Legislature(2009 - 2010)BUTROVICH 205

04/16/2009 09:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Location Change --
Heard & Held
Moved CSHB 19(L&C) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 106(STA)(TITLE AM) Out
             HB 106-VILLAGE PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICERS                                                                          
10:06:59 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  MENARD  announced  the  consideration  of  HB  106.  [CSHB
106(STA) (Title AM) was before the committee.]                                                                                  
10:07:06 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE REGGIE  JOULE, Alaska  State Legislature,  said he                                                               
has worked for some time  on HB 106. Alaska's regional nonprofits                                                               
contract with  the Department of  Public Safety (DPS)  to provide                                                               
village  public safety  officer  (VPSO) services  around much  of                                                               
rural Alaska. In  his area, the Northwest  Arctic Borough (NWAB),                                                               
the  regional  nonprofit  that  runs  the  VPSO  program  had  an                                                               
interest in  allowing NWAB  to run the  program. The  borough was                                                               
willing  to take  it,  but  current law  prohibits  that. HB  106                                                               
allows a nonprofit,  with agreement with DPS, to  decline a grant                                                               
and  then   the  commissioner   can  provide   the  grant   to  a                                                               
municipality. This would only occur  after the regional nonprofit                                                               
declines to  administer the grant.  This is not intended  to take                                                               
away from the regional nonprofits.                                                                                              
CHAIR MENARD said  she has a soft heart for  nonprofits, and this                                                               
is good for the western region.                                                                                                 
10:10:28 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR FRENCH said he was on a  VPSO task force. It is a program                                                               
that  needs strengthening,  and  he is  in  complete support.  He                                                               
asked if  there are municipalities  that are  ready to go,  or is                                                               
this a structure for the future.                                                                                                
ELIZABETH  HENSLEY, Intern  for  Representative  Joule, said  the                                                               
NWAB  is  prepared  to  take   on  the  program.  There  will  be                                                               
additional discussions and work with the commissioner.                                                                          
SENATOR  FRENCH  asked   if  the  NWAB  would  be   viewed  as  a                                                               
MS. HENSLEY said, yes, the  definition of municipalities includes                                                               
five different statuses of cities and boroughs.                                                                                 
10:12:09 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR PASKVAN  mentioned the issue  of the  municipality having                                                               
or  not having  police powers.  He asked  if accepting  the grant                                                               
creates  a  police  power  that   hasn't  been  accepted  by  the                                                               
MS.  HENSLEY said  the intent  is  to provide  VPSOs in  villages                                                               
where there are  no police or other public  safety officials. The                                                               
definition of rural area would help  with that. It relates to who                                                               
can receive  a VPSO; they  have to be  in a rural  area. Boroughs                                                               
that use  their police powers  don't use VPSOs. For  example, the                                                               
North Slope  Borough would qualify  as a municipality  that could                                                               
receive a grant  because the population is less  than 10,000, but                                                               
they  wouldn't go  for it  because they  are already  using their                                                               
policing powers.                                                                                                                
10:13:53 AM                                                                                                                   
MIKE  SMITH,  Tanana  Chiefs   Conference,  Fairbanks,  said  the                                                               
conference  runs the  VPSO in  the Interior,  and originally  had                                                               
concerns with the  bill. He thanked Representative  Joule for the                                                               
changes. Now the conference supports the bill.                                                                                  
SENATOR MEYER said HB 106 is an excellent idea.                                                                                 
COMMISSIONER  JOE MASTERS,  Department  of  Public Safety  (DPS),                                                               
said he worked  closely with Representative Joule.  The bill will                                                               
allow the  DPS to contract  with a borough  when it is  less than                                                               
optimum for a nonprofit to administer  the VPSO program. It is in                                                               
the best interest  of the state to have the  most suitable agency                                                               
administer the  program to make  it most effective.  DPS supports                                                               
HB 106.                                                                                                                         
10:15:55 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR FRENCH moved to report CS  for HB 106 from committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  attached  fiscal note(s).  There                                                               
being  no  objection,  CSHB  106(STA) (Title  AM)  moved  out  of                                                               

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