Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

02/16/2017 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 3(MLV) Out of Committee
             HCR 5-UNIFORM RULES: COMMITTEE ON COMMITTEES                                                                   
3:39:12 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  announced   that the  final  order  of business                                                          
would   be  HOUSE   CONCURRENT   RESOLUTION    NO.  5,   Proposing   an                                                         
amendment  to  the  Uniform  Rules  of the  Alaska  State  Legislature                                                          
relating to the membership of the Committee on Committees.                                                                      
3:39:41 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at ease between 3:39 p.m. and 3:42 p.m.                                                                   
3:41:45 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DAVID  EASTMAN, Alaska State Legislature,  presented HCR                                                         
5, as  prime sponsor, with  the use of  a PowerPoint presentation.   He                                                         
relayed  that HCR 5  proposes a  change to  the Uniform  Rules [of  the                                                         
Alaska State Legislature].  He stated  that HCR 5 would ensure that the                                                         
presiding  officer  of  each  legislative body  has  the  authority  to                                                         
appoint a sufficient number of members  to the Committee on Committees.                                                         
He  explained  that  [at  the   beginning  of]  each  legislature,  the                                                         
legislative  body  determines  the  rules, and  the  House  and  Senate                                                         
concur.   He asserted that  the public's role  is to make  certain that                                                         
the legislature follows those rules.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN referred to Slide  1, titled "House Committee on                                                         
Committees  Membership," to  point out  that up until  1993, the  House                                                         
membership  on the  Committee on  Committees was  five and  thereafter,                                                         
more  than  five.    He  offered that  the  Senate  membership  on  the                                                         
committee has been  maintained at five over that same  period, as shown                                                         
on  Slide  3,  titled  "Senate  Committee  on  Committees  Membership."                                                         
Representative Eastman  read from Rule  1 of  the Uniform Rules  of the                                                         
Alaska State Legislature,  subsection (e), as follows:   "The presiding                                                         
officer shall announce, not later than  the day following election, the                                                         
appointment of  a Committee  on Committees  consisting of  five members                                                         
including  the presiding  officer."   He asserted  that this  statement                                                         
gives the public an expectation that  the House Committee on Committees                                                         
will consist  of five members.   He then referred  to Slide 4  to point                                                         
out that on  the [Alaska State Legislature] website,  seven members are                                                         
listed.   He asserted that  the goal  of HCR 5  is to "bridge  the gap"                                                         
between  public  expectation  and  that  which  is  determined  by  the                                                         
legislature,  and to  arrive at  a  number of  members that  is in  the                                                         
public's best interest.                                                                                                         
3:45:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS    mentioned  a  forthcoming   amendment   to  be                                                         
introduced by Representative Knopp.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE   KNOPP   questioned  the  reason   for  inserting   the                                                         
words  "at  least"  before  "five  members",  if  the current  Uniform                                                          
Rules  specify  five  members  and  Representative   Eastman's  intent                                                          
[for  introducing   HCR  5]  is  to  maintain   consistency   with  the                                                         
Uniform Rules.                                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE   EASTMAN   asked  if   the  amendment   would  replace                                                          
"five" with "seven".                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE   KNOPP  explained  that  the  amendment  would  insert                                                          
"and  the Committee  on Committees"   in Section  1 of HCR  5, on  page                                                         
1,  line 12,  following  "committee".     He stated  that  Legislative                                                          
Legal   and  Research   Services  recommended   that   the  number   of                                                         
members  [stated  in the  Uniform  Rules]  be changed  to  "seven"  not                                                         
"five",   because  that  is  the  current   number  of  members.     He                                                         
pointed  out  that  the Senate  has  five  members  on the  committee,                                                          
and the  current  language  does specify  five.   He asserted  that  he                                                         
is not  comfortable  with  the wording  "at least"  because  it is  not                                                         
specific,  and  he prefers  a  firm number.    He suggested  retaining                                                          
the wording in the Uniform Rules that specifies five members.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   EASTMAN  replied  that  the  Uniform  Rules  could  be                                                         
left  as  is,  but  the  current   presiding  officer  has   chosen  to                                                         
appoint  seven  members  to  the  committee.    He added  that  if  the                                                         
legislature  anticipated   that  this practice   would continue,   then                                                         
the  Uniform   Rules   should  be  changed   to  give   the  presiding                                                          
officer  that authority.    He offered  that the  purpose  of HCR  5 is                                                         
not  to restrict   the presiding   officer  in appointing   members  of                                                         
the  Committee  on  Committees,  but  to  give him/her  the  authority                                                          
to  make  whatever  determination   is in  the  best  interest  of  the                                                         
House  of Representatives.     He opined  that  if  the Uniform   Rules                                                         
are changed  to  specify  seven, then  the Senate  would  question  the                                                         
requirement    to   have   seven   members   on   the   Committee    on                                                         
Committees,   because  it is  a  very  large  portion  of  its twenty-                                                          
member  total.    He  concluded  that  allowing  flexibility   to  each                                                         
chamber  of  the  legislature  to  decide  on  the  number  of members                                                          
avoids that conflict.                                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE   KNOPP corrected  himself  and  said that  Legislative                                                          
Legal  and Research  Services  did  not request  the Uniform  Rules  to                                                         
state  seven members,  but  recommended  that  the number  be specific                                                          
and not  flexible.   He  stated that  Legislative  Legal  and Research                                                          
Services did not want the words "at least" in the Uniform Rules.                                                                
3:50:53 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   BIRCH  referred  to  Slide 4  and  stated  that  there                                                         
were  two minority   members  among  the seven  members  of  the  House                                                         
Committee   on  Committees.      He  suggested   that   based  on   the                                                         
proportion  of  minority  members  in the  full House,  the  number  of                                                         
minority  members  on  the House  Committee  on  Committees  should  be                                                         
three.    He  asked  if  the  Uniform   Rules  require  the  presiding                                                          
officer to restructure the committee to reflect that proportion.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   EASTMAN  responded   that  HCR  5  would  not  affect                                                          
representation   on  the  Committee  on  Committees,   only  the  total                                                         
number  of  the  committee's  members.    He  stated  that  the Senate                                                          
has    historically      maintained     a    proportional     minority                                                          
representation.     He  asserted   that  as   the  Uniform  Rules   are                                                         
currently  written,  the  standing  committees  are  required  to  have                                                         
proportional  minority  representation,   but  the special  committees                                                          
and  the  Committee  on  Committees  are  not.   He  added  that  these                                                         
other   committees   do   have   minority   representation,    and   he                                                         
anticipates   that  would  continue.    He  stated  that  HCR  5  would                                                         
require  proportional  minority  representation   on the  Committee  on                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE   BIRCH offered  that  the minority  representation   on                                                         
the Committee on Committees is currently "out of balance."                                                                      
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS   opined  that  HCR  5  reflects  the  sponsor's                                                          
intent to resolve that issue.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   EASTMAN   responded   that  there  is  some   "out  of                                                         
balance"  [regarding  minority   representation  on  the  Committee  on                                                         
Committees]  but  opined that  the primary  effort  of HCR  5 would  be                                                         
to align  the  Uniform Rules  with  public expectation.    He asserted                                                          
that  if the Committee  on  Committees  were  treated like  a standing                                                          
committee,  then  it  would  require  two  members  from  the minority                                                          
if  it  is  a  five-member  committee   and  three  members   from  the                                                         
minority if it is a seven-member committee.                                                                                     
3:54:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS stated that HCR 5 would be held over.                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB0020 Hearing Request Memo 2.2.2017.PDF HSTA 2/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 20
HB0020 Sponsor Statement 2.8.17.pdf HSTA 2/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 20
HB0020 ver A 2.8.17.PDF HSTA 2/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 20
HB0020 Supporting Document - Texas Bill 2.8.17.pdf HSTA 2/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 20
HB020 Fiscal Note HSS 2.14.17.pdf HSTA 2/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 20
HCR005 Sponsor Statement 2.9.17.pdf HSTA 2/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR005 ver A 2.9.17.PDF HSTA 2/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB020 Alaskans Together for Equality Letter of Support 2.16.17.pdf HSTA 2/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 20
HCR005A Additional Documents 2.16.17.PDF HSTA 2/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR005A PowerPoint 2.16.17.pdf HSTA 2/16/2017 3:00:00 PM