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CSSCR 29(FIN): Objecting to the Department of Administration's settlement with certain employees of the Alaska marine highway system.

00 CS FOR SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 29(FIN)                                                                         
01 Objecting to the Department of Administration's settlement with certain employees                                       
02 of the Alaska marine highway system.                                                                                    
03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
04  WHEREAS the labor relations section in the Department of Administration determined                                     
05 after investigation that several employees of the Alaska marine highway system had                                      
06 intentionally defrauded the state of approximately $800,000 between 1990 and 1994 by                                    
07 claiming to be state residents for purposes of receiving the cost-of-living differential that is                        
08 available only to state residents; and                                                                                  
09  WHEREAS these acts of deception are punishable under state law as criminal fraud;                                      
10 and                                                                                                                     
11  WHEREAS the commissioner of administration and the Marine Engineers Benevolent                                         
12 Association, which represents these employees, have entered into a settlement agreement                                 
13 requiring the employees to reimburse the state for less than 15 cents on the dollar for the extra                       
14 compensation they claimed and received; and                                                                             
01  WHEREAS the settlement terms provide that no offending employee will be                                                
02 prosecuted for these offenses and that the offending employees may continue to work for the                             
03 marine highway system without suspension, so long as they do not reoffend; and                                          
04  WHEREAS the Department of Administration did not consult with or inform the state                                      
05 legislature or the general public before it entered into negotiations with the bargaining                               
06 organization or agreed to these settlement terms; and                                                                   
07  WHEREAS the settlement appears excessively lenient given the intentional fraud                                         
08 alleged against the employees; and                                                                                      
09  WHEREAS the settlement deprives the people of the state of the repayment of money                                      
10 to which the state is rightfully entitled, thereby reducing the revenue of the state; and                               
11  WHEREAS the monetary terms of an agreement reached under authority of the Public                                       
12 Employment Relations Act are subject to legislative funding under AS 23.40.215(a) and                                   
13 legislative approval under AS 23.40.215(b);                                                                             
14  BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature disapproves the settlement                                            
15 agreement reached between the Department of Administration and the Marine Engineers                                     
16 Benevolent Association on behalf of certain employees of the Alaska marine highway system                               
17 and respectfully instructs the governor that the legislature does not authorize the agreement;                          
18 and be it                                                                                                               
19  FURTHER RESOLVED that the commissioner of administration should refrain from                                           
20 engaging in any further settlement discussions with the Marine Engineers Benevolent                                     
21 Association, the International Association of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, or the                                        
22 Inlandboatmen's Union of the Pacific aimed at reducing any sum considered to be owed to                                 
23 the state by any member of one of those collective bargaining organizations because of an                               
24 inappropriately claimed resident cost-of-living differential; and be it                                                 
25  FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Administration and the Alaska                                                  
26 marine highway system take all measures available to them under law or contract to secure                               
27 repayment of all sums owed to the state relating to the cost-of-living differential; and be it                          
28  FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature requests that the attorney                                          
29 general appoint a special investigator to conduct an investigation into the actions and decisions                       
30 of the Department of Administration leading to the settlement between the commissioner of                               
31 administration and the Marine Engineers Benevolent Association to determine whether the                                 
01 agreement violates AS 39.52.120(a) or any other statutory or regulatory provisions.  The                                
02 special investigator shall report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House                           
03 of Representatives no later than April 15, 1996, concerning the results of that investigation.