Legislature(1999 - 2000)

2000-02-02 Senate Journal

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2000-02-02                     Senate Journal                      Page 2161
SB 238                                                                       
SENATE BILL NO. 238 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                              
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                          
An Act relating to payment, benefits, and work                                
status of members in the active service of the                                 
Alaska State Militia; and providing for an effective                           
was read the first time and referred to the State Affairs and Finance          
Zero fiscal note published today from Department of Military and               
Veterans Affairs.                                                              
Governors transmittal letter dated February 1:                                 
Dear President Pearce:                                                         
This bill I transmit today clarifies and simplifies the method for             
paying members of the Alaska State Militia when called to active               
service.  Payment would be based on the state employee rate for the            
actual type of work performed.                                                 

2000-02-02                     Senate Journal                      Page 2162
SB 238                                                                       
Members of the Alaska State Militia, more commonly known as the                
Alaska State Defense Force, receive compensation for non-training              
activities, such as assisting in search and rescue operations and              
responding to disasters. In the past, members were paid at levels              
equal to those of the United States armed forces, based on rank plus           
allowances. After recognizing the lack of statutory authority to pay           
the Defense Force in this manner, the state began to pay the                   
members as state emergency, nonpermanent employees at a level                  
equal to what an employee would receive for an equivalent                      
In addressing the question of compensation, the current system                 
created some confusion in the chain of command for the Defense                 
Force, which operates as a military organization under military                
command. Calling the members to active duty and then hiring them               
as state employees puts two disciplinary structures in place -- one for        
state employees and one for Defense Force members. This bill                   
clarifies that when called to active service, Defense Force members            
will be paid at a level equal to a state employee, but remain under            
the command of the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs.                 
The bill also specifically provides that Defense Force members are             
not compensated when called to active service for training or other            
volunteer activities.                                                          
Finally, the bill makes corresponding amendments to the level of               
earnings for payment of workers' compensation or a death benefit in            
the event an ASM member is injured or killed while in active                   
The Alaska State Defense Force provides a valuable service to our              
state. In the interest of ensuring its members are clearly under               
military command and receiving equitable pay, I urge your prompt               
and favorable action on this measure.                                          
					Tony Knowles