Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

01/30/2017 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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01:36:00 PM Start
01:36:42 PM Organizational Discussion
01:47:32 PM HB44|| HCR1
02:32:13 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
+= HB 44 LEGISLATIVE ETHICS: VOTING & CONFLICTS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HCR 1 AMEND UNIFORM RULES: ABSTAIN FROM VOTING TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         HB  44-LEGISLATIVE ETHICS: VOTING & CONFLICTS                                                                      
        HCR  1-AMEND UNIFORM RULES: ABSTAIN FROM VOTING                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:47:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL NO.  44, "An  Act requiring  a legislator  to abstain                                                               
from taking  or withholding official action  or exerting official                                                               
influence that  could benefit or  harm an employer or  to request                                                               
to be  excused from  voting in an  instance where  the legislator                                                               
may have a  financial conflict of interest; and  providing for an                                                               
effective  date,"   AND  HOUSE   CONCURRENT  RESOLUTION   NO.  1,                                                             
Proposing an amendment  to the Uniform Rules of  the Alaska State                                                               
Legislature relating to voting and abstention from voting.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
[HB 44 and HCR 1 were before the committee together.]                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN advised this is the  second hearing on HB 44 and HCR                                                               
1,  the   sponsor  previously  presented  the   legislation,  the                                                               
committee listened  to public testimony, and  public testimony is                                                               
closed.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:48:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JASON GRENN,  Alaska State Legislature, introduced                                                               
himself.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:48:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RYAN JOHNSTON,  Staff, Representative  Jason Grenn,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, said that  HB 44 provides a concise  outline for the                                                               
standards a legislator can review  to determine whether they have                                                               
a conflict of interest.  He moved  to HCR 1, and advised it is an                                                               
amendment  to  Uniform Rule  34(b),  changing  it from  unanimous                                                               
consent  to   a  majority  consent   for  an  abstention   for  a                                                               
legislator.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.   JOHNSTON,  referring   to  a   previous  request,   advised                                                               
Representative  Fansler that  the  sponsor was  still waiting  to                                                               
hear from  the other  states regarding  their journal  records on                                                               
abstention.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSTON,   referring  to   a  previous   question,  advised                                                               
Representative  Eastman that  the  sponsor spoke  with the  Chief                                                               
Clerk and, currently, there is  an ability to withdraw the motion                                                               
once  a representative  has asked  for a  motion to  abstain, and                                                               
under  this  legislation, that  ability  would  still be  allowed                                                               
before a vote on the abstention.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:50:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  moved to  adopt Amendment 1,  Version 30-                                                               
LS0209\J.3, Gardner/Wayne, 1/26/17, which read:                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 4, through page 2, line 6:                                                                                    
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
        "*  Section  1. Rule  34(b),  Uniform  Rules of  the                                                                
     Alaska State Legislature, is amended to read:                                                                              
          (b)  Abstention. Every member present in the                                                                          
     house shall  vote unless the house  for special reasons                                                                    
     permits  a member  to abstain.  All motions  excusing a                                                                    
     member  from  voting shall  be  made  before the  house                                                                    
     divides or  before the  call for the  yeas and  nays is                                                                    
     commenced.  A  member  requesting to  be  excused  from                                                                    
     voting shall  have up  to five  minutes to  explain the                                                                
     member's request  to be excused from  voting, [MAY MAKE                                                                
     A BRIEF ORAL STATEMENT OF  THE REASONS FOR THE REQUEST]                                                                    
     and  the question  of  granting  permission to  abstain                                                                    
     shall  be taken  without further  debate. A  member may                                                                    
     not explain a vote, may  not discuss the question while                                                                    
     the yeas and nays are  being called, and may not change                                                                    
     a vote after  the roll call result  has been announced.                                                                    
     Upon division and  count of the house  of any question,                                                                
     a  member who  is not  within  the chamber  may not  be                                                                    
     counted.  A  member may  not  be  permitted to  abstain                                                                    
     except upon  an affirmative  vote of two-thirds  of the                                                                
     full  [UNANIMOUS  CONSENT  OF THE]  membership  of  the                                                            
     house."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN objected for purposes of discussion.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:50:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN explained that  the amendment amends HCR 1                                                               
and allows members  up to five minutes to  explain their conflict                                                               
of interest  on the  floor of  the House  of Representatives.   A                                                               
member may  not be committed to  abstain from a vote  except upon                                                               
an affirmative vote  of two-thirds of the full  membership of the                                                               
House of Representatives.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:51:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRENN related that  research indicated that a vast                                                               
majority of other states have  the same language contained within                                                               
the bill  regarding a majority  vote, and that his  intention was                                                               
to  put the  vote on  the  record.   He  said his  main goal  was                                                               
consistency with the statute  regarding municipalities which puts                                                               
this conflict  of interest vote to  a majority vote.   He related                                                               
that this  legislation was drafted  with the hope  that pragmatic                                                               
logic would be the approach  legislators would use when voting on                                                               
an abstention,  and said he  is willing to discuss  the amendment                                                               
from Representative Eastman.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:52:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KREISS-TOMKINS  related   that  there   are  two                                                               
substantive components  to the  amendment, raising  the threshold                                                               
from two-thirds  vote from a  mere majority, and five  minutes of                                                               
discussion related to  the abstention.  He said he  can infer the                                                               
logic in raising the threshold,  and asked Representative Eastman                                                               
to expound on  the five minutes of discussion on  the conflict of                                                               
interest.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN responded  that, currently,  the verbiage                                                               
within the  uniform rules  is "brief," and  the amendment  asks a                                                               
bit  more of  someone  when  rising to  speak  to  a conflict  of                                                               
interest.  The  five minutes was designed to  give the legislator                                                               
sufficient  opportunity   to  explain  the  conflict,   with  the                                                               
expectation that it is unlikely  everyone would use the full five                                                               
minutes.  He  related that the intent was to  be certain everyone                                                               
participating in  a vote  had sufficient  time to  understand the                                                               
conflict  of  interest,  and  were  confident  they  had  a  good                                                               
understanding of what they were about to vote on.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:55:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  said he noticed that  the language                                                               
toggles from  "may" to  "shall," and  asked whether  the language                                                               
should be "may have" as opposed to the more imperative "shall."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN said  that as long as the  person making a                                                               
request for  an abstention  has that  opportunity, the  spirit of                                                               
the amendment is satisfied.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:56:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX advised  that  if the  language was  "may"                                                               
rather than "shall have up to  five minutes," that would give the                                                               
Speaker of  the House  of Representatives  the discretion  not to                                                               
give someone five minutes.  She  explained that "may make a brief                                                               
oral statement  of the reasons for  the request" leaves it  up to                                                               
the  person  whether  or  not  they want  to  make  any  sort  of                                                               
statement.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP  said  he  appreciates  the  intent  of  the                                                               
amendment and  said, currently,  it appears  there are  no limits                                                               
because it reads  "a brief oral statement of the  reasons for the                                                               
request."      He  asked   whether   this   amendment  would   be                                                               
inadvertently  limiting  the  speaker  to  five  minutes  whereas                                                               
currently there are no limits.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:58:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX commented that  possibly the better part of                                                               
valor  would be  that if  someone was  concerned with  either the                                                               
Speaker of  the House  of Representative  or the  Rules Committee                                                               
Chair cutting someone  off based upon their  understanding of the                                                               
term "brief," she suggested "they  make an oral statement ... for                                                               
the  reasons of  the  request," and  it  doesn't include  "brief"                                                               
because  people may  argue the  definition  of "brief"  depending                                                               
upon the context of its usage.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FANSLER  asked, previously, how long  a legislator                                                               
had spoken  to their conflict.   He offered that in  serving on a                                                               
municipality council,  typically, it  has been the  person's name                                                               
and  where they  work.   He  asked whether  an  open dialogue  is                                                               
allowed during  the declaration  of a  conflict because  it would                                                               
helpful to sometimes ask follow up questions before voting                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:00:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    LEDOUX    responded    that,    generally,    a                                                               
representative will rise and say  they work for the University of                                                               
Alaska,  for example.   There  will be  no discussion  whatsoever                                                               
because between the time someone  rises to declare a conflict and                                                               
toward  the  end  of  their   sentence,  someone  will  yell  out                                                               
"objection"   and   the   Speaker   of  the   House   will   say,                                                               
"Representative  Fansler, there  has been  an objection,  you are                                                               
required to  vote."   Although, she commented  that in  the event                                                               
this bill passes,  she imagines it would  change somewhat because                                                               
a legislator  would actually have  to rise and  enunciate further                                                               
than what  has been done  in the past  because it will  have some                                                               
real consequences.   She advised that questions  are permitted on                                                               
the  floor of  the House  of Representatives,  but she  has never                                                               
seen a basic conversation in the chambers, it is all formalized.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:01:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  requested input from the  sponsor on this                                                               
discussion.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRENN answered  that the  time limit  is somewhat                                                               
common in other  states, and within his  conversations with other                                                               
ethics committees,  there is an  anti-filibuster type  feeling to                                                               
it.   Also, he said,  it gives  the legislator time  to enunciate                                                               
their conflict if  they are trying to rise to  their conflict and                                                               
advise they would like to vote or abstain from the vote.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:02:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN  noted that Amendment 1  is not an amendment  to HCR                                                               
1, Version J,  but rather an amendment to the  uniform rules.  He                                                               
asked whether  his intention with  the amendment s to  change the                                                               
existing  Uniform  Rule  34(b),   and  reject  everything  that's                                                               
changed in HCR 1, Version J.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   EASTMAN  answered   that   Amendment   1  is   a                                                               
replacement, and it basically makes it a committee substitute.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN  said he  wanted to  verify that  was Representative                                                               
Eastman's intent.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:03:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON  clarified that the  motion is not  debatable, which                                                               
is in the uniform rules and this legislation.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:04:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  referred to  Version  J  and the  current                                                               
uniform rules, and asked whether the  motion as to whether or not                                                               
someone can abstain is not debatable at all.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRENN  replied  that  it is  not  debatable,  and                                                               
offered that the legislator requesting  to abstain may rise, make                                                               
their brief oral  statement, and the motion is then  taken up for                                                               
a vote with no debate.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX commented  that she  wondered whether  any                                                               
discussion  or   debate  was   allowed  in   any  of   the  other                                                               
municipalities  where   they  actually   vote  on   whether  it's                                                               
appropriate to abstain.  For  example, she said, the Municipality                                                               
of Anchorage and whether any discussion or debate is allowed.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:05:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRENN  referred  to  AS  29.20.010.  Conflict  of                                                               
Interest, which read:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
          (a) Each municipality shall adopt a conflict of                                                                       
     interest ordinance that provides that                                                                                      
               (1) a member of the governing body shall                                                                         
     declare  a substantial  financial  interest the  member                                                                    
     has in an official action and  ask to be excused from a                                                                    
     vote on the matter;                                                                                                        
               (2) the presiding officer shall rule on a                                                                        
     request  by  a  member  of the  governing  body  to  be                                                                    
     excused from a vote;                                                                                                       
               (3) the decision of the presiding officer on                                                                     
     a  request by  a member  of  the governing  body to  be                                                                    
     excused from a  vote may be overridden  by the majority                                                                    
     vote of the governing body; and                                                                                            
               (4) a municipal employee or official, other                                                                      
     than  a   member  of  the   governing  body,   may  not                                                                    
     participate  in   an  official  action  in   which  the                                                                    
     employee  or  official   has  a  substantial  financial                                                                    
     interest.                                                                                                                  
          (b) If a municipality fails to adopt a conflict                                                                       
     of interest ordinance by June  30, 1986, the provisions                                                                    
     of  this section  are automatically  applicable to  and                                                                    
     binding upon that municipality.                                                                                            
          (c) This section applies to home rule and general                                                                     
     law municipalities.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRENN  answered that it  does not appear  to allow                                                               
for debate.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN  referred to Amendment  1, and opined that  the real                                                               
question, among other  voiced questions, is whether  it should be                                                               
two-thirds or a majority of the  body.  Chair Claman advised that                                                               
he will not remove his objection.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:06:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll call  vote was taken.   Representatives Eastman, Reinbold,                                                               
and Kopp voted in favor  of Amendment 1.  Representatives Kreiss-                                                               
Tomkins,   LeDoux,  Fansler,   and  Claman   voted  against   it.                                                               
Therefore, Amendment 1 failed to be adopted by a vote of 3-4.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:07:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP referred  to a  conceptual amendment  he may                                                               
propose for  HB 44, Version O,  page 2, lines 19-20,  [Sec. 2, AS                                                               
24.60.030(g)].  The amended language would read as follows:                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          (g) ... a legislator shall request to be excused                                                                      
     from  voting  on  a  question before  a  house  of  the                                                                    
     legislature  if  the  legislator  or a  member  of  the                                                                    
     legislator's immediate family  has a financial interest                                                                    
     in a business                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP explained that  the conceptual amendment gets                                                               
to  the  heart  of  the  matter  in  that  there  would  be  full                                                               
disclosure on  the floor of  the House of Representatives  so the                                                               
full body can hear  it and call for the vote.   He continued that                                                               
it would  take out the  unnecessary obstacle of a  legislator not                                                               
being allowed  to vote  because the  legislator may  believe they                                                               
have  a conflict.   The  legislator  would rise  and declare  the                                                               
conflict and still  have the option of voting  depending upon the                                                               
vote of  the body.   Although, in  a House of  Representatives or                                                               
especially  a Senate  committee it  may  be difficult  to have  a                                                               
quorum and  that one  denied vote  has a  much greater  impact in                                                               
committee than before the body as a  whole.  He argued that it is                                                               
within the spirit  of the legislation and does not  take away the                                                               
committee work,  and that he  hoped a  member who felt  they were                                                               
conflicted  would  say so,  even  in  committee.   Currently,  he                                                               
noted,  the legislation  reads "may  not  vote" and  that may  be                                                               
something  that goes  beyond what  is  needed when  the House  of                                                               
Representatives floor issue is covered.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:10:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN reminded the committee  of the policy which requests                                                               
amendments by  5:00 p.m. the  day before  the bill is  heard, and                                                               
advised the committee  it would not be voting  on this conceptual                                                               
amendment  today.    Although, the  committee  could  discuss  it                                                               
during this meeting.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:11:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  commented that  it makes  sense to                                                               
him.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRENN  agreed that the conceptual  amendment helps                                                               
get to the  heart of the intent of the  legislation, allowing for                                                               
a  vote   to  take   place  on   the  floor   of  the   House  of                                                               
Representatives  and   not  to  feel  like   the  legislation  is                                                               
automatically  eliminating  someone's   representation  of  their                                                               
district by a  vote in a small  place like a committee.   He said                                                               
he would accept this friendly conceptual amendment.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:11:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FANSLER   opined  that  a  key   reason  for  the                                                               
legislation is to  be certain the [votes] are on  the record.  He                                                               
asked  whether Representative  Kopp  would  accept language  such                                                               
that it  is recognized there  is a possible conflict  of interest                                                               
on the  committee record and  the legislator is still  allowed to                                                               
vote.    Therefore, the  conflict  would  be  out there  and  the                                                               
legislator could  declare they  have a  conflict of  interest but                                                               
the   rule  being   [indisc.]  the   legislator  is   allowed  to                                                               
participate in discussion and amendments.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP  responded   that  Representative  Fansler's                                                               
suggestion is consistent  with his thoughts in that  he hopes the                                                               
legislator would  disclose, but that the  legislation wouldn't be                                                               
to stop the legislator from voting at that point.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:13:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRENN advised that,  currently, within the uniform                                                               
rules there is nothing to say  that a legislator needs to declare                                                               
a conflict of interest in committee.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN offered  that a bill was before  the House Judiciary                                                               
Standing  Committee that  created  a basis  for  Chair Claman  to                                                               
declare a  conflict because he owned  stock in some company.   He                                                               
would still  count for  purposes of reaching  the quorum,  and he                                                               
had  announced he  would be  rise on  the floor  of the  House of                                                               
Representatives  regarding the  conflict.   He  related that  the                                                               
public is concerned  about people with an interest  voting on the                                                               
legislation, so  the bill  passes out  of committee by  a 4  to 3                                                               
vote with  Chair Claman  having disclosed  this conflict,  and is                                                               
the fourth  vote that gets  it out  of committee.   Therefore, he                                                               
said,  those  in the  public  that  would object  to  legislators                                                               
voting on  bills in which they  have an interest, would  say that                                                               
the bill  made it  out of  committee, yet  Chair Claman  had this                                                               
conflict.   He referred  to this example  and asked  whether this                                                               
makes the  public any happier  if having reached the  quorum, the                                                               
person  with the  conflict  is nevertheless  allowed  to vote  on                                                               
whether the bill  moves out of committee,  rather than abstaining                                                               
in committee and leaving it to  the remainder of the committee to                                                               
gather their votes  to move the bill forward.   He noted that the                                                               
example reflects the Senate committees  more so than the House of                                                               
Representative committees.   He said he offered  that example for                                                               
purposes of discussion which reflects  a certain concern with the                                                               
public's perception.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:15:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  agreed that  the uniform rules  are silent                                                               
on this  issue, and opined there  may be a Legislative  Legal and                                                               
Research Services  opinion as to  whether or not a  legislator is                                                               
required  to declare  a conflict  within  the committee  process.                                                               
She suggested there may be  something in Mason's Manual, which is                                                               
where  legislators  look  to  when   the  uniform  rules  do  not                                                               
specifically cover an issue.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:16:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  pointed to  the issue of  smaller committees                                                               
in  the other  body  wherein  there may  be  three  members on  a                                                               
committee of  which one member has  a conflict, and if  there are                                                               
differing opinions  between the  other two legislators,  the bill                                                               
fails to get out of committee.   He related that the problem with                                                               
full public  transparency is that  the bill never really  gets to                                                               
the floor of the House  of Representatives where all members, and                                                               
the public,  hear a detailed  explanation because the body,  as a                                                               
whole,  would  be  voting.    The problem  is  with  the  smaller                                                               
committees in the other body, he reiterated.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:17:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KREISS-TOMKINS  asked   whether  Doug   Gardner,                                                               
Director of Legislative Legal and  Research Services, was on line                                                               
and   could   offer    insight   into   Representative   LeDoux's                                                               
recollection.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN advised that Mr. Garner was not on line.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:18:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JERRY  ANDERSON,  Legislative   Ethics  Committee  Administrator,                                                               
Select   Committee    on   Legislative   Ethics,    stated   that                                                               
Representative  LeDoux  is  correct, and  that  Advisory  Opinion                                                               
2004-02  contains that  specific  provision wherein  it does  not                                                               
apply  to voting  in a  committee, and  subsequent opinions  have                                                               
also stated that same fact.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked whether  any of the advisory opinions                                                               
say  whether or  not a  legislator  is supposed  to identify  the                                                               
conflict and then vote anyway.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. ANDERSON  explained that  the advisory  opinions specifically                                                               
state that a legislator is  not required, under the current rules                                                               
and  statutes, to  extend that  [requirement]  to the  committee,                                                               
including  chairing a  committee,  debating in  a committee,  and                                                               
voting in a committee.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  whether the  ethics rules  parallel                                                               
state  criminal law  and  federal law  because  she could  recall                                                               
cases in  federal court dealing  with "honest services,"  and she                                                               
thought people got into trouble  for not declaring a potential or                                                               
actual conflict  throughout the process,  possibly in  this state                                                               
or other states,                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:21:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN  said he has a  similar memory that it  was either a                                                               
statute or  common law doctrine regarding  "honest services," but                                                               
he could not recall the details.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP  explained  that within  Alaska's  statutes,                                                               
three  statutes  discuss misuse  of  public  office or  abuse  of                                                               
public office regarding taking or  failing to take an action that                                                               
a  public officer  should  have or  should not  have  taken.   He                                                               
opined that conflicts  are addressed, but it  would probably need                                                               
to be a fairly egregious act to be applied against a legislator.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX commented  "You never  know."   She opined                                                               
there  is a  federal  doctrine  that talks  in  terms of  "honest                                                               
services."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CLAMAN,  after  asking  for  further  committee  questions                                                               
regarding  the conceptual  amendment and  hearing none,  moved to                                                               
comments on the legislation before the committee.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:24:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   REINBOLD  related   that  she   was  trying   to                                                               
understand  the  intent  of  the  legislation  because  currently                                                               
legislators have the  opportunity to declare a  conflict, and the                                                               
conflict  is listed  on  the  legislative financial  disclosures.                                                               
Historically, she  said, the legislature has  allowed all members                                                               
to vote to  make sure that "18,000 members that  we represent are                                                               
not disenfranchised" because this is  a citizen legislature.  She                                                               
said  that any  member  of the  legislature  making greater  than                                                               
$10,000 from a client or  spouse's client or company, owns stock,                                                               
works  in public  schools, is  a state  employee, et  cetera, the                                                               
legislator needs to recuse themselves  from a committee vote or a                                                               
vote on the  floor of the House of Representatives.   She pointed                                                               
out  that  she  was  unsure   whether  retirement  benefits  were                                                               
encompassed in the legislation if  they receive more than $10,000                                                               
of benefits.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:26:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRENN responded that she was incorrect.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSTON  clarified  that each  of  these  situations  would                                                               
require  a fact  based inquiry;  therefore, under  the bill  more                                                               
details  on  each  situation  would  be  necessary  to  determine                                                               
whether or  not a legislator  fell under the  substantial benefit                                                               
provision and had a conflict of interest.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:26:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD said  that  [the language]  is clear  in                                                               
that  if a  legislator received  $10,000 from  the University  of                                                               
Alaska, from  public schools, as  a state employee,  from unions,                                                               
stocks, private sector, and retirement  and benefits [there would                                                               
be a  conflict of interest].   She asked whether  the legislation                                                               
is  targeting  individuals  working  in the  private  sector,  or                                                               
whether  it  is  discussing  a   smaller  group  than  those  she                                                               
mentioned.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON answered the legislation  dictates that in the event                                                               
a  legislator has  an  income  of $10,000,  it  could be  public,                                                               
private,  or  a  sole  proprietor,   and  this  business  made  a                                                               
substantial  benefit from  the  passage  of certain  legislation,                                                               
more so  than the rest  of that  class, business, or  industry, a                                                               
legislator could determine they have a conflict of interest.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  offered concern that the  legislation is                                                               
subjective because  "how are we  supposed to know on  everybody -                                                               
we don't get to see  everybody's income tax" to determine whether                                                               
they make more  than $10,000 from a certain  bill related entity.                                                               
She  said  it  is  hard  for  legislators  to  see  all  of  that                                                               
information  before every  single committee  vote and  noted that                                                               
incomes can  change.  Legislators  would have  to spend a  lot of                                                               
time  studying other  people's  financial  records before  voting                                                               
before the committee or the legislature as a whole, she said.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRENN pointed  out  that  legislators honor  each                                                               
legislator to have the integrity  and wherewithal to know when to                                                               
rise  and declare  a conflict  of interest,  and the  legislation                                                               
does  not change  that.   The  legislation offers  a measure  for                                                               
legislators to  stand on to  recognize when they have  a conflict                                                               
based upon the legislation, he said.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:29:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   EASTMAN  noted   that,  currently,   the  Select                                                               
Committee  on  Legislative  Ethics  deals  with  issues  such  as                                                               
conflicts.   He  asked how  these  types of  situations would  be                                                               
handled if  this legislation had  never been filed, and  what the                                                               
legislature would revert to.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON reiterated that, currently,  a legislator can ask to                                                               
abstain, but  if a legislator  feels that another  legislator did                                                               
not declare  a conflict of  interest, an anonymous  complaint can                                                               
be made  to the  Select Committee on  Legislative Ethics  and the                                                               
committee conducts an investigation.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN surmised  that,  currently, a  legislator                                                               
would  pursue  a  complaint  through   the  Select  Committee  on                                                               
Legislative Ethics.  By putting  this legislation into statute it                                                               
takes it out of the realm  of the Select Committee on Legislative                                                               
Ethics, and now the legislator  would be prosecuted by a district                                                               
attorney.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSTON  argued  that the  legislation  provides  a  better                                                               
standard  for  the  Select Committee  on  Legislative  Ethics  to                                                               
actually  refer back  to AS  24.60.030 and  regard it  as another                                                               
standard it  could use.   Currently, AS 24.60.030 does  deal with                                                               
legislative ethics, and it falls  under the purview of the Select                                                               
Committee on Legislative Ethics to deal with that complaint.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[HB 44 was held over.]                                                                                                          
[HCR 1 was held over.]                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:32:13 PM                                                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HCR001 & HB044 Amendment 1 1.27.17.pdf HJUD 1/30/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 44
HCR 1
HB044 ver D 1.20.17.PDF HJUD 1/30/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/3/2017 1:15:00 PM
HB 44
HB044 ver O 1.23.17.PDF HJUD 1/27/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 1/30/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/3/2017 1:15:00 PM
HB 44
HCR001 ver J 1.20.17.PDF HJUD 1/30/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB044 Explanation of Changes 1.23.17.pdf HJUD 1/27/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 1/30/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/3/2017 1:15:00 PM
HB 44
HB044 Sectional Analysis 1.23.17.pdf HJUD 1/27/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 1/30/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/3/2017 1:15:00 PM
HB 44
HCR001 Sectional Analysis 1.23.17.pdf HJUD 1/27/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 1/30/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/3/2017 1:15:00 PM
HCR 1
HB044 Sponsor Statement 1.23.2017.pdf HJUD 1/27/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 1/30/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/3/2017 1:15:00 PM
HB 44
HCR001 Conflict of Interest flow Chart 1.27.17.pdf HJUD 1/27/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 1/30/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/3/2017 1:15:00 PM
HCR 1
HB044 Supporting Document-Letter AKPIRG 1.23.17.pdf HJUD 1/27/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 1/30/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/3/2017 1:15:00 PM
HB 44
HCR001 Leg Research Report 15-423m 1.20.17.pdf HJUD 1/27/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 1/30/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/3/2017 1:15:00 PM
HCR 1
HB044 Leg Research Report 15-422m 1.20.17.pdf HJUD 1/30/2017 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/3/2017 1:15:00 PM
HB 44
HB044 Fiscal Note LEG-SESS 1.25.17.pdf HJUD 1/27/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 1/30/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 44