Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 106

04/06/2006 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 476 SPOT CHECK ELECTRONIC BALLOTS TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+= SB 250 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE/SEXUAL ASSAULT COUNCIL TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 438 INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM, RECALL PETITIONS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
HB 438-INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM, RECALL PETITIONS                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:08:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON announced  that  the first  order  of business  was                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO.  438, "An Act relating  to initiative, referendum,                                                               
and recall petitions; and providing for an effective date."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON [reopened] public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:10:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  moved  to  adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute (CS),  Version 24-LS1344\R,  Kurtz, 4/3/06, as  a work                                                               
draft.   There  being  no  objection, Version  R  was before  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:11:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEE HUBBARD, testifying  on behalf of herself,  stated that there                                                               
are parts  of the bill  that are  acceptable and parts  she finds                                                               
offensive.   She  offered her  understanding  that presently  the                                                               
Alaska Public Offices Commission  (APOC) does not become involved                                                               
with the  initiative, referendum,  or recall process  until after                                                               
the  document  has been  certified  for  the  ballot.   She  said                                                               
Section 1  would require APOC  to get involved  immediately, once                                                               
someone  has turned  in  a  document.   She  questioned why  APOC                                                               
should  be  required  to  get  involved,  when  the  Division  of                                                               
Elections  is  already  involved  up  until  the  time  that  the                                                               
document is certified  for the ballot.  She stated  that she does                                                               
not want APOC to be used as police.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:12:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUBBARD directed  attention to page 2, line  27, which states                                                               
that in  order for a  person to  qualify to circulate  a petition                                                               
booklet, he/she "shall be":                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
            (4) not registered to vote in any other                                                                             
     state.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUBBARD  questioned why that  language exists.  She  said the                                                               
same stipulation  also appears on  page 4, line 28,  [relating to                                                               
the requirement for an affidavit].                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUBBARD directed  attention to the phrase  "100 miles", shown                                                               
within  the  language on  page  3,  [lines  3-5], which  read  as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     for each day that the circulator travels more than 100                                                                     
       miles from the circulator's home in the course of                                                                        
     circulating the petition                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUBBARD said  she would like it clarified  whether that means                                                               
100 miles one way or round trip.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:13:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  asked that Ms.  Hubbard list all her  questions and                                                               
concerns without waiting  for a response.  He  said the committee                                                               
would address those issues during committee discussion.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:13:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUBBARD  brought focus to page  3, line 18, which  would make                                                               
a  circulator who  violates Section  2, subsections  (b) or  (c),                                                               
guilty of a misdemeanor.   Ms. Hubbard stressed her opposition to                                                               
that.   She stated, "I  think that's going to  cool off a  lot of                                                               
people  from even  thinking about  wanting to  do an  initiative,                                                               
referendum, or recall.  She  indicated that legislators pay civil                                                               
fines, but  don't face jail,  thus, why  would a resident  who is                                                               
"trying to  do something  that they believe  is good"  face jail?                                                               
She added, "And it may not be through any fault of their own."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HUBBARD  turned  to  page  6, lines  11-13,  which  read  as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
               (5) a certification by each member of the                                                                    
     recall committee,  under penalty  of perjury,  that the                                                                
     facts alleged in  the application are true  to the best                                                                
     of the member's knowledge.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HUBBARD said,  "Here's another  case of  me being  thrown in                                                               
jail because I  believe facts that I  think are true, and  I do a                                                               
recall, and now  someone comes and tries to intimidate  me to get                                                               
me charged with  perjury."  She asked, "Why are  we doing this to                                                               
each other.   We've had, what, one recall in  this state, and now                                                               
all of  a sudden we're  going to be facing  jail for perjury?   I                                                               
just don't like that at all."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HUBBARD  complimented the  bill  sponsor  for including  the                                                               
definitions of  "corruption", "incompetence", "lack  of fitness",                                                               
and "neglect  of duties" on page  6, lines 14-25.   She suggested                                                               
rephrasing  the   definition  of   "corruption"  by   adding  the                                                               
following language, on page 6, line 17, after "AS 15.45.470":                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
       that is either misuse of public office for private                                                                       
     gain or abuse of public power for personal gain                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUBBARD  stated that  she would like  Section 3  removed from                                                               
the bill and  to have the duties described in  Section 1 be given                                                               
to the Division of Elections [rather than APOC].                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:17:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HUBBARD concluded,  "We've  already had  our  powers of  ...                                                               
initiative and referendum  somewhat taken away from us  by a vote                                                               
of the people.  Why do we have to go through more problems?"                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:18:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HUBBARD,  in  response to  a  question  from  Representative                                                               
Ramras, said she has never served as a signature collector.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS  asked, "Is  it fair  to say,  then, you're                                                               
not familiar  with the  amount of cheating  and the  violation of                                                               
the law that already goes on with collectors?"                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:19:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HUBBARD replied  that  Representative  Ramras' statement  is                                                               
broad.  She  said, "I've signed petitions, and  I haven't noticed                                                               
anything going  on when I  have signed a  petition.  So,  I don't                                                               
know."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:19:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MYRL  THOMPSON,   testifying  on  behalf  of   himself,  directed                                                               
attention to a  letter in the committee  packet, [dated 3/17/06],                                                               
from  David  W. Marquez,  Attorney  General,  Department of  Law,                                                               
explaining  that the  reason  he  did not  address  the issue  of                                                               
recalls is because  the sponsor had - during the  last hearing on                                                               
HB 438  - stated his  intent to remove  the portions of  the bill                                                               
related to  recall.  Mr.  Thompson observed that Version  R still                                                               
contains language about  recalls, in Sections 3 and  4 - [Section                                                               
4]  addressing  the more  contentious  issue  of definitions  [of                                                               
"corruption", "incompetence", "lack of  fitness", and "neglect of                                                               
duties"].                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOMPSON  said he was  in the  Alaska Superior Court  the day                                                               
the summary judgment was made  on the issue of [the definitions].                                                               
He explained  that then Representative Scott  Ogan had challenged                                                               
"these four  reasons for recall,"  saying they needed to  be more                                                               
specific, with  better definitions.   The  court ruled  that [the                                                               
definitions] were fine the way they were.  He continued:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     ... The reason for that was  if a citizen can go on his                                                                    
     own judgment for  the election of a  public official to                                                                    
     office, ...  his judgment on the  definitions [is] just                                                                    
     as good  to remove that  official from office.   ... It                                                                    
     has never  happened; actually only  one has made  it to                                                                    
     the ballot.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     So, by not  having that case law or  even that question                                                                    
     answered by the Department of  Law, I think it is doing                                                                    
     the people  of Alaska a  great injustice when  it comes                                                                    
     to the  definitions that  are under  Section 4  of this                                                                    
     bill.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Also argued  in court and  upheld was the fact  that if                                                                    
     you ... set  the hurdle too high  by adding definitions                                                                    
     that  make  it  just  too  difficult  for  the  average                                                                    
     citizen  to recall  a ...  [legislator],  than that  is                                                                    
     going against the  spirit of the law to  begin with and                                                                    
     the  constitutional  right  to  recall  a  person  from                                                                    
     office.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:22:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOMPSON suggested  bringing in the summary  judgment for the                                                               
bill record  or, ultimately, to strike  Sections 3 and 4  from HB
438.   Mr. Thompson concurred  with Ms. Hubbard's  testimony that                                                               
penalizing  citizens  of  the  state  connected  to  initiatives,                                                               
recalls, and referendums  is "damping the public  spirit," and he                                                               
suggested that  is "the exact  wrong way to  go when it  comes to                                                               
this type of stuff."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:23:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  questioned how striking the  definitions in                                                               
Section  4 would  effect  any frivolous  complaints  that may  be                                                               
made.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:23:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOMPSON  clarified that  he is  asking that  the definitions                                                               
that are proposed in the bill  be stricken.  He stated, "The four                                                               
reasons for  recall have  been state law  since about  1960," and                                                               
there has  been only 1 recall  effort that made it  to the ballot                                                               
in 48 years, and "it wasn't frivolous."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:25:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO touched  on the  issue of  deciding how  to                                                               
weigh the value of a complaint.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:26:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOMPSON  assured Representative  Gatto that  frivolous cases                                                               
"will  be  picked   out  of  the  system."     He  described  the                                                               
complicated and lengthy process of conducting a recall.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:28:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO,  in  response to  Ms.  Hubbard's  previous                                                               
criticism of  the language  on page  6, [lines  11-13], regarding                                                               
"penalty  of perjury",  told  Ms. Hubbard  to  consider that  the                                                           
defense for  any member  of a  recall committee  would be  in the                                                               
language  at the  end of  the  sentence, which  read as  follows:                                                               
"are true to the best of the member's knowledge."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:29:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON,  after ascertaining that  there was no one  else to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 8:30:13 AM to 8:31:11 AM.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:31:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON moved Conceptual Amendment  1, which read as follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2 line 26 and line 27                                                                                                 
     Delete all material in (3) and (4)                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:31:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO objected for discussion purposes.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:31:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON said  there is a memorandum in  the committee packet                                                               
from Legislative  Legal and  Research Services,  which identifies                                                               
the constitutional  grounds on  which the  courts have  looked at                                                               
residency.  He mentioned the right of free speech.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:33:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS  said most of  his efforts in the  bill are                                                               
borne  from his  experience in  collecting signatures  and seeing                                                               
much  abuse  of  the  system.    He  compared  some  professional                                                               
signature collectors as  those who are like  carnival workers and                                                               
follow  the money.   He  said he  objects to  people from  out of                                                               
state  coming to  Alaska, registering  to vote,  and acting  like                                                               
citizens of  Alaska in order  to collect signatures.   He offered                                                               
examples.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:36:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS  described types of collectors,  those from                                                               
out of  state and  those true Alaskans  who are  passionate about                                                               
collecting.    He shared  an  anecdote  about a  local  signature                                                               
collector.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:39:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAMRAS talked  about a  signature collector  from                                                               
out of state who  asked him if he would be  giving him "the bump"                                                               
-  an additional  administrative fee  offered when  those needing                                                               
signatures collected  get more desperate.   Representative Ramras                                                               
said he  was upset at  being asked to  cheat on rules  by someone                                                               
who was  telling him that  cheating has happened  during previous                                                               
referendums.  For that reason, he objected to Amendment 1.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:40:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANE PIERSON,  Staff to Representative  Jay Ramras,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  on   behalf  of  Representative   Ramras,  sponsor,                                                               
offered her understanding that the  legal opinions to which Chair                                                               
Seaton had  just referred do  not relate  to being a  resident of                                                               
another state,  but to  not being registered  to vote  in another                                                               
state.   She  cited  AS  15.02.020.   She  said  that there  have                                                               
"already been  rulings that  you don't have  to be  registered to                                                               
vote to carry a petition," only to sign one.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:41:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  mentioned a  legal opinion  that states  that under                                                               
Buckley v.  American Constitutional Law Foundation,  525 U.S. 182                                                             
(1999),  a state  cannot require  a  signature gatherer  to be  a                                                             
registered voter  of that  state.   Chair Seaton  said it  may be                                                               
possible  to   require  the  signature   gatherer  to   meet  the                                                               
requirement for a 30-day residency.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:42:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNETTE  KREITZER,  Chief  of Staff,  Office  of  the  Lieutenant                                                               
Governor,  said  the language  in  Amendment  1  is broad.    She                                                               
suggested that  the committee amend  Amendment 1 so that  it only                                                               
[removes  the  "not  registered  to  vote  in  any  other  state"                                                               
requirement  of  Section  2,  paragraph (4)],  since  it  may  be                                                               
unconstitutional.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:43:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON cited Section 2, paragraph (3), which read:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
           (3) a resident of the state as determined                                                                            
     under AS 15.05.020; and                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON asked Ms. Kreitzer if that is current language.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:43:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KREITZER clarified as follows:                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     The  current  law  is  that  to  circulate  a  petition                                                                    
     booklet, a  person shall be  a citizen of the  U.S., 18                                                                    
     years of age, or older, and  a resident of the state as                                                                    
     determined under [AS] 15.05.020.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:44:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KREITZER, in  response to a comment  by Representative Gatto,                                                               
stated  her understanding  that when  a person  moves to  another                                                               
state with  the intent  to register  to vote  in that  new state,                                                               
he/she is required to notify the previous state.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:44:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO asked what would happen if that same person                                                                
had no intent of ever voting in Alaska, but became a resident of                                                                
the state.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:45:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KREITZER explained:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     What will  happen is, I  think, over time -  because of                                                                    
     the  national  motor/voter law  -  in  Alaska it  takes                                                                    
     about  8  years  of [inactivity]  and  several  notices                                                                    
     mailed  to   your  last  known   address.     And  then                                                                    
     eventually you  get put on  an inactive list,  and then                                                                    
     eventually  after that  you get  purged.   And I  would                                                                    
     imagine  that's what  would  happen  on the  California                                                                    
     voter rolls.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:45:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON asked Ms. Kreitzer to confirm that the requirement                                                                 
for residency in AS 15.05.020 has nothing to do with "being a                                                                   
voter or not a voter ... either in Alaska or any other state."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:45:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KREITZER answered that's correct.  In response to a follow-                                                                 
up comment from Chair Seaton, she said she had been corrected by                                                                
Ms. Pierson, and cited AS 15.05.020 [paragraph (6)], which read                                                                 
as follows:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          (6) A person loses residence in this state if the                                                                     
     person  votes in  another state's  election, either  in                                                                    
     person or by absentee ballot,  and will not be eligible                                                                    
     to vote in  this state until again  qualifying under AS                                                                    
     15.05.010.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. KREITZER stated:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     But we don't  see ... a problem ... in  keeping that as                                                                    
     a ...  residency requirement under ...  [AS] 15.05.020.                                                                    
     I can say  that pretty strongly.   We've discussed this                                                                    
     internally -  about requirements  - and the  only issue                                                                    
     the Department  of Law has raised  in our conversations                                                                    
     with the  sponsor has been  on this topic  of requiring                                                                    
     people  to  not be  registered  to  vote in  any  other                                                                    
     state.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:47:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  asked  if  a  distinction  is  being  made                                                               
between "registered  to vote" and "having  voted" in establishing                                                               
a circulator's privileges  in Alaska.  He explained,  "I mean you                                                               
could be  registered to vote  in California, never  having voted.                                                               
Is  that  different  than  having   voted  with  regard  to  this                                                               
position?"                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:47:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KREITZER said  Representative Gatto is beginning  to get into                                                               
distinctions that she cannot answer.   She said she is relying on                                                               
the Department  of Law's opinion  about this section of  the bill                                                               
and the issues that have been raised with the sponsor.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:47:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON said  he is willing to amend  Conceptual Amendment 1                                                               
to exclude [paragraph](4).                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS said he has no objection to that.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:48:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  said she  objects  to  that idea.    She                                                               
offered  her understanding  that a  person is  a resident  of the                                                               
state  if he/she  states  that intention,  but  loses that  state                                                               
residency  if he/she  votes in  another state.   However,  when a                                                               
person  moves  to Alaska,  he/she  has  to  wait 30  days  before                                                               
qualifying to vote.  She continued:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Our legislature here just voted  to spend $3 million to                                                                    
     pay  an   out-of-state  firm  to  contact   voters  and                                                                    
     influence the  vote of  Congressional delegates  on the                                                                    
     [Arctic National  Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)] issue.   Now,                                                                    
     we're paying an Oregon firm  to go to the home district                                                                    
     of  somebody in  Ohio to  try to  change their  vote in                                                                    
     Washington  D.C.,  and  ... we  apparently  think  that                                                                    
     that's  perfectly all  right.   So, I  don't understand                                                                    
     how we  would then object  to having somebody  ... from                                                                    
     out of state come up and work on our issues here.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:50:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS responded as follows:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     I agree  with you 100 percent,  Representative Gardner.                                                                    
     If   you're  comfortable   with  having   professionals                                                                    
     influence   in-state  matters,   then  ...   we  should                                                                    
     maintain these provisions,  because that's what's going                                                                    
     to happen  here in the state  of Alaska.  That  is what                                                                    
     the legislature ...  directed is that ...  we should go                                                                    
     do that.   And so,  if you want that  same relationship                                                                    
     to exist between circulators and citizens...                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:51:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  said she thinks  the heart of  the entire                                                               
issue is  the effect of  money in  the political process  and the                                                               
fact that people  can pay someone to do the  collecting that they                                                               
themselves don't want to  do.  She said, "If we  as a society say                                                               
that  it's acceptable  to have  large sums  of money  influencing                                                               
outcomes of  elections, I don't see  why we should draw  the line                                                               
and say that that can't happen in initiatives."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:52:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  noted   differences  between  lobbying  and                                                               
signature   gathering.     In  response   to   a  question   from                                                               
Representative  Gardner,  he said,  "I  really  haven't had  many                                                               
lobbyists come to my office asking me to sign a piece of paper."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 8:52:59 AM to 8:55:46 AM.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:56:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  said she thinks  it is clear  that during                                                               
the circulation  of a petition,  even a person who  is registered                                                               
to vote elsewhere can still be  an Alaska resident.  She recapped                                                               
her  previous  comments  regarding   the  emphasis  of  money  in                                                               
politics.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  moved an  amendment to  Conceptual Amendment  1, to                                                               
delete "line 26 and" from Conceptual Amendment 1.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:58:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO objected.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  reminded  the  committee  that  [Amendment  1]  is                                                               
conceptual.    He  clarified that  the  amendment  to  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment  1  would also  delete  "(3)  and", which  would  leave                                                               
Conceptual Amendment  1 to read as  follows [original punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2 line 27                                                                                                             
     Delete all material in (4)                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:59:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAMRAS   said  he   supports  the   amendment  to                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 1.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:00:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER removed her  objection to the amendment to                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 1  [previously stated when the  idea for the                                                               
amendment was  discussed, but before  the amendment was  moved by                                                               
Chair Seaton].                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:00:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO explained  that he had objected  in order to                                                               
clarify  that  only  a  single  item  would  be  deleted:    "not                                                               
registered to  vote in any other  state".  He stated,  "I believe                                                               
you  agreed to  that, Representative  Ramras supported  it, so  I                                                               
withdraw my objection at this point."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON   announced  that   the  amendment   to  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:00:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON asked  if  there was  any  objection to  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 1, [as amended].                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:03:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON,  in response  to  a  request from  Representatives                                                               
Gatto and  Gardner to clarify  the action taken by  the committee                                                               
thus far, explained  that if Conceptual Amendment  1, as amended,                                                               
is adopted,  the only language  that will have been  deleted from                                                               
Version R is,  "(4) not registered to vote in  any other state.",                                                               
and the language  remaining will be that on page  2, lines 22-26,                                                               
which would read as follows:                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
       Sec. 15.45.001. Qualifications of circulator.  To                                                                      
     circulate a petition booklet, a person shall be                                                                            
               (1) a citizen of the United States;                                                                              
               (2) 18 years of age or older;                                                                                    
           (3) a resident of the state as determined                                                                            
     under AS 15.05.020.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:04:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said  he does  not think  a person  can                                                               
legally  be a  resident of  Alaska while  still being  registered                                                               
legally to  vote in another  state.   He asked Ms.  Kreitzer, "If                                                               
you  move out  of  the state  and become  a  resident of  another                                                               
state,  as a  matter of  law you  have to  tell the  registrar of                                                               
voters in the first state that  you're no longer a resident.  And                                                               
if you do vote you're illegal, are you not?"                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:05:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.   KREITZER  responded   that   Representative  Gruenberg   is                                                               
"treading dangerously  close" to Representative  Gatto's previous                                                               
question.   She stated that  Alaska has a variety  of definitions                                                               
for residency,  depending on whether  it pertains to  obtaining a                                                               
fish and  game license,  applying for  a permanent  fund dividend                                                               
(PFD), or qualifying to vote.   She said statute sets out what is                                                               
required for  residency with  regard to  voting.   She concluded,                                                               
"All I  can tell  you is  that a person  loses residence  in this                                                               
state if the person votes in another state's election."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked, "So,  you're saying that it would                                                               
depend upon the law of the state you came from?"                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KREITZER  replied  that  she  is  not  an  attorney  and  is                                                               
therefore unwilling to offer further  response on the matter.  In                                                               
response to  a follow-up question from  Representative Gruenberg,                                                               
she said  she does  not know  if there  is a  federal law  on the                                                               
subject.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:07:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  asked   again  if  there  was   any  objection  to                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 1, [as amended].   There being no objection,                                                               
it was so  ordered.  He reviewed once more  how the language read                                                               
with the adoption of the amendment.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:08:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  expressed that  he had thought  the purpose                                                               
of  the amendment  to Conceptual  Amendment  1 had  been to  keep                                                               
paragraph (4) from being deleted  by Conceptual Amendment 1, thus                                                               
leaving it in the bill.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  confirmed  with  his staff  that  the  action  the                                                               
committee took  had followed his  intent, which was  the opposite                                                               
of  what Representative  Gatto was  saying  and was:   to  delete                                                               
paragraph (3)  through the amendment  to Conceptual  Amendment 1,                                                               
thereby leaving paragraph (3) in the bill, not paragraph (4).                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ELKINS  said it seems  the committee is  beating a                                                               
dead horse  because it must wait  to hear from the  Department of                                                               
Law, so he suggested moving on.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  responded, "I  believe that's  where we  are; we've                                                               
had the amendment."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:10:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO said he would  eventually like the following                                                               
question answered:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Can I  be registered to  vote in some other  state, ...                                                                    
     move to Alaska, buy a  house, raise children, send them                                                                    
     to schools,  pay taxes,  and be  a resident  of Alaska,                                                                    
     even  though I  never canceled  my registration  in any                                                                    
     other state?                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:10:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON moved Conceptual Amendment  2, which read as follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided, with some handwritten changes]:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3 line 3                                                                                                              
     Delete  all  material  beginning with  "recieve"  [sic]                                                                    
     through page 3 line 13                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Insert                                                                                                                     
     ...   only   receive   additional   reimbursement   for                                                                    
     itemized, direct expenses  incurred while circulating a                                                                    
     petition as delineated by regulation."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:10:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG objected for discussion purposes.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:11:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON said  the committee  had received  information that                                                               
legally  restricting reimbursement  for itemized  direct expenses                                                               
would  not  "pass  muster."    He said  the  idea  of  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment  2  is  that  the  Division  of  Elections  will  adopt                                                               
regulations  specifying  what  the  direct  expenses  are.    The                                                               
reimbursement will  be for itemized expenses;  therefore, it will                                                               
not be considered a per diem.   He said he believes the amendment                                                               
will satisfy the law.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:12:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS  stated that  the intent of  the $15  a day                                                               
limit was  actually "to  add value  for the  signature collector,                                                               
not  to  take  something  away."   He  added  that  the  original                                                               
language  was  also intended  to  keep  people from  "gaming  the                                                               
system."    He   asked  Chair  Seaton  what   the  intent  behind                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 2  is, and whether it will add  value to the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:14:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON said  one interpretation  related to  the bill  had                                                               
been that  "pay" was  anything received over  [the $1  dollar per                                                               
signature], which  would mean that  paying someone  for traveling                                                               
expenses  would be  no  different than  paying  for their  meals,                                                               
which would be illegal payment.   He stated, "And that is not the                                                               
current interpretation  of the division  that those are  not pay;                                                               
pay is what you receive for  the gathering of signatures, and ...                                                               
reimbursement  for  actual  travel  and meal  expenses  -  direct                                                               
expenses  in gathering  [signatures] -  that is  what this  is to                                                               
allow, and  to clarify for  all voters  that ... someone  can get                                                               
their  ticket out  to Kotzebue  paid  legally, as  well as  their                                                               
meals and other things."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:15:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS  asked, "What if I'm  collecting signatures                                                               
a  block  from  home?   Because  a  part  of  the reason  why  we                                                               
maintained  100 miles,  which  is  on line  4,  was to  recognize                                                               
people  who are  driving away  from  their neighborhood.   If  we                                                               
delete lines 3-13, then  if I take a lunch break  ... a door over                                                               
from my home ...,  then I could also submit that  as an expense -                                                               
and I was going to have lunch anyway that day."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:16:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON replied:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     We're not taking  about whether you're going  to have a                                                                    
     lunch, but  whether it's in relationship  to an expense                                                                    
     while  you're  collecting   signatures.    And  whether                                                                    
     you're 20 miles  away from home or 100  miles away from                                                                    
     home,  I ...  think that  we're trying  to ...  cut too                                                                    
     fine a  line here, and I  think the intent of  the bill                                                                    
     has  always  been  you  can't  get  more  than  $1  per                                                                    
     signature, and you can't get  paid by reimbursement for                                                                    
     actual expenses - the intent is  to allow that.  If you                                                                    
     want  to offer  an amendment  to the  amendment, that's                                                                    
     fine.   But that's the  intent is to clarify,  and also                                                                    
     that  by   regulation  giving  the  authority   to  the                                                                    
     division to specify what are direct expenses.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:17:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  stated  his  support  of  [Conceptual]                                                               
Amendment 2, [at  which point his previously  stated objection to                                                               
Conceptual Amendment  2 was  treated as removed].   He  noted the                                                               
use of  the word "delineated"  in Conceptual Amendment 2,  and he                                                               
asked Ms. Kreitzer if the phrase  normally used is, "as set forth                                                               
in regulations".                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. KREITZER indicated yes.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   moved  an  amendment   to  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment  2, to  delete "delineated  by" and  insert "set  forth                                                               
in".                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:18:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON stated  that he  would  accept that  as a  friendly                                                               
amendment.    He  asked  if  there  was  any  objection  [to  the                                                               
amendment  to Conceptual  Amendment  2].   There  being none,  he                                                               
announced  that  the  amendment to  Conceptual  Amendment  2  was                                                               
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:18:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KREITZER  directed attention  to a  footnote on  page 2  of a                                                               
12/23/05 memorandum [included in  the committee packet] from Mike                                                               
Barnhill,  Assistant  Attorney   General,  to  Whitney  Brewster,                                                               
Director, Division  of Elections.   The footnote read  as follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     To  date   there  has  been  no   attempt  to  describe                                                                    
     precisely what expenses  are at issue.   We assume that                                                                    
     only  standard  expenses are  at  issue  here, such  as                                                                    
     travel expenses, food and lodging.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. KREITZER continued:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     I believe  that's what I'm  hearing the  committee say:                                                                    
     They  who   would  participate  would  be   covered  by                                                                    
     regulations  promulgated by  the  division, and  [those                                                                    
     expenses] would be travel expenses, food, and lodging.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:19:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  confirmed  that  his intent  is  that  the  phrase                                                               
"direct expenses" mean travel, food, and lodging.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:20:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  recommended  using language  from  the                                                               
footnote in the bill, as a point of clarification.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:21:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KREITZER said she will leave that up to the bill sponsor.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:21:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   moved  to  adopt  [Amendment   2]  to                                                               
Conceptual Amendment  2, to  insert ",  such as  travel expenses,                                                               
food, and lodging," after "direct expenses".                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAMRAS told  Representative Gruenberg  that is  a                                                               
good amendment.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:22:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  asked if there  was any objection to  [Amendment 2]                                                               
to Conceptual Amendment 2.  There being none, it was so ordered.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:23:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  asked  if  there  was  any  further  objection  to                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 2, [as amended].   There being no objection,                                                               
it was so ordered.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:23:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON moved Conceptual Amendment  3, which read as follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4 line 28                                                                                                             
     Delete all material in section (9)                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON asked  if  there was  any  objection to  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment  3.   There  being  none,  Conceptual Amendment  3  was                                                               
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:24:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  mentioned  issues  raised by  a  former  testifier                                                               
regarding a  portion of  the bill related  to penalties  [page 6,                                                               
lines 11-13].                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:24:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BROOKE   MILES,  Executive   Director,   Alaska  Public   Offices                                                               
Commission (APOC),  responded to  questions from Chair  Seaton as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The campaign disclosure law, the  lobbying law, and the                                                                    
     financial  disclosure  laws  for both  legislators  and                                                                    
     public officials  all contain  sections that  give APOC                                                                    
     the authority -  and actually require APOC  - to assess                                                                    
     civil penalties for reports that  are filed late or are                                                                    
     incomplete.    We  assess   those  civil  penalties  in                                                                    
     accordance  with the  statute  and  regulation, and  we                                                                    
     collect  them.   And then  they ...  go to  the general                                                                    
     fund - always.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     ...  I   should  say  that  whenever   there's  ...  an                                                                    
     administrative process  for assessing a  civil penalty,                                                                    
     I   believe  that   you  need   to  also   include  the                                                                    
     opportunity for  appeal at the  administrative process,                                                                    
     as  well, which  APOC has  through regulation.   I  ...                                                                    
     understand  that  the  Division  of  Elections  is  not                                                                    
     familiar  with  assessing  civil penalties.    However,                                                                    
     giving  us this  section of  their law  to enforce  and                                                                    
     assess  civil  penalties  will be  very  costly  to  my                                                                    
     agency.   This  is  not  an area  of  law  in which  we                                                                    
     currently regulate.  ... This  is like Anchorage asking                                                                    
     us to collect the parking  tickets.  ... We're going to                                                                    
     have to promulgate regulations;  we're going to have to                                                                    
     have  staff   that  liaisons   with  the   Division  of                                                                    
     Elections,  because we  have no  idea who  the petition                                                                    
     carriers are.   This is not an area of  law in which we                                                                    
     ...  have  regulatory  authority.     However,  we  are                                                                    
     familiar   with  the   process   of  collecting   civil                                                                    
     penalties.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:27:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS  moved to adopt Conceptual  Amendment 4, as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     On page 2, lines 18-19:                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
          Delete all language                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:27:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG objected [for  discussion purposes].  He                                                               
said:                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     This is an  amendment to AS 15.13.030.   The only thing                                                                    
     you're doing  is adding lines 18  and 19.  I  think the                                                                    
     amendment should be to strike Section 1 of the bill.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:28:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON clarified that the  effect of Conceptual Amendment 4                                                               
would  be to  delete all  the  proposed new  language to  already                                                               
existing statute [as shown in  Section 1 of the bill]; therefore,                                                               
Representative  Gruenberg's amendment  to  Amendment  4 would  be                                                               
simply to delete Section 1.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS  stated his acceptance of  the amendment to                                                               
Amendment 4.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  announced,  "That   was  accepted  as  a  friendly                                                               
amendment."    [The  amendment  to  Conceptual  Amendment  4  was                                                               
treated as adopted.]                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON asked if there was  any objection to Amendment 4 [as                                                               
amended], which he reviewed would  delete Section 1, beginning on                                                               
page  1,  line 4,  through  page  2, line  19.    There being  no                                                               
objection, Conceptual Amendment 4, as amended, was adopted.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:28:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS  moved to adopt Conceptual  Amendment 5, as                                                               
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, Line  7.  Delete "prepare"  and insert "provide                                                                    
     to the committee"                                                                                                          
     Page 5, Line 11.   Delete "prepare" and insert "provide                                                                    
     to the committee"                                                                                                          
     Page 4, Line  13.  Delete "prepare  and insert "provide                                                                    
     to the committee"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:29:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. PIERSON  explained that  the Division  of Elections  does not                                                               
prepare fiscal notes, but they  will be responsible for providing                                                               
them to the committee.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:29:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KREITZER  confirmed  that   the  Office  of  the  Lieutenant                                                               
Governor does  not prepare fiscal  notes, and thus, she  said she                                                               
supports the amendment.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:30:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON asked  if  there was  any  objection to  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment  5.   There  being  none,  Conceptual Amendment  5  was                                                               
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:30:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  referred to [subsection (e)],  on page 5,                                                               
[lines 22-25], which read as follows:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
          (e) A committee aggrieved by a cost estimate                                                                          
     prepared under this section may  bring an action in the                                                                    
     superior  court  to  have the  cost  estimate  reviewed                                                                    
     within 30 days  after the date on  which the lieutenant                                                                    
     governor, or,  in the  case of  a recall  petition, the                                                                    
     director notifies  the committee  of the  completion of                                                                    
     the cost estimate.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER remarked  that going to court  is a costly                                                               
and time-consuming process.   She asked Ms. Kreitzer  if there is                                                               
a way to dispute a cost estimate, short of going to court.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:31:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KREITZER  answered that the language  to which Representative                                                               
Gardner  referred  is   presently  law,  and  it   would  be  the                                                               
legislature's purview  to make a  change to  that law.   She said                                                               
the Office  of the Lieutenant  Governor does not have  an opinion                                                               
on the subject.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:32:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON moved to adopt Conceptual Amendment 6, as follows:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     On page 3, lines 22-27:                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
          Delete subsection (f).                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON reviewed  the language that would  be deleted, which                                                               
read as follows:                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          (f) In determining the sufficiency of a petition,                                                                     
     the lieutenant  governor, or  in the  case of  a recall                                                                    
     petition, the director, may  not count subscriptions on                                                                    
     a petition                                                                                                                 
          (1) circulated by a circulator who is not in                                                                          
     compliance with (b) of this section; or                                                                                    
          (2) by an initiative, referendum, or recall                                                                           
          committee that is not in compliance with the                                                                          
     requirements of AS 15.13.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON,   regarding  the  reference  to   subsection  (b),                                                               
reminded  the   committee  that  subsection  (b)   addresses  the                                                               
reimbursement rate.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:33:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  objected.   He said  he is  concerned about                                                               
the person  who, in good faith,  was willing to sign  a petition,                                                               
and then had his/her name  disqualified based on the circulator's                                                               
error.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:34:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON assured  Representative Gatto  that the  purpose of                                                               
the amendment  is to [protect  the signatures  in the event  of a                                                               
challenge related to the circulator].                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:34:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO removed his objection.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:34:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS  objected.  He  said the heart of  the bill                                                               
is the intent to prevent cheating.   He stated that the nature of                                                               
the  bill  is  not  to  be punitive  toward  the  people  signing                                                               
petitions,  but to  be mindful  of the  people circulating  those                                                               
petitions, who  "are often  times parasites on  the system."   He                                                               
continued:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     A lot of rules are around  the ballot box, and a lot of                                                                    
     rules  are around  voter registration,  and what  we're                                                                    
     doing   is  relaxing   the   rules  around   petitions,                                                                    
     initiatives, referendums,  and recalls.   And  I'm just                                                                    
     suggesting that  we should maintain the  same degree of                                                                    
     stringency around this particular  part of the process,                                                                    
     because ... it's being abused,  and it's being hijacked                                                                    
     by people  that don't  live here that  are manipulating                                                                    
     our system.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:36:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  pointed out  that  the  bill would  still  contain                                                               
[subsection  (d)], which  would make  the person  or organization                                                               
who violates (b) or (c) [of Section 2] guilty of a misdemeanor.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:37:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  suggested  that  Representative  Ramras,                                                               
rather  than  thinking  of  the  circulators  as  parasitic,  may                                                               
consider them  as "small business  folks trying to make  a living                                                               
in an unusual way."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:37:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON directed focus back to Conceptual Amendment 6.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:38:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  asked Representative Ramras if  it would be                                                               
satisfactory or  insufficient "if  we could  cure the  problem by                                                               
saying that  whatever gain was  had by  the circulator had  to be                                                               
returned, as well as the misdemeanor violation."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:38:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS  responded, "We  just took that  right away                                                               
by removing Section 1 of the  bill."  He expounded further on the                                                               
issue of balance.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:39:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  pointed out another  instance where the  bill would                                                               
impose  a fine,  in [Section  2, subsection  (e)], which  read as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          (e) A person who pays a circulator and a                                                                              
     circulator  who receives  compensation other  than that                                                                    
     permitted under (b)  of this section are  liable to the                                                                    
     state  for  a  civil  fine of  $1  for  each  signature                                                                    
     gathered by the circulator on a petition.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:39:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was  taken.  Representatives Gardner, Gruenberg,                                                               
and   Seaton  voted   in  favor   of   Conceptual  Amendment   6.                                                               
Representatives  Lynn, Ramras,  Gatto, and  Elkins voted  against                                                               
it.  Therefore, Conceptual Amendment 6 failed by a vote of 3-4.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:40:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER, regarding  [subsection (e), text provided                                                               
previously], asked, "Are  each of them liable?   ... Against whom                                                               
would the fine be assessed?"   She also asked, "If I'm doing work                                                               
for somebody, and  the rate is a certain amount,  and they pay me                                                               
an  incorrect amount,  ...  is that  my fault  if  the amount  is                                                               
wrong,  if I've  turned  in the  paperwork  and it's  incorrectly                                                               
calculated?"                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:40:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAMRAS responded  that the  two parties  involved                                                               
would be the  petition sponsor and the petition  circulator.  One                                                               
example of dishonesty in petition  gathering, he said, would be a                                                               
person who got  people to sign by making them  believe he/she was                                                               
acting as  a circulator out  of conviction,  only to fill  in the                                                               
name  of  the  paying  sponsor  after  all  the  signatures  were                                                               
collected.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS  suggested adding  the word  "knowingly" on                                                               
page 2, line  19, so that the  language would be:   "A person who                                                               
knowingly  pays  a  circulator and  a  circulator  who  knowingly                                                               
receives  compensation other  than  that permitted  under (b)  of                                                               
this  section".   He mentioned  an initiative  by Representatives                                                               
Croft,  Crawford, and  Guttenberg,  and said,  "I watched  people                                                               
play and  prey on their  initiative in  the same manner  they did                                                               
ours, and it wasn't the people that were signing it."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:43:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  said she  would still  like an  answer to                                                               
her question.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:43:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG   proffered   that   the   answer   to                                                               
Representative  Gardner's question  is that  "they each  could be                                                               
fined a dollar," because the word "and" is used.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:44:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER, in  response  to Representative  Ramras'                                                               
comments, said she  thinks most people who sign  a petition don't                                                               
know or  care what  the sponsor's  name is, nor  do they  know or                                                               
care why the  circulator has chosen to stand on  the corner.  She                                                               
stated  that it  is the  issue that  determines whether  a person                                                               
signs, or not.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:44:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG cited AS 15.45.580 [(a)], which read:                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 15.45.580.  Circulation; prohibitions.                                                                                
          (a) The petitions may be circulated only in                                                                           
     person  throughout   the  state  or  senate   or  house                                                                    
     district  represented  by  the official  sought  to  be                                                                    
     recalled.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  said during  a  prior  hearing of  the                                                               
bill, there had been discussion  as to whether a circulator could                                                               
only collect a  signature within the boundaries  of the district.                                                               
The  feeling  of  the  committee,  he  recollected,  was  that  a                                                               
circulator should be  able to collect the  signature anywhere, as                                                               
long as  it was the  signature of a  person who [resides]  in the                                                               
district of the elected official who was being recalled.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAMRAS,  in response  to  a  question from  Chair                                                               
Seaton,  said he  would entertain  an amendment  related to  this                                                               
issue.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:46:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  said  the bill  drafter,  Katheryn  L.                                                               
Kurtz, was  going to fix that  language in the latest  draft, but                                                               
did not do so.   He directed attention to page  6, [line 27], and                                                               
said,  "[AS] 15.45.580  is still  repealed; she  didn't cure  the                                                               
problem."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:46:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. PIERSON confirmed that "the problem has not been cured."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:46:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KREITZER  explained that  "many things  that were  spread out                                                               
... have now  been consolidated."  She directed  attention to the                                                               
bottom  of  page  2,  line  28,  which  addresses  AS  15.45.003,                                                               
circulation and  prohibitions.  She  said, "That used to  say, "A                                                               
petition  may be  circulated only  in person  in the  state", and                                                               
there used  to be another line  there that said, "or  in the case                                                               
of a  recall it  can only  be circulated in  the district".   She                                                               
stated,  "And so,  by deleting  that  I believe  we have  already                                                               
cured the problem."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:48:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG acknowledged  Ms. Kreitzer's  comments,                                                               
but said  he would like the  language to say "a  little more than                                                               
that."  He explained that he  would like the bill to specify that                                                               
"the only people  who can sign the recall  petition are residents                                                               
in  the effected  district."   He explained,  "I'm not  concerned                                                               
about where  the signature is  obtained; I'm concerned  about who                                                               
it's obtained from."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:48:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KREITZER  said she  doesn't have her  statute book  with her,                                                               
but  she had  thought that  elsewhere in  statute it  is explicit                                                               
that, in the event of a recall,  the only people who can sign are                                                               
the  people  who  live  in  the district  [of  the  person  being                                                               
recalled].                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:49:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER shared  that  in her  experience she  has                                                               
found that  a lot of people  really don't know in  which district                                                               
they live.   She said she can envision people  signing a petition                                                               
from a  district that is not  theirs.  She stated  her assumption                                                               
that if  that were  to happen,  there would  be no  penalty other                                                               
than that the signature would not count.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said his  intent is that  the signature                                                               
would not count.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:50:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PIERSON told  Representative  Gruenberg she  believes he  is                                                               
"correct   in   eliminating   [AS]    15.44.580."      She   read                                                               
[subsection(a), text provided previously].                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:50:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON suggested:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Why  don't we  just offer  a conceptual  amendment that                                                                    
     ...  the drafter  will draft  language specifying  that                                                                    
     the  petition signatures  for a  recall shall  be by  a                                                                    
     person  registered  to vote  in  a  district, but  they                                                                    
     don't have  to be collected physically  from within the                                                                    
     district.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:51:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG clarified  that he  wants the  language                                                               
somewhere in  the bill to  specify that the only  signatures that                                                               
will be counted  in a recall are those from  registered voters in                                                               
the affected district.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:51:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KREITZER suggested  that the issue could be  addressed in the                                                               
next  committee   of  referral,  the  House   Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee, which would give her time to research the issue.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:51:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG agreed.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:52:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON said  he would  send notes  to the  House Judiciary                                                               
Standing  Committee regarding  the testimony  heard by  the House                                                               
State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:52:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG directed  attention to  the definitions                                                               
on page  6.   He said  it seems  that often,  definitions "depend                                                               
upon the  circumstances in the  case."   He talked about  a legal                                                               
tome called,  "Words and Phrases,"  which addresses the  issue of                                                             
how definitions  are used in the  event of litigation.   He noted                                                               
that the  Ogan Is So Gone  recall wound up in  litigation, and he                                                               
stated  that a  recall only  winds up  in litigation  if somebody                                                               
challenges the grounds for the recall.   He said the judge in the                                                               
case  stated  that  the  policy   is  that  recalls  are  broadly                                                               
construed to preserve the rights of the people to participate.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON asked  Representative Gruenberg  if he  intended to                                                               
offer an amendment.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:54:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG responded, "I'm  going to move to strike                                                               
Section 4."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  announced his intent to  hold over HB 438  and deal                                                               
with the issue at another time.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:54:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER said  she would like to see a  copy of the                                                               
arguments made  during the  Ogan v.  Division of  Elections case.                                                             
She asked Ms. Kreitzer if she has a copy available.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:54:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[MS. KREITZER nodded.]                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
[HB 438 was heard and held.]                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:55:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects