Legislature(2009 - 2010)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/06/2009 01:30 PM House FINANCE

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HOUSE BILL NO. 137                                                                                                            
     "An   Act  relating   to   an  interstate   compact   on                                                                   
     educational opportunity for  military children; amending                                                                   
     Rules  4 and 24,  Alaska Rules  of Civil Procedure;  and                                                                   
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
KAREN LISTER,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  JOHN COGHILL  explained                                                                   
that HB 137  endeavors to eliminate some of  the barriers for                                                                   
military school  children as they transition  from one school                                                                   
system  to another.  She  reported  over 12,000  active  duty                                                                   
children  between the  ages of  5 and 18  residing in  Alaska                                                                   
would  benefit  from  this  compact.   She  referred  to  the                                                                   
Sectional  (Alaska State Legislature  House Rules  Committee,                                                                   
Representative John Cogill, Chairman,  Sectional HB 137, copy                                                                   
on file):                                                                                                                       
                           HB 137                                                                                           
  "An Act relating to an interstate compact on educational                                                                  
 opportunity for military children; amending Rules 4 and 24,                                                                
   Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure; and providing for an                                                                    
                      effective date."                                                                                      
Section 1:  AS 14. Adds a new chapter:                                                                                      
Chapter  34. Interstate  Compact  on Educational  Opportunity                                                                   
for Military Children                                                                                                           
     Article I - Purpose                                                                                                      
This article describes the purposes  of this compact which is                                                                   
to  remove  barriers  to  educational  success  for  military                                                                   
children by  facilitating enrollment,  placement, and  timely                                                                   
graduation;   providing   enforcement   of   rules,   uniform                                                                   
collection   and  sharing  of   information;  and   promoting                                                                   
coordination,  flexibility,  and   cooperation  among  member                                                                   
     Article II - Definitions                                                                                                 
This article  provides definitions for terms  used throughout                                                                   
the compact.                                                                                                                    
     Article III - Applicability                                                                                              
This article defines the children covered by this compact.                                                                      
     Article IV - Educational Records and Enrollment                                                                          
This  article  outlines  how  sending  and  receiving  states                                                                   
handle   a  military   student's   unofficial  and   official                                                                   
educational  records.  The  Interstate Commission  determines                                                                   
what information  must be  included in  the records,  and the                                                                   
time line  for providing the records.   It provides  a 30-day                                                                   
grace  period  for immunizations.    Kindergarten  and  first                                                                   
grade entrance is addressed for both grade level and age.                                                                       
     Article V - Placement and Attendance                                                                                     
This article  describes course  placement; education  program                                                                   
placement, and special education  services to address federal                                                                   
requirements  for  students  with  disabilities.    Placement                                                                   
flexibility  and  absences  related to  deployment  are  also                                                                   
     Article VI - Eligibility                                                                                                 
This article provides information  on enrollment eligibility.                                                                   
It prohibits the student from  being charged a tuition if the                                                                   
student  lives in a  different jurisdiction,  and allows  the                                                                   
student to continue  to attend the school they  were enrolled                                                                   
in while  residing with  the custodial  parent. The  military                                                                   
student  shall  have as  many  opportunities  as possible  to                                                                   
participate in extracurricular  activities, even if they have                                                                   
missed the application deadlines.                                                                                               
     Article VII - Graduation                                                                                                 
This  article  facilitates on-time  graduation  by  providing                                                                   
procedures  for waivers,  exit exams and  transfers during  a                                                                   
military student's senior year.                                                                                                 
Ms. Lister interjected that Articles  IV, V, VI, and VII deal                                                                   
with the  student directly and  the other articles  deal with                                                                   
the compact in general.                                                                                                         
     Article VIII - State Coordination                                                                                        
This article establishes requirement  for creation of a State                                                                   
Council or other existing body  to provide coordination among                                                                   
its  government, local  and  military agencies.    Membership                                                                   
requirements are also addressed.                                                                                                
     Article IX - Interstate Commission on Ed Opportunity                                                                     
for Military Children                                                                                                         
This  article  deals with  creating  the commission  and  its                                                                   
responsibilities,   powers,   and   duties.      It   details                                                                   
membership,  voting  rights, meetings,  executive  committee,                                                                   
bylaws  and  rules,  data  collection,   and  a  process  for                                                                   
reporting alleged violations.                                                                                                   
     Article X - Powers and Duties of the Interstate                                                                          
This article  lists the powers  and duties of  the Interstate                                                                   
Commission:  Dispute  resolution;   promulgate  rules;  issue                                                                   
advisory opinions;  enforce compliance; and other  powers and                                                                   
duties  related to  establishing and  running and  supporting                                                                   
the state councils at a national level.                                                                                         
     Article XI - Organization and Operation of the                                                                           
Interstate Commission                                                                                                         
This  article  provides  the  structure  for  the  Interstate                                                                   
Commission to  organize, establish  bylaws, set up  executive                                                                   
and other committees, establish  procedures for meetings, and                                                                   
providing for  start-up rules for the initial  administration                                                                   
of the compact.                                                                                                                 
     Article XII - Rulemaking Functions of the Interstate                                                                     
This  article  gives  the  Interstate  Commission  rulemaking                                                                   
authority,  and rulemaking  guidelines  and  a provision  for                                                                   
judicial review of a proposed rule.                                                                                             
     Article XIII - Oversight, Enforcement, and Dispute                                                                       
This  article addresses  oversight,  enforcement and  dispute                                                                   
resolution specifically.   Oversight: Charges  the executive,                                                                   
legislative  and  judicial  branches   of  state  governments                                                                   
regarding the purpose and intent  of the Compact.  It further                                                                   
states  that  the Interstate  Commission  shall  receive  all                                                                   
service of  process and has  standing to intervene.   Further                                                                   
addresses  consequences   of  default  by  a   member  state.                                                                   
Dispute Resolution:  If requested  the Interstate  Commission                                                                   
will  attempt  to  resolve disputes  and  provide  rules  for                                                                   
mediation and  binding dispute resolution.   Enforcement: The                                                                   
Interstate Commission shall enforce  the rules and provisions                                                                   
of  this compact  and may  initiate legal  action to  enforce                                                                   
compliance with the provisions of the compact.                                                                                  
     Article XIV - Financing the Interstate Commission                                                                        
This article provides a method  for the Interstate Commission                                                                   
to  pay   its  reasonable   expenses  by  collecting   annual                                                                   
assessments  from each  member state.   There  are limits  on                                                                   
incurring obligations  and the  need for accurate  accounting                                                                   
of all receipts and disbursements,  and the requirement for a                                                                   
yearly audit by a certified or licensed CPA.                                                                                    
     Article XV - Member States, Effective Date and                                                                           
States are  eligible to become  members, the compact  becomes                                                                   
effective when no less than 10  states enact the compact into                                                                   
law  and the  member state  passes the  law.   Rules for  how                                                                   
amendments become effective and binding.                                                                                        
     Article XVI - Withdrawal and Dissolution                                                                                 
This article  addresses how member  states withdraw  from the                                                                   
compact,  what their  responsibilities of  notice, time,  and                                                                   
responsibility for assessments.   This article also addresses                                                                   
reinstatement, and compact dissolution.                                                                                         
     Article XVII - Severability and Construction                                                                             
Provisions  of this  compact are  severable  and any  portion                                                                   
deemed unenforceable  does not affect the  remaining compact.                                                                   
The compact  should be  liberally construed,  and nothing  in                                                                   
this compact inhibits other interstate compacts.                                                                                
     Article XVIII - Binding Effect of Compact and Other                                                                      
Nothing  in this compact  prevents the  enforcement of  other                                                                   
laws   that  are   not   inconsistent   with  this   compact.                                                                   
Conflicting laws are superseded  by the compact to the extent                                                                   
of the conflict.  All rules of  the Interstate Commission are                                                                   
binding on  the members states.   Any provisions  that exceed                                                                   
constitutional  limits are ineffective  to the extent  of the                                                                   
conflict of the member state.                                                                                                   
Sec. 14.34.020 Compact Administrator.                                                                                         
Establishing a  compact administrator and the  duties of that                                                                   
Sec. 14.34.030 State Council.                                                                                                 
Establishes  the  state  council  as a  subcommittee  of  the                                                                   
Sec. 14.34.040 Regulations.                                                                                                   
The board may adopt regulations to implement this chapter.                                                                      
Sec. 14.34.090 Short Title.                                                                                                   
Interstate  Compact of Educational  Opportunity for  Military                                                                   
Section 2:  Uncodified law of  the State of Alaska is amended                                                               
by adding a new section:                                                                                                        
INDIRECT COURT RULE  AMENDMENTS.  The changes made  by Sec. 1                                                                   
of  this Act  have the  effect  of changing  Alaska Rules  of                                                                   
Civil Procedure:                                                                                                                
     (1) Rule 4 - entitles the Interstate Commission to                                                                         
receive  service of  process of  a  judicial proceeding  that                                                                   
pertains to a Compact provision or rule.                                                                                        
     (2) Rule 24(b) - entitles the Interstate Commission to                                                                     
intervene in a  judicial proceeding in which  the validity of                                                                   
a compact provision or rule is at issue.                                                                                        
Section 3:  Uncodified law of  the State of Alaska is amended                                                               
by adding a new section:                                                                                                        
CONDITIONAL EFFECT OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS.                                                                                       
     Provisions set out in Section 1 concerning service of                                                                      
process  and  standing  to intervene,  take  effect  only  if                                                                   
Section  2 receives two-thirds  majority  vote of each  house                                                                   
required by the State Constitution.                                                                                             
Section 4:  Uncodified law of  the State of Alaska is amended                                                               
by adding a new section:                                                                                                        
CONDITIONAL EFFECT OF ACT; COMMISSIONER'S DUTY TO NOTIFY.                                                                       
When  Sections 1  and  2 of  this Act  will  take effect  and                                                                   
notification  requirements when  the 10  or more states  have                                                                   
ratified this compact.                                                                                                          
Section 5:   Setting out the  effective dates of this  Act to                                                               
be not less than  10 states other than this  state ratify the                                                                   
Compact or July 1, 2009, whichever is later.                                                                                    
Ms.  Lister  indicated  that  14  states  have  adopted  this                                                                   
2:37:57 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara asked  if he  understood correctly  that                                                                   
the provision for  students moving between bases  was to keep                                                                   
them in  the same  school. Ms. Lister  responded it  would be                                                                   
within the  same area when moving  from one state  to another                                                                   
and  specifically being  in the  same state  but, wanting  to                                                                   
keep the  student in the same  school even though  the family                                                                   
has  moved to  another  district. Representative  Gara  asked                                                                   
where that was in the bill. Ms.  Lister indicated Article VI.                                                                   
Representative Gara  asked what the compact does  to help the                                                                   
student remain  in the  same school.  Ms. Lister referred  to                                                                   
the eligibility  of enrollment, Article VI,  Subsection (3)"a                                                                   
transitioning military  child, placed  in the care of  a non-                                                                   
custodial  parent  or  other   person  in  standing  in  loco                                                                   
parentis who lives  in a jurisdiction other than  that of the                                                                   
custodial parent, may continue  to attend the school in which                                                                   
the student  was enrolled while  residing with  the custodial                                                                   
parent."  Representative  Gara  asked  if this  is  the  form                                                                   
language  all  50 states  are  trying  to adopt.  Ms.  Lister                                                                   
indicated that was correct.                                                                                                     
2:40:27 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Foster   recounted  the   difficulties   and                                                                   
frustrations of registering his  children into Juneau schools                                                                   
in earlier days.                                                                                                                
2:41:23 PM                                                                                                                    
MARK  SANSOUCI, REGIONAL  LIAISON FOR  MILITARY FAMILIES  FOR                                                                   
THE   NORTHWEST,   DEPARTMENT   OF  DEFENSE   testified   via                                                                   
teleconference,  asked for support  of HB 137.  He emphasized                                                                   
that the  interstate compact is  the Department  of Defense's                                                                   
effort to respect federalism and  partner with the council of                                                                   
state  governments  in  states  that  voluntarily  join  this                                                                   
interstate commission  to help transitioning  military school                                                                   
children.  The  Department  of   Defense  considers  military                                                                   
school  children in  transition  as  one of  its  top 10  key                                                                   
issues  for  the  military  family's   quality  of  life.  He                                                                   
signified  that most  military children  will attend  6 to  9                                                                   
different school systems between  kindergarten and 12  grade,                                                                   
often moving twice  during their high school  years. Frequent                                                                   
moves often  result in some educational  obstacles, including                                                                   
the lack  of consistency between  states. There have  been 14                                                                   
states that have  adopted the compact since  its inception in                                                                   
2:45:18 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Sansouci noted that last year  the 10 state threshold was                                                                   
reached   to   activate  the   Interstate   Commission.   The                                                                   
commission  fees  were  voted   as  $1  per  active  military                                                                   
student, ages  5 to 18.  The fee for  Alaska will  be $12,106                                                                   
for the 12,106  military students residing here.  The compact                                                                   
requires the  state governors create  a State Council  or use                                                                   
an  existing  body  or board  to  coordinate  the  commission                                                                   
activities.   He  listed  the   structure  requirements   and                                                                   
responsibilities for  the council. The council  members would                                                                   
be  paid  travel expenses  to  attend  Interstate  Commission                                                                   
meetings. In  fiscal note reflects  the $22,000  annually for                                                                   
travel to the meetings. House  Bill 137 allows Alaska to join                                                                   
other  states  on the  forefront  as  Alaska is  16   largest                                                                   
military state.                                                                                                                 
2:49:20 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze thanked  the sponsor  and Mr. Sansouci  and                                                                   
agreed that  many state representatives  have a  large number                                                                   
of military families  in their districts and  this bill would                                                                   
be a good thing for the students.                                                                                               
2:50:07 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Foster questioned  why the schools systems can                                                                   
not solve the problem instead of involving the legislature.                                                                     
2:50:37 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara  appreciated  the  moving  problem  with                                                                   
military  families, but  asked if  there was  a plan in  this                                                                   
compact  to give students  partial credits  when moving.  Mr.                                                                   
Sansouci explained that the intent  was for the student to be                                                                   
placed   in  a  similar   level  class   to  continue   their                                                                   
uninterrupted education.  Partial credit is not  addressed in                                                                   
the compact.  He addressed  Representative Foster's  question                                                                   
by  saying the  Department  of Defense  is  involved to  help                                                                   
insure consistency and continuity between the states.                                                                           
2:53:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CAROL  COMEAU, SUPERINTENDENT  OF  SCHOOLS, ANCHORAGE  SCHOOL                                                                   
DISTRICT    (ASD)    MUNICIPALITY   OF    ANCHORAGE    (MOA),                                                                   
SUPERINTENDENT  OF  ANCHORAGE  SCHOOL  SYSTEM  testified  via                                                                   
teleconference,  supported HB  137 as  an opportunity  to put                                                                   
into statute the  expectation that all school  districts will                                                                   
work with military families to help student transitions.                                                                        
2:55:06 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Hawker  asked  what   number  the  Municipality  of                                                                   
Anchorage  would put  on a fiscal  note. Ms.  Comeau did  not                                                                   
think there would be one. She  believed it was more important                                                                   
to  send  the   message  that  the  community   values  these                                                                   
procedures.  Co-Chair Hawker  asked Ms.  Comeau if this  bill                                                                   
would  impose any  unacceptable  requirements  on the  school                                                                   
district.  Ms. Comeau  indicated  there had  been a  thorough                                                                   
review of the bill and it was strongly supported.                                                                               
2:56:48 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze closed public testimony.                                                                                       
2:57:22 PM                                                                                                                    
EDDY  JEANS,   DIRECTOR,  SCHOOL  FINANCES   AND  FACILITIES,                                                                   
DEPARTMENT OF  EDUCATION AND EARLY DEVELOPMENT  noted that at                                                                   
least  95% of  requirements  in the  compact  are already  in                                                                   
Alaska  statute or regulations.  He remarked  that there  was                                                                   
support from  the Alaska  School Activities Association,  the                                                                   
Anchorage, Sitka, and the Kodiak  Island School Districts, as                                                                   
well as, the State Board of Education.                                                                                          
2:58:51 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Hawker  questioned if  the $22,000 fiscal  note were                                                                   
zeroed  out would it  cripple the  education department.  Mr.                                                                   
Jeans  replied it  would not  break the  department, but  the                                                                   
department would appreciate the  appropriation to support the                                                                   
compact.  Co-Chair  Hawker  encouraged   more  effective  and                                                                   
efficient   use  of   government   assets.  Co-Chair   Hawker                                                                   
preferred  to see the  travel money  evaluated in the  annual                                                                   
budget process.                                                                                                                 
3:00:59 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze  asked  how  many  military  students  were                                                                   
enrolled  in  Alaska  online schools.  Mr.  Jeans  could  not                                                                   
answer  that question.  Co-Chair Stoltze  asked if Mr.  Jeans                                                                   
knew where  the online checks  were coming from and  how many                                                                   
students  were   affected.  Mr.  James  responded   that  the                                                                   
department  does  not collect  information  specifically  for                                                                   
military  families.  Co-Chair   Stoltze  asked  to  see  that                                                                   
information for the future.                                                                                                     
3:02:02 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Hawker offered a zero  fiscal note for the committee                                                                   
to discuss  for this  bill. Representative  Kelly agreed  the                                                                   
fiscal note should be zero. Co-Chair  Hawker emphasized he is                                                                   
not critical of the program only the funding mechanism.                                                                         
3:03:01 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara interjected  that the program takes money                                                                   
and  personnel to  work efficiently.  He  believed the  money                                                                   
should  be  kept   in  the  fiscal  note.   Co-Chair  Stoltze                                                                   
expressed  that often  departments see  opportunities to  put                                                                   
money  in  fiscal  notes,  but  he believed  this  to  be  an                                                                   
important program.                                                                                                              
3:04:08 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Kelly stressed  the  Alaska school  districts                                                                   
were already  doing a  good job and  should not require  more                                                                   
3:04:50 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Jeans  clarified  the number  of  active  duty  military                                                                   
students in the state.                                                                                                          
Co-Chair Hawker MOVED  to zero out the fiscal  note and asked                                                                   
the department  to accommodate  it in the existing  authority                                                                   
during the regular budget process.  There being NO OBJECTION,                                                                   
it was so ordered.                                                                                                              
3:06:05 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Hawker MOVED to report  HB 137 out of Committee with                                                                   
individual  recommendations  and  the accompanying  new  zero                                                                   
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                    
Representative  Gara remarked  that the  problem with  moving                                                                   
students  between  schools  during the  school  year  affects                                                                   
student  achievement. He  agreed this  was good for  military                                                                   
students  along with  the  federal government's  mandate  for                                                                   
homeless students,  but added the lingering  problem with the                                                                   
foster youth. He stressed that  Alaska needs a policy to help                                                                   
foster students stay in the same school.                                                                                        
Representative Gara WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
HB  137  was REPORTED  out  of  Committee  with a  "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation  and with  a  new zero  fiscal  note from  the                                                                   
Department of Education.                                                                                                        
3:08:22 PM                                                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 HB137 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 137
02 Hb137 Sectional.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 137
anch res support.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
11 HB29 Written copy of testimony.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 29
12 HB29 Leg. Research.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 29
13 HB29 Formulation Memo.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 29
14 HB29 Letter of Support - AMHB.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 29
16 HB29 Letter of Opposition - Hoffman.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 29
05 HB137 Case Studies.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 137
06 HB137 Letter of SupportOpposition.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 137
Amendmetn 1 R.3.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 29
Amendment 2 R.4.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 29
CSHB 29 (L&C) Department of Labor Stats.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 29
HB 29 Changes.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 29
HB137 Anch School Dist. Resolution.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 137
HB29 ADN Article.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 29
HB29 Card and Kreuger Study.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 29
HB29 Legislative Research Shop.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 29
HB29 Letter of Support - AARP.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 29
HB29 NCSL Minimum Wage List.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 29
HB29 Poverty Guideline.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 29
HB29 Sectional Analysis.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 29
HB29 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 29
HB29 Wellington Study.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 29
New CSHB161(FIN)-DOR-AHFC-04-06-09.pdf HFIN 4/6/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 161