. SENATOR KAWASAKI answered yes. He acknowledged he was not familiar with the availability of buildings in the Municipality of Anchorage that could accommodate the legislature during a regular session but he wondered whether a new building was envisioned. He asked if that was the intent. 4:06:03 PM CHAIR SHOWER said buildings have been identified in the past that would serve the purpose, but at this point the concept is at the 30 thousand foot level. He added that he did not care one way or the other whether legislative sessions were held in Juneau or elsewhere but he did know that others had very strong feelings about more access to their legislators during regular sessions. He agreed that there would be associated costs, but pointed out that there would be savings as well on per diem. He described the bill as a balanced bridge approach that responds to the will of the people. He also predicted that the bill would die in finance without getting a hearing. He committed to get the requested information from Ms. Geary to add to the broad discussion. He opined that it wouldn't matter, but he still wanted to move the bill from committee. 4:08:30 PM SENATOR KAWASAKI said the information matters if the committee intends to move the bill. He asked the sponsor to comment on the statement about per diem in the fiscal note. Per Diem. This bill would result in a savings for legislator per diem due to approximately 24 fewer legislators being eligible; however, overall, per diem cost would increase significantly as a result of approximately 40 non-partisan staff relocating to Anchorage a net increase of 16 individuals eligible to receive per diem. Further, the Anchorage per diem rate is traditionally higher than the Juneau per diem rate. Relocation. This bill would result in minimal savings f CHAIR SHOWER said Ms. Geary would need to expand the discussion in the fiscal note, but he recalled that rates in Anchorage during regular sessions are cheaper than in Juneau. Further, it would actually be 33 legislators plus their staff who would not be eligible for per diem because legislators from the MatSu Valley fall into the 50-mile radius. He restated that the bill offers a balanced approach. 4:10:22 PM MS. GEARY agreed that per current rules, members within the 50- mile radius of the regular session would not be eligible for per diem. She said the per diem rate for Anchorage is $354 year round whereas the Juneau rate is set by Legislative Council policy and does not change throughout the session. Currently the rate is $307 per day, but if that were adjusted seasonally the summer rate would be $367 per day. CHAIR SHOWER asked whether Legislative Council could set the same policy for a regular session in Anchorage. MS. GEARY answered yes; that is within the purview of Legislative Council. CHAIR SHOWER opined that rather than saying the Anchorage rate is higher, it would be more accurate to say that the rate would be whatever Legislative Council wanted it to be. 4:11:58 PM SENATOR REINBOLD commented on how tight things were when the capitol building was being remodeled and pointed out that multiple special sessions had been held in the gymnasium. She said the point is that legislators do not need fancy facilities. She opined that the bill would reduce per diem, give legislators more access to the people, and expand the pool of people who would run for office. She also pointed out that per diem for staff is just one percent of what legislators receive because they receive salaries year round. She urged legislators to be creative in putting forward ideas for potential sites to hold regular legislative sessions. CHAIR SHOWER requested his staff provide clarifying comments. 4:13:35 PM SCOTT OGAN, Staff, Senator Mike Shower, Alaska State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, stated that what has not been discussed is the cost savings the bill represents to the administration because most directors and commissioners are paid per diem when they travel from Anchorage to testify on legislation. CHAIR SHOWER said he had not thought to discuss that point. SENATOR REINBOLD said people learned to work remotely over the last two years so Legislative Legal Services and other staff should be able to stay in Juneau and work remotely if a regular session were held in Anchorage. She further suggested that VPSOs could provide security and pages could come from the local community. She thanked the sponsor for bringing the bill forward. CHAIR SHOWER clarified that the point is not to move the capital. Rather, the driving point is increased access and getting people more involved in government. He agreed with the point that working remotely is much easier today than it was two years ago. 4:16:47 PM SENATOR HOLLAND agreed there is a clamor to make the legislature more accessible by putting it on the road system. He described SB 152 as a good bill. CHAIR SHOWER commented on the high cost to stay in Juneau. 4:18:32 PM SENATOR KAWASAKI noted that the language in Section 3 confines the second legislative session to the Municipality of Anchorage so it could not be held in Fairbanks, for example. CHAIR SHOWER agreed that is how the bill was drafted. SENATOR KAWASAKI said he was responding to Senator Reinbold's comment about moving legislative sessions to different locations when the bill clearly identifies the Municipality of Anchorage. SENATOR REINBOLD said she understands that but believes that other options should be considered, particularly for special sessions. 4:19:33 PM SENATOR KAWASAKI referenced Mr. Ogan's point about potential cost savings to the administration and asked if that means those agencies have not been consulted and asked to submit fiscal notes. MR. OGAN offered his understanding that the administration had not submitted a fiscal note. CHAIR SHOWER clarified that the answer was no. 4:20:12 PM SENATOR KAWASAKI highlighted the points in the fiscal note analysis that discusses infrastructure. Infrastructure. Video, audio, and hi-speed internet capabilities as well as network support would need to be installed in leased or new space to replicate existing capabilities for committee rooms, chambers, and offices. Specifically, electronic voting boards and audio system in the chambers; teleconference/videoconference capable systems installed in committee rooms; security camera system for the building; as well as specialized equipment for the Offices of the Chief Clerk and Senate Secretary; commercial copiers; etc. Additionally, per KTOO, Gavel TV does not have the resources to support sessions in a location outside the capital. If similar coverage was desired, either another entity or the Legislature would need to provide professional production quality coverage previously provided by Gavel TV, including camera/audio infrastructure as well as pro He state that Gavel TV is extremely important to his mother and the people of Alaska would lose that benefit if sessions were held outside Juneau. He asked how the bill envisions offsetting that loss. 4:21:07 PM MR. OGAN said he imagines a transition period before a legislative session is moved to set up a functional replacement system. He added, "If Gavel to Gavel wasn't as available as it is now or smooth running, I think it would be offset by the benefit that people could actually run into their legislators at the grocery store or maybe even show up to meetings and testify." Anchorage was selected because most legislators live in the vicinity, he said. 4:22:34 PM CHAIR SHOWER pointed out that most bills provide intent but do not tell people how to do something, and the same applies to SB 152. It is a reasonable compromise to provide people more access to their legislators. There is a solution to all the problems that might be raised because every problem has a solution. CHAIR SHOWER requested a list of all the questions and committed to get answers from Ms. Geary and the other agencies. He said the committee will receive a copy and that information will be in the bill packet. CHAIR SHOWER asked for final questions or comments. 4:25:16 PM SENATOR KAWASAKI said he asked the questions because the bill is an important policy decision and for complete transparency it's important to know how it will work. He said he didn't know that legislators would receive more input from the people if [legislative sessions] were moved but he could say that when he participated in the special session in the Egan Center in downtown Anchorage, almost no guests attended the floor sessions other than family of legislators. In the special session in 2015, the attendance was stronger but it was largely confined to the organized groups speaking on the budget. Individual citizens did not show up. He also mentioned poorly attended townhalls. SENATOR KAWASAKI said the legislature's work is in Juneau and without additional information about the policy decisions that will make this a bill that will improve transparency and access to the public, he couldn't support it. CHAIR SHOWER responded that it's not possible to know whether the bill will increase access until it's tried. He opined that plenty of people will show up, depending on the issue. He said he was in Wasilla in 2019 and was swamped, and all townhalls in the MatSu are standing room only and there is a desire for more. He maintained that the work can be wherever legislators want it to be. He restated that he was trying to find a solution that would be satisfactory to both sides of the debate. SENATOR REINBOLD commented that the listening sessions and townhalls she had hosted usually were very busy because they were about issues that affected people's lives. 4:31:06 PM SENATOR HOLLAND commented that facilities come and go but there was plenty of availability in Anchorage. 4:31:22 PM At ease 4:31:38 PM CHAIR SHOWER reconvened the meeting. SENATOR HOLLAND continued to say that this is something the people of Alaska want to see happen. CHAIR SHOWER emphasized that this bill is not about moving the capital; rather, it is about moving every other legislative session to the Municipality of Anchorage. 4:32:56 PM SENATOR KAWASAKI said his recommendation on the committee report will be "do not pass" because he needs more information on the policy decisions, but he appreciates that the sponsor will move through that. CHAIR SHOWER restated his commitment to work through the policy decisions. Finding no further questions or comments, he solicited a motion. 4:33:31 PM SENATOR REINBOLD moved to report CSSB 152, work order 32- lS1306\I, from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s). 4:33:43 PM CHAIR SHOWER found no objection and CSSB 152(STA) moved from the Senate State Affairs Standing Committee 4:34:00 PM At ease SB 92-MISSING PERSONS UNDER 21 YEARS OLD 4:36:16 PM CHAIR SHOWER reconvened the meeting and announced the consideration of SENATE BILL NO. 92 "An Act relating to missing persons under 21 years of age." He noted the bill was previously heard and public testimony was closed. He asked Ms. Howell if she had final comments. 4:36:52 PM KELLY HOWELL, Special Assistant, Office of the Commissioner, Department of Public Safety (DPS), stated that SB 92 codifies what is in federal law and is current practice, which is to enter reports of missing children under age 21 into the Alaska Public Safety Information Network (APSIN) and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) within two hours. The bill is noncontroversial and will help locate children more quickly. CHAIR SHOWER commented on how important early reporting can be. SENATOR HOLLAND described SB 92 as an excellent short bill. CHAIR SHOWER found no additional questions or comments and solicited a motion. 4:38:09 PM SENATOR REINBOLD moved to report SB 92, work order 32-GS1581\A, from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s). CHAIR SHOWER found no objection and SB 92 was reported from the Senate State Affairs Standing Committee. 4:38:44 PM There being no further business to come before the committee, Chair Shower adjourned the Senate State Affairs Standing Committee meeting at 4:38 p.m.

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 152 FN.pdf SSTA 3/8/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 152
SB 152 CS.pdf SSTA 3/8/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 152
SB92 FN FCS.pdf SSTA 3/8/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 92
SB92 FN DPS.pdf SSTA 3/8/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 92