Legislature(2013 - 2014)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/08/2013 08:00 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed to a Call of the Chair --
+= SB 21 OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION TAX TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ HB 63 EXTEND BAR ASS'N BOARD OF GOVERNORS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 51 EXTEND BAR ASS'N BOARD OF GOVERNORS TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
<Pending Referral>
+ HB 102 RETIREMENT PLANS; ROTH IRAS; PROBATE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 65 RETIREMENT PLANS; ROTH IRAS; PROBATE TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
<Pending Referral>
+ HB 134 MEDICAID PAYMENT FOR MEDISET PRESCRIPTION TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
<Pending Referral>
*+ HB 195 STATE EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 95 STATE EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
<Pending Referral>
+ SB 2 INTERSTATE MINING COMPACT & COMMISSION TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ SB 16 BD OF ARCHITECTS, ENGINEERS, SURVEYORS TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ SB 24 MARINE TRANSPORTATION ADVISORY BOARD TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ SB 37 EXTEND SUICIDE PREVENTION COUNCIL TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ SB 38 STATE MEDICAL BOARD TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ SB 86 APPROVE FLINT HILLS ROYALTY OIL SALE TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ SB 18 BUDGET: CAPITAL TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HOUSE BILL NO. 63                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act extending the termination date of the Board of                                                                     
     Governors of the Alaska Bar Association; and providing                                                                     
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:49:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MIKE HAWKER  presented the  sunset bill.  He                                                                    
noted  that the  bill  could  be found  on  the Division  of                                                                    
Legislative Budget and Audit's  (LB&A) website. The proposed                                                                    
legislation  extended the  Alaska  Bar Association's  sunset                                                                    
date from  2013 to  2021 in accordance  with recommendations                                                                    
made  by  the  state's   legislative  auditor.  The  auditor                                                                    
conducted  an evaluation  of the  Board  of Governors  using                                                                    
criteria under AS 44.66.050(c),  which was summarized in the                                                                    
report included in committee members' files.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  continued that all  previous findings                                                                    
from prior  audits were resolved. The  remaining issue stood                                                                    
as a  matter of judgment  between the legal  and legislative                                                                    
profession regarding the  mandatory continuing education for                                                                    
attorneys. The  auditor recommended that the  Alaska Supreme                                                                    
Court increase the mandatory education hours for attorneys.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:51:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara   pointed  out  that  the   Alaska  Bar                                                                    
Association  continued charging  attorneys money  despite an                                                                    
inactive status. If  the fee was not paid,  an attorney must                                                                    
take the bar  exam a second time to practice  law. He wished                                                                    
to see an amendment preventing the practice.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  stated that  he did  not wish  to regulate                                                                    
the bar.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker referred to "Shakespeare's Council."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  suggested a  subcommittee process  for the                                                                    
proposed amendment.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara withdrew his request.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:55:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KRIS, CURTIS,  LEGISLATIVE BUDGET  AND AUDIT,  explained the                                                                    
recommendation in  prior sunsets  that the board  support an                                                                    
increase  to   the  mandatory  continuing   legal  education                                                                    
requirement.  Current  mandatory   requirements  were  three                                                                    
credits  per   year.  She   stated  the   board's  voluntary                                                                    
requirement of  an additional nine credits,  with 60 percent                                                                    
of  members meeting  the requirement.  She pointed  out that                                                                    
the board conducted  a survey of their  members to determine                                                                    
whether  they supported  an increase;  over  90 percent  did                                                                    
not. She stated that LB&A made the recommendation again.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
STEVE  VAN  GOOR,  ALASKA BAR  ASSOCIATION,  ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  stated that  he  was  available to  answer                                                                    
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  asked about the fairness  of the Alaska                                                                    
Bar Association's fee for inactive attorneys.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Van  Goor replied that  an inactive status with  the bar                                                                    
association  was  an  option for  members  choosing  not  to                                                                    
practice law.  He stated that inactive  members were charged                                                                    
a  fee to  retain  the structure,  licensing and  discipline                                                                    
functions of  the association. An inactive  member supported                                                                    
the  infrastructure and  ability  to return  to practice.  A                                                                    
failure to pay  inactive dues did not require  the member to                                                                    
retake the  bar exam,  but instead  subjected the  member to                                                                    
administrative suspension. The suspension  could be cured by                                                                    
paying the past due fees and a penalty.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze compared  the fee to that  of an automobile                                                                    
registration fee.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara suggested  that  inactive members  must                                                                    
pay for infrastructure supporting active members.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Van  Goor  replied  that  the  Alaska  Bar  Association                                                                    
supported  the public  service  functions. Inactive  members                                                                    
were  not charged  the same  amount as  active members,  but                                                                    
they did have the ability to practice law again.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara disagreed with the policy.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:59:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Holmes joked  that Representative Gara's fees                                                                    
helped to  lower her own as  an active member of  the Alaska                                                                    
Bar Association.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:00:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HANNA  SEBOLD, ALASKA  BAR  ASSOCIATION,  was available  for                                                                    
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara expressed his  opinion that the practice                                                                    
of collecting  fees from inactive  members was not  just and                                                                    
reasonable.  He  asked  that Ms.  Sebold  request  that  the                                                                    
Alaska Bar Association change the rule.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Sebold answered  that she would bring the  matter to the                                                                    
board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Holmes discussed  current mandatory hours for                                                                    
continued  education.   She  stated  that  three   hours  of                                                                    
mandatory   ethics  and   an   additional   nine  hours   of                                                                    
recommended hours  of "other" continuing  education credits.                                                                    
She asked if the association had  a position on the issue of                                                                    
changing the policy.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Sebold deferred the question to Mr. Van Goor.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Van Goor  replied that a rule proposal had  been made to                                                                    
the   Alaska  Supreme   Court  to   clarify  the   mandatory                                                                    
continuing  education policy.  He explained  that the  board                                                                    
suggested a  rule change  while conducting  a survey  of its                                                                    
membership and  comments were collected before  the rule was                                                                    
submitted to  the court.  The court  would then  schedule an                                                                    
administrative rules  conference, which the  association was                                                                    
invited to attend.  He suggested to LB&A that  the audit was                                                                    
the time to raise the  concerns expressed in the House State                                                                    
Affairs Committee.  He stated that  the court had  the final                                                                    
call about the  number of hours required for  members of the                                                                    
bar. The  court had  the ability to  increase the  number of                                                                    
hours and was in the decision making process.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:04:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Holmes   asked  for  clarification   on  the                                                                    
recommendation  regarding  an   increase  in  the  mandatory                                                                    
number  of  continuing education  hours.  She  asked if  the                                                                    
association  had   presented  a  recommendation   about  the                                                                    
requirement.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Van  Goor answered  that  the  proposed rule  clarified                                                                    
portions of the  mandatory continuing education requirements                                                                    
without a specific recommendation  for increasing the hours.                                                                    
He  hoped  to discuss  the  audit's  concerns at  the  rules                                                                    
conference.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze thanked  Mr. Van  Goor for  clarifying the                                                                    
diminished relevance of the people's body in the process.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:05:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz   asked  the  number  of   active  and                                                                    
inactive bar members in Alaska.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Sebold  replied approximately  4100 total  members, with                                                                    
2600 in active status.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:06:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TOM  OBERMEYER,   ANCHORAGE  (via   teleconference),  called                                                                    
attention to  the bar exam.  He claimed that the  Alaska Bar                                                                    
Association  had the  ability to  limit applicants  who pass                                                                    
the bar  exam. He  noted that  Missouri implemented  a state                                                                    
practice portion  for the  exam. He  stated that  Alaska had                                                                    
less than 100 applicants. He  explained that he had paid and                                                                    
studied for the bar exam for  29 years. He spoke to the debt                                                                    
incurred in  law school. He  believed that the  exam passage                                                                    
rate   was  arbitrary.   He  disagreed   with  the   audit's                                                                    
recommendation of an 8 year extension.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:11:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  understood the dilemma  regarding the                                                                    
separation  of powers  between  the  legislative, legal  and                                                                    
executive    branches    of   government.    He    requested                                                                    
consideration for  a change in  statute or letter  of intent                                                                    
accompanying the  bill to  provide the  great impact  of the                                                                    
legislature's  concern.  He   pointed  out  the  committee's                                                                    
tradition of separating policy calls from reauthorizations.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  stated that  the audit  recommendation was                                                                    
also important.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HB  63  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:15:58 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:19:32 AM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 63 Audit Response.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 63
Audit Report Digest.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 63
Full Audit Report Bar Association.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 63
HB063-NEW FN-OOG-EO-2-23-13.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 63
HB63 Public Testimony--Thomas Obermeyer.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 63
CSHB 102 (L&C) Letters of Support.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 102
CSHB 102 (L&C) Sectional Analysis.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 102
CSHB 102 (L&C) Summary of all Changes.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB 102 Leg Legal Memo.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB 102 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB 102 Supporting Document--American Bar Association All About Trusts.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB 102 Supporting Documents Contracts Clause Issue.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB 102 Supporting Documents Single Subject Rule.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB 195 - Sectional Analysis.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 195
HB195-NEW FN ACS-000-04-02-13.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 195
HB 195 - Transmittal Letter.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 195
HB 195 - Sectional Analysis.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 195
HB195 NEW FN Leg 4-3-13 LFD.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 195
SB 86 DNR FHR PBIF Presentation 4-8-13.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 86
Final BIF FHR 3-25-13.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 86
SB 86 Transmittal Letter.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 86
SB 2 - IMCC Annual Report 2011.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 2
SB 2 - IMCC Membership 2013.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 2
SB 2 - IMCC Dues Assessments 2014 and 2015.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 2
SB 2 - IMCC Welcome.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 2
SB 2 - Letters of Support H FIN.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 2
SB 2 - Sectional.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 2
SB 2 - Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 2
DOA_SB95- HB 195_BillOverview(April2013).pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 195
SB 95
SB 24 House Finance Committee Hearing packet.pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 24
SB 2 - IMCC Testimony on AK SB 2 -- House Finance (2).pdf HFIN 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 2