Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

03/10/2009 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 136(STA) Out of Committee
Moved Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HB 136-PUBLIC RECORDS EXCEPTIONS                                                                                              
8:23:41 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN  announced that the  last order of business  was HOUSE                                                               
BILL  NO.   136,  "An  Act   limiting  the  release   of  certain                                                               
information concerning certain public employees or officials."                                                                  
[Before  the   committee  was  CSHB  136,   Version  26-LS0574\R,                                                               
Luckhaupt, 2/25/09.]                                                                                                            
8:23:58 AM                                                                                                                    
DANA  STROMMEN, Staff,  Representative Jay  Ramras, on  behalf of                                                               
the  House  Judiciary  Standing   Committee,  sponsor,  which  is                                                               
chaired  by Representative  Ramras, discussed  changes to  HB 136                                                               
incorporated  in Version  26-LS0574\E,  Luckhaupt,  3/5/09.   Ms.                                                               
Strommen  indicated  that Section  1  would  provide that  public                                                               
officer financial  disclosure reports from members  of boards and                                                               
commissions  whose  only  compensation  is per  diem  and  travel                                                               
expenses would not  be public record.  Section  2, she indicated,                                                               
would  amend AS  40.25.160 by  adding  a new  section that  would                                                               
require public  agencies to withhold  from public  disclosure the                                                               
home  address and  telephone number  and, in  certain situations,                                                               
the  name  of  certain  law  enforcement  officers  that  may  be                                                               
contained  in public  records.    The list,  she  said, has  been                                                               
narrowed,  and  would  include:    police  officer,  correctional                                                               
officer,  municipal  correctional  officer, and  parole  officer.                                                               
Furthermore,  Section  2,  subsection   (d),  would  include  the                                                               
definition  of:    correctional officer,  municipal  correctional                                                               
officer,  parole  officer,  police officer,  public  agency,  and                                                               
public record.                                                                                                                  
8:25:33 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  moved  to adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS), Version  26-LS0574\E, Luckhaupt,  3/5/09, as  a                                                               
work draft.   There being no objection, Version E  was before the                                                               
8:26:20 AM                                                                                                                    
JANE  PIERSON, Staff,  Representative  Jay  Ramras, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  echoed the  remarks of  Ms. Strommen  regarding the                                                               
changes made by  the committee substitute and  the narrowed range                                                               
of the proposed legislation.                                                                                                    
8:27:43 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. PIERSON,  in response to  Representative Seaton, said  it has                                                               
been  difficult to  get qualified  people to  apply for  Alaska's                                                               
boards and  commissions, which are non-paying  positions, and the                                                               
committee  substitute  would  ensure that  their  financial  data                                                               
would  not  be  part  of  the  public  record.    What  would  be                                                               
available,  in  terms of  confirmations,  would  be the  resumes,                                                               
histories, and forms filled out by those being confirmed.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON surmised,  "If it's  not a  public record,                                                               
and we're having a confirmation  hearing, we're not going to have                                                               
access to that information, because as  soon as we have access to                                                               
it,  it  becomes  a  public record,  unless  we're  in  executive                                                               
session."  He  questioned the purpose of filling  out a financial                                                               
record if  no one can  have access to  it other than  perhaps the                                                               
attorney general.                                                                                                               
8:29:33 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  indicated that Section  1 of the CS  is a                                                               
response to a  request he made.   He said as a  legislator he has                                                               
no  trouble  with  the requirement  to  make  in-depth  financial                                                               
reports,  but  opined   that  those  who  serve   on  boards  and                                                               
commissions  without  compensation  should  not  be  required  to                                                               
report  every piece  of property  they own  and every  penny they                                                               
make.    The change  made  in  Section  1  would mean  that  that                                                               
information would  be available, but  would only be  [public] "if                                                               
action's taken place."                                                                                                          
CHAIR  LYNN  remarked   that  those  who  serve   on  boards  and                                                               
commissions are part  of the public policy  process and suggested                                                               
that the  public has  a right  to understand  "where they  may be                                                               
coming  from or  any  potential conflict  of  interest that  they                                                               
might have."                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  replied that  the public has  that right,                                                               
but  that  does not  mean  they  need  to  know what  the  public                                                               
persona's wife  or child makes.   He said it should  be enough to                                                               
report that  income was  received from  a certain  company rather                                                               
than the  exact details of the  payment.  He reiterated  that the                                                               
level of  scrutiny placed on these  people drives them away.   He                                                               
said the  people he is  talking about "read  like a who's  who of                                                               
Alaska," including  bank presidents, financial  leaders, doctors,                                                               
and lawyers.                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LYNN pointed  out that  legislators volunteer  to run  for                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON concurred, but  said legislators know what                                                               
they  are  getting  into.     He  reiterated  that  "this"  keeps                                                               
qualified Alaskans  from wanting  to get involved  in government.                                                               
He said those  people on boards and commissions  would still have                                                               
to announce conflicts.                                                                                                          
CHAIR  LYNN  asked  Representative  Johnson if  he  thinks  these                                                               
requirements  keep some  qualified  people from  running for  the                                                               
legislature or for administrative or congressional offices.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON responded,  "If  they  have something  to                                                               
hide,  yes, sir.    And  if they  have  something  to hide,  they                                                               
shouldn't be running."                                                                                                          
CHAIR LYNN asked  Representative Johnson if that  would not apply                                                               
to those serving on boards and commissions.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  answered, "Not in a  voluntary position."                                                               
He clarified  that legislators volunteer  to run for  office, but                                                               
they sign  up to be  candidates.  He added,  "No one came  to you                                                               
and  said  you  have  to  run."   He  predicted  that  the  other                                                               
committee members  may not  be in agreement,  but he  warned that                                                               
people  from  the  boards and  commissions  would  approach  them                                                               
regarding  the loss  of good  people.   He asked,  "Why would  an                                                               
attorney be able to volunteer  and not have to disclose anything,                                                               
where a banker  volunteers and does have  to disclose everything?                                                               
What's the difference?"                                                                                                         
CHAIR SEATON  suggested this  is essentially  the same  debate as                                                               
took place during the hearing of  House Bill 109 - the governor's                                                               
ethics bill.                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  replied that it is  essentially the same,                                                               
but "raises it to those that are volunteer."                                                                                    
8:37:12 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  noted that Sharon Weddleton,  the chief                                                               
financial officer for the Municipality  of Anchorage, had sent an                                                               
e-mail to  him [included in  the committee packet], in  which she                                                               
raised a lot of  policy issues he said he wants  to consider.  He                                                               
noted that Version E eliminates  "justice or judge" from the list                                                               
of  those  who   would  be  allowed  to   request  that  personal                                                               
information contained in  the records of a public  agency be kept                                                               
confidential, and he questioned why.                                                                                            
8:38:56 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. PIERSON explained the removal  of that language was to narrow                                                               
the scope of  the bill; however, she said the  bill sponsor would                                                               
not object to reinserting that language.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said  he thinks that is  a good category                                                               
to keep in the  bill.  He related that he has  been in family law                                                               
cases when he and the judge have  been threatened.  He said he is                                                               
also concerned  about municipal  and state  prosecuting attorneys                                                               
for the  same reason.  He  said they are now  being issued badges                                                               
for identification,  and he asked  that the bill sponsor  ask for                                                               
input from the Department of Law regarding that issue.                                                                          
8:40:43 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  noted  that Version  E  changes  peace                                                               
officer to police  officer, and he suggested  peace officer would                                                               
be a broader term.                                                                                                              
8:41:23 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. STROMMEN  indicated that the  sponsor chose  "police officer"                                                               
to narrow the scope of the bill.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG told  Representative Johnson  about two                                                               
cases wherein  the Alaska Supreme  Court judged  a constitutional                                                               
right  to  privacy based  not  from  the  point  of view  of  the                                                               
official, but from the  point of view of the client.   He said he                                                               
does not know  if a person who  comes to a banker for  a loan may                                                               
have an expectation  of privacy, as well.  He  said in the matter                                                               
of privacy  rights, the  legislature would be  on firm  legal and                                                               
constitutional   grounds  to   consider  the   issue  "from   the                                                               
classification of the client or  the customer - whether they have                                                               
a constitutional right of privacy."                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG, regarding Section  1 of Version E, said                                                               
he  thinks  there  are  two reasons  why  people  might  hesitate                                                               
serving [on  a board or  commission]:  First, because  they don't                                                               
want  to  divulge  information   regarding  themselves  or  their                                                               
spouses; and second, because if  they represent clients, they may                                                               
be concerned  that serving may  require their clients to  give up                                                               
their right  to privacy.   He said  he would probably  support an                                                               
amendment that  would list  classes of  clientele who  would have                                                               
constitutionally protected rights of privacy.                                                                                   
8:46:35 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LYNN said  he understands  the  issue that  Representative                                                               
Gruenberg  has   raised,  but  he  expressed   concern  that  the                                                               
legislation could become complicated.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  said  he  thinks the  issue  could  be                                                               
addressed in a manner that would  not be unwieldy.  He offered an                                                               
8:47:25 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON noted  that this  issue was  presented to                                                               
him by various entities across  the state who operate with boards                                                               
and commissions.   He  said he feels  as passionately  about this                                                               
issue as he  does the issue of protecting police  officers and he                                                               
"won't let one die for the other."                                                                                              
8:50:18 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PETERSEN suggested  this issue be brought  up in a                                                               
separate bill.  He said he  is concerned that some information be                                                               
required from  those serving on  boards and commissions  in order                                                               
to   determine  if   those  people   have  any   "close  economic                                                               
relationships" and, thus,  a conflict of interest  in issues that                                                               
they may  address.  He  said he is sure  that is the  reason that                                                               
the financial  disclosure was  required in the  first place.   He                                                               
offered his  understanding that HB 136  was originally introduced                                                               
to  try, for  example, to  "shield" some  of the  information and                                                               
protect police  officers from  criminals who  may have  just been                                                               
CHAIR LYNN  concurred.  He said  he thinks the main  focus of the                                                               
bill is  about physical  protection from predators.   He  said he                                                               
understands Representative Johnson's concern,  but is not sure it                                                               
fits in the legislation before the committee.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG   reemphasized   his   concern   about                                                               
protecting  clients, and  he said  he  would like  to pursue  the                                                               
matter in the House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                               
MS.  PIERSON  said  she  would   have  no  problem  working  with                                                               
Representative Gruenberg on the issue.                                                                                          
8:52:50 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN opened public testimony.                                                                                             
8:53:04 AM                                                                                                                    
JOHN   CYR,   Executive   Director,   Public   Safety   Employees                                                               
Association (PSEA), testified  in support of HB 136.   He related                                                               
that over the  years, with the advent of the  Internet and search                                                               
engines, officers - especially those  working undercover to crack                                                               
down on drugs - are being  harassed and threatened all around the                                                               
state.   He  stated, "It  is no  longer uncommon  for really  bad                                                               
people to  say to arresting officers,  'I know where you  live; I                                                               
know  where  your wife  works;  I  know  where  your kids  go  to                                                               
school.'"  He indicated that  the PSEA's intent in requesting the                                                               
bill was to  [protect those officers from harm].   In response to                                                               
a question from Chair Lynn, he  said clearly the focus of PSEA is                                                               
public safety, and he expressed  concern that nothing be added to                                                               
the bill that would jeopardize its passage.                                                                                     
8:55:07 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. CYR,  in response to  a question from  Representative Seaton,                                                               
said he  is not Internet  savvy enough  to know exactly  how much                                                               
information is  "out there,"  but said  PSEA's major  concern has                                                               
been regarding the  information on the assessor's  tax roll list,                                                               
which he said is readily  available and allows anyone to pinpoint                                                               
where  officers  live.    He   said  the  problem  originated  in                                                               
Fairbanks,   where  officers,   during   busts   of  some   heavy                                                               
methamphetamine ("meth") dealers and  meth rings, have found maps                                                               
of people's homes, their addresses, and bomb-making materials.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON indicated  that he would like  those in Mr.                                                               
Cyr's department who are Internet  savvy to tell the committee if                                                               
there  are  other sources  beside  the  assessor's roll,  wherein                                                               
people could  easily obtain a  resident's address.   He explained                                                               
that he is  considering this issue from the  standpoint of policy                                                               
and  the  responsibility that  may  be  placed on  municipalities                                                               
related to their reliability in releasing information.                                                                          
MR.  CYR agreed  to  speak  with his  employees  and return  with                                                               
8:58:53 AM                                                                                                                    
JEFF LANDVATTER,  Southeast Vice  President, Board  of Directors,                                                               
Department of  Public Safety,  told the committee  that he  is an                                                               
Alaska State Trooper  with 24 years of service to  the state.  He                                                               
stated  that peace  officers need  to know  that their  homes and                                                               
families are  safe so  that they can  go to work  and do  the job                                                               
that is asked  of them, and HB 136 would  give those officers one                                                               
more tool  to remove personal  information from public view.   He                                                               
said  officers  are trained  to  deal  with criminals  but  their                                                               
families  are not.    Mr.  Landvatter related  that  he has  been                                                               
threatened several  times, which he  said gives an  officer pause                                                               
to think  about whether  he/she is  doing everything  possible to                                                               
protect his/her  family.   He talked about  the simple  and quick                                                               
access  to   a  person's  address   via  the   assessor's  office                                                               
information.  He indicated that the  bill would not be a fix-all,                                                               
but is a  good start toward stopping some  information from being                                                               
readily accessible to the public.                                                                                               
9:01:26 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. LANDVATTER, in response to Chair  Lynn, said he does not have                                                               
enough  information  to  be  able   to  speak  to  Representative                                                               
Johnson's  previously   stated  concern;   his  own   concern  is                                                               
primarily in regard to public safety.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  cited Falcon vs. Alaska  Public Offices                                                             
Commission 570p 2nd 469 Alaska 1977,  as focusing on the class of                                                             
patients rather than on the class of the public officials.                                                                      
9:03:23 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. LANDVATTER, in response to  Representative Seaton, said peace                                                               
officer is a broader term, so it  would be up to the committee to                                                               
decide if  it wants  to include  people who  perhaps have  a less                                                               
than full  commission.  He  said he thinks the  [judicial branch]                                                               
should  speak for  itself [in  response to  the previously  noted                                                               
change  of  language  in  Version  E].   He  clarified  that  the                                                               
coverage  he  is seeking  through  his  testimony is  for  police                                                               
officers.   In response to Chair  Lynn, he said he  would have to                                                               
research  to know  if that  would include  Village Public  Safety                                                               
Officers (VPSOs).                                                                                                               
9:04:24 AM                                                                                                                    
ROB  HUEN,   Chief  of   Police,  Anchorage   Police  Department,                                                               
Anchorage,  Alaska,  had  his  testimony in  support  of  HB  136                                                               
presented by Robert Glen.                                                                                                       
DEREK  HSIEH,   President,  Executive  Board,   Anchorage  Police                                                               
Department  Employees'  Association  (APDEA), had  his  testimony                                                               
relating the APDEA's support of HB 136 presented by Robert Glen.                                                                
ROBERT  GLEN,  Sergeant,  Internal  Affairs Unit,  said  his  job                                                               
involves  investigation into  allegations  of police  misconduct.                                                               
He  related  an  incident  which illustrates  the  importance  of                                                               
protecting officers  from people who are  not emotionally stable.                                                               
Regarding  the   previously  stated  concern  about   judges  and                                                               
prosecutors taken off  the list, he said not only  has he had his                                                               
own life and the lives of  his family threatened, but he has also                                                               
seen a lot  of hostility directed against  prosecutors and judges                                                               
during trial  - especially during  sentencing.  He  surmised that                                                               
prosecutors and  judges would have legitimate  fears and concerns                                                               
related  to  this  issue.     In  response  to  a  question  from                                                               
Representative  Gruenberg,  he confirmed  that  he  has heard  of                                                               
cases in which public defenders have also been threatened.                                                                      
CHAIR LYNN  commented that it  is possible that  "everybody could                                                               
be threatened at one time or  another," and he said the committee                                                               
needs to "put some sideboards on this."                                                                                         
9:08:26 AM                                                                                                                    
KELLY  TAYLOR, Deputy  Administrator, Municipality  of Anchorage,                                                               
stated,  "I'm  speaking  on  my own  personal  behalf,  and  also                                                               
representing the thoughts and concerns  for Marty McGee who's the                                                               
municipal assessor here."                                                                                                       
MS. TAYLOR said  the intent of the proposed  legislation is good,                                                               
and she said  she can certainly understand the  concerns of those                                                               
who have testified.   However, she explained that  the concern of                                                               
her office  and that  of the assessor's  office is  regarding the                                                               
narrowing of scope  to cover only the property  appraisal and tax                                                               
web  site.   Ms.  Taylor  related that  the  information that  is                                                               
provided on the municipal assessor's  web site in Anchorage is an                                                               
exact replication  of the information  that is provided  from the                                                               
State  Recorder's  Office.    That  means,  she  explained,  that                                                               
however  a property  owner's title  is recorded  by the  State of                                                               
Alaska,  it  will  be  presented  exactly the  same  way  in  the                                                               
municipal assessor's database.   She stated, "The  purpose of the                                                               
real property recording system is  to provide constructive notice                                                               
of the existence of any interest of real property in Anchorage."                                                                
MS.  TAYLOR indicated  that  her experience  as  a homeowner  has                                                               
taught her that the idea of privacy in ownership is an illusion.                                                                
She indicated that  there are many web sites that  a person could                                                               
use other  than that of  the assessor  to find out  where someone                                                               
lives.   She said there are  many privately owned web  sites that                                                               
"redistribute  information."   She reiterated  that the  original                                                               
site  of  the  source  of  that information  is  from  the  State                                                               
Recorder's  Office.     She  opined   that  individuals   with  a                                                               
heightened need  for privacy  should be  encouraged to  put their                                                               
property into a  trust or limited liability  corporation or "some                                                               
other  fashion" before  recording  it with  the State  Recorder's                                                               
Office,  in order  that  there be  no  association between  their                                                               
personal name and a specific piece of property.                                                                                 
MS.  TAYLOR concluded,  "We  strongly request  that  the bill  be                                                               
amended  to  prohibit  the  release  of  the  home  address,  the                                                               
telephone  number of  a person  who is  eligible and  applies for                                                               
confidentiality along  with the name."   She noted that in  an e-                                                               
mail, Ms.  Weddleton has suggested  annual maintenance  and proof                                                               
if the  choice is  made for  the assessor  to be  responsible for                                                               
maintaining the confidentiality of an individual.                                                                               
9:13:01 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  TAYLOR, in  response  to a  request  for clarification  from                                                               
Representative Seaton, stated her  understanding that the base of                                                               
information on the assessor's web  site is derived from the State                                                               
of Alaska.   She  related that the  assessor's office  receives a                                                               
disc  weekly that  contains  all the  public  documents that  are                                                               
recorded.     The  municipal  staff   then  looks   through  that                                                               
information and pulls out quick  claim deeds or warranty deeds to                                                               
track  the change  of  ownership  of a  piece  of  property.   In                                                               
response  to  a  follow-up  question,  she  said  the  assessor's                                                               
database  will reveal  the information  that is  recorded on  the                                                               
deed or ownership  record of a specific piece of  property.  In a                                                               
case where  38 names were  associated with a trust,  for example,                                                               
the assessor's office  would only list the first  couple of names                                                               
because of "the field constriction."                                                                                            
9:15:07 AM                                                                                                                    
SHARON WEDDLETON, Chief Financial  Officer (CFO), Municipality of                                                               
Anchorage, noted that  she had testified at the  prior hearing on                                                               
HB  136.   She stated  that  the Municipality  of Anchorage  will                                                               
support the concept of the bill  if it can be "amended properly."                                                               
Upon the chair's  invitation, she listed the  amendments that the                                                               
municipality would  like to see.   First,  she said, would  be an                                                               
amendment to include only property  tax web sites.  Second, would                                                               
be  an amendment  to prohibit  the release  of a  name concurrent                                                               
with  the address  of a  police officer  who desires  protection,                                                               
which would  still allow the  property tax  web site to  show the                                                               
property,  its  assessed  value,  and its  tax  history,  without                                                               
showing the  name.  She  said that  would offer a  better balance                                                               
between  the  public's  right  to   information  and  the  police                                                               
officer's right to  protect him/herself and his/her  family.  She                                                               
noted  that a  pseudonym  could  be used.    Third,  would be  an                                                               
amendment to  change the  current requirement  of municipalities,                                                               
cities,  and  boroughs  to  provide   daily  updates  related  to                                                               
applications for confidentiality on  their property tax web sites                                                               
to a more reasonable requirement  of updating either quarterly or                                                               
annually.   Last,  would  be an  amendment  providing that  those                                                               
municipalities,  cities,   and  boroughs   that  make   fair  and                                                               
reasonable  attempts to  maintain the  confidentiality of  police                                                               
officers  would   be  held   harmless  in   the  event   that  an                                                               
administrative error caused a name to erroneously be displayed.                                                                 
9:17:56 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN  expressed his desire not  to hold the bill  back, but                                                               
instead to address those proposed  changes in the House Judiciary                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
9:18:45 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. WEDDLETON,  in response to Representative  Petersen, said the                                                               
pseudonym would  need to blend in  to the list; John  or Jane Doe                                                               
would probably draw  more attention to the  property than leaving                                                               
the original  name.   She explained  that the  municipality would                                                               
most likely  keep a  paper list showing  both the  officer's name                                                               
and the  pseudonym being  used on  the web site.   She  said this                                                               
would allow public disclosure of properties owned.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE PETERSEN asked if not  listing someone's name on a                                                               
property list would  create problems such as  creditors not being                                                               
able to find the person.                                                                                                        
MS.  WEDDLETON  said  she  does  not  know  the  answer  to  that                                                               
question, but she related that  she would be more concerned about                                                               
protecting police  from harm than about  getting in the way  of a                                                               
9:21:29 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WEDDLETON, in  response to  Representative Seaton,  said the                                                               
pseudonym would  be used  only for  listing the  person's primary                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  noted another issue that  had been brought                                                               
to light  was concerning the  use of  [a pseudonym] in  the State                                                               
Recorder's Office.   He asked,  "Does that  also get to  the same                                                               
MS.  WEDDLETON answered,  "I believe  it would  achieve the  same                                                               
9:22:51 AM                                                                                                                    
ROBERT PEARSON,  Special Assistant,  Office of  the Commissioner,                                                               
said  he  could not  offer  much  comment  on the  provisions  of                                                               
Version  E  without   further  study.    However,   he  said  the                                                               
department would have no problem  developing the forms that would                                                               
be  used  to  apply  for  confidentiality  and  distributing  the                                                               
protected names to the applicable parties.                                                                                      
Representative Seaton directed attention  to language [on page 1,                                                               
beginning on line 12, which read as follows]:                                                                                   
     A  public agency  may  not release  the  portions of  a                                                                    
     public  record   that  include  the  home   address  or                                                                    
     telephone  number  of  a person  who  is  eligible  for                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said that language  is not limited  to the                                                               
assessor's office,  but also includes  the databases used  by the                                                               
Division of Motor  Vehicles and the Division of  Sport Fishing to                                                               
issue licenses.  He asked Mr.  Pearson if he has considered which                                                               
databases in  which departments  would be  affected by  the bill.                                                               
He  clarified that  he  wants to  know if  the  inclusion of  "or                                                               
telephone  number"  would  significantly  expand  the  number  of                                                               
agencies  that would  have to  undergo some  change from  present                                                               
9:26:13 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. PEARSON  said the Department  of Administration would  not be                                                               
affected because  it does  not release  telephone numbers  in the                                                               
course  of  business.    He   said  he  cannot  speak  for  other                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  expressed the same interest  regarding the                                                               
inclusion  of "home  address".   He  said he  assumes that  would                                                               
affect  the Alaska  Department of  Fish  & Game  (ADF&G) and  the                                                               
Commercial  Fisheries Entry  Commission, for  example.   He asked                                                               
Mr. Pearson to comment.                                                                                                         
MR. PEARSON agreed that ADF&G would  be affected.  He said within                                                               
the  Department  of  Administration,  there is  the  Division  of                                                               
Personnel, but  the information therein  is not public  and would                                                               
not be  released under  current law.   He said  although driver's                                                               
licenses can have mailing addresses  listed on them, vehicles are                                                               
identified  with a  physical address.   He  said, "That  would be                                                               
something that would be affected by this bill."                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON asked,  "How would you see  this form being                                                               
used by DOT to not allow access to the DOT permit database?"                                                                    
9:29:39 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. PEARSON responded:                                                                                                          
     I think that  what we would have to do  is collect this                                                                    
     form and  develop a  list of  all departments  that are                                                                    
     affected by this bill, and  then just routinely, when a                                                                    
     new  form   was  filed,  distribute   a  copy   to  all                                                                    
     departments.    ...   During  that  process,  we  would                                                                    
     identify all  of the potentially  affected information,                                                                    
     and we  would make sure  that copies of this  form were                                                                    
     distributed to all of the relevant departments.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON asked if the  administration has an opinion                                                               
regarding  the  timing  of  the  removal  of  the  material  from                                                               
9:30:50 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. PEARSON said  he has not considered that issue.   He said the                                                               
information would  still be  on databases; it  just would  not be                                                               
released to the public.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON stated  his  understanding  that the  bill                                                               
would require each agency to  "scrub" confidential information on                                                               
its database from public view.                                                                                                  
9:33:35 AM                                                                                                                    
STEVE  VAN SANT,  State Assessor,  Anchorage Office,  Division of                                                               
Community and  Regional Affairs,  confirmed Ms.  Taylor's remarks                                                               
that  the information  in the  municipal  assessor's database  is                                                               
derived  from  the  State  Recorder's   Office.    He  said,  "We                                                               
certainly want  to see  the officers protected,  too, but  I just                                                               
don't feel like  we're doing a service to them  by saying, 'We're                                                               
going  to give  you  peace  of mind  by  blocking the  assessor's                                                               
office,' when we  can go back door through  the Recorder's Office                                                               
and  get  the  same  information  that the  assessor  has."    He                                                               
indicated that  it would  make more sense  to show  officers "how                                                               
they could  change their names,  put it in trust,  whatever, when                                                               
they got the property or took the job."                                                                                         
9:35:01 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LYNN, after  ascertaining that  there was  no one  else to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony.                                                                                               
9:35:24 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  moved to  adopt  Amendment  1, to  remove                                                               
Section 1 from Version E.  [Section 1 read as follows:]                                                                         
     *Section 1. AS 39.50.050(c) is amended to read:                                                                          
          (c) Reports filed under this chapter shall be                                                                         
     kept  on file  for at  least six  years and  are public                                                                    
     records except that a report  received from a member of                                                                
     a state board or  commission whose only compensation as                                                                
     a member of  that  board or commission is  per diem and                                                                
     travel  expenses under  AS 39.20.180  is  not a  public                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  objected.   He said  he thinks  the issue                                                               
has  been  recently related  and  that  when the  administration,                                                               
municipalities, and boards and  commissions understand the issue,                                                               
there will  be more feedback  regarding it.   He said  he expects                                                               
the issue to  come up in the House  Judiciary Standing Committee,                                                               
as well  as during House and  Senate floor discussions.   He said                                                               
if the  House State Affairs  Standing Committee is going  to move                                                               
the  bill   forward  and  allow  the   House  Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee fix  it, he  thinks [Amendment  1] should  be forwarded                                                               
with that same consideration.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON said  Amendment 1 is within  the purview of                                                               
the  House  State  Affairs  Standing  Committee.    He  expressed                                                               
concern regarding those  who would be exempted by Section  1.  He                                                               
said  there  is  nothing  written   about  conflict  of  interest                                                               
disclosure.   He added, "That  is the financial  disclosure; that                                                               
is  what  conflict  of  interests  are."    He  said  there  were                                                               
consultants  getting paid  large amounts  of money,  who did  not                                                               
have to  disclose that  they were making  the regulation  ... for                                                               
the industry.   He said, "If  a municipality is coming  to us and                                                               
saying that  we need  to change this,  they're saying  that their                                                               
citizens will not agree to  removing themselves from this ethical                                                               
and  financial conflict,  and they  want us  to do  it for  them,                                                               
because  their citizens  will not  allow  that."   Representative                                                               
Seaton  stated  that  he  wants  to  remove  the  municipalities'                                                               
consideration   from   this   since   the   option   exists   for                                                               
municipalities to exempt themselves.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  stated,  "This  is  the  entire  basis  -                                                               
disclosure.  I  mean, we will not have this  information; we will                                                               
not know  when we have  a confirmation hearing.   He said  once a                                                               
legislative  office  receives  "the information,"  it  is  public                                                               
information.      Therefore,   "by   making   this   confidential                                                               
information, we will not have this as well."  He continued:                                                                     
     And so, the idea that somehow we're going to hold this                                                                     
       in secret among ourselves, unless we're having an                                                                        
     executive session, ... I don't think that's correct.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON stated  his  belief that  every board  and                                                               
commission member being appointed now  knows the law.  He/she may                                                               
or may  not wish to  volunteer based  on what must  be disclosed.                                                               
Representative  Seaton said,  "We're  only  talking really  about                                                               
state  boards  and commissions,  and  they  form the  policy  and                                                               
regulations.   Every  elected or  appointed board,  we've got  to                                                               
remember  that their  regulation comes  through, and  as long  as                                                               
they're  legal,  as long  as  they  don't  violate the  law,  the                                                               
lieutenant only puts  a time stamp on that  regulation.  [He/she]                                                               
...   would  have   no  ability   to  modify   or  reject   those                                                               
regulations."   He said  without financial  disclosure, conflicts                                                               
of interest  will "come  back to  bite ...  the entire  state" in                                                               
terms of making policy.                                                                                                         
9:41:27 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON said  he is less inclined  to withdraw his                                                               
objection upon hearing  that "this is only ... to  be the purview                                                               
of the" House State Affairs Standing  Committee.  He said he does                                                               
not recall ever seeing  financial information during confirmation                                                               
hearings.   The language in the  bill does not say  that a person                                                               
would  not still  have to  declare a  conflict.   He stated  that                                                               
"what this says" is that  the written financial disclosure report                                                               
that is  submitted should not be  made public.  He  said he would                                                               
"point that out" to the  municipal assembly people and the people                                                               
who appoint  boards and municipalities  who have  been contacting                                                               
him.  He reiterated that he  is not opposed to full disclosure by                                                               
anyone  serving  in  a  position,  he just  does  not  want  that                                                               
information  made public  automatically.   He  added, "It's  very                                                               
much like when we have an  ethics complaint:  it is private until                                                               
such time as it's needed."                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON withdrew his objection to Amendment 1.                                                                   
9:43:46 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  objected to Amendment 1  for discussion                                                               
purposes.   He noted that his  office has had occasion  to access                                                               
financial  information  [on line].    He  reiterated his  concern                                                               
about  protecting  constitutional  right to  privacy  of  certain                                                               
classes of  clients, a subject  which he said is  directly within                                                               
the  purview  of the  House  Judiciary  Standing Committee.    He                                                               
stated his intention  to pursue the issue with  the bill sponsor.                                                               
He said  the bill contains many  issues and will have  a dramatic                                                               
effect throughout state  and local government, and he  said he is                                                               
willing  to  work  on  the  issues in  the  House  State  Affairs                                                               
Standing Committee or in the House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG removed his objection to Amendment 1.                                                                  
9:46:44 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN  said he  agrees  with  the proposal  to                                                               
remove Section  1 and address  it in separate legislation.   With                                                               
that section gone, he said, there still  will be a lot of work to                                                               
do on HB 136.  He expressed  concern that the sponsor of the bill                                                               
is  the chair  of  the next  committee of  referral  - the  House                                                               
Judiciary Standing  Committee - and  he wants to ensure  that the                                                               
bill   does  not   "slide  through   there  without   a  lot   of                                                               
CHAIR  LYNN  expressed  his  desire   that  the  House  Judiciary                                                               
Standing  Committee   consider  protection  of   prosecutors  and                                                               
defense  attorneys.    He  commented  that being  a  judge  is  a                                                               
dangerous job.                                                                                                                  
9:48:08 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON suggested  that  before the  bill is  sent                                                               
over to  the Senate  for its consideration,  the title  should be                                                               
amended to include  mention of "the exact people  we're trying to                                                               
CHAIR LYNN said he agrees.                                                                                                      
9:49:15 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LYNN  announced that  there  being  no further  objection,                                                               
Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                                        
9:49:50 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON moved Conceptual  Amendment 2, to amend the                                                               
bill so  that the  release of the  name, residential  address, or                                                               
telephone   number  would   not  be   released  concurrently   or                                                               
9:50:21 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  objected for  discussion purposes.   He                                                               
said he would  like the amendment offered in  the House Judiciary                                                               
Standing Committee in a less vague manner.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON responded  that there  has been  testimony                                                               
stating  that the  releasing  of the  name  attached to  resident                                                               
information is  a problem,  and it would  be much  more expensive                                                               
and  difficult   if  the  municipalities  had   to  omit  certain                                                               
residents from  the tax  rolls entirely.   He  said, "If  this is                                                               
such that  they can't  release any of  the tax  roll information,                                                               
then  all   of  a  sudden  we   form  a  huge  problem   for  the                                                               
municipalities  in  which  they're  going  to  have  partial  tax                                                               
rolls."   Representative Seaton said  that is not the  purpose of                                                               
the bill.  The purpose, he  emphasized, is not to attach tax roll                                                               
information to the person requesting confidentiality.                                                                           
9:52:03 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. PEARSON directed attention to  language on page 2, lines 2-3,                                                               
[of  Version  E], which  read,  "the  name  of  a person  who  is                                                               
eligible for  confidentiality under (b)  of this section  and has                                                               
applied for confidentiality  as provided in (c)  of this section,                                                               
may not  be disclosed."   She offered her understanding  that the                                                               
address would still be part of  the data base and would be public                                                               
9:52:46 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said if the  sponsor thinks  that language                                                               
addresses the issue,  he would be willing  to withdraw Conceptual                                                               
Amendment  2  and ask  that  the  sponsor  check with  those  who                                                               
submitted the  idea for  the amendment between  now and  the bill                                                               
hearing in the next committee of referral.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said  he does not know  if the amendment                                                               
is needed  or not,  but reiterated his  willingness to  work with                                                               
the sponsor.                                                                                                                    
9:53:47 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON withdrew Conceptual Amendment 2.                                                                          
9:54:17 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. PEARSON, in  response to Representative Seaton,  said she has                                                               
been  thinking   about  the  issue  of   municipalities  updating                                                               
records,  and  while  she  does  not  think  a  quarterly  update                                                               
requirement  would be  bad, in  the case  where someone  is being                                                               
threatened and there is present  danger, waiting a year would not                                                               
be  a good  idea.   She expressed  her willingness  to work  with                                                               
those involved to find a good balance for the requirement.                                                                      
9:54:53 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON responded  that he is content  to know that                                                               
the sponsor will address the issue.                                                                                             
9:55:17 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PETERSEN questioned the  change from peace officer                                                               
to police officer,  when the former has a broader  scope than the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG cited  AS  01.10.060(h)(7) as  defining                                                               
peace officer  and AS 18.65.290(7)  - which is referenced  in the                                                               
bill - as defining police officer.   He directed attention to the                                                               
notes  of  the  latter  statute, which  states  that  all  police                                                               
officers are peace  officers, but some police officers  - such as                                                               
Village  Public   Safety  Officers  (VPSOs)  -   are  not  police                                                               
officers.   He  said presumably,  anyone  who lives  in a  little                                                               
village would  already know  where the  VPSO lives.   He  said he                                                               
thinks  this  is  an  issue that  the  House  Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee needs to address.                                                                                                     
9:56:53 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  moved to  report CSHB 136,  Version 26-                                                               
LS0574\E, Luckhaupt,  3/5/09, as  amended, out of  committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being no  objection, CSHB 136(STA) was reported  out of the                                                               
House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 HSTA - HB0139A.pdf HSTA 3/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 139
02 HSTA - HB 139 Sponsor statement.doc HSTA 3/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 139
03 HSTA - Westlaw HB 139 AS49 05 990.rtf HSTA 3/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 139
04 HSTA HB 139 SLA Laws - HB0088Z.pdf HSTA 3/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 88
HB 139
05 HSTA - HB139-DPS-DET-03-05-09.pdf HSTA 3/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 139
06 HSTA - HB 139 Additional Backup Memo - Legal Letter - Enstar.pdf HSTA 3/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 139
HSTA -3-5-09 CS HB136 ver E 3 6 09.pdf HSTA 3/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 136
HB136 3-9-09 Updated Sponsor Statement.doc HSTA 3/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 136
HB136CS(STA)- DNR SSD 02-27-09.pdf HSTA 3/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 136