Legislature(2009 - 2010)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/09/2009 01:30 PM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 45 VETERANS' CEMETERIES/FUND/LICENSE PLATES TELECONFERENCED
+ SB 3 CFEC AS INFORMATION RESOURCE TELECONFERENCED
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 44 ENERGY BONDS/INVESTMENTS TELECONFERENCED
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 45(FIN)                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act relating  to state  employment preferences  for                                                                   
     veterans,  former prisoners of  war, and members  of the                                                                   
     Alaska  National Guard;  authorizing  the Department  of                                                                   
     Military   and  Veterans'   Affairs  to  establish   and                                                                   
     maintain Alaska  veterans' cemeteries;  establishing the                                                                   
     Alaska veterans' cemetery  fund in the general fund; and                                                                   
     authorizing the  legislature to appropriate  income from                                                                   
     fees  collected for  commemorative  veterans' plates  to                                                                   
     the Alaska veterans' cemetery fund."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:42:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GENE  THERRIAULT,  SPONSOR,  discussed  the  Section                                                                   
Summary,  Legal   Services  Memorandum,  February   3,  2009,                                                                   
Sections 1-9  (copy on file).   Section 1 is  intent language                                                                   
which indicates  that it is the  intent of the  Department of                                                                   
Military and  Veterans Affairs  (DMVA) to begin  planning and                                                                   
designing a veterans'  cemetery in Fairbanks and  to submit a                                                                   
report to  the presiding officers  of the legislature  before                                                                   
December 15, 2009.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Therriault  reported  that  Sections  2-4  create  a                                                                   
cemetery  fund from  revenues  from veterans'  license  plate                                                                   
sales.   Sections 5-9 address  changes in language  regarding                                                                   
veterans hiring preference.  Section  10 is enabling language                                                                   
making reference to U.S. codes.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator Therriault  related that  there are 100,000  veterans                                                                   
in  Alaska   -  the  highest   per  capita  the   in  nation.                                                                   
Currently,   Ft.   Richardson   and  Sitka   have   veterans'                                                                   
cemeteries.   The plan is to  build a cemetery  in Fairbanks,                                                                   
which has the second densest military  population and is near                                                                   
several bases.  Many military retire in Alaska's interior.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SHARON LONG, STAFF,  SENATOR CHARLIE HUGGINS,  added that the                                                                   
overriding  value  of the  bill  is that  it  provides for  a                                                                   
sacred resting  place for  veterans.   She said that  Senator                                                                   
Huggins was proud to be a sponsor of the bill.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:46:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Therriault referred to  a letter of community support                                                                   
by  the Fairbanks  North Star  Borough  (copy on  file).   He                                                                   
listed  people available  to answer  questions regarding  the                                                                   
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Thomas asked if,  because he  was a veteran,  his                                                                   
wife could be buried in a state  veterans' cemetery.  Senator                                                                   
Therriault deferred to Mr. Pierre to answer.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MCHUGH PIERRE,  LIAISON, DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY  AND VETERANS                                                                   
AFFAIRS,  reported that  wives  would have  burial rights  in                                                                   
state  veterans' cemeteries,  similar  to national  veterans'                                                                   
cemetery benefits.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:49:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAT LUBY,  ADVOCACY DIRECTOR,  ALASKA ASSOCIATION  OF RETIRED                                                                   
PERSONS (AARP), ANCHORAGE, testified  via teleconference.  He                                                                   
reported that AARP has a large  number of veterans.  He spoke                                                                   
strongly in favor of SB 45.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOE  FIELDS, CHAIR  OF  ALASKA VETERANS  ADVISORY  COMMITTEE,                                                                   
testified via  teleconference.   He maintained that  veterans                                                                   
were dying  at a fast  pace and the  potential for  a resting                                                                   
place  of  honor  in Alaska  was  important.    He  suggested                                                                   
passing the bill as quickly as possible.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:51:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  closed public  testimony.  He  requested an                                                                   
explanation  of the  Department  of Military  Affairs  fiscal                                                                   
note.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Pierre  commented  that the  fiscal  note  reflects  the                                                                   
operating  budget portion  of $250,000.   He considered  that                                                                   
amount  seed money  in order  to  qualify for  $5 million  in                                                                   
federal dollars  from the Veterans' Administration  to design                                                                   
and construct  the facility, as  well as purchase  equipment.                                                                   
After that the state will be responsible  for maintaining the                                                                   
cemetery.  License  plate sales  should  offset  some of  the                                                                   
cost.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze welcomed group  donations to this good cause                                                                   
and  requested  assistance  in  keeping the  dignity  of  the                                                                   
project.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Pierre added that the land  would be donated and no state                                                                   
money would be needed.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Senator Therriault  referred to Section 3 of  the bill, which                                                                   
addresses gifts and donations  that can be put into the fund.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:55:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Thomas MOVED  to report  SB 45  out of  Committee                                                                   
with individual  recommendations and the  accompanying fiscal                                                                   
note.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 45 (FIN) was REPORTED out  of Committee with a "do pass"                                                                   
recommendation and  with fiscal note #1 by  the Department of                                                                   
Military and Veterans Affairs.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:55:58 PM     AT EASE                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:59:17 PM     RECONVENED                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
2009 FNSB Resolution.pdf HFIN 4/9/2009 1:30:00 PM
SB 45
HB 44 Amendment 1 Version E.3.pdf HFIN 4/9/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 44
SB 45 vs E sectional.pdf HFIN 4/9/2009 1:30:00 PM
SB 45
SB 45 Support.AARP to SFIN co Chairs.pdf HFIN 4/9/2009 1:30:00 PM
SB 45
SB 45 Support. US Sen Begich 022009.pdf HFIN 4/9/2009 1:30:00 PM
SB 45
SB 45 Support. Am Legion,VFW,DAV.pdf HFIN 4/9/2009 1:30:00 PM
SB 45
SB 45 Support Ak Com on Aging022309.pdf HFIN 4/9/2009 1:30:00 PM
SB 45
SB 45 Sponsor Stmt.doc HFIN 4/9/2009 1:30:00 PM
SB 45
Prese Release.doc HFIN 4/9/2009 1:30:00 PM
SB 45
HB 44 Amendment 2 Version E.2.pdf HFIN 4/9/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 44
HB 44 Amendment 3 -Gara.doc HFIN 4/9/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 44
Legal Opinion to Amendment HB44.pdf HFIN 4/9/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 44
SB3_ARDORletter1.pdf HFIN 4/9/2009 1:30:00 PM
SB 3
SB3_ARDORletter2.pdf HFIN 4/9/2009 1:30:00 PM
SB 3
SB3_Fish&GameLetter.pdf HFIN 4/9/2009 1:30:00 PM
SB 3
SB3_Lower_Kuskokwim_Letter.pdf HFIN 4/9/2009 1:30:00 PM
SB 3
SB3_Lower_Kuskokwim_Letter.pdf HFIN 4/9/2009 1:30:00 PM
SB 3
SB3_Sponsor_Statement&_Sectional_Analysis.doc HFIN 4/9/2009 1:30:00 PM
SB 3
SB3_SWAMCletter.pdf HFIN 4/9/2009 1:30:00 PM
SB 3