Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/15/2002 01:57 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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.                                                                                    

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