Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/17/2003 10:38 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE BILL NO. 148                                                                                                           
     "An  Act  relating  to allowable  absences  for  certain                                                                   
     members  of  the  armed forces  and  their  spouses  and                                                                   
     dependents  for purposes  of  eligibility for  permanent                                                                   
     fund dividends; and providing for an effective date."                                                                      
ANNETTE   SKIBINSKI,    STAFF,   SENATOR    COWDRY   provided                                                                   
information on the bill.  She  explained that the legislation                                                                   
pertains to  permanent fund dividend eligibility  of National                                                                   
Guard   reserve  auxiliary   military   personnel  that   are                                                                   
activated.  Currently those  in  the National  Guard who  are                                                                   
actively on  orders are  only allowed  a 45-day absence  from                                                                   
the state,  while other residents  are allowed an  absence of                                                                   
180  days.  The  legislation   would  allow  active  military                                                                   
personnel  to be  absent from  the state  [while on  military                                                                   
leave] for the full 180 days.                                                                                                   
Representative  Kerttula  asked   for  clarification  on  the                                                                   
length  of  the proposed  allowable  absence.  Ms.  Skibinski                                                                   
clarified that the 180-day allowable  absence would come into                                                                   
play when the  individual has been activated for  180 days or                                                                   
more.  She  noted  the  case of  an  individual  that  served                                                                   
overseas for  10 months.  Upon his return  he left  the state                                                                   
for  two months,  which  was not  allowed  under the  current                                                                   
statute.  The  current  45-day  allowable  absence  would  be                                                                   
extended to 180 days.                                                                                                           
LARRY PERSILY,  DEPUTY COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT OF  REVENUE,                                                                   
provided  information on  the legislation.  He observed  that                                                                   
active  duty days  do not  count against  the recipient.  The                                                                   
questioned is the  amount of time permissible  in addition to                                                                   
the allowable  absence. Currently  those in armed  forces are                                                                   
only allowed to  be absent [outside of their  active service]                                                                   
for 45 days; students are allowed  to be absent for up to 120                                                                   
days [outside  of the  school year].   Residents are  allowed                                                                   
180 days or military active duty  time plus 45 days.  Someone                                                                   
called  for  90  days  of active  duty,  who  took  a  60-day                                                                   
vacation [150  total days]  would be  okay. The bill  changes                                                                   
the   requirement    to   military   time    plus   180-days.                                                                   
Representative Berkowitz concluded  that active duty would be                                                                   
like  being in  the state.  Mr.  Persily agreed  that, as  it                                                                   
pertains to eligibility,  active time would be  like being in                                                                   
the state.                                                                                                                      
Representative  Kerttula  asked  about  the  amount  of  time                                                                   
allowed  for  illness,  and why  there  were  differences  in                                                                   
allowable  absences.   Mr.  Persily acknowledged  that  there                                                                   
were  different  qualifications  in  allowable  absences.  He                                                                   
pointed out  that a 120-day  absent for students  would allow                                                                   
them  to remain  out-of-state  during  the summer.  A  45-day                                                                   
allowable absence  would require them to come  back to Alaska                                                                   
even if  they had an internship  or job on campus.  All other                                                                   
allowable absences are plus 45-days.                                                                                            
Representative  Foster   MOVED  to  report  SB   148  out  of                                                                   
Committee with  the accompanying fiscal note.  There being NO                                                                   
OBJECTIONS it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
SB  148  was  REPORTED  out  of   Committee  with  individual                                                                   
recommendations  and  one fiscal  impact  note,  #1 from  the                                                                   
Department of Revenue.                                                                                                          

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