Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/07/2003 08:03 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 295 - REGULATIONS: NOTICE AND DISTRIBUTION                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0130                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH announced  that the next order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO. 295,  "An Act  relating to the  publishing and                                                               
furnishing  of certain  public notices  regarding regulations  or                                                               
rules of certain state agencies;  relating to distribution of the                                                               
Alaska Administrative  Code, Alaska Administrative  Register, and                                                               
supplements  to  the  code  or register;  and  providing  for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0110                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CRAIG   TILLERY,   Assistant  Attorney   General,   Environmental                                                               
Section,  Civil Division  (Anchorage), Department  of Law  (DOL),                                                               
presented HB 295  on behalf of the administration.   He explained                                                               
that the  purposes of  HB 295  are two-fold:   to  improve public                                                               
notice for changes  made to regulations; and to  reduce the costs                                                               
of public  notice through the elimination  of unnecessary actions                                                               
by the state,  the use of the Internet where  appropriate, and by                                                               
allowing briefer,  more easily understood  notices.   Because the                                                               
legislation  impacts a  broad number  of  statutes, he  mentioned                                                               
that  his presentation  might jump  around  a bit.   The  primary                                                               
change, which  is extensive and  applies to most  regulations, is                                                               
found  in Sections  23  and  24.   Under  this change,  newspaper                                                               
notices would be somewhat altered  to include a statement of what                                                               
is being  changed; a briefer  general description of  the changes                                                               
in the  regulations; information on  how to obtain  more detailed                                                               
information;  and   a  statement  of  when   hearings  and  other                                                               
processes will take place.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-55, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. TILLERY  said that the  administration anticipates  that this                                                               
change will  reduce the size  of a  newspaper notice by  about 75                                                               
percent; thus making it more  noticeable, more easily understood,                                                               
and  effecting  a reduction  in  cost.    Under  HB 295,  use  of                                                               
broadcasts for  public notices would remain  optional; the Alaska                                                               
Online Public Notice  System would continue to  carry the current                                                               
longer  informative  summary;  and  there would  still  be  other                                                               
methods of  public notice such as  mailings - if requested  - and                                                               
so forth.  Importantly, HB 295  does not prohibit more notice, or                                                               
a more detailed  notice, if a particular situation  calls for it.                                                               
Finally,  historically, the  concept embodied  in HB  295 is  not                                                               
new; rather,  it has been around  for a while.   For example, six                                                               
years ago, the Knowles  Administration requested the introduction                                                               
of  a bill  that  sought to  make similar  changes.   During  the                                                               
intervening six years,  the availability of the  Internet and the                                                               
public's  ability  and  willingness   to  use  it  has  increased                                                               
dramatically,  making an  even stronger  case  for reforming  the                                                               
state's  methods  of  public notice  by  using  newspapers  where                                                               
necessary  to alert  people to  proposed changes  while providing                                                               
the details  of those changes  on the Internet or,  if requested,                                                               
through hard copy.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. TILLERY noted  that the "second ... major area  of this bill"                                                               
reflects  changes  to  the individual  agency  regulations  where                                                               
specific statutes may  govern public notice rather  than the more                                                               
general statutes of  the Administrative Procedure Act  (APA).  He                                                               
elaborated:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1  relates to the  trust company Act,  and what                                                                    
     it does  is it basically  says that ...  these agencies                                                                    
     that are  subject to  the APA are  not required  to put                                                                    
     notice of  particular regulations ... [and]  changes in                                                                    
     the  newspapers at  all.   And  what we  have done  is,                                                                    
     we've gone through the  statutes ... [and] regulations,                                                                    
     and  tried  to  select  those  particular  ones  where,                                                                    
     really, the  user groups of  those regulations  - those                                                                    
     people   who  are   interested,  those   people  who've                                                                    
     historically   commented    or   cared    about   those                                                                    
     regulations - are very  sophisticated users:  typically                                                                    
     industries and  so forth.   The first  one is  found in                                                                    
     Section 1; it is the trust company Act. ...                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0256                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. TILLERY continued:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2  is electronic signatures, and  this one that                                                                    
     actually   may   be   replaced   by   current   pending                                                                    
     legislation.    Section  7 relates  to  insurance  ....                                                                    
     Section  10   relates  to  the   Alaska  Oil   and  Gas                                                                    
     Conservation  Commission [AOGCC]  ....   Section 11  is                                                                    
     for  [Department of  Natural Resources  (DNR)] oil  and                                                                    
     gas  leases.    Sections  12 and  13  relate  to  state                                                                    
     personnel  rules.     Section  16  is   the  Regulatory                                                                    
     Commission of Alaska [RCA] with  regard to the pipeline                                                                    
     Act.  Section 19 is  the corporate income tax.  Section                                                                    
     20  are  our  oil  and   gas  taxes.    Section  26  is                                                                    
     securities ....   And Section 27  is Medicaid, although                                                                    
     it  is ...  specifically  limited  to three  particular                                                                    
     parts  of the  Medicaid provisions  - none  that really                                                                    
     affect recipients of Medicaid  services, but rather ...                                                                    
     things like  Medicaid rate determinations;  systems for                                                                    
     accounting,   budgeting   and  reporting   for   health                                                                    
     facilities; and time limits for  rate appeals by health                                                                    
     facilities.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The third  major part of the  bill ... is the  one that                                                                    
     actually  deals   with  ...  independent   or  separate                                                                    
     provisions  for  public  notices.   Sections  3  and  4                                                                    
     relate to the teachers  retirement board, and what this                                                                    
     does  is to  change it  from ...  a requirement  of one                                                                    
     public notice in each judicial  district, to simply one                                                                    
     newspaper of general circulation.   This brings this in                                                                    
     line with  the more general requirements  of the [APA].                                                                    
     And I  would also  note ...  [that] this  is kind  of a                                                                    
     clean up [of  what] ... we went through  in 2000, where                                                                    
     we  changed a  requirement  of  mailing to  furnishing,                                                                    
     which  allows the  state to  use electronic  mail where                                                                    
     people prefer, but it also  contains a requirement that                                                                    
     if people  ask, we will hard  copy mail them.   Some of                                                                    
     the agencies  were missed  in that  clean up,  and this                                                                    
     does  also clean  that up  for  the teacher  retirement                                                                    
     board.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     In Section  5, [for]  the Alaska  Aerospace Development                                                                    
     Corporation   [AADC],    [it]   would    change   [the]                                                                    
     requirement from  three newspapers to one.   In Section                                                                    
     6,  [for]   the  Alaska  Housing   Finance  Corporation                                                                    
     [AHFC],  [it] would  change  from  three newspapers  to                                                                    
     one.    Sections  8  and   9  relate  to  the  judicial                                                                    
     retirement system,  and would change  [the requirement]                                                                    
     from  one newspaper  [in]  each  judicial district,  to                                                                    
     one.    Sections  14  and   15  relate  to  the  Public                                                                    
     Employees' Retirement  System [PERS], and  would change                                                                    
     [the requirement]  from one newspaper in  each judicial                                                                    
     district, to one. ... Sections  17 and 18 relate to the                                                                    
     Alaska Railroad  - rules promulgated by  the railroad -                                                                    
     and   would  change   [the   requirement]  from   three                                                                    
     newspapers to one.  And   Section 25 ... relates to the                                                                    
     [Alaska  Industrial  Development   &  Export  Authority                                                                    
     (AIDEA)],  and  would  change  [the  requirement]  from                                                                    
     three newspapers to one.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0540                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. TILLERY concluded:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     There is finally  a fourth section of the  bill - found                                                                    
     in Sections 21 and 22;  those sections ... [pertain to]                                                                    
     a distribution of the  Alaska Administrative Code [ACC]                                                                    
     to municipalities.   Currently, all  municipalities get                                                                    
     the [AAC] whether  they want it or  not, and frequently                                                                    
     we are informed  that they do not really  want them ...                                                                    
     [or] know what  to do with them.  This  would allow the                                                                    
     state to provide  them only upon request  and then also                                                                    
     upon payment  of cost; it  would give us the  option of                                                                    
     ...  people  receiving  them  electronically.  ...  Mr.                                                                    
     Chairman, that concludes my testimony.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ noted  that  a number  of the  entities                                                               
that are the subject of HB  295 are exempted from the abbreviated                                                               
newspaper-notice requirements.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TILLERY  concurred, reiterating  that  a  limited number  of                                                               
entities will  be exempted because  it is believed that  the user                                                               
groups of  those entities  are so  sophisticated that  they would                                                               
not be looking  in newspapers; instead, they are  on e-mail lists                                                               
or they use the Internet.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ asked  what evidence  there is  to show                                                               
that the  aforementioned user groups  don't also  include members                                                               
of the  general public;  for example,  on issues  of oil  and gas                                                               
leasing, or  those pertaining to  the AOGCC, to  personnel rules,                                                               
or to the RCA.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.   TILLERY,  noting   that  individuals   from  some   of  the                                                               
aforementioned entities are available  to testify, suggested that                                                               
others  might  be  better  able   to  respond  to  Representative                                                               
Berkowitz's concerns.   He pointed out that the part  of the bill                                                               
that  relates to  the RCA  is limited  to pipeline  tariffs.   In                                                               
response to another  question, he confirmed that  the fiscal note                                                               
dated 4/23/03  should be  disregarded in favor  of the  one dated                                                               
5/6/03.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  asked  that a  sectional  analysis  be                                                               
provided to the committee.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. TILLERY indicated that one would be provided.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  asked whether  there have  been any  court cases                                                               
specifically dealing with  the issue of notice as  proposed by HB
295.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0950                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. TILLERY  said no.   He added  that some federal  agencies are                                                               
moving totally towards  a web-based system, which  is an emerging                                                               
area  that depends  upon a  combination of  factors such  as user                                                               
groups and  the extent to  which other means of  notification are                                                               
currently being  provided.  He  opined that the  changes proposed                                                               
by Sections  23 and  24 are not  problematic, and  mentioned that                                                               
the provisions  which reduce  notification from  three newspapers                                                               
to  one newspaper  are in  line  with aspects  of the  APA.   The                                                               
dramatic change,  he offered, is  that of  completely eliminating                                                               
newspaper  notice;  but in  those  situations,  he observed,  the                                                               
administration  believes that  it  is constitutional.   He  again                                                               
noted  that  under  HB  295, an  entity/agency  will  retain  the                                                               
ability  to  go  beyond  the minimum  notice  requirements  being                                                               
proposed.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TILLERY,  in response  to  questions,  relayed that  current                                                               
notice requirements for the Alaska  Department of Fish and Game's                                                               
(ADF&G) emergency orders are not affected by HB 295.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ   asked  what  happened  to   the  bill                                                               
introduced   by  the   Knowles   administration   and  what   the                                                               
differences are between it and HB 295.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TILLERY  explained  that  the  previous  legislation  had  a                                                               
variety of regulatory  reforms, one of which was  very similar to                                                               
that being proposed  by Sections 23 and  24 of HB 295.   He noted                                                               
that the previous legislation simply did not receive a hearing.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ opined  that  the  changes proposed  in                                                               
Sections  23 and  24 make  sense, but  the exemptions  granted in                                                               
other portions of HB 295 seem  to evince a pattern of disdain for                                                               
public participation in the process.  He added:                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     I balk, considerably, at the  extent that this piece of                                                                    
     legislation  goes.     I'm  also  concerned   that  ...                                                                    
     requiring  municipalities to  pick up  the tab  for the                                                                    
     administrative codes  [is] another part of  pushing the                                                                    
     cost  of  government  from  the  state  down  to  local                                                                    
     governments  and it's  not being  done in  a systematic                                                                    
     format.   And  I'm very  curious, on  account of  these                                                                    
     concerns, ...  [to know] who  in the  administration is                                                                    
     taking responsibility for this piece of legislation.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. TILLERY indicated  that that those questions  could be better                                                               
addressed by others from the administration.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1315                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MARK  DAVIS,   Director,  Division   of  Banking,   Securities  &                                                               
Corporations,  Department  of  Community &  Economic  Development                                                               
(DCED),   opined   that   HB   295   is   consistent   with   the                                                               
administration's attempt to reduce the  cost of publication while                                                               
using  effective  and  efficient notification  methods  to  reach                                                               
people and  entities with an  interest in commenting  on proposed                                                               
regulations.   He said that  his division estimates a  savings of                                                               
approximately $7,800, adding that  there have been trends towards                                                               
electronic notification,  both in  the federal government  and in                                                               
other states.   For example,  the U.S. Department of  Labor makes                                                               
its  federal  register notices  available  on  the Internet,  and                                                               
California has  enacted legislation which permits  and encourages                                                               
the use of  electronic communication.  He  opined that electronic                                                               
communication is at the heart of the bill.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. DAVIS said that the procedures  set out in Sections 23 and 24                                                               
would  apply  to the  division  in  its entirety,  including  the                                                               
corporations and banking sections.   The exemptions affecting the                                                               
trust act and the securities Act  are contained in Sections 1 and                                                               
26.   He opined that  user groups which routinely  use electronic                                                               
communication should  continue to  receive notifications  via the                                                               
means with  which they are  familiar, and used the  revised trust                                                               
Act as an example:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     We have  two trust companies  in Alaska; the  user list                                                                    
     we  have  for  regulation   is  partially  made  up  of                                                                    
     attorneys,  and/or those  trust  companies, and  banks.                                                                    
     To my  knowledge, all of  those groups  have electronic                                                                    
     communication, and we  receive electronic communication                                                                    
     from them.   That doesn't mean we  wouldn't continue to                                                                    
     use  other  means of  notification  such  as a  mailing                                                                    
     list,  but it  would mean  that  we would  not have  to                                                                    
     publish a notice in the newspaper.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. DAVIS  said that similar  circumstances apply with  regard to                                                               
the  revised securities  Act, adding  that the  "whole securities                                                               
world"   is   quickly    moving   toward   online   notification,                                                               
particularly  with regard  to securities  registration through  a                                                               
national organization.  He suggested  that one possible exemption                                                               
would be with regard to  the requirements under AS 45.55.139, but                                                               
offered  that the  division would  continue to  use a  variety of                                                               
publications for that particular statute.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked whether  any members of the public                                                               
ever show  up at any of  the division's meetings and,  if so, how                                                               
many show up because of "the public notice."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. DAVIS indicated that according  to his experience, members of                                                               
the public have  not shown up even though the  meetings have been                                                               
publicly noticed.   In  response to  further questions,  he noted                                                               
that  for the  sections of  his division  that do  not completely                                                               
eliminate  newspaper  ads, the  cost  reduction,  just under  the                                                               
general  newspaper ad  size reduction,  is anticipated  to be  75                                                               
percent.   He  observed that  the question  then becomes  whether                                                               
even that  size ad is  actually necessary for certain  users such                                                               
as trust  officers and lawyers  that do watch the  division's web                                                               
site and who get the division's electronic communications.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1675                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SARAH PALIN, Commissioner/Chair, Alaska  Oil and Gas Conservation                                                               
Commission [AOGCC],  Department of  Administration, said  that HB
295 would  provide a more  cost effective notice process  for the                                                               
AOGCC.  She elaborated:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     We   notice    very   specialized   industry-interested                                                                    
     parties,  those  who  aren't  perusing  the  classified                                                                    
     section  of   a  newspaper  to  read   details  of  our                                                                    
     regulations.     And  remember,  our   regulations  ...                                                                    
     pertain to things  like well-plugging requirements, ...                                                                    
     [the]  underground  injection process,  ...  production                                                                    
     metering,  equipment required  for drilling  monitoring                                                                    
     of   reservoir   conditions    -   really   specialized                                                                    
     [regulations],  of  course.    We  give  those  to  our                                                                    
     customers, and  they include the tech  divisions of Oil                                                                    
     and  Gas  companies,  DNR,  [U.S.]  Department  of  the                                                                    
     Interior,     [Department     of    Revenue     (DOR)],                                                                    
     [Environmental Protection Agency  (EPA)] - very, again,                                                                    
     industry-interested parties.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     It   is  important   to  remember   that  the   Knowles                                                                    
     Administration  did take  good  steps towards  becoming                                                                    
     more  efficient by  publishing notices  via electronics                                                                    
     as sort of a  progressive, sound, administrative theme.                                                                    
     They,  too, recognized  the value  of the  Internet and                                                                    
     the good  tools we  have now to  notice the  details of                                                                    
     [regulation]  changes, and  our  customers are  already                                                                    
     readily  utilizing  paperless  technology  and  working                                                                    
     with us  via our  web site  and electronics  to produce                                                                    
     oil and gas  for our state.  The  original practices of                                                                    
     notification ...  probably did  make perfect  sense 20,                                                                    
     10, maybe even  5 years ago, but you all  know ... that                                                                    
     the world has changed.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     And  Alaska can  be really  proud of  our technological                                                                    
     progress,  and government  can do  its  job better  and                                                                    
     more efficiently and  at a lower cost  by utilizing the                                                                    
     technology that  the private sector  relies on  and, as                                                                    
     was  pointed out,  many branches  of  even the  federal                                                                    
     government  are  now  relying on  to  publish  detailed                                                                    
     notices.    We  can  do  this via  HB  295;  it  allows                                                                    
     flexibility and,  thankfully, it doesn't  prohibit good                                                                    
     judgment in publishing processes.  Thank you.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1828                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  asked how  much AOGCC  currently spends                                                               
on [notice] publication.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PALIN  indicated   that  she  did  not   bring  those  exact                                                               
statistics  with  her,  but  estimated  that  they  were  perhaps                                                               
similar to what previous speakers have testified to.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ asked  whether  members  of the  public                                                               
show up at the AOGCC meetings.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PALIN  noted  that Theresa  Obermeyer  attends  the  AOGCC's                                                               
public hearings; that she is the  only public member to have done                                                               
so; and that she does visit  the AOGCC's office, which also posts                                                               
notice of  public hearings  meetings.  Ms.  Palin added  that Ms.                                                               
Obermeyer is also on the AOGCC's mailing list.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE announced  that the  hearing  on HB  295 would  be                                                               
recessed in order to  take up HB 40.  [The hearing  on HB 295 was                                                               
recessed until later in the meeting.]                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HB 295 - REGULATIONS: NOTICE AND DISTRIBUTION                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0055                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH announced  that the  committee would  resume the                                                               
hearing  on  HOUSE  BILL  NO.   295,  "An  Act  relating  to  the                                                               
publishing  and furnishing  of certain  public notices  regarding                                                               
regulations  or  rules of  certain  state  agencies; relating  to                                                               
distribution   of   the   Alaska  Administrative   Code,   Alaska                                                               
Administrative  Register,   and  supplements   to  the   code  or                                                               
register; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0131                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LINDA  HALL,  Director,  Division  of  Insurance,  Department  of                                                               
Community & Economic Development (DCED), offered the following:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Newspaper publications as  notices are not particularly                                                                    
     effective communication for  the Division of Insurance.                                                                    
     Most of  our regulations  are very technical  in nature                                                                    
     and  are   directed  at   those  people   we  regulate.                                                                    
     Example:   we  have 1,200  registered companies;  2,500                                                                    
     registered    licensees/agents;    and   over    12,000                                                                    
     nonresident licensed  agents.   With this  large number                                                                    
     of nonresident licensees  and "non-domiciled in Alaska"                                                                    
     companies,   newspaper  publications   only  have   the                                                                    
     potential to  reach 16 percent  of ... the  people that                                                                    
     we actually regulate.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     I do  feel that  ... this  bill does  allow ...  - when                                                                    
     need arises,  when we have  an issue that is  of public                                                                    
     interest, of public concern -  ... [us] to do a target-                                                                    
     marketing  type of  newspaper  advertisement, where  we                                                                    
     can  make sure  the public  is  aware of  when it's  in                                                                    
     their interest.   And I have an example of  that.  Last                                                                    
     fall there were hearings  on privacy regulations; those                                                                    
     affect consumers  as well as  the people  and companies                                                                    
     that  we  regulate.   Those  types  of public  interest                                                                    
     hearings, I believe, should have  publication.  When we                                                                    
     talk  about  the amount  of  expenditures  we have  for                                                                    
     newspaper advertisements,  we can still ...  be allowed                                                                    
     to do some of that when it is in the public interest.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0341                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     We have a fairly sophisticated  group of people that we                                                                    
     regulate;  they're  very  technically advanced  -  they                                                                    
     consult our  web site on a  regular basis.  All  of our                                                                    
     regulations,  notices, [and]  bulletins  are posted  on                                                                    
     our web site.  We  have a section that's called "What's                                                                    
     New "; it  has a calendar of things that  are coming in                                                                    
     the future,  and that would  include hearings,  so it's                                                                    
     very easy  to check our web  site and get that  type of                                                                    
     information.   Last  year,  our  charges for  newspaper                                                                    
     advertisements totaled  roughly $9,700.   If  we target                                                                    
     75  percent of  that as  our best  estimate of  what we                                                                    
     would save  under this bill,  our division  alone would                                                                    
     save approximately $7,300.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. HALL concluded:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     We also  do targeted mailings; when  we have regulation                                                                    
     changes, we  do mailings  in addition to  the newspaper                                                                    
     publications.    For example,  last  year  we had  some                                                                    
     surplus lines;  regulatory notices  go out to  9,000 of                                                                    
     our licensed agents  - we do some  very large mailings.                                                                    
     We  had a  mailing  on the  privacy  regulations I  ...                                                                    
     referenced  earlier that  went  to 10,000  people.   We                                                                    
     have particular  members of the public  who have asked,                                                                    
     over the years, to be  included on our mailing list, so                                                                    
     those  people automatically  get  notices  when we  are                                                                    
     having  regulatory hearings.   And  with that,  I would                                                                    
     support  these changes  and be  willing  to answer  any                                                                    
     questions anyone may have.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON asked Ms. Hall whether the Division of                                                                    
Insurance uses the Alaska Online Public Notice System, which is                                                                 
referenced on page 5 of the bill.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. HALL indicated that the division does use that system in                                                                    
addition to posting notice on its own web site.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0603                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
STAN   RIDGEWAY,   Deputy   Director,  Division   of   Insurance,                                                               
Department  of  Community  &   Economic  Development  (DCED),  in                                                               
response to a question, indicated  that he would find out whether                                                               
the Alaska  Online Public Notice  System is  listed as a  link on                                                               
the State of Alaska home page.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0642                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ made  a motion to adopt  Amendment 1, to                                                               
delete Sections 1, 7, 10, 11, 16, 19, 20, 26, and 27.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0651                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM objected.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ pointed  out  that the  sections he  is                                                               
proposing  to delete  are  the sections  that  are exempted  from                                                               
subsection (a)(7)  of Section 23.   Subsection (a)(7)  of Section                                                               
23 requires an abbreviated form  of newspaper notice, and this is                                                               
the provision that  the administration is proposing  will save 75                                                               
percent of advertisement  costs.  He said that he  does not see a                                                               
need  to exempt  certain agencies/entities  from the  requirement                                                               
laid out in subsection (a)(7).  He elaborated:                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     There's problem  enough in this  state with  people not                                                                    
     knowing  what   government's  going  to  do,   and  I'm                                                                    
     increasingly leery ... of  an administration that makes                                                                    
     it  harder and  harder for  the public  to know  what's                                                                    
     going on  and that  wrests more  and more  control away                                                                    
     from  local  government.    You  see  it  with  coastal                                                                    
     management, you see it on HB  69, ... I've seen it time                                                                    
     and  again, and,  frankly, I  don't like  the direction                                                                    
     that  we're heading.   I  understand the  need to  save                                                                    
     money, but we can save  money - [a] considerable amount                                                                    
     of money - and still retain the notice.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HALL,  in response  to  the  question regarding  the  Alaska                                                               
Online  Public Notice  System, indicated  that  the state's  home                                                               
page does have a link to that system.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH, on  the  issue of  Amendment  1, ventured  that                                                               
taking away  the requirement to have  some kind of notice  in the                                                               
newspaper does  appear to somewhat diminish  the public's ability                                                               
to  know  what government  is  doing.   He  asked  Representative                                                               
Berkowitz whether  that was his  sentiment in  offering Amendment                                                               
1.                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said it was.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0910                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CRAIG   TILLERY,   Assistant  Attorney   General,   Environmental                                                               
Section,  Civil Division  (Anchorage), Department  of Law  (DOL),                                                               
said:                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     I would  concur that that  does happen and, in  fact, I                                                                    
     think that recognition is implicit  in this bill.  As I                                                                    
     believe  Representative Berkowitz  mentioned, the  real                                                                    
     guts  of  the  bill,  ...  the focus  of  it,  from  my                                                                    
     perspective, is  in Sections 23  and 24.   What happens                                                                    
     in the sections that this  amendment speaks to is, they                                                                    
     are sort  of the  cutting edge  of where  this country,                                                                    
     all  states and  the federal  government, [is]  headed,                                                                    
     but they're  very small steps.   These have  been areas                                                                    
     and regulations that we  believe are carefully targeted                                                                    
     to  not  affect  those  people who  are  not  generally                                                                    
     online and  who do not  look for their  notices online.                                                                    
     But  the fact  that  we actually  have  targeted it  to                                                                    
     these  very  fairly  narrow  exceptions  I  think  does                                                                    
     recognize  that  the  newspapers  continue  to  play  a                                                                    
     significant role  in alerting  the general public.   We                                                                    
     just believe  that in these  areas, it's  not necessary                                                                    
     and therefore  they can be  eliminated at  some savings                                                                    
     to the state.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  suggested adding  a specific effective  date and                                                               
language mandating  that the state  provide notice  in newspapers                                                               
explaining that after that effective  date, for notice on certain                                                               
issues, the  public will have to  start going to the  state's web                                                               
page.  He  asked Mr. Tillery whether the  administration would be                                                               
amenable to such a change.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TILLERY  asked  whether  the  Chair's  suggestion  would  be                                                               
applied to Amendment 1.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH  said  no,  adding that  he  was  just  speaking                                                               
conceptually.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TILLERY indicated  that he  would be  willing to  "take that                                                               
back  and find  out the  answer."   He  added that  conceptually,                                                               
perhaps Sections 2, 12, and 13 ought to be added to Amendment 1.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ thanked Mr. Tillery for his suggestion.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1190                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN,  after mentioning that he  uses the computer                                                               
all the  time, observed  that "Alaska  is one  of the  most wired                                                               
states in  the union -  and in the world,  perhaps - and  I think                                                               
it's time to  get past the horse and buggy  and start moving into                                                               
the modern era."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ agreed  that Alaska is one  of the "most                                                               
wired"  states in  the country,  but pointed  out that  there are                                                               
substantial parts of Alaska and  substantial portions of Alaska's                                                               
population that aren't yet "wired."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  asked  whether   newspaper  ads  or  direct                                                               
mailings would  still be used  in areas  of the state  that don't                                                               
have access to the Internet.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HALL indicated  that direct  mailings would  continue to  be                                                               
sent  to  those on  her  division's  mailing list  regardless  of                                                               
whether "they"  have access to  the Internet.  She  surmised that                                                               
all  HB 295  does, with  regard to  her division,  is remove  the                                                               
requirement to do newspaper publications.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  asked  whether  villages  that  don't  have                                                               
access to the  Internet would still receive  notice via newspaper                                                               
ads.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HALL  indicated that  she  didn't  have  an answer  to  that                                                               
question.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  asked whether the division's  mailing list                                                               
includes all cities.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HALL indicated  that her  division's  mailing list  includes                                                               
people, companies,  and entities that her  division regulates, as                                                               
well as anyone who requests to  be on that mailing list, but does                                                               
not ordinarily include cities.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON noted  that the  language in  the sections                                                               
themselves doesn't let one know what it applies to.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ remarked  that  that information  would                                                               
normally be included in the sectional analysis.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HALL remarked  that  Section  7 refers  to  Title 21,  which                                                               
applies to the Division of Insurance.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TILLERY noted  that per  Representative Gruenberg's  earlier                                                               
request,  the administration  is in  the process  of compiling  a                                                               
sectional analysis.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1517                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ withdrew Amendment 1.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  said  that  he intended  to  offer  an                                                               
Amendment 2, to  delete Sections 21 and 22.   He noted that these                                                               
two  sections   require  communities   to  pay  for   the  Alaska                                                               
Administrative Code  (AAC).  In  response to a question,  he said                                                               
that  he liked  the  provision that  requires local  governmental                                                               
agencies to  ask for  the AAC,  but does  not like  the provision                                                               
that requires them to pay for it.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1638                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT PEARSON,  Regulations/Online Public Notice, Office  of the                                                               
Lieutenant Governor,  on the  issue of Sections  21 and  22, said                                                               
that currently,  the state is  required to provide copies  of the                                                               
AAC  and quarterly  supplements  to every  local government  unit                                                               
regardless of whether they want it.   The total cost to the state                                                               
for doing this  is approximately $22,000 per year,  and the total                                                               
cost  to  the  state  for publishing  the  AAC  is  approximately                                                               
$30,000.   He  offered  that  the AAC  is  available online,  and                                                               
relayed  that  the Alaska  Municipal  League  (AML) has  not  yet                                                               
raised any objection  to the concept proposed in  Sections 21 and                                                               
22.  He  mentioned that according to information  provided by the                                                               
Department  of  Community &  Economic  Development,  many of  the                                                               
smaller municipalities do  not make use of either the  AAC or the                                                               
supplements during  the normal course  of business.   Because the                                                               
AAC is  available online, he  offered, Sections 21 and  22 should                                                               
not cause any  hardship, and will instead provide  the state with                                                               
the  flexibility to  provide the  AAC  on compact  disc to  those                                                               
government units that wish to receive it in that format.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH announced that HB 295 would be held over.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                

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