Legislature(2011 - 2012)CAPITOL 106

03/22/2011 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS


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08:07:22 AM Start
08:07:33 AM HB169
08:48:22 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 169 LAA REVIEW OF PROPOSED REGULATIONS TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+= HB 88 USE OF FOREIGN LAW TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Rescheduled to 3/24/11>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         March 22, 2011                                                                                         
                           8:07 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bob Lynn, Chair                                                                                                  
Representative Wes Keller, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                      
Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                                     
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
Representative Pete Petersen                                                                                                    
Representative Kyle Johansen                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 169                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the review of proposed regulations by the                                                                   
Legislative Affairs Agency; and providing for an effective                                                                      
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 88                                                                                                               
"An    Act   prohibiting    a   court,    arbitrator,   mediator,                                                               
administrative agency,  or enforcement authority from  applying a                                                               
law,  rule,  or  provision  of  an  agreement  that  violates  an                                                               
individual's right under the Constitution  of the State of Alaska                                                               
or the United States Constitution."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING RESCHEDULED TO 3/24/11                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 169                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LAA REVIEW OF PROPOSED REGULATIONS                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): JUDICIARY                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/23/11       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/23/11       (H)       JUD                                                                                                    
02/23/11       (H)       STA REFERRAL ADDED BEFORE JUD                                                                          
03/15/11       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/15/11       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/15/11       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/17/11       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/17/11       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
03/22/11       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SARAH MUNSON, Staff                                                                                                             
Representative Carl Gatto                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Presented HB  169 on  behalf of  the House                                                             
Judiciary Committee,  sponsor, on  which Representative  Gatto is                                                               
chair.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
LISA KIRSCH, Drafting Attorney                                                                                                  
Legislative Legal and Research Services                                                                                         
Legislative Affairs Agency                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions  during the hearing on HB                                                             
169.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DEBORAH BEHR, Chief  Assistant Attorney General/Statewide Section                                                               
Supervisor                                                                                                                      
Legislation & Regulations Section                                                                                               
Civil Division (Juneau)                                                                                                         
Department of Law (DOL)                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided comment  during the hearing  on HB                                                             
169.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
STEVE WEAVER, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                        
Legislation & Regulations Section                                                                                               
Civil Division (Juneau)                                                                                                         
Department of Law (DOL)                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided comment  during the hearing  on HB                                                             
169.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:07:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BOB LYNN called the  House State Affairs Standing Committee                                                             
meeting to  order at 8:07  a.m.  Representatives  Keller, Seaton,                                                               
P. Wilson, Petersen, and Lynn were  present at the call to order.                                                               
Representatives  Johansen and  Gruenberg arrived  as the  meeting                                                               
was in progress.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
           HB 169-LAA REVIEW OF PROPOSED REGULATIONS                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:07:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  announced that the  only order of business  was HOUSE                                                               
BILL  NO.  169,  "An  Act  relating to  the  review  of  proposed                                                               
regulations by the Legislative Affairs  Agency; and providing for                                                               
an effective date."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:08:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARAH  MUNSON, Staff,  Representative  Carl  Gatto, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  reviewed the  intent of  HB  169 on  behalf of  the                                                               
House   Judiciary   Standing   Committee,   sponsor,   on   which                                                               
Representative Gatto  is chair.   She said  the bill  would allow                                                               
"legislative council" and standing  committees, who are currently                                                               
allowed to  request a legislative  review from  Legislative Legal                                                               
and Research  Services, to  receive the  results of  that review.                                                               
The bill  would also allow  the prime sponsor of  the legislation                                                               
that instigated  the need for a  regulation to see the  result of                                                               
the regulatory review.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. MUNSON  recollected that  during the  previous hearing  on HB                                                               
169, Representative  Seaton had  expressed concern  regarding the                                                               
phrase  "newly enacted",  on page  1, line  8.   She offered  her                                                           
understanding  that Legislative  Legal and  Research Services  is                                                               
hesitant  to  define  that  term,   because  a  "hard  and  fast"                                                               
definition  in HB  169  "may  affect the  other  portions in  the                                                               
statute where it's  used for their priority planning."   She said                                                               
the bill sponsor is willing  to remove the phrase "newly enacted"                                                           
from both places it  appears in the bill, on page  1, line 8, and                                                               
on page 2, line 3.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:10:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MUNSON said  HB 169 would change statute  so that Legislative                                                               
Legal and Research Services is allowed  to share a verdict of "no                                                               
problem" upon completion of a regulatory review.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:12:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said removing  ["newly enacted"]  from the                                                           
language  of the  bill would  broaden the  legislation.   He then                                                               
pointed out  language on page  2, lines 5-6, which  would require                                                               
the assigned attorney  to notify the prime sponsor,  and he noted                                                               
that that would only be if  the proposed regulations fail to meet                                                               
certain standards.   He expressed  concern that  that requirement                                                               
may burden Legislative  Legal and Research Services.   He said he                                                               
would not  be offering an  amendment to remove the  phrase "newly                                                           
enacted".                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:14:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MUNSON, in  response to Representative P.  Wilson, noted that                                                               
a  two-page  document  showing  the  text  of  AS  24.20.105  was                                                               
available [in the committee packet].                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:15:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 8:15 a.m. to 8:17 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:18:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  offered his  understanding that  HB 169                                                               
would allow  communication with legal  counsel and  certain other                                                               
individuals  named in  bill,  despite  a general  confidentiality                                                               
requirement, and he  asked if that would  necessitate an indirect                                                               
court rule amendment  and "require that that be in  the title and                                                               
in the body with a two-thirds vote."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:20:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LISA KIRSCH,  Drafting Attorney,  Legislative Legal  and Research                                                               
Services, Legislative  Affairs Agency, said she  does not believe                                                               
a  court  amendment  would  be  necessary  under  HB  169.    She                                                               
indicated  that  the bill  simply  adds  a previously  overlooked                                                               
ability  for Legislative  Legal and  Research Services  to report                                                               
back to all those who are able to request reviews.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked Ms.  Kirsch to provide  a written                                                               
legal opinion to that effect.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:22:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEBORAH BEHR, Chief  Assistant Attorney General/Statewide Section                                                               
Supervisor,  Legislation &  Regulations  Section, Civil  Division                                                               
(Juneau), Department  of Law (DOL),  concurred with  Ms. Kirsch's                                                               
analysis.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:22:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEVE   WEAVER,  Assistant   Attorney   General,  Legislation   &                                                               
Regulations Section,  Civil Division (Juneau), Department  of Law                                                               
(DOL), said he also concurs with Ms. Kirsch's analysis.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:23:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON,  regarding   confidentiality,  asked  for                                                               
confirmation that  anyone receiving  the results of  a regulatory                                                               
review  from Legislative  Legal  and Research  Services would  be                                                               
free to release the information to anyone.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:23:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KIRSCH stated her belief  that that is generally true, except                                                               
that a person may  need to be the chair of  the committee or have                                                               
the  concurrence   of  the  members  of   the  committee  [before                                                               
releasing  such  information].     In  response  to  a  follow-up                                                               
question, she stated  her belief that HB 169 would  not alter the                                                               
rules regarding memorandums.   She said when  an individual makes                                                               
a request,  he/she is the  holder of the confidentiality;  when a                                                               
committee chair  makes a request,  that chair's committee  is the                                                               
holder of the confidentiality.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:26:19 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  directed attention to language  on page 2,                                                               
beginning on line [5], which read as follows:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
       "the assigned attorney shall also notify the prime                                                                   
     sponsor, in writing, if the proposed regulations fail                                                                  
     to meet the standards set out in (d) of this section."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON   noted  that  subsection   (d)  addresses                                                               
constitutionality and  statutory [authority].  He  said currently                                                               
that  information  is communicated  to  the  chair of  the  Joint                                                               
Administrative  Regulation Review  Committee and  may be  held in                                                               
confidence through  a committee decision,  and under HB  169, the                                                               
prime  sponsor of  the legislation  connected to  the regulations                                                               
will receive  the feedback, and  there will be no  obligation for                                                               
the  committee  to maintain  the  confidentiality  of that  legal                                                               
opinion.   He asked  Ms. Kirsch  to confirm that  is what  she is                                                               
saying.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. KIRSCH answered yes, in general.   She added that what she is                                                               
also saying is  that she does not think that  is a departure from                                                               
existing  confidentiality rules.    She reiterated  that when  an                                                               
individual  makes  a  request,  he/she   is  the  holder  of  the                                                               
confidentiality,  and when  a committee  chair  makes a  request,                                                               
that  chair's committee  is the  holder  of the  confidentiality.                                                               
She added  that in general,  when she gives anyone  legal advice,                                                               
she encourages  him/her to  maintain that  confidentiality unless                                                               
there  is  good  reason  to   release  a  document,  because  the                                                               
information cannot  be made confidential  again once it  has been                                                               
released.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON  clarified   that  he   is  looking   for                                                               
confirmation that under HB 169,  those who have not requested the                                                               
review,  but will  receive its  results,  would not  be bound  by                                                               
committee standards  and may release the  information without any                                                               
violation of terms.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. KIRSCH confirmed that is correct.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:31:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MUNSON,  in response to Representative  Gruenberg, said under                                                               
HB 169,  the lawyer who  finds fault  with a regulation  during a                                                               
review  would  have to  report  that  finding  to all  the  prime                                                               
sponsors involved in the legislation  on which the regulation was                                                               
based.  In response to a  follow-up suggestion, she said she does                                                               
not  think the  sponsor  of  HB 169  would  have  a problem  with                                                               
changing "the prime sponsor" to "each prime sponsor".                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:37:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN  expressed concern  about the use  of the                                                               
words  "may" and  "shall" within  HB  169 and  asked for  further                                                               
clarification regarding confidentiality.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:40:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MUNSON  said reviews are  conducted by Legislative  Legal and                                                               
Research Services  all the time with  or without a request.   She                                                               
offered  her  understanding  that  if  a  legislator  requests  a                                                               
review, that  request is kept  confidential by  Legislative Legal                                                               
and  Research  Services,  even   from  other  legislators.    She                                                               
clarified that although  the sponsor of the  legislation would be                                                               
told if  there was a problem  with a review, he/she  would not be                                                               
told  the name  of any  other  legislator who  had requested  the                                                               
review.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:41:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KIRSCH said  Ms. Munson  is essentially  correct, but  added                                                               
that  it  would  depend  on  how the  request  "came  in."    She                                                               
explained that  if a request  for an  opinion was made,  then the                                                               
memorandum  ("memo") that  results would  be confidential  to the                                                               
requester  and  "would  not  be  part  of  this  process."    She                                                               
continued:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     If the memo  comes as a product of  the ordinary course                                                                    
     of  reviewing all  newly enacted  regulations that  are                                                                    
     proposed, then it  would, in fact, go to  the people on                                                                    
     the list on page 2.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHANSEN ventured  that at  some point  the prime                                                               
sponsor of the  legislation is going to be  informed that another                                                               
legislator had problems  with how the regulations  related to the                                                               
legislation were being implemented.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:43:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER said he is ready to move the bill.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:43:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN,  after ascertaining  that there was  no one  else who                                                               
wished to testify, closed public testimony.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:43:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG    paraphrased   the    paragraph   on                                                               
applicability, [on page 2, lines 13-16], which read as follows:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          APPLICABILITY. This Act applies to review of                                                                          
     proposed  regulations under  AS 24.20.105  pending with                                                                    
     the Legislative  Affairs Agency  on the  effective date                                                                    
     of this  Act for  which the  public comment  period has                                                                    
     not expired, regardless of when  the notice of proposed                                                                    
     regulations  was received  by  the Legislative  Affairs                                                                    
     Agency.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked Ms.  Kirsch if  Legislative Legal                                                               
and  Research   Services  receives   regulations  prior   to  the                                                               
expiration of the public comment period.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. KIRSCH answered yes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:44:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said he would  like the next  committee of                                                               
referral   to   carefully   consider  the   "expansion   of   the                                                               
confidentiality"  and whether  that will  require any  changes to                                                               
"our  procedures or  system."   He  said other  than  that he  is                                                               
comfortable moving the bill out of committee.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:45:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  requested that  Representative  Seaton                                                               
speak with him about his concerns.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:45:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER asked  Ms. Kirsch to clarify  for the House                                                               
Judiciary Standing Committee the meaning of "prime co-sponsor".                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:46:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHANSEN stated  that the  regulation process  is                                                               
frustrating for  a lot of people,  but said he likes  the concept                                                               
of contacting the  sponsor of the bill when  something goes wrong                                                               
in relation to that bill.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:47:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  moved to  report HB  169 out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  There being no objection,  HB 169 was reported out of the                                                               
House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:48:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
State Affairs  Standing Committee  meeting was adjourned  at 8:48                                                               
a.m.                                                                                                                            

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