Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/18/2003 12:31 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 26-STATE EMPLOYEES CALLED TO MILITARY DUTY                                                                                 
[Contains discussion relating to HB 228, the companion bill.]                                                                   
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  announced that the  committee would hear  CS FOR                                                               
SENATE BILL NO. 26(STA), "An  Act relating to state employees who                                                               
are called to active duty as  reserve or auxiliary members of the                                                               
armed  forces  of  the  United   States;  and  providing  for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
Number 0111                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  [moved  to  adopt  CSSB  26(STA)  as  the                                                               
working document.]  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                
Number 0208                                                                                                                     
SENATOR KIM  ELTON, Alaska State  Legislature, sponsor of  SB 26,                                                               
told  the  committee that  he  was  also  speaking on  behalf  of                                                               
Senator Robin Taylor, the other sponsor  of SB 26.  He noted that                                                               
the only  difference between SB  26 and the House  companion bill                                                               
[HB 228]  is that  HB 228 mentions  auxiliary and  reserve units,                                                               
whereas SB  26 specifies  which auxiliary  and reserve  units are                                                               
covered.  He said that that is  the only difference and it is not                                                               
a substantive one.   He noted that SB 26 "does  not say this must                                                               
happen," but gives  the governor the ability  - by administrative                                                               
order -  to "backfill"  the pay and  benefits of  state employees                                                               
who  are called  up from  active duty.   He  noted that  43 state                                                               
employees  are members  of  the Army  National  Guard, 83  [state                                                               
employees] are members  of the Air National Guard,  and 12 [state                                                               
employees] are members of the Alaska State Defense Force.                                                                       
SENATOR  ELTON stated  that  it  is important  to  note that  the                                                               
effective  date of  the proposed  legislation goes  back to  [the                                                               
terrorist  attacks  of September  11,  2001];  therefore, if  the                                                               
governor so chooses,  he can "backfill" those who  were called up                                                               
subsequent to  the events of that  date.  He said  that hopefully                                                               
this  legislation  will  encourage other  state  employees  serve                                                               
their country as a member of a reserve unit.                                                                                    
Number 0397                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM  thanked Senator  Elton for his  work on                                                               
the bill and said she would support it.                                                                                         
Number 0408                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  asked  Senator  Elton  how  many  [state]                                                               
employees have  been called to  active duty since  [the terrorist                                                               
attacks  of September  11, 2001]  and  would be  effected by  the                                                               
proposed legislation.                                                                                                           
SENATOR ELTON  answered that  there were  eight people  called up                                                               
from reserve  status in 2002.   He mentioned another  person, and                                                               
told Representative Seaton he could get more information to him.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  explained  that  he had  just  wanted  to                                                               
ascertain that the  committee is dealing with  "the same universe                                                               
of people that we dealt in our previous bill."                                                                                  
Number 0427                                                                                                                     
SENATOR ELTON noted  that some of the [state  employees] who have                                                               
been  called up  this year  are  actually making  more on  active                                                               
military status than they were as state employees.                                                                              
Number 0510                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM moved  to  report CSSB  26(STA) out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal  notes.    There  being no  objection,  CSSB  26(STA)  was                                                               
reported out of the House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                     

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