Legislature(2007 - 2008)CAPITOL 106

01/17/2008 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
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Heard & Held
Heard & Held
<Bill Hearing Postponed to 01/19/08>
<Bill Hearing Postponed to 01/19/08>
HB 260-STATE OFFICERS COMPENSATION COMMISSION                                                                                 
8:56:36 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN  announced that the  last order of business  was HOUSE                                                               
BILL NO. 260,  "An Act relating to a  State Officers Compensation                                                               
Commission and  establishing how  legislators, the  governor, the                                                               
lieutenant  governor, and  executive  department  heads shall  be                                                               
compensated;  providing for  an effective  date by  repealing the                                                               
effective dates  of certain  sections of ch.  124, SLA  1986; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
8:57:09 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MIKE DOOGAN,  Alaska State Legislature, introduced                                                               
HB 260 as prime sponsor.  He  said the bill would bring back into                                                               
existence  a  Commission  that  existed  [as  the  Alaska  Salary                                                               
Commission] from 1977  through 1979.  He noted that  there was an                                                               
attempt to reestablish the commission  in the 1980s, which failed                                                               
for  reasons that  Representative  Doogan said  are not  entirely                                                               
clear  to   him.    He  said   the  commission  was  tied   to  a                                                               
constitutional amendment that was never  offered.  He added, "And                                                               
part of  the repealer language that  you read in the  title takes                                                               
...  those provisions  out  of the  law, which  I  think are  ...                                                               
essentially the only repealers in there."                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  DOOGAN explained  that  the  commission would  be                                                               
comprised of five public members  appointed by the governor, with                                                               
a member recommended  from each of the presiding  officers of the                                                               
legislative house.   He said the  job of the commission  would be                                                               
to  examine the  compensation  of the  legislators and  principle                                                               
officers of  the State  of Alaska  and submit  a report  at least                                                               
every  two years.   The  members  of the  commission would  serve                                                               
without  compensation.   The  recommendations  of the  commission                                                               
would become law if they  were not disapproved by the legislature                                                               
within a 60-day  period of that recommendation.   The legislature                                                               
would   essentially   keep   final  authority   because   nothing                                                               
recommended  would be  funded without  legislative appropriation.                                                               
He pointed  out that there  is a $7,500 fiscal  note accompanying                                                               
the proposed bill.   In response to Chair Lynn,  he explained the                                                               
purpose of having recommendations  made by the presiding officers                                                               
of each legislative house is to  ensure that the governor has the                                                               
ability to choose  members who can provide  extra information and                                                               
council for  the other members  of the commission.   He clarified                                                               
that legislators would not be nominated for the commission.                                                                     
9:02:30 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ROSES  augmented Representative  Doogan's response                                                               
to  Chair Lynn  by  directing  attention to  the  language of  AS                                                               
39.23.510, shown on page 3, beginning on line 13, which read:                                                                   
     (a) A member  of the commission may not  be employed by                                                                    
     the state,  including the  University of  Alaska, serve                                                                    
     as  a member  of  another state  board, commission,  or                                                                    
     authority, or  hold elective state or  municipal office                                                                    
     during membership on the commission.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  DOOGAN  stated  his  intent in  having  the  bill                                                               
drafted  was to  not put  legislators  in the  position they  are                                                               
currently  in, which  is essentially  acting as  the arbiters  of                                                               
their  own  compensation.    He   described  the  [Alaska  Salary                                                               
Commission] as "the last thing we've had that actually worked."                                                                 
9:03:29 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ROSES  directed attention  to language on  page 3,                                                               
beginning on line 18, which read as follows:                                                                                    
     (b) A member of the commission may not have served in                                                                      
      an office or position for which the commission shall                                                                      
     submit a recommendation under AS 39.23.540.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROSES asked  Representative Doogan  if it  is his                                                               
intent that a former legislator not be able to serve.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  DOOGAN explained  that he  was attempting  to put                                                               
the legislature at  arms length; however, if  the committee wants                                                               
to include former members, that would be fine.                                                                                  
CHAIR  LYNN  suggested the  language  could  specify that  it  be                                                               
someone who has been out of office for a certain period of time.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DOOGAN  illustrated that  a former  legislator who                                                               
had just  served the  prior year,  being put  in the  position of                                                               
making salary decisions for those  legislators he/she worked with                                                               
who  are still  in office,  would not  be very  far removed  from                                                               
serving on the commission while still in office.                                                                                
9:05:52 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DOLL suggested  the need for further  study of the                                                               
bill issue - perhaps through a subcommittee.                                                                                    
CHAIR  LYNN noted  that the  next  committee of  referral is  the                                                               
House Finance Committee.                                                                                                        
9:06:57 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHANSEN asked  why the  bill sponsor  included a                                                               
handout   in  the   committee  packet   showing  age   groups  of                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  DOOGAN responded  that he  wanted to  confirm his                                                               
suspicion  that   "the  level  of  compensation   in  the  Alaska                                                               
Legislature skews  the composition of  that body compared  to the                                                               
[general]  population."    He said  there  are  more  legislators                                                               
serving who are  of advanced maturity than those  serving who are                                                               
"out there trying to raise families  and make a living."  He said                                                               
one possibility for  that statistic is that  the compensation for                                                               
legislators is  not sufficient for  the latter group.   He stated                                                               
that Alaskans in  the 30- to 50-year-old  range are substantially                                                               
underrepresented  in the  legislature, while  those 50  and older                                                               
are  overrepresented compared  to  their numbers  in the  general                                                               
population.   He  concluded, "I  think it  would be  difficult to                                                               
imagine  a reason  for  that happening  that  didn't include  the                                                               
9:09:19 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIM ELTON told the  committee that he was testifying, not                                                               
as a  senator, but as a  private citizen who had  past experience                                                               
as  a  member  of  the  aforementioned  salary  commission.    He                                                               
reviewed that in  1976, voters - through a  referendum - repealed                                                               
pay raises and a generous  retirement system that the legislature                                                               
had  given   itself.     Subsequently,  the   five-member  salary                                                               
commission was established by law.                                                                                              
SENATOR ELTON  related that, unlike the  proposed commission, the                                                               
original  commission was  charged not  only with  looking at  the                                                               
salaries  of  the  legislature,   the  governor,  the  lieutenant                                                               
governor,   and    the   commissioners,   but   also    to   make                                                               
recommendations  on  deputy  commissioners,  division  directors,                                                               
sitting members  of the commissions,  and judicial salaries.   He                                                               
said  the  original  commission members  were  appointed  by  the                                                               
governor,  as they  would  be  to the  proposed  commission.   He                                                               
recollected that given the overwhelming  voice of the electorate,                                                               
what struck him  about the public hearing process  was that "most                                                               
of the people  that showed up were people whose  salaries we were                                                               
going to be adjusting or  making recommendations about."  The law                                                               
related to  the original  commission was  a "take-it-or-leave-it"                                                               
law.  He explained, "You  couldn't cherry pick from the different                                                               
recommendations."  He stated his  understanding of HB 260 is that                                                               
"it would  not take a  vote of  the legislature unless  they were                                                               
prepared   to   reject   the  recommendations   of   the   salary                                                               
commission."   He  said that  is a  different and  perhaps better                                                               
approach, "given what happened back then."                                                                                      
SENATOR  ELTON told  the committee  that the  original commission                                                               
recommended a  salary of  $11,750 and a  schedule for  payment of                                                               
that  salary to  address the  fact that  the vast  majority of  a                                                               
legislator's expenses  are spent at  the start of the  session in                                                               
order to move to the  capital.  Furthermore, that commission even                                                               
voted to  provide one  round-trip airfare  for the  legislator to                                                               
use to  fly back to  his/her district to meet  with constituents.                                                               
The commission  also recommended some  benefits that he  said now                                                               
he is  not certain were good  ideas.  For example,  for every bi-                                                               
annual term,  a legislator  reelected would be  given a  $500 pay                                                               
increase.    Senator  Elton said  the  legislature  accepted  the                                                               
$11,750  component,   but  did  not   accept  the  rest   of  the                                                               
recommendations.   He stated that  the former commission  spent a                                                               
lot  of  time trying  to  figure  out whether,  regarding  parity                                                               
issues, to  "start at the  bottom and work  up" or "start  at the                                                               
top and  work down."   He explained  that because the  purview of                                                               
the salary commission  was broader than envisioned in  HB 260, it                                                               
wanted  to ensure  that the  scale of  pay was  commensurate with                                                               
rank.   He said  that was  a difficult challenge,  but it  is one                                                               
that is mostly avoided in the proposed legislation.                                                                             
9:16:13 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ELTON  commented  on  the  length  of  time  since  that                                                               
original  commission made  decisions.   He stated,  "I think  the                                                               
problem  that actually  prompted that  salary commission  informs                                                               
this bill,  and it  is certainly,  perhaps, a  better alternative                                                               
than asking  legislators to do what  they did in ...  1975, which                                                               
is  to  set their  own  salary."   He  noted  that  the State  of                                                               
Washington uses an ongoing salary commission.                                                                                   
9:17:51 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   ELTON,   in   response  to   a   question   from                                                               
Representative  Roses,  said  the  original  commission  did  not                                                               
require  confirmation  of  the   legislature,  but  was  strictly                                                               
appointed by  the governor.   He said the  purpose was to  try to                                                               
separate the  legislature as  far from "any  of the  product that                                                               
might be presented back to them."                                                                                               
9:18:38 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ELTON, in  response  to  Representative Doll,  regarding                                                               
what led  to the  commission's demise, said  he thinks  one issue                                                               
that  became   problematic  was  the  notion   that  that  salary                                                               
commission would  present something;  "it was kind  of an  all or                                                               
nothing."    Also   problematic  was  the  broad   scope  of  the                                                               
commission.  The proposed legislation  would have a much narrower                                                               
9:19:59 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  asked  Senator   Elton  to  discuss  the                                                               
public's expectation  and the commission's  expectation regarding                                                               
what a reasonable compensation package was.                                                                                     
9:21:00 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON recollected that there was  not a lot of angst from                                                               
the public.  Voters accepted  the fact that the commission method                                                               
was  a fairer  process,  because those  getting  raises were  not                                                               
setting them for  themselves.  He said the  angst occurred mostly                                                               
inside  the  building,  where  legislators  would  react  to  the                                                               
recommendations of  the commission.   For  example, when  the one                                                               
round-trip  ticket was  proposed, some  legislators asked  why it                                                               
would  only  be  one,  while others  were  concerned  that  their                                                               
constituents might feel one was too many.                                                                                       
9:24:20 AM                                                                                                                    
NICKI NEAL,  Director, Division of  Personnel &  Labor Relations,                                                               
Department  of  Administration,  answered  questions  during  the                                                               
hearing  on HB  260.    She stated  that  the  department has  no                                                               
opinion on  the bill  at this  time, but  did prepare  the fiscal                                                               
note.    She  stated  that  in preparing  the  fiscal  note,  the                                                               
division  accounted  for  the cost  of  conducting  meetings  and                                                               
associated travel expenses.  She  noted that the division has the                                                               
means within  its existing  staff to,  for example,  survey other                                                               
states;  however,  if a  more  comprehensive  study were  needed,                                                               
there would  be an added  cost, because  the state would  have to                                                               
"contract out" to have it done.                                                                                                 
9:25:18 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL asked Ms. Neal  to tell him what the scope                                                               
of availability is regarding contracting.                                                                                       
MS.  NEAL  said  there  are   contractors  available  to  conduct                                                               
studies.   The  division, she  said,  has a  method of  surveying                                                               
other  states  quickly  and efficiently.    She  interpreted  the                                                               
proposed legislation  as providing  that "it would  be up  to the                                                               
committee  if they  wanted us  to go  out and  do something  more                                                               
extensive; it would get their direction."                                                                                       
9:26:36 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DOOGAN added:                                                                                                    
     One of the reasons for  reducing the scope - the people                                                                    
     who  are covered  under this  bill, as  opposed to  the                                                                    
     last salary  commission - was to  reduce the complexity                                                                    
     of the task  in front of the salary commission  ....  I                                                                    
     tried to take  what I considered to  be the politically                                                                    
     sensitive  salaries and  limit it  to that,  so ...  it                                                                    
     wouldn't  have  the  necessity  of  going  through  any                                                                    
     expensive  salary   studies  or  anything   like  that,                                                                    
     because we're not going far  enough down in the pecking                                                                    
     order  or  broadly  enough, in  terms  of  numbers,  to                                                                    
     require that in all probability.   At least that was my                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  said   he  concurs  with  Representative                                                               
Doogan  in terms  of bargaining,  because that  is a  complicated                                                               
subject.  He  commented that everyone is competing  for a smaller                                                               
workforce, he mentioned the demographics  of the legislature, and                                                               
he indicated that  he needs time to ponder what  other states are                                                               
9:28:46 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DOOGAN said  he does not think people  run for the                                                               
legislature   because  they   want   to  get   rich,  or   become                                                               
commissioners  because they  cannot make  money some  place else.                                                               
He stated  his intent is  to keep  the compensation from  being a                                                               
barrier.    He explained,  "It's  not  really a  recruitment  and                                                               
retention issue  to me so  much as  not just erecting  a complete                                                               
barrier  to people  who would  otherwise at  least attempt  to do                                                               
what it is we're doing."                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  concurred.  He said  the commission would                                                               
be tasked to  look at equitable rate, so the  word equitable is a                                                               
huge issue.   He said  he thinks  "this public record"  will help                                                               
the commission to find some direction  in that regard.  He added,                                                               
"Because otherwise they  have to look at what  ... probably could                                                               
be termed competitive rates rather than equitable rates."                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE   DOOGAN  reiterated   his  aforementioned   point                                                               
regarding removing the barrier to public service.                                                                               
9:31:03 AM                                                                                                                    
KARL  KURTZ, Director,  NCSL Trust  for Representative  Democracy                                                               
Division,  National  Conference  of  State  Legislatures  (NCSL),                                                               
provided a  comparison of  other state  legislatures' commissions                                                               
during the hearing on  HB 260.  He said he  would talk about what                                                               
legislators are paid  around the country compared  to Alaska, and                                                               
what methods are used to calculate their compensation.                                                                          
MR.  KURTZ  directed attention  to  a  handout in  the  committee                                                               
packet,  entitled,  "Perspectives on  Legislative  Compensation."                                                               
He said  it is often difficult  to find out what  legislators are                                                               
paid, because,  for example, in  extreme cases,  some legislators                                                               
are paid  only $5 a day  in salary, but  they get a lot  of other                                                               
payments that the  Internal Revenue Service (IRS)  would count as                                                               
compensation.    Mr. Kurtz  said  he  did  his  best to  show  an                                                               
estimate of what  an average legislator in each  state earns from                                                               
legislative service,  and he  did that  by combining  salary, any                                                               
taxable per diem payment, and  any other expense payments without                                                               
voucher that members could keep  for themselves if they wished to                                                               
do  so.    Not  included  in  his  estimate,  he  said,  are  the                                                               
additional compensations given to  Senate Presidents, Speakers of                                                               
the House, Majority Leaders, or committee chairs in many states.                                                                
9:34 a.m.                                                                                                                       
MR. KURTZ drew attention to  a map in the aforementioned handout,                                                               
labeled, "Estimated Annual  Compensation,  2007."   The map shows                                                               
the  50  states,  color-coded  based upon  the  salaries  of  the                                                               
legislators.   The  categories are:   more  than $60,000  a year,                                                               
which includes California,  Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New                                                               
York,  Massachusetts, and  Maryland; from  $45,000-$59,000, which                                                               
includes  Washington, Oklahoma,  Missouri,  Wisconsin, Ohio,  New                                                               
Jersey,  and  Delaware;   from  $30,000-$44.999,  which  includes                                                               
Louisiana, Mississippi,  Alabama, Florida, South  Carolina, North                                                               
Carolina,  West Virginia,  Tennessee, Kentucky,  Iowa, Minnesota,                                                               
Colorado,  Oregon,  Alaska,  and  Hawaii;  from  $15,000-$29,999,                                                               
which  includes  Idaho,   Arizona,  Kansas,  Nebraska,  Arkansas,                                                               
Georgia,  Indiana, West  Virginia, Vermont,  and Maine;  and less                                                               
than $15,000,  which includes Nevada, Utah,  New Mexico, Wyoming,                                                               
Montana,  North Dakota,  South Dakota,  and New  Hampshire.   Mr.                                                               
Kurtz  said he  figured  the average  for  Alaska legislators  is                                                               
approximately $33,000, which he arrived  at by taking the $24,000                                                               
salary  and  adding  the  average  $9,000  in  interim  per  diem                                                               
payments.    He   noted  that  there  are  a   number  of  Alaska                                                               
legislators who do  not claim any interim  payments, while others                                                               
claim substantially more.   He noted that the states  in the over                                                               
$60,000 category, for  the most part, are those  with the largest                                                               
population, in which  the members of the  legislature serve full-                                                               
time; therefore,  it may  seem surprising that  the big  state of                                                               
Texas pays  its legislators such  a low salary, but  that state's                                                               
salaries are  embedded in its  state constitution, and  the state                                                               
has  had  difficulty  in  changing  that.   The  members  of  the                                                               
legislature  in New  Hampshire, he  said, are  paid $100  a year,                                                               
plus mileage compensation for their vehicles.                                                                                   
9:38:47 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. KURTZ  directed attention  to the  next map,  entitled, "Red,                                                               
White  & Blue  Legislatures."   Those  states shown  in red  have                                                               
legislators  who are  virtually  full-time,  well-paid, and  have                                                               
large  staffs.    Those  states   are:    California,  Wisconsin,                                                               
Illinois,  Michigan, Ohio,  Pennsylvania, New  York, New  Jersey,                                                               
Massachusetts, and Florida.   Those states shown in  blue are the                                                               
classic citizen legislatures  that meet only two  or three months                                                               
of the  year, have low pay  and small staffs.   Those states are:                                                               
Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Idaho,  Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota,                                                               
South  Dakota,  Arkansas,  Mississippi,  Georgia,  Indiana,  West                                                               
Virginia,  Vermont,  New  Hampshire,  Maine,  and  Rhode  Island.                                                               
Those states shown in white  are "hybrid."  Those states include:                                                               
Hawaii, Alaska, Washington,  Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska,                                                               
Kansas,  Oklahoma, Texas,  Louisiana, Minnesota,  Iowa, Missouri,                                                               
Kentucky,  Tennessee, Alabama,  South  Carolina, North  Carolina,                                                               
Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Connecticut.                                                                                  
MR. KURTZ  directed attention  to the next  page of  the handout,                                                               
which shows, "Compensation of Legislators."   The chart shows the                                                               
average  pay  of legislators  in  2007  versus 1972,  for  "red,"                                                               
"white,"  and "blue"  states, with  Alaska shown  separately, and                                                               
the U.S.  Congress included, as  well.  Alaska is  slightly below                                                               
the  average of  those states  in the  white category,  he noted.                                                               
Mr. Kurtz said  he chose the year 1972, because  that is the year                                                               
in which he began work for NCSL.                                                                                                
9:42:19 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  KURTZ   turned  to   the  next   page,  which   shows  "Real                                                               
Compensation" in  "Constant Dollars," which uses  the same groups                                                               
for comparison as  the prior compensation chart.   He stated, "In                                                               
most categories, there's  been virtually no change  in real terms                                                               
in the amount of compensation  given to legislators over this 35-                                                               
year period of  time;" however, both U.S. Congress  and the State                                                               
of Alaska  have suffered  a significant decline  in the  value of                                                               
their salary against inflation.                                                                                                 
MR. KURTZ  highlighted the  information on  the next  page, which                                                               
shows "Compensation Methods."  The  first category is states that                                                               
either have  no commission at all  or whose commission is  on the                                                               
books, but  is inactive.   Well over 30  of the states  fall into                                                               
that category, he noted.  The  second category is states in which                                                               
there   is  a   commission,  but   that  commission   only  makes                                                               
recommendations that  can be accepted  or rejected either  by the                                                               
legislature  or  some  other  entity.     Those  states  include:                                                               
Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, Virginia,  and West Virginia.  The                                                               
third category is states in  which commission actions take effect                                                               
unless they  are rejected  by -  depending upon  the state  - the                                                               
legislature,  the governor,  or -  in the  case of  the State  of                                                               
Arizona -  a vote of the  people.  The fourth  category is states                                                               
that have  tied their salaries  automatically to some kind  of an                                                               
index  in the  state.   He  explained that  that  index could  be                                                               
related to  some kind of category  of state workers or  a cost of                                                               
living index  or some other kind  of economic index.   The states                                                               
in  this  category  are, with  one  exception,  large  population                                                               
states  -  Florida,  Illinois, Massachusetts,  Pennsylvania,  and                                                               
Wisconsin - but also include Montana.                                                                                           
MR. KURTZ said  the fifth and final category applies  only to the                                                               
State of Washington, where the  commission has the complete power                                                               
to  determine  the compensation  for  the  governor, the  cabinet                                                               
officers,  and the  legislature,  and according  to that  state's                                                               
constitution,   the  only   way   to   overturn  the   Washington                                                               
commission's  recommendation  is   through  a  citizen  initiated                                                               
referendum.   Mr. Kurtz remarked  that in  the course of  the 20-                                                               
some years that the State  of Washington's commission has been in                                                               
existence,  that  has  never  happened.     He  stated  that  the                                                               
Washington commission is  comprised of 16 members,  nine of which                                                               
are randomly drawn from the list  of registered voters - one from                                                               
each district.  Then there  are seven other members selected from                                                               
five specific professions set forth  in law.  Those seven members                                                               
are  selected  by  the  Speaker  of  the  House  and  the  Senate                                                               
9:49:33 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHANSEN   described  the  proposed  bill   as  a                                                               
positive step in considering the matter of compensation.                                                                        
9:51:06 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   DOOGAN,  in   response   to   a  question   from                                                               
Representative  Johansen, said  the  reason that  the bill  would                                                               
form a compensation commission as  opposed to a salary commission                                                               
is that the legislation recognizes  the fact that there are other                                                               
elements to  compensation beside what is  strictly called salary.                                                               
He said he  has attempted to not be too  prescriptive in terms of                                                               
what  the commission  would  do,  but he  has  in  mind that  the                                                               
commission  would  consider  all  elements  of  the  compensation                                                               
package for "the people who are  listed here."  He said he thinks                                                               
that  while  there  may  be  comparisons  to  other  compensation                                                               
packages, he does not think there  would be "any direct effect on                                                               
those from what the commission might do."                                                                                       
9:52:33 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ROSES  moved to adopt  Amendment 1, which  read as                                                               
     Page 3, line 18, following "not":                                                                                          
       Insert ", in the four years preceeding [sic] that                                                                        
     member's appointment"                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE ROSES explained,  "I hate to see  us eliminate the                                                               
possibility  of having  anybody  that's served  in public  office                                                               
either  at a  state  or  municipal level  be  excluded from  this                                                               
commission.  Had we done that,  the commission 30 years ago would                                                               
have been absent some of the members that they had."                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL objected  to Amendment  1.   He explained                                                               
that he has not had time  to study limitation regarding the bill.                                                               
He said he wants to see the amendment in writing.                                                                               
9:54:21 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN  mentioned a candidate for  office who is                                                               
a former legislator who has been  out of the legislature for four                                                               
or five  years.   He indicated  that it might  not look  good for                                                               
someone  who has  been out  of  office for  four years  to get  a                                                               
position  on the  commission, support  a major  change, and  then                                                               
file to  run for office  the following  year.  He  concurred with                                                               
Representative  Coghill that  the  committee needs  some time  to                                                               
work out the issue.                                                                                                             
9:55:10 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN,  in response to  Representative Johnson, said  he had                                                               
hoped  the  bill  would  move  out of  committee  today,  but  he                                                               
recognizes  that there  is an  amendment to  discuss and  perhaps                                                               
other concerns to  address.  He said he would  be willing to hold                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON said he will hold his questions.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  stated that not  only would he  object to                                                               
moving the bill out of committee  today, he may even object to it                                                               
at the  next meeting.  He  repeated that there are  bigger issues                                                               
to  tackle.    One  question   is  whether  or  not  a  full-time                                                               
legislator would ever  be considered.  He said  he thinks history                                                               
needs  to be  studied.   He mentioned  considerations related  to                                                               
staffing levels, as well.                                                                                                       
9:56:23 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DOOGAN responded  that  he does  not believe  the                                                               
current proposed  language of the  bill would preclude  even city                                                               
or municipal  officials from serving on  the commission, "because                                                               
it's a limited scope in terms of whose salaries are affected."                                                                  
9:56:49 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN announced that HB 260 was heard and held with                                                                        
Amendment 1 pending.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects