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HB 83: "An Act relating to state implementation of federal statutes."

00 HOUSE BILL NO.  83                                                                                                      
01 "An Act relating to state implementation of federal statutes."                                                          
02 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
03    * Section 1.  FINDINGS AND INTENT.  (a)  The legislature finds that                                                  
04   (1)  the people of the state, acting through their elected state officers, retain the                                 
05 authority to establish state policy regarding the implementation of many federal statutes;                              
06   (2)  implementation of federal policies in the state by federal agencies in ways                                      
07 contrary to fundamental notions of federalism and self-determination on the state level must                            
08 be identified and countered;                                                                                            
09   (3)  there is an urgent need to modify certain mandates imposed on the state                                          
10 by the federal government because the implementation of those mandates wastes the financial                             
11 resources of the state, municipalities, and state residents and may undermine policies set by                           
12 the state;                                                                                                              
13   (4)  federal regulators frequently do not understand the needs and priorities of                                      
14 this state;                                                                                                             
01   (5)  the tenth amendment to the United States Constitution directs that powers                                        
02 not delegated to the United States are reserved to the states or to the people, yet the federal                         
03 government has intruded more and more into areas that must be left to the states;                                       
04   (6)  state government has a responsibility to monitor federal mandates to ensure                                      
05 that they do not unduly conflict with state policy or go beyond the bounds imposed by the                               
06 tenth amendment to the United States Constitution.                                                                      
07  (b)  It is the intent of the legislature to assure that state government scrutinizes the                               
08 extent and scope of authority asserted by the federal government in imposing mandated                                   
09 programs on the state to determine whether these mandates are inconsistent with state policy                            
10 or exceed the lawful authority of the federal government.                                                               
11    * Sec. 2.  AS 37 is amended by adding a new chapter to read:                                                         
12 CHAPTER 40.  IMPLEMENTATION OF FEDERAL MANDATES.                                                                        
13  Sec. 37.40.010.  STATE PROGRAMS IMPLEMENTING FEDERAL                                                                  
14 MANDATES.  (a)  The commissioner of each department or head of another agency                                           
15 in the executive branch shall annually review each program administered by that                                         
16 department or agency that implements federal statutes that impose mandated duties on                                    
17 the state.  The commissioner or agency head shall also review federal statutes,                                         
18 regulations, guidelines, and policies that pertain to the program and identify those                                    
19 provisions that are inconsistent with state policy or are not cost-effective.  The                                      
20 commissioner or agency head shall prepare a report describing the materials reviewed,                                   
21 setting out conclusions, and making recommendations for changes in federal law to                                       
22 make the program consistent with state policy or more cost-effective.  A copy of the                                    
23 review prepared under this subsection shall be delivered to the governor, the house and                                 
24 senate judiciary committees, and the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee by                                          
25 February 1.                                                                                                             
26  (b)  The commissioner of a department or head of another agency of the                                                
27 executive branch authorized to develop a state program to respond to mandates                                           
28 contained in federal statute shall, with the assistance of the Department of Law, review                                
29 the applicable federal statutes, regulations, guidelines, and policies to determine                                     
30 whether the federal government has exceeded its constitutional authority to impose                                      
31 mandates on the state.  If it is determined that the federal government may have                                        
01 exceeded its authority, the commissioner or agency head shall submit a written report                                   
02 to the governor and the house and senate judiciary committees setting out the basis for                                 
03 this determination.                                                                                                     
04  (c)  A department or other agency of the executive branch authorized to                                               
05 develop a state program to respond to mandates contained in federal statute shall                                       
06   (1)  give due consideration to the financial restraints of the state and                                             
07 municipalities in the development of the program; and                                                                   
08   (2)  devise a program that is as efficient as possible in terms of long-                                             
09 range public benefit and cost.                                                                                          
10  Sec. 37.40.020.  LEGISLATIVE REVIEW OF FEDERAL MANDATES.  (a)                                                         
11 Upon receipt of a report under AS 37.40.010(a) or (b), each committee shall review                                      
12 the report and may seek additional information regarding the federal mandate involved.                                  
13 The committee shall inquire further into the legality of the federal mandate, and may                                   
14 enter into contracts for legal research on this issue.  The committee may also enter into                               
15 contracts for research into legal theories that may support the right of the state to                                   
16 oppose the federal mandate and may conduct or contract for research into more cost-                                     
17 effective methods of implementing the mandate.                                                                          
18  (b)  Based upon its review under (a) of this section, the committee shall submit                                      
19 a report of its recommendations to the governor regarding                                                               
20   (1)   the need to seek a change in federal statute, regulation, or policy                                            
21 to ensure that the federal mandate is consistent with state policy and suited to the                                    
22 needs of the state;                                                                                                     
23   (2)  ways in which the state program might be altered to more                                                        
24 efficiently implement the federal mandate;                                                                              
25   (3)  the advisability of pursuing a legal challenge to the validity of the                                           
26 mandate.