Legislature(1995 - 1996)
02/14/1995 08:05 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HSTA - 02/14/95 CSHB 83 - REVIEW OF FEDERALLY MANDATED PROGRAMS The next order of business was HB 83. REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN testified as sponsor of House Bill 83. He read his sponsor statement: "I have introduced HB 83 as a companion bill to HJR 8, "A Resolution relating to mandates and other conditions imposed on the states by the federal government." Whereas the Resolution articulates the resolve of the citizens of this state to stand against further attempts by the federal government to encroach upon our autonomy and rights as a state under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, this bill provides a simple and practical modality for taking that stand." He added the bill requires commissioners and agency heads to scrutinize unfunded mandates through the Office of Management and Budget to find out if they are constitutional. A review would occur every four years under each new Administration. The bill directs them to look for more cost effective ways to implement the mandate, negotiate with the federal government, or sue the federal government based on the Tenth Amendment states' powers. He continued there have been no studies as to what unfunded mandates cost, but Anchorage estimates by the year 2000 the environmental mandates alone will cost the city of Anchorage almost $430 million. There is a fiscal note attached, and it is his hope the bill will save the state money. Number 683 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON noted there are numerous different bills dealing with this same subject and asked if they might be analyzed and possibly consolidated. TAPE 95-16, SIDE A Number 000 CHAIR JAMES agreed such an evaluation needs to be done. She added the House Majority has the responsibility to determine which approach should go forward. HB 83 will next go to Judiciary and an analysis will be done then, and this bill must be judged on its own merit at this time and not in comparison with other bills. Number 022 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she had hoped all bills dealing with federal mandates could be studied in a subcommittee to create a uniform package. She asked Representative Ogan to explain further how his bill would affect federal mandates. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN replied his intent was to look, for example, at the Endangered Species Act and its affect on forest products. He continued the Brady Bill is another example of an unfunded federal mandate demanding costs be absorbed by local police forces. The bill would scrutinize such mandates to see whether the federal government is exceeding its powers by circumventing states Tenth Amendment powers and placing funding burdens on them. Each administration would have the chance to do this using their specific priorities. Number 094 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER noted that municipal assemblies have similar discussions about what the state is doing to them. He asked how HB 83 would save the state money. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN referred to page 3, lines 21 through 27 of CSHB 83(WTR) saying the review would determine whether the mandate is consistent with state policy and suited to the states' needs, would recommend ways in which the state program might be altered to more efficiently implement the federal mandate, and would determine the advisability of pursuing a legal challenge to the validity of the mandate. Hopefully, through a series of cost-effective adjustments and negotiations with the federal government, money could be saved. Number 145 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN asked if Alaska challenged a mandate under this bill, would the state still be required to implement the mandate as the challenge went through the court system. CHAIR JAMES said that would require a legal response. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he was sure the answer was yes, that the federal law had supremacy over state law and would remain in effect during the time of a challenge. CHAIR JAMES added that is the issue, because many federal laws exceed their authority under the constitution. Number 179 REPRESENTATIVE ED WILLIS asked how Representative Ogan envisioned the present Regulation Review Committee fitting into this. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN responded he did not know exactly how it would fit in, but that the Office of Management and Budget would review each program with the help of agency heads. CHAIR JAMES added that much of the states' distress with mandates comes not from the mandate itself but with the regulations propagated because of the mandate, and she sees a direct connection between this challenge to federal mandates and the need for regulation relief and reform. She noted a need also for an examination of duplication of services. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN commented that Alaska is joining several other states in this effort to challenge the federal government, and asked if the $700,000 cost would be born by Alaska alone and whether this would create a bias toward some of Alaska's sister states. He asked if this were a coordinated effort. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN referred the question to his aide Allen Kingman, who is licensed to practice law in Alaska, noting that Alaska has unique situations and may have to fight some battles alone but it is his intention to join with other states where there is common ground. Number 284 ALLEN KINGMAN, Legislative Aide to Representative Scott Ogan, stated he had been involved in drafting HB 83 from the beginning, and replied to Representative Green the bill simply provides a review process and does not make decisions on Alaska's ultimate actions on any mandate. He said it would be appropriate for Alaska to join with other states in suits, though looking at the appropriateness of mandates for Alaska in particular would be a singular effort. CHAIR JAMES reminded the committee the next meeting will be on teleconference regarding HB 105, and noted the sponsor of HB 130, which is similar to HB 105, is invited to participate. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked if anyone would object to moving HB 83 from committee at this time. CHAIR JAMES replied that she objected, and she adjourned the meeting at 10:03 a.m.