Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/27/1993 08:00 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  HB 81:  PHASE OUT LONGEVITY BONUS                                            
                                                                               
  Number 333                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY read the title of HB 81 and called for                        
  testimony from Juneau.  Seeing none, he polled the                           
  teleconference sites for testimony.                                          
                                                                               
  Number 346                                                                   
                                                                               
  DAVE TRANTHAM, a 46 year resident of Bethel, testified via                   
  teleconference from Bethel against HB 81.  He stated the                     
  bill would be challenged in court, and would hurt many                       
  seniors' ability to stay in Alaska.  He favored an across                    
  the board budget cut instead.                                                
                                                                               
  Number 411                                                                   
                                                                               
  NAT KENNEY, a resident of Delta Junction, testified via                      
  teleconference from Delta Junction in opposition to HB 81.                   
  He stated the longevity bonus returned money to the state at                 
  an 11 to 1 ratio, and seniors would be forced to leave the                   
  state if it was terminated.                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 472                                                                   
                                                                               
  VYOLA BELLE, a resident of Sitka, testified via                              
  teleconference from Sitka, in opposition to HB 81.  She said                 
  the bonus was needed to keep seniors independent.                            
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Number 489                                                                   
                                                                               
  DORIS SOUTHALL, a resident of Fairbanks, testified via                       
  teleconference from Fairbanks against HB 81.  She favored                    
  SB 6 instead.                                                                
                                                                               
  Number 519                                                                   
                                                                               
  DOROTHY WESTPHAL, a resident of Sterling, testified via                      
  teleconference from Kenai.  She stated HB 81 would be                        
  contested in court, and that she favored SB 6 over HB 81.                    
                                                                               
  Number 548                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS asked Mrs. Westphal if she had                       
  looked into the annuity plan, and had seen the                               
  Administration's research which indicated the annuity was                    
  unfeasible.                                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 554                                                                   
                                                                               
  MRS. WESTPHAL stated she knew of the Administration's                        
  position, but felt SB 6 could be amended.                                    
                                                                               
  Number 571                                                                   
                                                                               
  ROSE PALMQUIST, a resident of Palmer, testified via                          
  teleconference from Mat-Su in opposition to HB 81.  She said                 
  an annuity plan should have been implemented years ago.                      
  She also challenged the Administration's contention that                     
  most seniors did not need the bonus to live on.                              
                                                                               
  Number 632                                                                   
                                                                               
  MARVIN BUSHEY, a resident of Fairbanks, testified via                        
  teleconference from Fairbanks, in opposition to HB 81.  He                   
  favored SB 6, and stated it was unfair for long time                         
  citizens who were not yet qualified by age to be cut off                     
  from the bonus when outsiders who were of age can come in                    
  and qualify in one year.                                                     
                                                                               
  Number 653                                                                   
                                                                               
  HERMAN LEIRER, a 69 year resident of Seward, testified via                   
  teleconference from Seward in opposition to HB 81.  He said                  
  it would cost Alaska 15 to 20 thousand citizens who would                    
  move.                                                                        
                                                                               
  Number 678                                                                   
                                                                               
  NICK ZERBINOS, a resident of Glennallen, testified via                       
  teleconference from Glennallen in opposition to HB 81, and                   
  stated many seniors had the choice of taking the bonus or                    
  going on welfare.                                                            
                                                                               
  TAPE 93-22, SIDE B                                                           
                                                                               
  Number 045                                                                   
                                                                               
  DOUGLAS EUERS, a resident of Tok, testified via                              
  teleconference from Tok in opposition to HB 81.  He favored                  
  SB 6.                                                                        
                                                                               
  Number 111                                                                   
                                                                               
  PAUL MILLER, a resident of Delta Junction, testified via                     
  teleconference from Delta Junction in opposition to HB 81,                   
  and stated with Alaskans sure to take a hit under the                        
  Clinton administration, the bonus would be especially needed                 
  by seniors.                                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 166                                                                   
                                                                               
  JOHN SHAFFER, a resident of Sitka, testified via                             
  teleconference from Sitka, on behalf of the Legislative                      
  Committee of the American Association of Retired Persons, in                 
  opposition to HB 81 and in favor of SB 6.  He said the                       
  current recipients must be protected.                                        
                                                                               
  Number 223                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. PALMQUIST stated legislators should consider the                         
  contribution of seniors to the state and if the state really                 
  was running out of money.  She stated the government should                  
  not balance the budget on the backs of seniors or kids.                      
                                                                               
  Number 298                                                                   
                                                                               
  EARL WESTPHAL, a 77 year old resident of Sterling, testified                 
  via teleconference from Kenai in opposition to HB 81 because                 
  he needed it to live.                                                        
                                                                               
  Number 378                                                                   
                                                                               
  LEE CARMAN, a resident of Fairbanks, testified via                           
  teleconference from Fairbanks in opposition to HB 81, and in                 
  favor of SB 6.  He deemed HB 81 unfair to seniors close to                   
  qualifying by age.                                                           
                                                                               
  Number 465                                                                   
                                                                               
  MELLIE TERWILLIGER, a resident of Tok and a member of the                    
  Older Alaskans Commission, testified via teleconference from                 
  Tok in opposition to HB 81, and in favor of SB 6.  She                       
  believed lawmakers must consider the contribution of seniors                 
  to the state.                                                                
                                                                               
  Number 502                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHARLES BROKER, a resident of Tok, testified via                             
  teleconference from Tok in opposition to HB 81.  He favored                  
  amending SB 6, and said seniors under qualification age in                   
  HB 81 would lose out.                                                        
                                                                               
  Number 543                                                                   
                                                                               
  GLORIA MASCHMEYER, a 13 year resident of Anchorage,                          
  testified via teleconference from Anchorage in support of HB
  81.  She believed the SB 6 annuity plan was too complicated,                 
  created bureaucracy, and would prevent her family from                       
  collecting her savings if she died after the age of 65.  She                 
  questioned whether the annuity could be supported since many                 
  people could not contribute their permanent fund checks                      
  because they used those to live.                                             
                                                                               
  Number 605                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS asked Mrs. Maschmeyer if she knew                    
  what the annuity would provide her family.                                   
                                                                               
  Number 611                                                                   
                                                                               
  MRS. MASCHMEYER stated she had no figures from Senator                       
  Kerttula's office, but understood she would only get $100 a                  
  month under the annuity plan.                                                
                                                                               
  Number 635                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY called for any other testimony from the                       
  teleconference sites.                                                        
                                                                               
  Number 668                                                                   
                                                                               
  HARRY JENKINS, a resident of Fairbanks, testified via                        
  teleconference from Fairbanks in opposition to HB 81.  He                    
  felt Alaska would lose citizens if the program ended.                        
                                                                               
  TAPE 93-23, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 020                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. EUERS stated lawmakers must look to the future, and that                 
  ending the bonus would affect seniors' medical care.                         
                                                                               
  Number 067                                                                   
                                                                               
  There being no further public testimony, CHAIRMAN VEZEY                      
  called for committee discussion.                                             
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS asked for comments from the                          
  Commissioner of the Department of Administration.                            
                                                                               
  Number 090                                                                   
                                                                               
  NANCY BEAR USERA, COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF                                
  ADMINISTRATION, addressed the constitutionality of HB 81.                    
  She said it was a phase out program and, therefore, was not                  
  subject to court challenge.                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 116                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS stated it was not fair for long-time                 
  residents below qualification age to be cut out of the bonus                 
  when newcomers of age were allowed to receive checks.                        
                                                                               
  Number 133                                                                   
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER USERA stated if the program was operating the                   
  way it was intended to, the reform would not be needed.  She                 
  also stated any redesign on basis of residency would be                      
  subject to a court challenge, and HB 81 was the most                         
  favorable reform for current recipients.                                     
                                                                               
  Number 161                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS agreed with Rep. B. Davis' concerns,                 
  but stated HB 81 was the best middle of the road proposal.                   
  He favored HB 81 because the phase out would slow the in-                    
  migration of older people, and end a trend of growing                        
  outlays in the last 10 years.                                                
                                                                               
  Number 198                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS was concerned the program might not                  
  save money, since many seniors would have to go on public                    
  assistance.                                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 211                                                                   
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER USERA had no figures on how many people would                   
  go on public assistance, but informed the committee that                     
  much of the bonus money would go toward new needs-based                      
  programs where seniors would be protected.  She stated the                   
  government also would not see a savings for at least four                    
  years while the program was implemented, because the growth                  
  trend would continue with the aging of the population.                       
                                                                               
  Number 288                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS favored moving HB 81 from committee.                 
                                                                               
  Number 306                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS supported moving HB 81 from                          
  committee.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Number 328                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY called for a vote, and HB 81 failed to move                   
  from committee by a 3-1 vote, with Chairman Vezey voting no.                 
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 333                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY adjourned the meeting at 9:52 a.m.                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects