Legislature(2001 - 2002)
04/15/2002 01:57 PM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE BILL NO. 515 "An Act relating to missions and measures to be applied to certain expenditures by the executive branch of state government and the University of Alaska and by the judicial branch of state government from the state operating budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2003; and providing for an effective date." Co-Chair Mulder provided members with Amendment 1: provide an accessible and impartial forum for the just resolution of all cases that come before it, and to decide the cases in accordance with the law, expeditiously and with integrity. DENNY DEWITT, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE ELDON MULDER, explained that the amendment would change the mission for the Alaska Court System. This is the first year that the courts have been brought into the missions and measures bill. He referred to the separation of powers issue and noted that it had been respected. The Alaska Court System is comfortable with the measures but felt that, since they have a constitutional responsibility for their own administration, that the legislation should reflect the mission that they had adopted. It is substantially the same. Co-Chair Mulder MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 1. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Mr. Dewitt reviewed technical changes. The first amendment is on page 23, line 9: delete "law" and insert "statute". The language was recommended by the Department of Law and agreed on by legislative counsel. "Law" is all encompassing. Mr. Dewitt observed that there should be a comma between "average" and "median" on page 30, line 23; page 31, line 31, line 17; and page 33, line 2. Mr. Dewitt noted that the last technical change occurred on page 46, line 5: delete "rapes" and insert "sexual assaults", which is a defined term. Co-Chair Mulder MOVED to ADOPT technical amendments: page 23, line 9: delete "law" and insert "statute"; place a comma between "average" and "median" on page 30, line 23; page 31, line 31, line 17; and page 33, line 2; and on page 46, line 5: delete "rapes" and insert "sexual assaults". There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Representative Croft MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 3: Page 1, line 2 after "Alaska" insert: ", the legislative branch of state government," Page 59, line 6 1) Add a new article to read: Article 16. Alaska State legislature Sec. 154. Alaska State Legislature. (a) The mission of the Alaska State Legislature is to adopt a balanced budget. (h) The legislature intends to measure its success by whether the legislature adopts a budget that balances revenue and expenditures without unsustainable withdrawals from the State of Alaska's savings accounts. Representative Croft explained that the amendment would add a mission and measure for the legislature. He maintained that there is no more fundamental, central task than to adopt a balanced budget. Co-Chair Mulder OBJECTED. He observed that the legislature is already required to adopt a balanced budget through the Constitution. The ability to do so is contained within the ability to withdraw funds from the Constitutional Budget Reserve. He did not agree with the evaluation of the legislature's success or failure based on the ability to adopt a fiscal plan. Representative Davies argued in support of the amendment. A roll call vote was taken on the motion. IN FAVOR: Croft, Davies, Hudson OPPOSED: Foster, Harris, Lancaster, Whitaker, Bunde, Mulder Representative Carl Moses was absent from the vote. The MOTION FAILED (3-6). Representative Foster MOVED to report CSHB 515 (FIN) out of Committee with the accompanying fiscal note. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. CSHB 515 (FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with a new zero fiscal note by the House Finance Committee for all departments.