Legislative Update - April 12, 2021: HB137 passes out of State Affairs Committee. Vance doesn't vote

Apr 12, 2021

The Alaska State Capitol Building in Juneau
Credit APRN

House Bill 137, requiring the State of Alaska to maintain and operate a State run Department of Motor Vehicles in communities larger that 850, passed out of the Alaska House State Affairs Committee last Monday. The bill, sponsored by Representative Zach Fields of Anchorage is designed keep the State from closing DMVs in several cities across Alaska, including Homer. KBBI's Kathleen Gustafson has this look at last week in the Alaska State House.


  After speaking against the bill at her recent constituent meeting in Homer and opposing  the bill in committee hearings, District 31 Representative Sarah Vance of Homer did not vote on House Bill 137. It passed, though and has now moved to the Community and Regional Affairs Committee. Vance will have another opportunity to vote, or not on the bill if it makes it out of Community and Regional Affairs and to a final reading and floor vote.

On Friday's House floor session, Juneau Representative Sarah Hannan's HB10 passed. The bill seeks to add a parcel of State land to the Funter Bay Marine Park on Admiralty Island. That land includes an Unangax cemetery, where 32 people are buried, people removed by force from the Pribilof Islands during WWII to an internment camp in Southeast Alaska.

Representative McCabe of Big Lake proposed an amendment to reduce the size of the 250 acre parcel to 90 acres. Vance voted in favor of the amendment. It failed, 19 to 21.

After its third and final reading, the House passed HB10, 31 yes to 8 no.
Representative Vance voted no.

There has been no movement on the 2 bills sponsored by Representative Vance.
HB 140, which would add years to the expiration date for Alaska drivers licenses and allow people renewing online to submit an eye exam, has had one reading and has been in State Affairs Committee since March 17.

Vance's other bill, HB 52: An act providing that operation of the Tutka Bay Lagoon Hatchery in Kachemak Bay is compatible with the functions of Kachemak Bay State Park, has had one reading and has been stalled in the Fisheries Committee since February.

Vance recently signed on to cosponsor a bill by Representative McCabe that had its first reading on Friday. HB 167, recognizing silver and gold as legal tender in Alaska. 

She is also now cosponsor of House Joint Referendum 14, supporting the passage by the United States Congress of the SAFE Banking Act or similar legislation relating to cannabis-related legitimate businesses' access to financial services. That bill is now in the rules committee.

Vance is a member of the House Judiciary Committee. The House calendar shows that Committee meeting today, Monday the 12th. They're considering Governor Dunleavy's appointment of Joseph White to the Alaska Police Standards Council and hearing public testimony at 1 p.m. on House Bill 66, sponsored by Representatives Tuck and Schrage -  An Act relating to voting, voter qualifications, and registration;  poll watchers, absentee ballots and questioned ballots.

Representative Vance's office did not respond to requests for an interview this week.

Bills discussed in this report:

HB 137     http://www.akleg.gov/basis/Bill/Detail/32?Root=HB%20137

HB 10    http://www.akleg.gov/basis/Bill/Detail/32?Root=HB%2010

HB 140   http://www.akleg.gov/basis/Bill/Detail/32?Root=HB%20140

HB 52    http://www.akleg.gov/basis/Bill/Detail/32?Root=HB%2052

HB 167  http://www.akleg.gov/basis/Bill/Detail/32?Root=HB%20167

HB 66   http://www.akleg.gov/basis/Bill/Detail/32?Root=HB%2066