Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/14/1995 08:05 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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.                                                         

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