Legislature(2009 - 2010)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/06/2010 09:00 AM Senate STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 73(FIN) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
Moved HJR 53 Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
             HB  73-FIREFIGHTER/EMT LICENSE PLATES                                                                          
9:04:54 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  MENARD  announced the  first  order  of business  to  come                                                               
before the committee was HB 73 [CSHB 73(FIN)].                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE BOB  LYNN, sponsor of  HB 73, said the  purpose of                                                               
the  bill   is  to  recognize   and  thank  volunteer   and  paid                                                               
firefighters and  emergency services persons. A  "side effect" of                                                               
HB 73 is to encourage volunteerism.                                                                                             
CHAIR MENARD recognized Senator Kookesh as joining the meeting.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  said  the bill  packet  includes  petitions                                                               
signed by over 200 supporters.                                                                                                  
9:07:29 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MENARD asked if this  had been effective in recruiting more                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN has heard that is the case anecdotally.                                                                     
NANCY  MANLY,  staff  to  Representative   Lynn,  said  that  the                                                               
Firefighters Association  thinks the license plate  will work for                                                               
CHAIR MENARD  said she  was curious about  how many  other states                                                               
have done something similar.                                                                                                    
SUZIE  KOKLICH, Alaska  State  Firefighters  Association and  the                                                               
National Volunteer  Fire Council, said recruitment  and retention                                                               
has  been a  big problem  nationwide.  People want  to belong  to                                                               
something good  and be proud of  it; a perk like  a license plate                                                               
does help. HB 73  is a feel good bill to  help people feel better                                                               
about what  they are doing.  A license  plate is a  small gesture                                                               
for people  who give  their lives  or take  time away  from their                                                               
families in training.                                                                                                           
9:10:16 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR PASKVAN said he likes  the idea of public recognition. He                                                               
noted that volunteers  are also first responders  in rural Alaska                                                               
and  identification  on their  vehicles  can  provide the  easier                                                               
access to the scene.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN said he believes Senator Paskvan is correct.                                                                
SENATOR MEYER asked  what kind of proof a person  must present to                                                               
get the license plate.                                                                                                          
MS.  KOKLICH  replied  a  form  will be  available  at  the  fire                                                               
department  or  possibly  from the  Division  of  Motor  Vehicles                                                               
(DMV).  The fire  chief  or  EMS director  will  verify that  the                                                               
applicant  is an  active member  or  is retired.  She noted  that                                                               
supporter plates will also be available and don't require proof.                                                                
9:12:45 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MEYER asked  commented that  he was  sure the  DMV would                                                               
administer the program  but he wonders how difficult  it will be.                                                               
He commented that  the plate costs a little  extra which balances                                                               
the DMV's extra time; the fiscal note is zero.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN said  Whitney  Brewster,  with the  DMV,  has                                                               
testified in HB 73's previous hearings.                                                                                         
CHAIR MENARD said it would be helpful to hear from the DMV.                                                                     
SENATOR MEYER  said he will take  the sponsor's word for  it that                                                               
the DMV has testified favorably previously.                                                                                     
CHAIR MENARD said she would do so as well.                                                                                      
SENATOR KOOKESH  said HB 73  is a feel-good bill.  He appreciates                                                               
the bill and has no objection to it.                                                                                            
9:15:04 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MENARD closed public testimony.                                                                                           
SENATOR  MEYER  moved  to  report   HB  73  from  committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  attached  fiscal note(s).  There                                                               
being no objection, CSHB 73(FIN).                                                                                               

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