The2nd meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Seniors, Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection was held on Wednesday, November 20, 2002, at 4:00 PM, in the Tennessee Room of the Executive Inn Rivermont in Owensboro, Kentucky. The committee met in conjunction with the Governor's Summit on Homeland Security, and the Kentucky Long Term Policy Research Center's conference dealing with homeland security entitled "Living in a Changed World." Senator Dan Seum, Co-Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Dan Seum, Co-Chair; Representative Mike Weaver, Co-Chair; Senators Paul Herron Jr, Gerald Neal, Joey Pendleton, and Elizabeth Tori; Representatives Sheldon Baugh, Tom Burch, Bob DeWeese, Danny Ford, Gippy Graham, Jodie Haydon, Fred Nesler, Steve Riggs, Tom Riner, Charles Siler, Jim Thompson, and Susan Westrom.
Guests: Representative Adrian Arnold and John Gillig.
LRC Staff: Scott Varland, Clint Newman, Todd Stephens, Sheila Mason, and Wanda Gay.
Co-Chair Seum opened the meeting by asking for a motion to approve the August 26 meeting minutes. Representative Ford made a motion to approve the minutes as submitted. Representative Siler seconded the motion. The motion carried.
Co-Chair Seum presented Co-Chair Weaver with a Resolution in honor and memory of his brother, Roy Weaver. He then read the Resolution aloud. Representative Ford made a motion for the committee to adopt the Resolution. Representative Siler seconded the motion. The motion carried.
Co-Chair Weaver asked to comment on the Resolution. He said Agent Orange is something we all need to be concerned about. He told how his brother had contracted prostate cancer from Agent Orange and how that turned into bone cancer and finally brain cancer. He said he and his siblings spent the last week of his brothers life with him. He said Roy's wife would appreciate and cherish the Resolution.
Co-Chair Seum asked Co-Chair Weaver to give a report on the Task Force for Protecting Democracy. Co-Chair Weaver said he attended the National Conference of State Legislatures meeting in December, 2001, where one topic on the agenda was terrorism. After attending a few sessions, Co-Chair Weaver asked if they were going to address preventing terrorism or if the session was only going to focus on what happens after a disaster occurs. He was asked to give an example of what he was talking about, and he explained House Bill 188. Co-Chair Weaver said identity theft and misuse of identification documents made it very easy for those who have ill will against us to come to this country and hide among us forever. A few weeks later, he was appointed to a task force entitled the Task Force on Preventing Terrorism. The Task Force on Preventing Terrorism was soon changed to the Task Force on Protecting Democracy. The Task Force was formed to give information that was coming from the states to Governor Tom Ridge, Director of Homeland Security.
Co-Chair Weaver said he was invited to Washington, D. C. on September 5 to testify before a Congressional Transportation Subcommittee about driver's license legislation Kentucky passed. After he finished testifying, he was asked if a national driver's license was needed. He responded by saying a national driver's license was needed, but that it should be left up to the states. He said it would take years and millions of dollars to get federal legislation enacted to address the issue of driver's licenses. As an example, he said he was before the committee talking with them about legislation that has been passed in Kentucky, and the committee was having their first meeting to discuss the issue. Co-Chair Weaver said the committee thought the legislation Kentucky had passed was a good idea. He suggested to the committee that Kentucky's legislation on driver's licenses be sent to other states to be used as model legislation.
Representative Burch suggested that Co-Chair Weaver request the Transportation Cabinet give financial incentives to states that adopt driver's licensing legislation. He used the seat belt legislation as an example.
Representative Burch asked Co-Chair Weaver if anyone had followed up on the driver's licensing legislation that was passed to see if it was doing what it was intended to do. Co-Chair Weaver responded by saying that the legislation was doing exactly what he and the others who voted for it had intended. However, he said the legislation did need to be modified, and he planned to do that during the next legislative session. He said the legislation he would sponsor would change the length of time non-immigrants could be issued a driver's license. Currently non-immigrants may be issued a driver's license for the length of their stay in this country, which can be up to eight years. He said non-immigrants should be issued a driver's license for a two year period.
Co-Chair Weaver said he attended a break out session of the Governor's Summit on Homeland Security and learned that birth certificates were available to the public. He expressed his concern about people obtaining a birth certificate and using that document to obtain other identification documents such as a social security number.
Senator Neal asked Co-Chair Weaver what the practical effect was of issuing a non-immigrant a driver's license for only a two year period. Co-Chair Weaver responded by saying that would reconfirm that those non-immigrants who have been issued a driver's license were in fact still students. He said the current system allows non-immigrants to come into this country, obtain a four year driver's license, and never need a non-immigration visa again, because it becomes the identity card that they need.
Representative Westrom thanked Co-Chair Weaver for his efforts in passing the driver's licensing legislation. She said that passage of that legislation put Kentucky in the national spotlight in a positive way.
Senator Tori said she wanted to affirm what Co-Chair Weaver said about being concerned about birth certificates. She said that her home had been robbed twice in four years and besides stealing cash from the safe, her husband's passport and birth certificate were also taken. Co-Chair Weaver responded by saying the reason the identification documents were taken was because they are valuable. Senator Tori commended Co-Chair Weaver for his efforts in proposing legislation to correct the problems with identity documents.
Co-Chair Seum introduced Captain John Ward and Jeffrey Perkins of the Kentucky State Police to inform the committee about (the "1033" Program) that transfers surplus military equipment to Kentucky law enforcement agencies.
Captain Ward said the Law Enforcement Support Office transfers excess Department of Defense (DOD) equipment to federal and state law enforcement agencies whose officers have arrest and apprehension authority.
Representative Riggs asked Captain Ward to give some real life examples of law enforcement agencies receiving excess equipment. Captain Ward said clothing has been provided for marijuana search and eradication. He said a law enforcement agency in Hazard, Kentucky, received several Chevy Blazers that are used as police vehicles during inclement weather. Some weapons have also been acquired from this program.
Representative Baugh asked Captain Ward if fire departments were included in the 1033 Program. Captain Ward responded by saying fire departments were covered under a different program. Any item acquired under the 1033 Program has to be utilized for law enforcement purposes.
Co-Chair Seum asked Captain Ward if fire fighting equipment was available through the 1033 Program. Captain Ward responded by saying fire fighting equipment was available and that the Division of Forestry participates in the 1033 Program.
Representative Burch asked Captain Ward how agencies obtained parts needed for vehicle maintenance and repair. Captain Ward said most parts can be purchased domestically.
Senator Tori asked Captain Ward what the dollar amount was on the equipment Kentucky agencies had received over the ten year period the program had been in existence. Captain Ward responded by saying that amount was over 316 million dollars. That dollar figure is based on the cost of the equipment at the time it was purchased by the DOD.
Senator Tori asked Captain Ward how many law enforcement agencies in Kentucky participated in the 1033 Program. Captain Ward responded by saying that there were currently 148 active agencies signed up on the program.
Co-Chair Seum asked Captain Ward how law enforcement agencies were made aware of the 1033 Program. Captain Ward responded by saying that word of mouth about the program and mailings to law enforcement agencies is how agencies become aware of the program.
Representative Westrom commented about the dollar amount of the equipment and noted that all other states participate in the same program. She wondered if that was an indication of inventory control at the federal level.
Co-Chair Weaver announced that the committee's next meeting would be held at Fort Knox, Kentucky, on December 5, at 2:00 p.m., at the Recruiting Command. A free lunch will be available to members at the Leader's Club.
Co-Chair Seum announced the committee was in recess until 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 21, 2002.
On Thursday, November 21, 2002, Co-Chair Seum called the meeting to order. Senator Tori made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Representative Riner seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned.