Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

03/09/2017 01:00 PM House MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
01:02:09 PM Start
01:02:52 PM Presentation: Ak Veterans Advisory Council
01:58:49 PM HB150
02:07:27 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: AK Veterans Advisory Council TELECONFERENCED
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 150 Out of Committee
        HB 150-PAY, ALLOWANCES, BENEFITS FOR MILITIA MEM                                                                    
1:58:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR TUCK  announced that the  final order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL NO.  150, "An  Act relating  to pay,  allowances, and                                                               
benefits for members of the organized militia."                                                                                 
CHAIR  TUCK stated  that  HB  150 would  authorize  the same  pay                                                               
allowance and  benefits for the  organized militia,  whether they                                                               
are called  into state  active duty by  the governor  or adjutant                                                               
general,  or called  to serve  under federal  active duty  by the                                                               
1:59:33 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER stated  that he  protests the  bill being                                                               
introduced as a committee  bill.  He said he thinks  it is a good                                                               
bill, he  appreciates the indeterminate  fiscal note, but  he has                                                               
some questions about the costs.                                                                                                 
CHAIR  TUCK reviewed  the costs  of HB  150.   He explained  that                                                               
without knowing what natural disasters  may happen in the future,                                                               
determining  set  costs  is  difficult.     He  stated  that  the                                                               
department detailed  the costs of  the 2015 "Sockeye  Fire" under                                                               
the  current   system,  which  required  classification   of  all                                                               
activities  performed  by any  member  of  the organized  militia                                                               
under a  call by  the governor.   The classification  and payment                                                               
are based on what other employees  across the state get paid.  He                                                               
explained  that  an  individual  may  be  on  as  many  as  eight                                                               
different pay  scales in one  day under  the current system.   He                                                               
expressed  that  HB  150  would simplify  the  payments  for  the                                                               
department.  He detailed that  under the current system, the cost                                                               
of  [the  Sockeye  Fire]  was $30,681.93,  while  under  the  new                                                               
system,  [the  cost   of  the  Sockeye  Fire   would  have  been]                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER asked  for clarification  on whether  the                                                               
pay listed  on the  "Sockeye Fire  Spreadsheet" [included  in the                                                               
committee packet] is per hour or per day.                                                                                       
CHAIR TUCK answered that it is per day.                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  noted that according to  the spreadsheet,                                                               
a corporal with  11 or more years of service  would make $17 more                                                               
per day under the current system.                                                                                               
2:02:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  explained that the difference  in total                                                               
salary paid under  the current system and the  proposed system in                                                               
HB 150  for the 2015 Sockeye  Fire is a net  increase of $364.40.                                                               
She  noted  that  the  calculation   does  not  account  for  the                                                               
administrative   cost-savings   of   the  service   members   and                                                               
department staff calculating multiple changes  in work duty.  She                                                               
offered  her intuition  that the  costs  would result  in a  "net                                                               
zero" after  accounting for  "the administrative  simplicity that                                                               
would be implemented."                                                                                                          
2:03:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER mentioned to  "always label your numbers."                                                               
He  asked what  the  column header  in  the spreadsheet,  labeled                                                               
"What if 4+ years" means.                                                                                                       
CHAIR TUCK offered  his understanding that "years"  refers to the                                                               
years of experience per individual.   He asked Mr. Brian Duffy if                                                               
that is correct.                                                                                                                
2:03:56 PM                                                                                                                    
BRIAN   DUFFY,   Director,  Administrative   Services   Division,                                                               
Department  of  Military  & Veterans  Affairs  (DMVA),  confirmed                                                               
Chair Tuck was correct.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  again asked if the  aforementioned column                                                               
header assumes four years of service "in that rank."                                                                            
MR. DUFFY answered that is correct.   He stated that a captain at                                                               
grade  O-3 in  military  vernacular,  who had  over  11 years  of                                                               
service, would  receive the rate  listed in the top  column based                                                               
on rank and experience.                                                                                                         
2:04:55 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH expressed  that HB 150 is a  good bill that                                                               
lifts  an administrative  burden  from the  state and  individual                                                               
service  members,  who  have  "better things  to  be  doing  than                                                               
checking  their  watches before  and  after  fighting a  fire  to                                                               
estimate  the amount  of time  that they're  spending on  a given                                                               
task."   He stated  that he  supports the bill.   He  thanked the                                                               
chair for being  gracious and "sharing the credit"  by making the                                                               
bill a committee bill.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  commented that HB  150 is indexed  to the                                                               
federal pay  levels:   If there  is an increase  in salary  for a                                                               
certain range  across all the  U.S. Department of  Defense (DoD),                                                               
then the pay would also be increased in the state salaries.                                                                     
2:05:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR TUCK responded that is  correct.  He offered his experience                                                               
that as a  foreman, keeping time for all the  different duties on                                                               
a  construction  jobsite  required  a lot  of  time  to  document                                                               
paperwork and took  away from his time supervising the  work.  He                                                               
speculated that  the department would  be more  efficient without                                                               
the detailed time cards and variable pay scales.                                                                                
2:06:40 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  moved  to  report HB  150  out  of  House                                                               
Special  Committee   on  Military  and  Veterans'   Affairs  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being no objection, HB 150 was moved from committee.                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
AK Veterans Advisory Council 3.7.17.pdf HMLV 3/9/2017 1:00:00 PM
Alaska Veterans Advisory Council