Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/12/2003 05:19 PM MLV

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 287-WAIVE SOME PFD REQUIREMENTS FOR MILITARY                                                                               
CHAIR LYNN  announced that  the next order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 287, "An Act  relating to waiver of permanent fund                                                               
dividend application requirements in  a time of national military                                                               
emergency; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                
Number 0289                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM,  sponsor  of HB  287,  explained  that                                                               
statutes  allow  the commissioner  of  revenue  to waive  certain                                                               
eligibility requirements  for the  permanent fund  dividend (PFD)                                                               
for a member  of the U.S. armed forced during  a time of national                                                               
emergency.    The  bill  corrects   an  oversight  in  filing  by                                                               
authorizing  the  commissioner to  approve  an  extension of  the                                                               
filing date to  a military member who is "assigned  in support of                                                               
the condition  causing the national  emergency."  She  noted that                                                               
this year's filing period was  during the same timeframe in which                                                               
military personnel were  called to duty.  She  offered her belief                                                               
that allowing Alaska's service people  ample time to file for the                                                               
[PFD] is "the least that we can do."                                                                                            
Number 0351                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG asked  what AS  43.23.005(a)(4) and  AS                                                               
43.23.011 do.  [He began to look them up.]                                                                                      
Number 0409                                                                                                                     
ROBIN PHILLIPS,  Staff to Representative Nancy  Dahlstrom, Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, noted  that  AS  43.23.005(a)(4) reads,  "has                                                               
been physically present in the  state for at least 72 consecutive                                                               
hours at some time during the  prior two years before the current                                                               
dividend year".                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG   said   AS  43.23.011   defines   the                                                               
application  period and  states  that filing  must occur  between                                                               
January 2  and March 31.   He asked whether the  waiver is during                                                               
the period of the emergency.                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM affirmed that.                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  asked  whether  it  is  the  sponsor's                                                               
intent, after  the military  emergency is  over, that  the person                                                               
must come back [to Alaska] for the 72 hours.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM replied, "At some point, yes."                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG noted  that  the  language doesn't  say                                                               
when; he suggested a person  could, therefore, legitimately claim                                                               
to have forever  to come back.  He proposed  perhaps specifying a                                                               
certain period of  time during which the person  must fulfill the                                                               
72-hour  requirement.   Referring  to the  language  that says  a                                                               
person  must  apply between  January  2  and  March 31,  he  also                                                               
suggested  the need  to have  the person  apply within  a certain                                                               
period of time after the national emergency ends.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM said she thinks  it's a valid point.  In                                                               
response to Chair  Lynn, she affirmed that she  would entertain a                                                               
friendly amendment.  She requested that Ms. Phillips respond.                                                                   
Number 0621                                                                                                                     
MS.  PHILLIPS said  the  bill  doesn't touch  the  part about  72                                                               
hours, which already  is in statute.  The bill  simply allows the                                                               
commissioner  to  waive  the  application  period.    This  year,                                                               
January 2  to March  31 was  during a  time of  national military                                                               
[engagement]; she said  this asks the commissioner  to waive that                                                               
as well.                                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked to hear from the department.                                                                     
Number 0673                                                                                                                     
SHARON  BARTON,  Director,   Permanent  Fund  Dividend  Division,                                                               
Department of Revenue, told members:                                                                                            
     We've  been administering  this section  for some  time                                                                    
     now with respect to  national emergencies and interpret                                                                    
     it  to mean  that if  ...  during a  dividend year  the                                                                    
     person was  on active duty during  a national emergency                                                                    
     for that  ... dividend year, these  provisions would be                                                                    
     waived.   So I don't see  that we would have  a problem                                                                    
     ... with  it being  an indefinite ending.   If,  in the                                                                    
     next  dividend year,  ...  the  national emergency  was                                                                    
     still in place, then we would waive it again.                                                                              
Number 0714                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG posed  a  situation  in which  fighting                                                               
occurs beyond  March 31 but  then ends during the  dividend year.                                                               
He asked  by when a  person would have to  apply, as it  has been                                                               
MS.  BARTON said  she'd have  to get  back with  an answer.   She                                                               
added, "I  believe that we  would allow them a  reasonable length                                                               
of time to get their application in for that dividend year."                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  asked, "And  you  don't  need that  in                                                               
statute to say that."                                                                                                           
MS. BARTON said she didn't think so.                                                                                            
CHAIR LYNN asked whether there  were further questions; none were                                                               
Number 0768                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  MASEK moved  to report  HB 287  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
note;  she   requested  unanimous   consent.    There   being  no                                                               
objection, HB 287  was reported from the  House Special Committee                                                               
on Military and Veterans' Affairs.                                                                                              

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