Legislature(2003 - 2004)
05/12/2003 05:19 PM MLV
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= 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 interpreted. 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 offered. 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.