Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/09/2001 01:18 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 103 - ELECTION CAMPAIGNS AND LEGISLATIVE ETHICS                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0160                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  announced that the  first order of  business would                                                              
be CS FOR SENATE  BILL NO. 103(FIN), "An Act relating  to election                                                              
campaigns and legislative ethics."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0185                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOE  BALASH,  Staff  to  Senator  Gene  Therriault,  Senate  State                                                              
Affairs Standing  Committee, Alaska  State Legislature,  presented                                                              
SB  103  on  behalf  of the  sponsor,  the  Senate  State  Affairs                                                              
Standing Committee.   Mr. Balash explained that SB  103 is largely                                                              
a  "cleanup bill"  to  address a  couple  of  conflicts and  "gray                                                              
areas"  in  the  Alaska  Public   Offices  Commission  (APOC)  and                                                              
legislative ethics  statutes.   He said that  the APOC  section of                                                              
SB 103 further  defines and clarifies that a  single candidate can                                                              
control  multiple  groups, but  that  a  collection of  groups  is                                                              
subject  to  the  same limitations  on  contributions  that  would                                                              
apply to one  group.  He added  that SB 103 makes some  changes to                                                              
the public  office expense  term (POET)  account and POET  reserve                                                              
mechanism,  which  is eliminated,  leaving  just  the single  POET                                                              
account;  transitional language  is  included  to facilitate  this                                                              
change.   He  also explained  that  under SB  103,  the amount  of                                                              
personal  property  that's  allowed   to  be  carried  forward  is                                                              
increased,  and the  types  of property  that  are  allowed to  be                                                              
carried forward are addressed.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BALASH further  explained that  contribution definitions  are                                                              
modified, particularly  in the  areas of exclusions,  professional                                                              
services,  mass mailings  by parties,  certain  poll results,  and                                                              
newsletters to constituents.   With regard to the  ethics portions                                                              
of SB  103, he  said that the  ethics statute  breaks down  in two                                                              
places:   use of public assets  for non-legislative  purposes, and                                                              
use  of public  assets for  political  purposes.   Under the  non-                                                              
legislative  purposes portion,  allowances are  made for  seasonal                                                              
greeting  cards  to be  prepared  and  mailed out  by  legislative                                                              
staff;  transportation of  personal computers  used primarily  for                                                              
state  business;  use  of  photographs;   reasonable  use  of  the                                                              
Internet;   solicitation   and   acceptance   of   donations   for                                                              
nonpolitical  charities;  and  newsletters  on any  subject.    In                                                              
addition,  the  use  of  offices   before  and  after  session  is                                                              
extended  to  ten  days  at  either  end.    Under  the  political                                                              
purposes  portion,  allowances are  made  for legislators  to  use                                                              
their  photographs   and  to  support  or   oppose  constitutional                                                              
amendments,  although  there  is   a  limitation  on  the  use  of                                                              
legislative offices  and staff  for solicitation of  contributions                                                              
regarding  the amendment;  it  also addresses  the  use of  Juneau                                                              
legislative offices  and provides for an exception to  the gift of                                                              
transportation from one legislator to another.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0443                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  asked   whether  the  change  regarding                                                              
candidates' registering of multiple groups is necessary.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BALASH responded  that  the  APOC currently  treats  multiple                                                              
groups in  this manner,  and the  legislation is simply  codifying                                                              
that  interpretation.   As to  the  necessity of  this change,  he                                                              
said it  is up to the  legislators' preference whether  to include                                                              
it.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG,  with  regard  to the  elimination  of  the  POET                                                              
reserve account, asked whether the amounts would stay the same.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. BALASH confirmed that the amounts would stay the same.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG said:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Right  now, ... a  House member  can receive $10,000  of                                                                   
     campaign  funds, then has  to disburse  it to a  reserve                                                                   
     and  an operating  account  - ...  [though] only  $5,000                                                                   
     per  annum  - so  that's  why  the reserve  account  was                                                                   
     established.   So, this bill  does away with that  so we                                                                   
     only have  to have  one account  over a two-year  cycle.                                                                   
     Is that [correct]?                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BALASH said  that  is correct.    He added  that  all of  the                                                              
reporting  requirements are  still in  place as  to how the  funds                                                              
are used and accounted  for, as are the limitations  on use of the                                                              
funds.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  asked for clarification on  the types of                                                              
accounts and the amounts allowed as addressed by SB 103.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES responded  that SB  103 is  doing away  with                                                              
the  POET reserve  account, leaving  in place  the operating  POET                                                              
account as  well as the campaign  account.  With this  change, the                                                              
entire  $10,000 can  be placed  in the  operational POET  account,                                                              
although those funds have to last for two years.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  noted that  he has  set up  a savings account  for                                                              
the funds  in his POET  reserve account, and  is now at a  loss as                                                              
to what  to do  with the  interest earned  by that account,  since                                                              
interest  earned is  not specifically  addressed in  statute.   He                                                              
added  that he  does  report that  amount  of  interest earned  as                                                              
income to the  Internal Revenue Service (IRS),  but is constrained                                                              
by current statute from using it as personal income.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES  opined  that  interest  earned  from  these                                                              
accounts is  considered a political  donation to  the legislator's                                                              
own campaign and needs to be reported as such.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG  asked what  becomes  of  the  funds in  the  POET                                                              
accounts  upon the  death of  a legislator  while in  office.   He                                                              
said his  interpretation is that  the disposition of  the accounts                                                              
would have to follow the statute.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0732                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BROOKE   MILES,   Executive  Director,   Alaska   Public   Offices                                                              
Commission  (APOC),  testified via  teleconference  and  confirmed                                                              
that this is also the interpretation held the APOC staff.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG  surmised this  meant  that the  surviving  spouse                                                              
would have to go  through the process of disposing  of those funds                                                              
via donations to charities and/or political parties.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS  MILES confirmed  this  and  added  that the  surviving  spouse                                                              
could  also choose  to  donate the  funds  to  state or  municipal                                                              
government agencies.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. BALASH  added that  the language  regarding the limitation  on                                                              
the disposal  of funds from the  POET account at the end  the term                                                              
of office,  page 3,  lines 25-26, is  consistent with  the current                                                              
limitations  on the  POET  reserve account  mechanism.   He  noted                                                              
that  one  of  the  limitations  is that  these  funds  cannot  be                                                              
pocketed as personal income.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0882                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SUSIE BARNETT,  Ethics Committee  Administrator, Select  Committee                                                              
on Legislative  Ethics ("Ethics Committee"),  Legislative Agencies                                                              
and Offices, testified  via teleconference.  Referring  to Section                                                              
8 on page 11, lines  8-12, she said that she and  the chair of the                                                              
Ethics Committee,  Skip Cook,  have discussed  this section;  they                                                              
recommend  that   when  the  gift   of  transportation   from  one                                                              
legislator  to  another  exceeds  $250,  there  should  be  public                                                              
disclosure, as  is the case with  all other gifts.   She explained                                                              
that this  public disclosure  would follow  the same  stipulations                                                              
as the public disclosure of other gifts.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BALASH, as  background  for  this provision,  explained  that                                                              
this language  was added  in the  Senate Finance Committee  (SFIN)                                                              
by Senator Olson,  who had spoke to the difficulties  a legislator                                                              
can have  getting around  in his particular  district.   "You can,                                                              
virtually, only  get by  with an airplane,"  Mr. Balash  said, and                                                              
added  that Senator  Olson  found that  under  the current  ethics                                                              
requirements,  even though  he owns  his own  plane, he could  not                                                              
invite somebody  to his home and  provide the type  of hospitality                                                              
similar  to what  two  legislators  from the  urban  areas of  the                                                              
state could  provide to  each other.   On  the topic of  including                                                              
the  disclosure  requirements as  suggested  by Ms.  Barnett,  Mr.                                                              
Balash said that  according to his understanding,  there are three                                                              
options available to  the legislature.  One is to  not require any                                                              
disclosure;  the  second  would  be to  disclose  to  the  [Ethics                                                              
Committee]  only;  and  the  third option  would  be  full  public                                                              
disclosure   whereby  the   gift  is  reported   to  the   [Ethics                                                              
Committee] and  in turn entered  into the legislative  journal for                                                              
each  body.   Mr. Balash  noted  that disclosure  of  the gift  of                                                              
travel referred to  in Section 8 was not discussed,  either during                                                              
committee hearings or during Senate floor debate.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. BARNETT added  that currently, the sharing  of travel expenses                                                              
between legislators  would not have  to be disclosed under  SB 103                                                              
as written; under  her suggested change, it would only  have to be                                                              
disclosed if the value exceeds $250.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MILES  explained  that  the  APOC,  at  its  recent  meeting,                                                              
reviewed  SB 103 and  identified  some areas  that will result  in                                                              
administrative costs.   With regard to Section 4 on  page 5, lines                                                              
[6-11], she  said that  this provision makes  an amendment  to the                                                              
campaign disclosure  law in conformance with a  proposed amendment                                                              
to the legislative  ethics law found later in SB  103.  The effect                                                              
of this provision  is to permit legislators and  legislative staff                                                              
to  use public  resources to  support or  oppose ballot  questions                                                              
regarding constitutional  amendments.  She pointed  out that under                                                              
current  law,  public funds  can  be  used  to support  or  oppose                                                              
ballot questions  only if they  are specifically  appropriated for                                                              
that  purpose by  state law  or  municipal ordinance.   She  added                                                              
that  administrative   regulations   allow  public  officials   to                                                              
communicate   on  ballot   question   issues,  as   long  as   the                                                              
communication is  made in the  usual and customary  performance of                                                              
the official's duties.   She noted that this  has been interpreted                                                              
to mean  that legislators  can include  commentary about  proposed                                                              
constitutional    amendment   ballot    propositions   in    their                                                              
constituent mailings,  in their  discussions before a  Rotary Club                                                              
or chamber of commerce, and so forth.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1224                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILES continued,  saying that the revision proposed  by SB 103                                                              
is  likely to  attract public  inquiries  and complaints,  because                                                              
the  persons on  the  opposing  side of  constitutional  amendment                                                              
ballot   questions  will   probably   have   concerns  about   the                                                              
activities  of legislators  and  legislative employees  conducting                                                              
constitutional-amendment   ballot-question   campaign   activities                                                              
with  public funds.   She  said  her overarching  comment on  this                                                              
proposed change  is that none  of the legislators'  or legislative                                                              
employees'  activities,   with  respect   to  the  work   done  on                                                              
constitutional  amendments, are currently  regulated.   She added,                                                              
however, that that  could change once [legislators  or legislative                                                              
employees]  start actually  expending public  funds that  have not                                                              
been specifically  appropriated for  the purpose of  supporting or                                                              
opposing a ballot question issue.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  suggested that  the intent of  this proposed                                                              
change is not necessarily  to be utilizing a lot  of public funds,                                                              
but  rather  to  allow  legislative   staff  to  do  some  of  the                                                              
activities  during their  regular  workday (as  opposed to  during                                                              
their personal  time) that  are currently  done by legislators  on                                                              
ballot propositions.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MILES said  she believed  that under  the legislative  ethics                                                              
provision of  SB 103,  the latter function  would be  allowed, but                                                              
under  the   campaign  disclosure   section,  it  simply   permits                                                              
campaign   activities.     She  clarified   that  [AS   15.13.145]                                                              
subsection  (a)(1)-(3)  is  referring  to  state,  municipal  [and                                                              
university  entities], and  that one  of the  major provisions  of                                                              
campaign finance  reform was to restrict public  money being spent                                                              
in  campaigns.   She added  that when  public money  is spent,  it                                                              
requires  some additional  public  process;  for  example, when  a                                                              
municipality wishes  to spend money to support  or oppose building                                                              
a  new school,  it  must specifically  appropriate  that money  by                                                              
ordinance.   And  while  SB 103  would  not allow  legislators  to                                                              
solicit  funds  for  campaign  activities,   it  would  allow  the                                                              
legislators   and  legislative   employees  to  conduct   campaign                                                              
activities related  to a ballot proposition question  that affects                                                              
the constitution, and  allow for the use of general  funds in that                                                              
campaign.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES   reiterated  her  comments   regarding  her                                                              
interpretation  of the  intent  of SB  103.   She  asked what  the                                                              
current procedure  is when legislators  and staff want to  work on                                                              
constitutional amendment  ballot questions, and where  the funding                                                              
for those activities currently comes from.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILES  explained that  the legislature  works on these  issues                                                              
in  its routine  and normal  way, up  until the  point where  they                                                              
actually  become ballot  issues; once  the question  is placed  on                                                              
the ballot,  anyone can form a  valid proposition group,  which is                                                              
the  least  regulated  of  any  group.   Such  a  group  can  take                                                              
unlimited  contributions from  unlimited areas;  the group  simply                                                              
has to disclose everything.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  said she never believed that  it was ethical                                                              
for legislators to  be a part of that, or able  to spend any money                                                              
on that at all.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MILES mentioned  constitutional  amendments  relating to  the                                                              
permanent  fund  dividend  (PFD)  and  wolf  hunting  that  became                                                              
ballot questions, as examples.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1502                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ,  with  regard  to  the way  SB  103  is                                                              
currently  written, asked  whether  it is  correct to  say that  a                                                              
legislator  is permitted to  use his/her  office, for  example, to                                                              
set up a  phone bank to make  calls in opposition or  support of a                                                              
constitutional amendment.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. BALASH said  that is correct, although he added  that this did                                                              
not extend  to initiatives  because  the use  has to be  permitted                                                              
under   AS   24.60.030(a)(5)(G),    which   speaks   directly   to                                                              
constitutional amendments only.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ, for the record, said:                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     I'm going  to be  offering an  amendment to delete  this                                                                   
     section  of the bill;  it is very  troubling to  me that                                                                   
     we  cross  that line.    I  see a  very  sharp  division                                                                   
     between   our    role   as   legislators    in   putting                                                                   
     constitutional  amendments on the  ballot - or  opposing                                                                   
     constitutional   amendments   -  and   then  once   that                                                                   
     amendment  has, in effect,  passed the legislature,  our                                                                   
     role is  done.  We should  be done with  that amendment.                                                                   
     We  can talk  about it  in  the normal  context that  we                                                                   
     talk about bills  with constituents, but I  think for us                                                                   
     to  be actively  out  soliciting support  or  opposition                                                                   
     for  a proposition  crosses  a line  that  we ought  not                                                                   
     cross.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG  asked  whether  legislators are  allowed  to  use                                                              
state resources to campaign for or against ballot initiatives.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MILES said  no,  and added  that [activity  regarding]  other                                                              
ballot questions  that are  not about  a constitutional  amendment                                                              
would not be permitted.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG remarked  that  he found  this  to be  incongruous                                                              
because the  citizens' right to change  or amend a law  via ballot                                                              
initiative is similar  to the actions taken by  the legislature in                                                              
its normal  course of business.   He added, "That's the  nature of                                                              
a  change  of the  law,  and  therefore  I think  the  legislature                                                              
deserves  and has  the right  to  be intimately  involved in  that                                                              
discussion,  using  everything that  they  have [in]  their  power                                                              
...."                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1628                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ, on  a  prior point,  surmised that  the                                                              
resources   the   legislature   has  at   its   disposal   include                                                              
telephones; printing  offices; and  for some legislators,  such as                                                              
those in  the majority,  the ability  to travel.   There  also are                                                              
other advantages  whereby state funds  can be expended  in support                                                              
or opposition of a proposition.  To be clear, he continued:                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     We  have   a  very   distinct  constitutional   role  in                                                                   
     advancing  or  opposing constitutional  amendments,  and                                                                   
     it  is entirely  appropriate for  us, as  long as  we're                                                                   
     within  the process  of acting  as  legislators on  that                                                                   
     constitutional  amendment,  to  agitate for  or  against                                                                   
     that proposition.   But once it passes  the legislature,                                                                   
     our role  as legislators is  finished.  I think  we have                                                                   
     every ability  and every  right as independent  citizens                                                                   
     to speak to  or against a constitutional  amendment, but                                                                   
     that's  very distinct  [from] us bringing  the power  of                                                                   
     government that  we have through our offices  to bear on                                                                   
     an amendment.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES  agreed  that [legislators]  only  have  one                                                              
responsibility  for  using  state  funds:   to  do  their  job  as                                                              
legislators.  She  therefore surmised that this  legislation is an                                                              
attempt to  expand that responsibility.   She said she  found that                                                              
troubling  because  no matter  how  [legislators]  proceed, it  is                                                              
going to  be misunderstood  by the public.   To counter  the point                                                              
that the legislator's  job is done once an issue  is placed on the                                                              
ballot, she said  that her constituents look to  her for guidance,                                                              
and  because she  has the  obligation to  provide assistance,  she                                                              
offers them her outlook  on the issue.  She added  that one of the                                                              
things  she  has found  regarding  constitutional  amendments  and                                                              
ballot issues is  that from her perspective, it's  a free-for-all:                                                              
there are  no rules regarding honesty  in advertising, and  so the                                                              
public  becomes  victimized  in  this  whole  process,  which  can                                                              
result in wrong decisions being made for the long term.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES  said she  disagreed  with  the practice  of                                                              
using state  resources for anything  other than their  legislative                                                              
responsibility,  and that  she did  not  believe that  legislators                                                              
should  lean on  staff to gather  votes.   But, she  added,  it is                                                              
certainly  appropriate for  a legislator  to  defend the  position                                                              
that  he/she took  on a  constitutional amendment  question.   For                                                              
example,  if she  were  to travel  on state  business  and give  a                                                              
presentation to  people, if someone  asked her for her  opinion on                                                              
a constitutional  amendment, she  would freely  speak to it.   She                                                              
opined, however, that  it would not be ethical  for legislators to                                                              
join groups that  raise funds to support or  oppose constitutional                                                              
amendments.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILES,  after acknowledging  that it  is the legislature  that                                                              
sets policy  and that the APOC  merely administers the  laws it is                                                              
given,  said that  the APOC  did not  want to  interfere with  the                                                              
legislature's deliberation of this proposed policy change.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1897                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  recalled that during  the time period  surrounding                                                              
the "advisory  vote,"  the standards  put forth  by the APOC  were                                                              
very  limiting regarding  legislators'  ability  to  speak out  on                                                              
that issue.   He opined that  legislators who were opposed  to the                                                              
issue  "didn't feel  constrained  to abide  by those  guidelines,"                                                              
whereas  legislators in  support  of the  issue did  abide by  the                                                              
guidelines.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILES  referred to Section  5 [sub-subparagraph (iv)]  on page                                                              
6  [lines  6-9], and  said  that  this  amends the  definition  of                                                              
contribution to  exclude polls that  are limited to issues  and do                                                              
not  name  a  candidate,  unless  the poll  was  requested  by  or                                                              
designed primarily  to benefit the candidate or was  provided by a                                                              
person required  to register  as a lobbyist.   She explained  that                                                              
under  current  law,  when  a  campaign   pays  for  a  poll,  the                                                              
expenditure is disclosed  as a campaign expense.   If someone else                                                              
pays  for a  poll,  she  continued, and  gives  the  results to  a                                                              
campaign  without  recompense,  then the  polling  information  is                                                              
currently  considered   a  contribution  if  the   information  is                                                              
intended to influence the outcome of that candidate's election.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILES went on  to explain that under the language  proposed in                                                              
SB 103, any person  other than lobbyists - including  any entities                                                              
such  as  associations,  corporations,  and  limited  partnerships                                                              
currently prohibited  from masking  contributions -  could conduct                                                              
a  poll  and  give  the  results  to a  campaign.    Even  if  the                                                              
information has  benefited the  campaign, no contribution  results                                                              
if the two  conditions exist:  one,  the poll is about  issues and                                                              
doesn't  mention  a  candidate;  and, two,  the  poll  mentions  a                                                              
candidate  but  wasn't  requested  by  or  designed  primarily  to                                                              
benefit the  candidate.   She remarked that  this provision  of SB
103 will result  in administrative costs because the  APOC will be                                                              
required  to make  judgment  calls  on the  content  and basis  of                                                              
polls.   She  added  that polls  can  be paid  for  by any  person                                                              
(except  lobbyists)  or  entity,  and neither  the  cost  nor  the                                                              
identity would be disclosed to the public.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2023                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BALASH  explained that the  language regarding polls  was part                                                              
of the original  bill and was included  in an attempt  to "get our                                                              
hands around  those things"  that may or  may not have  value, and                                                              
things  that may  or may  not necessarily  need  to be  disclosed.                                                              
With  regard  to  a  poll  provided  by  somebody  other  than  an                                                              
allowable  individual, he  asked how  value is  assigned to  that.                                                              
For example, he  asked, if going strictly by the  cost of the poll                                                              
- one  that is  an issue-based  poll and  not designed  to benefit                                                              
one candidate or  another - and the poll is given  to candidate A,                                                              
who reports it at  the full value of its cost,  and then the donor                                                              
also  provides  it  to  candidate   B  in  separate  race,  should                                                              
candidate  B report the  donation at  the full  cost, or  half the                                                              
cost?   So, he continued,  if the  reporting requirement  is going                                                              
to include  the value of  the poll, one  would have to  figure out                                                              
how many  individuals were given  the poll, divide the  cost among                                                              
those  individuals, and  then have  each of  them report  it.   He                                                              
added that  should the  poll then  be given  to someone  else, the                                                              
reporting  problem   would  be  compounded,  and   could  lead  to                                                              
reporting  inconsistencies.   Hence,  rather than  include in  the                                                              
definition  of what  needs  to be  reported  specific formulas  to                                                              
determine the  value of polls,  he said  it was simply  decided to                                                              
exclude [polls]  altogether - except  those types described  in SB
103.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILES,  on another  point, referred  to Section  6 on  page 7,                                                              
lines 1-[5],  and said  this provides  that communications  with a                                                              
value of $500  or less from corporations, labor  organizations, or                                                              
business  or  trade  associations   are  not  expenditures.    She                                                              
explained  that under  current administrative  regulations, it  is                                                              
not considered  a contribution for  these entities  to communicate                                                              
with  their members,  employees, or  families on  any subject,  as                                                              
long as  it is in a  format that the entity  has used in  the past                                                              
to  communicate with  those people,  and as  long as  it does  not                                                              
solicit  contributions   on  behalf  of  a  candidate   or  ballot                                                              
question.  For this  reason, she relayed that the  APOC is unclear                                                              
as  to why  this provision  of SB  103 is  rewriting current  law.                                                              
She asked if  the intent is to  limit the communication  to $500 a                                                              
year, or per  election, or per communication.   She also commented                                                              
that  since  no  reporting  is   required  regarding  "these  non-                                                              
expenditures,"  either under  current  law or  under  SB 103,  the                                                              
public would have  no way of knowing about them;  if the intent of                                                              
[limiting]  these non-expenditures  is  to allow  these groups  to                                                              
actually solicit  funds on  behalf of  candidates, however,  it is                                                              
likely to result in public inquiries.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. BALASH explained  that this provision was added  by the Senate                                                              
Judiciary Standing  Committee; as he understood it,  the intention                                                              
was to  extend to corporations,  nonprofits, labor  organizations,                                                              
and so  forth the same  right to communicate  freely, and  to make                                                              
independent expenditures,  as any other individual  in Alaska has,                                                              
and also  to subject  these entities  to the  same limitations  as                                                              
individual  Alaskans have  regarding contributions  made during  a                                                              
campaign.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2283                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN  surmised that the intent is to  place a limit                                                              
of $500 a year on these entities.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ,  on valuation,  asked:  Assuming  that a                                                              
ten-page "mail-out"  costs $5,000 and  one column is devoted  to a                                                              
recommended  candidate or  slate, what  is the  value of that  one                                                              
column?                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN  suggested it could  be calculated by  using a                                                              
percentage of the column inches.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.   BALASH  acknowledged   that   there   are  difficulties   in                                                              
approaching the topic  of valuation, but he said  he believes that                                                              
the  APOC  has  the  regulatory   ability  to  set  standards  for                                                              
determining value.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MILES  explained   that  this  provision  of   SB  103  would                                                              
overwrite the current  APOC regulation that permits  these various                                                              
kinds  of  communications  (as  long as  they  don't  solicit)  in                                                              
unlimited  amounts,  and will  result  in a  $500  limit to  these                                                              
communications.    She  also  pointed out  that  nothing  in  this                                                              
provision  speaks  to independent  expenditure  activity  such  as                                                              
when a  candidate calls  up ARCO  and says,  "Can you please  send                                                              
out  a  communication  to  your  people."   It  also  could  be  a                                                              
coordinated activity  because there is  nothing that says  it must                                                              
be  independent.   This  provision  of  SB  103, she  said,  would                                                              
overwrite the  ability of all  these organizations  to communicate                                                              
freely  with   their  members,   and  the  provision   relates  to                                                              
expenditures,   which,    as   she   understands,    could   raise                                                              
constitutional issues.   She added that the APOC  would rather the                                                              
current situation  prevail with regard to  communications, instead                                                              
of imposing limits.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 2419                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BALASH,  in response to a  question, said that  Senator Donley                                                              
proposed this language.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  noted  that  he would  be  offering  an                                                              
amendment later  in the  meeting to delete  this language  from SB
103.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  commented that  she did not  understand what                                                              
this language is trying to do.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG noted  also that  he did not  understand what  the                                                              
purpose of  this language is.   "If it's already allowed,  why are                                                              
we trying to put a value on it," he added.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  noted that the  groups listed in  this [sub-                                                              
subparagraph  (ii)]  cannot  currently   make  any  contributions,                                                              
period.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   ROKEBERG   explained   that   these   communications   are                                                              
considered  expenditures for  the purpose  of these entities'  own                                                              
records.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  surmised that  there is no  difference; they                                                              
are  spending  money via  the  communications  and thus  making  a                                                              
contribution.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG noted,  however, that currently these  entities can                                                              
endorse candidates in their newsletters.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 01-59, SIDE B                                                                                                              
Number 2475                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  suggested that  if these entities  endorse a                                                              
list of candidates  in their newsletter, then she  considers it to                                                              
be a campaign  contribution.  She offered that  since entities are                                                              
already  allowed   unlimited  communications,   the  language   is                                                              
attempting  to restrict  communications  to  $500  only; thus,  no                                                              
communications could occur that cost more than that.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  said his interpretation is  that as long                                                              
as it  is a  regular company  mail-out (and,  for example,  in the                                                              
November  mail-out  it  says  "here's   our  recommended  list  of                                                              
candidates or propositions  that we support") this  is permissible                                                              
under current  regulation, but  anything in  excess of  that would                                                              
not be permissible.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MILES  clarified  that  it   would  be  permissible  for  the                                                              
organization to talk  to its membership on any  subject, including                                                              
advocating on behalf  of candidates, so long as  it didn't solicit                                                              
contributions.   She noted that communications wouldn't  even have                                                              
to be in  the form of a newsletter;  they could instead  be in the                                                              
form of  e-mail or  "telephone trees."   She  also confirmed  that                                                              
there are some  First Amendment issues involved.   Furthermore, in                                                              
response  to  questions,  she  said  that  the  language  in  this                                                              
provision of SB  103 does confuse the APOC's  responsibilities and                                                              
in fact may even overwrite the existing regulation.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ then surmised  that this language  would                                                              
lead  to more  regulations,  more  confusion, possibly  more  APOC                                                              
complaints, and  more difficulties  for candidates who  are trying                                                              
to comply but for reasons beyond their control are unable to.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILES  said that Representative  Berkowitz's comments  express                                                              
the APOC's concerns very well.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG, on  another point, asked why a  candidate's filing                                                              
fee is not a deductible expenditure.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2364                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILES  said she has  always understood  that a filing  fee can                                                              
be  listed  as  a  campaign  expenditure  since  it  is  certainly                                                              
reasonably  related to a  person's campaign.   She clarified  that                                                              
the language  on page  6, lines  29-30, is  simply stating  that a                                                              
filing fee cannot  be considered an expenditure  before filing for                                                              
office.   Paying the  filing fee  out of  campaign funds  and then                                                              
reporting it is not considered a violation, she added.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES noted  that  she did  not  believe that  the                                                              
filing fee should be paid for with campaign funds.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG   offered  that  there  is  a   lot  of  confusion                                                              
[surrounding  the issue of  campaign expenditures],  and  that the                                                              
statutes should clarify  these points.  Chair Rokeberg  then asked                                                              
Ms.  Miles  to comment  on  Amendment  1  [22-LS0148\G.1,  Cramer,                                                              
4/4/01], which read:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 1, following "campaigns":                                                                                   
          Insert ", financial disclosure statements of                                                                        
     public officials and legislators,"                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, following line 2:                                                                                                  
          Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                    
        "* Section 1.  AS 15.13.030 is amended to read:                                                                       
          Sec. 15.13.030.  Duties of the commission.  The                                                                     
     commission shall                                                                                                           
               (1)   develop  and provide  all forms for  the                                                                   
     reports and  statements required  to be made  under this                                                                   
     chapter,  AS 24.45, and AS  39.50; the commission  shall                                                               
     develop  and  provide  a  single form  to  be  used  for                                                               
     filings  of financial  disclosure  statements by  public                                                               
     officials  under  AS 39.50   and  filings  of  financial                                                               
     disclosure     statements    by    legislators     under                                                               
     AS 24.60.200 - 24.60.260;                                                                                              
               (2)   prepare  and  publish  a manual  setting                                                                   
     out  uniform methods  of bookkeeping  and reporting  for                                                                   
     use by persons  required to make reports  and statements                                                                   
     under  this  chapter and  otherwise  assist  candidates,                                                                   
     groups,   and   individuals   in  complying   with   the                                                                   
     requirements of this chapter;                                                                                              
               (3)     receive  and  hold  open   for  public                                                                   
     inspection  reports and statements  required to  be made                                                                   
     under  this chapter  and, upon  request, furnish  copies                                                                   
     at cost to interested persons;                                                                                             
               (4)   compile and  maintain a current  list of                                                                   
     all filed reports and statements;                                                                                          
               (5)   prepare a summary  of each report  filed                                                                   
     under  AS 15.13.110  and  make copies  of  this  summary                                                                   
     available to interested persons at their actual cost;                                                                      
               (6)    notify,  by   registered  or  certified                                                                   
     mail, all persons  who are delinquent in  filing reports                                                                   
     and statements required to be made under this chapter;                                                                     
               (7)   examine,  investigate,  and compare  all                                                                   
     reports,  statements,  and   actions  required  by  this                                                                   
     chapter, AS 24.45, and AS 39.50;                                                                                           
               (8)   prepare  and publish  a biennial  report                                                                   
     concerning  the   activities  of  the   commission,  the                                                                   
     effectiveness  of this chapter,  its enforcement  by the                                                                   
     attorney  general's  office,   and  recommendations  and                                                                   
     proposals  for change; the  commission shall notify  the                                                                   
     legislature that the report is available;                                                                                  
               (9)      adopt    regulations   necessary   to                                                                   
     implement  and  clarify  the   provisions  of  AS 24.45,                                                                   
     AS 39.50,  and this chapter,  subject to the  provisions                                                                   
     of AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act)."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 3:                                                                                                            
          Delete "Section 1"                                                                                                  
          Insert "Sec. 2"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2228                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILES  said  that she has  seen Amendment  1,  and went  on to                                                              
explain that the  legislative financial disclosure  and the public                                                              
officials financial  disclosure vary in only three  ways:  income,                                                              
loans,  and  gifts.    Under  legislative   financial  disclosure,                                                              
[legislators  and staff]  aren't  required to  file disclosure  of                                                              
any  gift with  the  APOC; instead,  these  disclosures are  filed                                                              
with the  Legislative Ethics  Committee.   With respect  to income                                                              
and loans,  she continued, legislators  (only) have to  report the                                                              
amount  of income  if  the source  of  the income  or  loan has  a                                                              
substantial  interest  in  legislative  action.   She  added  that                                                              
there are  only 66 people  who file legislative  disclosure forms,                                                              
whereas  there are  3,000 people  who file  the public  officials'                                                              
disclosure statements.   She relayed that the  changes proposed by                                                              
Amendment 1 could  be instituted without a change  to statute, but                                                              
if  the legislature  still wishes  to institute  Amendment 1,  the                                                              
APOC staff suggests  that the language should be  inserted into AS                                                              
39.50 and  AS 24.60, instead  of the financial disclosure  statute                                                              
- AS 15.13 - as is proposed currently by Amendment 1.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILES  also relayed that  Nancy Freeman  has said that  she is                                                              
willing to work on combining the forms.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG  said  that  is  not  correct;  according  to  his                                                              
information, Ms. Freeman said the law needed to be changed.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MILES   said,  "I   don't  believe   that's  true,   and  she                                                              
understands that  that's not  true."  Ms.  Miles opined  that when                                                              
Ms.  Freeman said  that  the law  would need  to  be changed,  she                                                              
meant  that public  officials would  be required  to disclose  the                                                              
amount  of income.   However, Ms  Miles added,  that word  doesn't                                                              
really apply  to public officials  because they're not  allowed to                                                              
work  for  an  outside  entity   that  would  have  a  substantial                                                              
interest in  legislative action.   When "you" work for  the state,                                                              
it's very limited  what "you" can do, she noted.   On the point of                                                              
instituting Amendment  1, she  explained that  it would just  be a                                                              
matter  of  combining  forms,  particularly  since  the  reporting                                                              
thresholds   are  now   same   for  both   legislative   financial                                                              
disclosure and public officials.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  relayed that  he found  it very inconvenient  when                                                              
he sent  in his form  to the  APOC and it  was rejected  for being                                                              
the wrong form.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MILES,  as the  new  director  of  the  APOC, said  that  she                                                              
disapproved of that  type of action; the person  handling the form                                                              
should have simply  requested any additional information  that was                                                              
needed in order to finish filling out the correct form.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG announce  that  the  hearing on  SB  103 would  be                                                              
recessed until later in this same meeting.                                                                                      
SB 103 - ELECTION CAMPAIGNS AND LEGISLATIVE ETHICS                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2190                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  announced  that the committee  would continue  the                                                              
hearing on  CS FOR SENATE BILL  NO. 103(FIN), "An Act  relating to                                                              
election campaigns and legislative ethics."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2183                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG   made  a  motion  to  adopt   Amendment  1  [text                                                              
previously  provided],  which  would  provide  for  combining  the                                                              
financial   disclosure   statements   of  public   officials   and                                                              
legislators into one  form.  He reminded members that  it has been                                                              
suggested  by the  Alaska Public  Offices  Commission (APOC)  that                                                              
the language  in Amendment 1 would  be more suitably placed  in AS                                                              
39.50 and AS 24.60, rather than AS 15.13.030.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES  said  she  is  not  convinced  that  it  is                                                              
possible  to create  a  single form  for  everybody  - there  will                                                              
still have  to be two  forms to  accommodate both legislators  and                                                              
public officials.   But, she suggested, everything  requested only                                                              
of legislators could be placed on one form.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  said he  thinks that  the three sections  specific                                                              
to legislators  could be placed  on a single  form along  with the                                                              
instructions  that  these sections  need  only  be filled  out  by                                                              
legislators.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2100                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES,   with  regard  to  the   APOC's  suggested                                                              
change, made a  motion to conceptually amend Amendment  1 "to move                                                              
it where  it belongs."  There  being no objection,  the conceptual                                                              
amendment to Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2078                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG  asked  whether   there  were  any  objections  to                                                              
Amendment 1, as  amended.  There being no objection,  Amendment 1,                                                              
as amended, was adopted.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2071                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  made a  motion  to adopt  Amendment  2,                                                              
which read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, lines 3-5,                                                                                                         
     Delete all materials                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2056                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG objected.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  explained   that  Amendment  2  deletes                                                              
language  which  states that  campaign  signs for  elections  that                                                              
have already taken place have no monetary value.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG, in  defense of his objection to  Amendment 2, said                                                              
placing value on  campaign signs from elections  that have already                                                              
taken place is a meaningless valuation.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  noted that some signs, particularly  the big                                                              
signs, do have quite  a bit of residual value.   She added that as                                                              
a bankruptcy  trustee, she  herself has sold  some of  the larger,                                                              
used  signs  -   from  a  bankrupt  real  estate  firm   -  for  a                                                              
considerable amount of money.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ,  in defense  of Amendment 2,  added that                                                              
some of the larger  Corex signs (the 4x8 size) can  cost $100.  He                                                              
said it  is important to acknowledge  that campaign signs  do have                                                              
value;  he  advocated  that  the status  quo  be  maintained  with                                                              
regard to  the treatment and valuation  of campaign signs  via the                                                              
adoption of Amendment 2.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1920                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was taken.   Representative Berkowitz  voted for                                                              
Amendment  2.  Representatives  James, Ogan,  Coghill, Meyer,  and                                                              
Rokeberg voted  against it.   Therefore, Amendment  2 failed  by a                                                              
vote of 1-5.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1912                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  made a  motion  to adopt  Amendment  3,                                                              
which read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, lines 2-9,                                                                                                         
     Delete all materials                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG objected.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  explained   that  Amendment  3  strikes                                                              
language  that  states a  contribution  does  not include  two  or                                                              
fewer mass mailings  before each election by each  political party                                                              
describing  the  slate  of  candidates  for  election,  which  may                                                              
include  photographs,  biographies,   and  information  about  the                                                              
parties  candidates;   he  opined  that  this  exception   to  the                                                              
definition  of contribution  presents  a lot  of opportunities  to                                                              
"cook  up  mischief."     It  could  be  a  slate   of  candidates                                                              
particular to,  for example, a House  district where there  is one                                                              
Senate  candidate  and  one  House   candidate,  or  it  could  be                                                              
areawide; the  term mass mailings  "opens the door" to  exceed the                                                              
contribution limits imposed by campaign finance reform.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES offered  that  the language  regarding  mass                                                              
mailings could simply  be made more specific rather  than deleting                                                              
it altogether  as is  proposed via  Amendment 2.   She  noted that                                                              
the problem  exists in both  parties; if  they wished to  send out                                                              
something  with  a  slate  of  their  candidates  in  the  general                                                              
election, then  the cost would  have to  be divided among  all the                                                              
candidates  and be  counted as a  contribution,  and if the  party                                                              
had already  given the maximum  to any individual  candidate, then                                                              
the mass  mailing could not  be done because  the party  would not                                                              
be able  to leave  that individual  candidate out.   She  said she                                                              
thinks parties  ought to be allowed  to send out mass  mailings of                                                              
this sort  without the candidates listed  having to claim  it as a                                                              
campaign contribution from the party.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  remarked that retention of  the language                                                              
in SB 103  regarding mass mailings  would be moving away  from the                                                              
campaign  limits imposed  on parties.   He  went on  to say:   "It                                                              
looks  like 'two  or fewer  mass mailings'  doesn't describe  when                                                              
those  mailings  can occur.    I have  been  the subject  of  mass                                                              
mailings from  the other party and,  frankly, it seems  to me that                                                              
it's  an underhanded  way  for  the  opposing candidate  to  evade                                                              
responsibility for a message."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  said that she would be  perfectly willing to                                                              
limit it to one mass mailing prior to the general election.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN  noted that  the language specifies  a party's                                                              
slate of candidates.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1771                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  countered that  describing  a slate  of                                                              
candidates  doesn't   prohibit  mention   of  the  other   party's                                                              
opposing  candidate.  "You  can say  'Vote for  Joe Smith;  he's a                                                              
much better  guy than Jane Doe,  who's a terrible human  being and                                                              
has done all these atrocious things,'" he added.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES commented  that although  she is willing  to                                                              
offer  an amendment  to  Amendment  3 that  would  limit the  mass                                                              
mailings to  one, she observed  that it  would not have  the votes                                                              
to carry.   She  also noted  that she  had originally thought  the                                                              
language  specified unlimited  mass  mailings, and  since this  is                                                              
not the case, she finds the current language acceptable.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ, on  a  technical point,  said that  the                                                              
language  regarding   mass  mailings  says,  "by   each  political                                                              
party";  since  there are  more  than  two political  parties,  he                                                              
suggested that  the language should  read "by a  political party".                                                              
He then asked how this provision affects nonpartisan candidates.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG, on  Representative  Berkowitz's technical  point,                                                              
opined that the language used is simply a choice of grammar.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES, in response  to Representative  Berkowitz's                                                              
question,  offered  that the  language  would  have no  effect  on                                                              
nonpartisan  candidates because  they  don't belong  to any  party                                                              
that  would include  them  on  a slate  of  candidates  in a  mass                                                              
mailing.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1630                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was taken.   Representative Berkowitz  voted for                                                              
Amendment  3.  Representatives  James, Ogan,  Coghill, Meyer,  and                                                              
Rokeberg voted  against it.   Therefore, Amendment  3 failed  by a                                                              
vote of 1-5.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1623                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  made a  motion to adopt  [Amendment 4A],                                                              
which read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 7, lines 1-5,                                                                                                         
     Delete all materials                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG objected for purposes of discussion.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ explained  that the provision  regarding                                                              
communications  of  $500  or  less,  which  would  be  deleted  by                                                              
[Amendment 4A], is confusing, expensive, and unnecessary.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG noted  that he did not understand  [the purpose of]                                                              
this provision.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MEYER  commented that  it  would  be difficult  to                                                              
determine a value for these communications.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1473                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote  was taken.   Representatives James,  Berkowitz,                                                              
and  Rokeberg voted  for [Amendment  4A].   Representatives  Ogan,                                                              
Coghill, and  Meyer voted against  it.  Therefore,  [Amendment 4A]                                                              
failed by a vote of 3-3.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1462                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN  made a motion  to adopt Conceptual  Amendment                                                              
4B, such  that "per year" would  be inserted after "$500  or less"                                                      
on page 7,  line 1.  The  end result would read:   "communications                                                          
with a value  of $500 or less  per year".  He explained  that this                                                          
would  place this  allowance for  communications on  the same  par                                                              
with individuals who are allowed to give $500 or less per year.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES, for the record, said:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     When  we passed  campaign  finance  reform,  one of  the                                                                   
     main purposes  of the campaign  reform was to  eliminate                                                                   
     the     contributions     by     corporations,     labor                                                                   
     organizations,   unincorporated   business   and   trade                                                                   
     associations,  and nonprofit  corporations.   Now  we're                                                                   
     adding it back in - up to $500 a year.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MEYER  mentioned  that he  thinks  it  is fine  to                                                              
allow  these  entities  to  contribute  something  with  a  little                                                              
monetary value, and that it's to be expected.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ requested  clarification  that with  the                                                              
provision  regarding  communications, it  would  be  OK for  labor                                                              
unions,  should they  so choose,  to  place 4x8  signs (that  cost                                                              
less than  $500) in  front of their  halls saying, "Dear  Members,                                                              
We  Love  Ethan  Berkowitz!"    If so,  he  said,  he  sees  [this                                                              
allowance] as being a little bit problematic.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES agreed.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG  offered  that  if  it were  simply  a  matter  of                                                              
issuing  an  endorsement  slate  in  a  newsletter,  it  would  be                                                              
acceptable;  he reminded  members  that [the  APOC] has  indicated                                                              
that  this is  already permissible  under  current law.   He  then                                                              
indicated  that   the  entire  provision   in  SB   103  regarding                                                              
communications  would get  further scrutiny  in the House  Finance                                                              
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1299                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG  asked  whether   there  were  any  objections  to                                                              
Conceptual  Amendment 4B.   There being  no objection,  Conceptual                                                              
Amendment 4B was adopted                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1286                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  made a  motion to adopt  [Amendment 5A],                                                              
which read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, line 31,                                                                                                           
     Delete all materials                                                                                                       
     Page 10, lines 1-5,                                                                                                        
     Delete all materials                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ explained  that  [Amendment 5A]  deletes                                                              
the  ability  of  legislators  or legislative  staff  to  work  on                                                              
behalf   of  a   state   or  federal   constitutional   amendment.                                                              
Notwithstanding   the   previously   heard   argument   that   the                                                              
legislature   should  continue   to   be   involved  in   proposed                                                              
constitutional   amendments   that    originate   as   legislative                                                              
resolutions,  he pointed out  that the  language he is  attempting                                                              
to   delete   also  allows   involvement   in   proposed   federal                                                              
constitutional  amendments, which,  he  observed, the  legislature                                                              
has nothing to do with.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  said she believed that as  legislators, they                                                              
had an  obligation to explain  their position on  issues, whenever                                                              
possible,  to the  public.   She added,  however, that  she has  a                                                              
problem  with  the  concept  of  utilizing  governmental  resource                                                              
towards this  end.   If any governmental  resources are  used, she                                                              
continued, they should  be very limited.  She went  on to say that                                                              
if she  were to spend  a small portion  of her workday  in support                                                              
or opposition  of a  proposed constitutional  amendment,  it would                                                              
be difficult  to sort out which  portion of her salary,  which she                                                              
indicated was often  quite small, is to be cataloged  towards that                                                              
activity.    She  opined  that the  allowance  for  this  kind  of                                                              
activity should  be a little broader  for legislators, but  not as                                                              
broad as this provision  of SB 103 is proposing;  she said she did                                                              
not think  that legislators  should be  out campaigning  either in                                                              
support of  or opposition  to proposed constitutional  amendments.                                                              
On  the  point  brought  up by  Ms.  Miles  that  legislators  are                                                              
allowed  to  become  part  of  a  group  working  for  or  against                                                              
proposed  constitutional  amendments,  Representative  James  said                                                              
she disagrees with  the concept and thinks this  activity would be                                                              
"purely unethical."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1148                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN  asked whether Representative  Berkowitz would                                                              
consider  a  friendly amendment  [in  place  of Amendment  5A]  to                                                              
insert "incidental"  in front of  "use of governmental  resources"                                                      
on  page 9,  line 31.   This  would eliminate  the appearance  and                                                              
possibility  that large  amounts of  governmental resources  could                                                              
be   expended   in   support  of   or   opposition   to   proposed                                                              
constitutional amendments, he explained.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BERKOWITZ    agreed   that   the    addition   of                                                              
"incidental"  to  this  provision  would  alleviate  some  of  his                                                          
concerns, but  he cautioned  that although he  has no  qualms that                                                              
any current legislators  will take advantage of  this provision in                                                              
SB  103, he  still  has  concerns  that future  legislators  could                                                              
misuse this provision.   He posited that this is  one of the worst                                                              
provisions in SB 103.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0975                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote  was taken.  Representatives  Meyer and Berkowitz                                                              
voted for [Amendment  5A].  Representatives Coghill,  James, Ogan,                                                              
and Rokeberg voted  against it.  Therefore, [Amendment  5A] failed                                                              
by a vote of 2-4.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0960                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN  made a  motion  to  adopt Amendment  5B,  to                                                              
insert "incidental"  in front of  "use of governmental  resources"                                                      
on page 9, line 31.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ made  a  motion to  amend Amendment  5B,                                                              
such that "or federal" would be removed from page 10, line 2.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  indicated she is  in favor of  the amendment                                                              
to Amendment 5B.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG objected to the amendment to Amendment 5B.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ withdrew the  amendment to  Amendment 5B                                                              
and  indicated  that  he  would  offer  it  again,  separate  from                                                              
Amendment 5B.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0900                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG  asked  whether   there  were  any  objections  to                                                              
Amendment  5B.    There  being  no  objection,  Amendment  5B  was                                                              
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0895                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ made  a  motion to  adopt Amendment  5C,                                                              
which would strike "or federal" from page 10, line 2.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN   objected.    He  remarked   that  with  the                                                              
addition  of the  term "incidental",  he  did not  have a  problem                                                          
with activity related to federal constitutional amendments.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG  reminded  members   that  federal  constitutional                                                              
amendments  come  before  the  legislature   for  ratification  or                                                              
rejection; because  this is the process, he thinks  it is entirely                                                              
appropriate   that   legislators   gather  feedback   from   their                                                              
constituents   regarding  any   proposed  federal   constitutional                                                              
amendments.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ withdrew Amendment 5C.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0821                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  made a  motion  to adopt  Amendment  6,                                                              
which read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, lines 6-11,                                                                                                        
     Delete all materials                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  commented  that this addresses  language  that Ms.                                                              
Miles previously expressed concerns over.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  then noted that the language  deleted by                                                              
Amendment  6  was  tied  to the  language  regarding  the  use  of                                                              
governmental  resources, and  was dependent  upon the adoption  of                                                              
Amendment 5A; for  this reason, Representative  Berkowitz withdrew                                                              
Amendment 6.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0766                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG made  a motion  to adopt  Conceptual Amendment  7,                                                              
"in the event that  a member of the legislature  passes away, that                                                              
his surviving  spouse can claim  the proceeds of the  POET [public                                                              
office  expense term]  account,  rather than  have  to dispose  of                                                              
it."                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN said  that as  the legislator  with the  most                                                              
recent brush with mortality, he has to declare a conflict.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES  said  she opposes  Conceptual  Amendment  7                                                              
because she thinks  that the whole concept of  putting aside money                                                              
in the POET account  is that it be used for  legislative purposes.                                                              
She added that it  seems to her that if the money  is not used for                                                              
legislative purposes,  the law already requires that  the money be                                                              
given  away.  Therefore,  in the  event of  a legislator's  death,                                                              
the  surviving spouse  should  comply  with this  requirement  and                                                              
give away any money remaining in the POET account.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0618                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was taken.   Representatives Meyer  and Rokeberg                                                              
voted  for Conceptual  Amendment  7.   Representatives  Berkowitz,                                                              
James,  Coghill,   and  Ogan   voted  against   it.     Therefore,                                                              
Conceptual Amendment 7 failed by a vote of 2-3.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0615                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  moved to report  CSSB 103(FIN),  as amended,                                                              
out  of   committee  with   individual  recommendations   and  the                                                              
accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0607                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  objected, and  for the record  said, "We                                                              
are retreating from  the campaign finance reform  with this; there                                                              
are  some important  cleanups that  are part  of it,  but I  think                                                              
we've gone  too far,  and I  think we've  opened ourselves  up for                                                              
undue criticism by some of the measures we've taken."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0600                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A  roll call  vote  was taken.   Representatives  James,  Coghill,                                                              
Meyer, and  Rokeberg voted  to report  CSSB 103(FIN),  as amended,                                                              
out  of committee.   Representative  Berkowitz  voted against  it.                                                              
[Representative Ogan  was unable to vote on the  motion because he                                                              
attended via  teleconference.]   Therefore, HCS CSSB  103(JUD) was                                                              
reported from  the House  Judiciary Standing  Committee by  a vote                                                              
of 4-1.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0570                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG announced  that the  committee needed  to adopt  a                                                              
House Concurrent Resolution to change the title of SB 103.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0560                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES made a  motion to  adopt the proposed  House                                                              
Concurrent Resolution,  version 22-LS0875\A, Cramer,  4/4/01, as a                                                              
work draft.  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0550                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   JAMES  moved   to  report   the  proposed   House                                                              
Concurrent  Resolution, version  22-LS0875\A, Cramer,  4/4/01, out                                                              
of  committee with  individual recommendations.    There being  no                                                              
objection,  the House  Concurrent Resolution  [which later  became                                                              
HCR  15]   was  reported   from  the   House  Judiciary   Standing                                                              
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
[HCS CSSB 103(JUD) was reported from committee.]                                                                                

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