Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

03/23/2017 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
03:07:59 PM Start
03:09:18 PM Confirmation Hearing(s)
03:09:53 PM Commissioner, Department of Public Safety
03:24:09 PM Alaska Public Offices Commission
03:34:57 PM HB175
05:25:26 PM HB143
05:43:39 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
- Walt Monegan, Commissioner, Dept. of Public
Safety
- AK Public Offices Commission
+= HB 175 US PRESIDENT ELECT. POPULAR VOTE COMPACT TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 13 NO ST/MUNI FUNDS: FED IMMIGRAT REGISTRY TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
*+ HB 143 NAMING THE DANIEL R. FAUSKE BUILDING TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 143 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         March 23, 2017                                                                                         
                           3:07 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Chair                                                                                   
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Vice Chair                                                                                     
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
Representative Chris Birch                                                                                                      
Representative DeLena Johnson                                                                                                   
Representative Gary Knopp                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Andy Josephson (alternate)                                                                                       
Representative Chuck Kopp (alternate)                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Alaska Department of Public Safety, Commissioner                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Walt Monegan - Anchorage                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Alaska Public Offices Commission                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Robert Cliff - Anchorage                                                                                                   
     Adam Schwemley - Anchorage                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 175                                                                                                              
"An Act  ratifying an interstate  compact to elect  the President                                                               
and  Vice-President  of the  United  States  by national  popular                                                               
vote; and  making related changes  to statutes applicable  to the                                                               
selection by voters of electors  for candidates for President and                                                               
Vice- President of  the United States and to the  duties of those                                                               
electors."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 143                                                                                                              
"An Act naming the Daniel R. Fauske Building."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 143 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 13                                                                                                               
"An Act prohibiting the expenditure of state or municipal assets                                                                
to create a registry based on race or religion."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 175                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: US PRESIDENT ELECT. COMPACT: POPULAR VOTE                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) FANSLER                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
03/13/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/13/17       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
03/16/17       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/16/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/16/17       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/23/17       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 143                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: NAMING THE DANIEL R. FAUSKE BUILDING                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) CHENAULT                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
02/24/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/24/17       (H)       STA                                                                                                    
03/23/17       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WALT MONEGAN, Commissioner Designee                                                                                             
Department of Public Safety (DPS)                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointed commissioner of the                                                               
Department of Public Safety.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT CLIFF, Governor's Appointee for Alaska Public Offices                                                                    
Commission (APOC)                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as an appointee to the Alaska                                                                  
Public Offices Commission (APOC).                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ADAM SCHWEMLEY, Governor's Appointee for Alaska Public Offices                                                                  
Commission (APOC)                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as an appointee to the Alaska                                                                  
Public Offices Commission (APOC).                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ZACH FANSLER                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 175, as prime sponsor.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JOHN KOZA, Chair                                                                                                                
National Popular Vote                                                                                                           
Los Altos, California                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the hearing on HB                                                              
175.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BARRY DONNELLAN                                                                                                                 
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 175.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ROBIN SMITH                                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 175.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD EMANUEL                                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 175.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
PAM TESCHE                                                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 175.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CARLA STACY                                                                                                                     
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 175.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
BETH FREAD                                                                                                                      
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 175.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MIKE COONS                                                                                                                      
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 175.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
PAUL KENDALL                                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 175.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ALEX KOPLIN, Kenai Peninsula Votes                                                                                              
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 175.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
EILEEN BECKER                                                                                                                   
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 175.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JANET GOEHRINGER                                                                                                                
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 175.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
KESHA ETZWILER                                                                                                                  
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 175.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
BRANDY SUPER                                                                                                                    
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 175.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MARIANNE SCHLEGELMILCH                                                                                                          
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 175.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
AMY BOLLENBACH                                                                                                                  
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 175.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
PAMELA HALL                                                                                                                     
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 175.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SARAH VANCE                                                                                                                     
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 175.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IAN SMITH                                                                                                                       
Young Democrats House District 30                                                                                               
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 175.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MALENA MARVIN                                                                                                                   
Petersburg, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 175.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
PATRICK RACE                                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 175.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MARGO WARING                                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 175.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JUDY ANDREE, League of Women Voters (LWV) of Alaska                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 175.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
BEN MUSE                                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 175.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ALAN DAVIS                                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 175.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
KARLA HART                                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 175.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
WILLIAM DEATON                                                                                                                  
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 175.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MIKE CHENAULT                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 143, as prime sponsor.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JERRY LAVINE                                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 143.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JOHN BITTNEY                                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 143.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:07:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JONATHAN KREISS-TOMKINS called the House State Affairs                                                                  
Standing   Committee    meeting   to    order   at    3:07   p.m.                                                               
Representatives LeDoux, Tuck, Wool, Birch, Knopp, and Kreiss-                                                                   
Tomkins  were  present at  the  call  to order.    Representative                                                               
Johnson arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                                        
                    CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                 
                                                                                                                              
3:09:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that the first  order of business                                                               
would be confirmation hearings.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
           Commissioner, Department of Public Safety                                                                        
^Commissioner, Department of Public Safety                                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
3:09:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WALT MONEGAN, Commissioner Designee,  Department of Public Safety                                                               
(DPS), stated  that he was not  born in Alaska, but  his mother's                                                               
side of  the family  was.   He relayed that  he is  part Tlingit,                                                               
part Yupik, and  part Irish.  He  said that he spent  a good deal                                                               
of his  youth near Bethel  in a place  called Nyac, which  is the                                                               
place he  calls "home."  He  related that after he  left military                                                               
service in  1971, he moved back  to Bethel and served  as a medic                                                               
and  fire  fighter  for  the  Bethel  Volunteer  Fire  Department                                                               
(BVFD).  He  mentioned that two acquaintances,  who were troopers                                                               
under the Division  of Alaska State Troopers (AST),  asked him to                                                               
consider joining  AST, since he  had recently served in  the U.S.                                                               
Marine  Corp.   He  said that  at the  time,  he disregarded  the                                                               
suggestion.   He  stated  that these  troopers  had "planted  the                                                               
seed," and several  years later after he had married,  and a baby                                                               
was on  the way, he  responded to  a City of  Anchorage patrolman                                                               
opening.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  MONEGAN said  that he  joined the  Anchorage Police                                                               
Department (APD)  in January of 1974.   He remained with  APD for                                                               
close  to 34  years before  retiring; the  last five  and a  half                                                               
years  he  served as  chief  of  police.   He  said  that he  was                                                               
commissioner  of DPS  under [former]  Governor  Sarah Palin,  and                                                               
since then,  he has worked  at the  school district, at  the non-                                                               
profit  Alaska  Native  Justice  Center  (ANJC),  and  as  acting                                                               
commissioner of the Department of  Corrections (DOC) for Governor                                                               
Bill Walker.   He  stated that  he was invited  to apply  for the                                                               
position of  commissioner of  DPS.  He  mentioned that  he enjoys                                                               
the work,  loves the state and  the people, and loves  the people                                                               
with whom he works.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:12:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  asked Commissioner Monegan to  name the top                                                               
three challenges for DPS.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER MONEGAN  replied that the biggest  challenge for DPS                                                               
is  the same  as for  many  law enforcement  agencies across  the                                                               
country:    finding  good  qualified  individuals  to  be  police                                                               
officers and  state troopers and  retaining them.   He maintained                                                               
there  is  competition for  police  and  troopers; many  troopers                                                               
depart  AST to  join  other agencies,  such as  APD  or the  King                                                               
County Sheriff's  Office (KCSO),  with defined  benefit packages.                                                               
He maintained  that DPS needs  to demonstrate to the  current and                                                               
new troopers that they are appreciated and valued.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER MONEGAN  stated that Alaska currently  has an opioid                                                               
epidemic  and constituents  are tired  of being  victimized.   He                                                               
maintained that staff is trying  to address that problem with the                                                               
help of partners - local police and federal agencies.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:15:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL asked  if the  causation  for the  retention                                                               
problem in Alaska is the same as the causation nationally.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER MONEGAN answered that  retention is a national issue                                                               
and finding individuals  who are worthy of the public  trust is a                                                               
tough  job.    He  maintained  that  there  are  several  factors                                                               
contributing to the  retention problem.  He said  that one factor                                                               
is economic, and  another is what he refers to  as the "Ferguson"                                                               
factor  [the  events surrounding  and  resulting  from the  fatal                                                               
police  shooting  of a  black  teenager  in Ferguson,  Missouri],                                                               
which has  reflected poorly on  some officers.  He  asserted that                                                               
officers  must demonstrate  that  they are  trustworthy and  will                                                               
defend the  public.  He stated  his belief that "as  time goes by                                                               
... we're  going to get  that pendulum  to swing our  way again,"                                                               
and until  that time, officers must  prepare for it and  do their                                                               
jobs as professionally as they can.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL referred  to previous  legislative committee                                                               
discussions  about Village  Public  Safety  Officers (VPSOs)  and                                                               
asked  Commissioner Monegan  for his  assessment of  and possible                                                               
solution for recruiting and retaining VPSOs.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  MONEGAN said  that  DPS will  be  working with  the                                                               
contractors, which are the nine  non-profits and Northwest Arctic                                                               
Borough, who employ  the VPSOs.  He stated that  the VPSO program                                                               
has been  in existence  for 40  years and  has gone  through many                                                               
changes.   He  maintained that  DPS  is moving  VPSOs closer  and                                                               
closer to the  role of troopers.  Since VPSOs  are called upon to                                                               
intervene  in  threatening situations,  DPS  has  taken steps  to                                                               
better  prepare them,  such  as having  them  attend the  trooper                                                               
academy with  troopers to afford  them the best training  DPS can                                                               
give  them.     He  maintained  that  DPS  needs   to  work  with                                                               
contractors to  come up with a  better idea, and he  has proposed                                                               
to the  governor that in lieu  of a better idea,  VPSOs should be                                                               
made state  employees.  He said  that he hopes that  will address                                                               
the  turnover  problem,  enhance   camaraderie,  and  foster  the                                                               
respect that they deserve.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:19:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP, citing  Commissioner Monegan's  experience                                                               
as commissioner  designee since  June [2016],  asked if  there is                                                               
opportunity  to use  the troopers  under the  Division of  Alaska                                                               
Wildlife  Troopers   (AWT)  in   other  positions   during  their                                                               
"downtime."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  MONEGAN  responded  that  the  troopers  under  AWT                                                               
attend  the same  academy as  those under  AST, because  they are                                                               
also  state troopers.    Their primary  duties  are wildlife  and                                                               
resource protection.   However,  if they  are the  only available                                                               
trooper  to respond  to a  domestic violence  situation, a  drunk                                                               
driving situation,  or an accident,  they will respond.   He said                                                               
that their duties include the  duties of state troopers, and some                                                               
have been  in both  positions in  their careers.   He  added that                                                               
there is mutual respect between  the two groups of troopers; they                                                               
partner with  each other as  needed; and they perform  the duties                                                               
that they are called upon to perform as needed.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP asked if there  is downtime for the troopers                                                               
under AWT making them available as a resource for rural duty.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  MONEGAN   replied  that  DPS  does   send  wildlife                                                               
troopers  out to  posts,  and  if there  is  a  call for  service                                                               
regarding  criminal  activity not  related  to  wildlife and  the                                                               
wildlife trooper  is the only  trooper, he/she will respond.   He                                                               
maintained that  wildlife troopers are "dual-purposed"  and there                                                               
is  no  downtime.   He  stated  that  because  AWT owns  all  the                                                               
aircraft and most of DPS's  major vessels, it facilitates many of                                                               
the search and rescues across the state.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
[The confirmation of Commissioner  Monegan as Commissioner of the                                                               
Department of Public Safety was  advanced to the joint session of                                                               
the House and Senate for consideration.]                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
^Alaska Public Offices Commission                                                                                               
                Alaska Public Offices Commission                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
3:24:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT  CLIFF, Governor's  Appointee  for  Alaska Public  Offices                                                               
Commission (APOC), relayed  that he was an  administrator for the                                                               
Kuspuk School District  (KSD) in Aniak for his  entire career and                                                               
moved  to Anchorage  when  he  retired.   He  mentioned that  his                                                               
experience living in  Aniak was very rewarding, and  he wishes to                                                               
"pay back" to the  state for what he has benefitted.   He said he                                                               
has run  for office  three times, and  his experiences  with APOC                                                               
have  always been  positive.   He  mentioned that  APOC was  very                                                               
helpful  to him  as a  candidate.   He stated  that he  wishes to                                                               
serve on APOC  because of his good opinion of  the commission and                                                               
because he  believes in their  mission of  fostering transparency                                                               
and  fairness  in  relation  to candidates  and  lobbyists.    He                                                               
expressed his  belief that he  would be  impartial and do  a good                                                               
job on the commission.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:27:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  asked Mr.  Cliff  if  his wife  ran  for                                                               
office.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLIFF responded that his wife ran for governor.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  noted that  Mr.  Cliff  was seeking  the                                                               
Libertarian seat  of APOC, and  she asked  what is meant  by "the                                                               
Libertarian seat."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLIFF  expressed his belief  that Libertarians are  needed on                                                               
APOC,  since  they   do  not  always  agree   with  Democrats  or                                                               
Republicans.   He opined that Libertarians  would bring "balance"                                                               
to the commission.   He stated that his only  agenda in seeking a                                                               
seat  on  APOC is  to  prove  that Libertarians  are  reasonable,                                                               
capable, and can work with both Democrats and Republicans.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:28:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked  if he, as a  Libertarian, would view                                                               
limits on  campaign money  as being  contrary to  the Libertarian                                                               
philosophy.   She asked  how he  would reconcile  the Libertarian                                                               
philosophy with his APOC mission.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CLIFF responded  that he  believes that  the public  has the                                                               
right to know  how much [candidates] are spending  and the source                                                               
of that money.  He said at that  point, it is up to the voters to                                                               
decide if  they want to support  that candidate.  He  stated that                                                               
the real  issue is that  transparency increases  voter confidence                                                               
that  "the game's  not rigged."    He asserted  that he  believes                                                               
people  should  be  able  to  spend their  money  as  they  wish;                                                               
however,  he  does not  want  to  see  a corporation,  union,  or                                                               
similar  entity   "buying  an   election."    He   asserted  that                                                               
libertarianism is all about the individual and his/her rights.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
[The confirmation  of Mr.  Cliff as  appointee for  Alaska Public                                                               
Offices  Commission was  advanced  to the  joint  session of  the                                                               
House and Senate for consideration.]                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:31:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADAM SCHWEMLEY,  Governor's Appointee  for Alaska  Public Offices                                                               
Commission (APOC), relayed that he  is a lifelong Alaskan and has                                                               
a  background  in  public  service through  his  work  with  fire                                                               
departments, EMS services,  and clinics.  He said  he has started                                                               
a  family  and  currently  works   in  an  orthopedic  clinic  in                                                               
Anchorage.   He  maintained that  he is  seeking the  position on                                                               
APOC to continue to serve the community.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:32:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  asked Mr. Schwemley what  his experience was                                                               
with APOC and why he is interested in the position.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. SCHWEMLEY stated that he was  not familiar with APOC prior to                                                               
the  chair of  the  Alaska Libertarian  Party  (ALP) looking  for                                                               
interested candidates.   He said  that although he does  not have                                                               
political experience,  he has been  interested in  politics since                                                               
middle  school.   He  asserted  that  APOC offers  an  invaluable                                                               
service to the community by  promoting financial transparency and                                                               
informing the public.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
[The  confirmation  of  Mr. Schwemley  as  appointee  for  Alaska                                                               
Public Offices  Commission was advanced  to the joint  session of                                                               
the House and Senate for consideration.]                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
        HB 175-US PRESIDENT ELECT. COMPACT: POPULAR VOTE                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:34:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that  the next order  of business                                                               
would  be HOUSE  BILL NO.  175, "An  Act ratifying  an interstate                                                               
compact to elect  the President and Vice-President  of the United                                                               
States by  national popular vote;  and making related  changes to                                                               
statutes applicable  to the selection  by voters of  electors for                                                               
candidates for President and Vice-President  of the United States                                                               
and to the duties of those electors."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:35:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ZACH  FANSLER, Alaska State Legislature,  as prime                                                               
sponsor  of  HB  175,  expressed  his belief  that  HB  175,  the                                                               
National Popular Vote bill, offers  an opportunity for discussion                                                               
on the  meaning of  a vote and  on having one's  vote count.   He                                                               
stated  that HB  175  would  give Alaska  more  attention on  the                                                               
national  level,   not  just  regarding  media   coverage  [in  a                                                               
political campaign]  but on a  campaign's organization  and focus                                                               
on  issues  relevant to  Alaska.    He maintained  that  National                                                               
Popular Vote would  increase the attention paid to  all 50 states                                                               
rather than  just the "swing" states.   He explained that  HB 175                                                               
would  preserve Alaska's  right  to determine  how its  electoral                                                               
votes are  allocated, and  Alaska could  withdraw from  the [U.S.                                                               
Presidential Election  Compact] at  any time.   He  asserted that                                                               
[National  Popular  Vote]  would  be   a  good  way  to  increase                                                               
investment in  the state  and to have  Alaska's issues  be heard.                                                               
He asserted  that it  is important for  a "sitting"  President to                                                               
continue to  be engaged  with Alaska,  and National  Popular Vote                                                               
would encourage that.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:40:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL asked  if  the United  States  was the  only                                                               
country with a democracy using the Electoral College.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FANSLER  replied that he  is not aware  of another                                                               
country that does so but would provide that information.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:40:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  opined that National Popular  Vote would do                                                               
exactly the opposite of "making  our voices heard."  He expressed                                                               
his belief that  Alaska's delegates should vote  according to the                                                               
vote  of the  majority  of the  state and  not  according to  the                                                               
National  Popular Vote  Interstate Compact  ("the compact").   He                                                               
asserted that he has issues  with the concept of National Popular                                                               
Vote  and  asked  how  Alaska's  voices  would  be  heard  [under                                                               
National Popular Vote].                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FANSLER expressed  his  belief  that winning  the                                                               
presidential  election  by  popular vote  introduces  a  50-state                                                               
campaign as opposed  to a 12-state, 8-state,  or 4-state campaign                                                               
as currently  occurs.   He maintained that  under this  system, a                                                               
presidential candidate  would talk  to small states  about issues                                                               
important  to   them,  because  he/she  would   need  to  "cobble                                                               
together" the small states to  achieve the popular vote majority.                                                               
He  added that  this system  would also  increase voter  turnout,                                                               
which is typically very  low.  He stated that a  voter who is not                                                               
aligned politically with  the majority of his/her  state may feel                                                               
as  if his/her  vote  does  not count.    He  asserted that  with                                                               
National  Popular  Vote,  all  voters are  "on  a  level  playing                                                               
field," and each vote would matter a great deal.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:44:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP asked for an  explanation of the compact and                                                               
the threshold needed to make it "functional."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FANSLER responded that  states have already joined                                                               
the pact, and if HB 175  were passed, Alaska would join the pact.                                                               
He said that  the pact takes effect when there  are 270 electoral                                                               
votes  represented by  the states  in the  pact.   He conjectured                                                               
that once enough  states have signed on to the  pact to break the                                                               
270-electoral  vote threshold,  there  will be  momentum for  the                                                               
other states to  join.  He conceded that some  states may wish to                                                               
preserve the  system as is.   He maintained that in  either case,                                                               
it is an important discussion.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:46:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH stated that  his constituents have indicated                                                               
to him that  National Popular Vote is bad for  Alaska.  He opined                                                               
that it  is bad  for Alaska because  under National  Popular Vote                                                               
the current  President would not  have been elected,  which would                                                               
have  been bad  for  Alaska.   He  emphasized  the importance  of                                                               
states' rights  and every  state having the  same number  of U.S.                                                               
Senators irrespective  of population.   He suggested  that Alaska                                                               
would  be "lost  in the  noise" when  included with  large states                                                               
such as  California, New York,  Florida, and Texas.   He asserted                                                               
that Alaska  has three electoral votes  under a "winner-take-all"                                                               
system, which makes  Alaska a part of the  election process under                                                               
an established constitutional process.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FANSLER  responded that  National Popular  Vote in                                                               
no way affects  representation in Congress or  allocation of U.S.                                                               
Senators.  He  relayed that he was hesitant to  introduce HB 175,                                                               
because he did not  want it to be viewed as a  partisan bill.  He                                                               
asserted that  HB 175 was  not intended to  be a response  to the                                                               
recent  presidential election.   He  said  that HB  175 has  been                                                               
introduced and  heard multiple times;  there is no intent  to add                                                               
to the  current "charged" political climate  through the proposed                                                               
legislation.    He  asserted  that the  positive  aspect  of  the                                                               
compact is  that it does allow  Alaska to retain its  rights as a                                                               
state; Alaska may  determine whether to join the  compact and may                                                               
withdraw  from the  compact later  upon deciding  that it  is not                                                               
best for Alaska.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:51:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked why states  would join a  compact to                                                               
change  the electoral  process rather  than changing  the process                                                               
through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   FANSLER   agreed   that   there   could   be   a                                                               
constitutional  amendment   to  change  the   electoral  process;                                                               
however,  it  would   be  difficult  and  may  turn   out  to  be                                                               
undesirable.    He  maintained   that  the  proposed  legislation                                                               
provides  Alaska  the  flexibility  to revert  to  the  Electoral                                                               
College system  if it wishes,  without going through  the lengthy                                                               
repeal process.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked if there  have been any compacts that                                                               
effectively     repealed    a     provision    of     the    U.S.                                                               
Constitution  and if  there  are any  legal  opinions to  support                                                               
repealing a provision of the U.S. Constitution in this way.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:54:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN KOZA,  Chair, National  Popular Vote,  stated that  the U.S.                                                               
Constitution does  not contain the  winner-take-all rule,  but in                                                               
Article II, gives the state the  exclusive power to decide how to                                                               
award its  electoral votes.   He relayed that  the Constitutional                                                               
Convention never debated the winner-take-all  rule that exists in                                                               
Alaska and 47  other states.  He said only  three states used the                                                               
rule in  the first presidential  election in 1789, and  all three                                                               
repealed  it  by  1800.    He  mentioned  that  the  rule  became                                                               
prominent  by  1880  -  long  after  the  U.S.  Constitution  was                                                               
written, and the  Founding Fathers had died.  He  stated that the                                                               
method  by  which a  state  awards  its  electoral votes  can  be                                                               
changed without a constitutional  amendment for the simple reason                                                               
that all the states that  currently have the winner-take-all rule                                                               
adopted it without a federal constitutional amendment.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:56:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON expressed  her belief  that the  Founding                                                               
Fathers considered this  same issue when they stated  that a pure                                                               
democracy  is  dangerous, and  the  United  States  was to  be  a                                                               
representational  republic.   She  asked Representative  Fansler,                                                               
"How  do you  think it's  different  now than  what our  Founding                                                               
Fathers envisioned?"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    FANSLER   stated    his    belief   that    the                                                               
representational  form  of  government   cited  by  the  Founding                                                               
Fathers refers  to the way the  U.S. Congress is configured.   He                                                               
offered that when  the Founding Fathers spoke in  opposition to a                                                               
pure  democracy, they  were referring  to their  opposition to  a                                                               
vote taken on  every issue and not to the  Electoral College.  He                                                               
maintained that the  most dramatic changes since the  time of the                                                               
Founding Fathers have been the  ease of travel and communication.                                                               
He opined  that recognition of  the limitations of the  times was                                                               
part of  the reason for the  Electoral College.  He  relayed that                                                               
the electoral  system has  changed over time;  it is  an evolving                                                               
system;  and National  Popular Vote  represents  another step  in                                                               
that  evolution.   He  asserted  that  there  are many  ways  the                                                               
electoral system  could evolve;  currently not all  states follow                                                               
the winner-take-all  rule; and the  beauty of the system  is that                                                               
it allows the wide latitude for state power.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  expressed her  belief that  the statement                                                               
of  the  Founding  Fathers,  which   she  cited,  speaks  to  the                                                               
Electoral  College as  a way  of  equalizing the  vote between  a                                                               
sparsely  populated state  and a  heavily populated  state.   She                                                               
opined that  National Popular Vote  would be terrible  for Alaska                                                               
and goes against the idea of equal representation.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:00:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS opened public testimony on HB 175.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:01:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BARRY  DONNELLAN   testified  that  he  supports   the  Electoral                                                               
College,  and he  believes the  Electoral College  was originally                                                               
conceived  to  give states  of  small  population  a say  in  the                                                               
election  of the  President.   He  mentioned that  the four  most                                                               
populous  states -  New York,  California, Texas,  and Florida  -                                                               
could control the outcome of  the election, and Alaska would have                                                               
no "practical say in the matter."   He offered that the Electoral                                                               
College provides  a "safety valve"  against people of  the United                                                               
States  "doing  something  really  stupid," such  as  electing  a                                                               
charismatic candidate  promising a  million dollars  to everyone.                                                               
He  maintained that  in that  case, the  Electoral College  could                                                               
overrule  the vote.    He opined  that  the proposed  legislation                                                               
would emasculate  this safety valve.   He stated his  belief that                                                               
HB 175 is a bad idea, and  if it passes, Alaska should save money                                                               
and opt out of federal elections.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:03:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBIN  SMITH  testified  that  James  Madison  acknowledged  that                                                               
although  the election  of the  President and  Vice President  by                                                               
popular  vote would  be ideal,  it would  be difficult  to get  a                                                               
consensus on the proposal given  the prevalence of slavery in the                                                               
South.    She relayed  that  the  Electoral College  was  created                                                               
partly  to  resolve  the  problem   of  counting  slaves  in  the                                                               
population of a state.  She  opined that the Electoral College is                                                               
an  archaic  system;  when  the   U.S.  educates  and  encourages                                                               
democracy in  other countries, it  never recommends  the creation                                                               
of an  electoral college.  She  asserted that just as  the United                                                               
States has "grown" to embrace the  logic that all races and women                                                               
have a  right to vote,  it is time  to end the  Electoral College                                                               
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. SMITH  mentioned that a  2007 poll  found that 72  percent of                                                               
Americans support replacing the  Electoral College with a "direct                                                               
election":  78  percent of Democrats; 60  percent of Republicans;                                                               
and  73 percent  of independent  voters.   She  said that  Gallop                                                               
polls dating back  to 1944 have shown that  a consistent majority                                                               
of the public supports a  direct vote; however, support decreased                                                               
significantly in  the poll conducted  a few weeks after  the 2016                                                               
election.   She  attested that  these results  should be  ignored                                                               
because it  had become a partisan  issue.  She said  that history                                                               
tells us that Americans want [a direct vote].                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. SMITH  stated that [a  popular vote] equalizes  voting power.                                                               
She maintained  that she  resents that the  votes of  some people                                                               
count  more than  her vote.   She  said that  currently only  two                                                               
states have  their Electoral  College cast  votes proportionally,                                                               
and Alaska  is not one  of them.  She  attested that her  vote is                                                               
not  important,  because she  is  in  the minority;  because  the                                                               
Republican  presidential candidate  will get  Alaska's vote,  she                                                               
has no  reason to  vote.   She maintained  that [a  popular vote]                                                               
would  increase   voter  participation.     She   encouraged  the                                                               
committee to support HB 175.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:06:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP  mentioned  that  Ms. Smith  spoke  to  her                                                               
support of  the popular vote  but not  to joining the  compact as                                                               
prescribed in HB  175.  He suggested that in  the event of Alaska                                                               
joining the compact, Ms. Smith's  voice still would not be heard,                                                               
and Alaska  would be giving  up its  rights.  He  maintained that                                                               
the proposed legislation  would not attain the  popular vote that                                                               
she supports.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. SMITH  said that she disagrees.   She offered that  since she                                                               
is a Democrat in a Republican  state, her vote currently does not                                                               
count.    She suggested  that  the  concept behind  the  proposed                                                               
legislation is  not just for  Alaska to  join the compact  but to                                                               
get all  the states to  join the  compact, which would  be easier                                                               
than amending the U.S. Constitution.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:08:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  gave  the  following  scenario:    Alaska                                                               
joined  the compact;  the popular  vote went  for the  Republican                                                               
[presidential]  candidate;  that  candidate   got  at  least  270                                                               
electoral  votes;   and  Ms.  Smith  voted   for  the  Democratic                                                               
candidate.   She  said, "I  don't understand  why you  would feel                                                               
like your vote would count then."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. SMITH  stated that  the goal  is for all  states to  join the                                                               
compact, and as a result, whomever  got the popular vote would be                                                               
elected President.   She said that  her vote would be  counted in                                                               
as far  as the Electoral  College vote would reflect  the popular                                                               
vote.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:09:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  expressed his  belief that  when HB  175 was                                                               
presented, it was not explained  thoroughly enough for the public                                                               
to  understand what  the  compact  does and  how  it, in  effect,                                                               
becomes a de  facto popular vote.  He suggested  that some people                                                               
feel that their votes do  not count because currently the popular                                                               
vote is irrelevant and does  not determine who becomes President.                                                               
The President is determined by  who get the most electoral votes.                                                               
He  said that  if  enough states  join the  compact  so that  the                                                               
combined electoral votes  equal 270 or more, then  all the states                                                               
in  the  compact  would  cast   their  electoral  votes  for  the                                                               
candidate  winning the  popular  vote.   The  candidate would  be                                                               
elected by electoral votes, but  those votes would be "triggered"                                                               
by  the popular  vote.    He asserted  that  for  Ms. Smith,  the                                                               
compact would  allow her vote  to be counted through  the results                                                               
of the popular  vote.  He mentioned that  until the 270-electoral                                                               
vote  threshold is  reached through  states joining  the compact,                                                               
the compact is meaningless.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:12:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH commented that  under the Electoral College,                                                               
all votes are counted, and they do count.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:12:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD EMANUEL testified that he  understands that the Electoral                                                               
College  gives  the  small  states   a  marginal  advantage  over                                                               
representation strictly by population.   He said that the role of                                                               
the Electoral College  is to vote for "wise  electors" to provide                                                               
a "safety  valve" against  an unwise  choice by  the voters.   He                                                               
asserted that the  Electoral College does not  function this way.                                                               
He stated  that currently 24  states place limits on  the ability                                                               
of electors to  vote their consciences; they  are threatened with                                                               
fines or criminal  penalties if they vote against  the party that                                                               
put  them on  the  ballot.   He  expressed  his  belief that  the                                                               
"safety valve" function does not work anymore.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  EMANUEL  said  that  it   is  undeniable  that  presidential                                                               
elections currently focus on swing  states at the expense of most                                                               
Americans.   He mentioned that  he has never seen  a presidential                                                               
candidate campaign  in Alaska except  for a stop in  Anchorage or                                                               
Juneau to  claim that  he/she campaigned  in all  50 states.   He                                                               
attested that even  the larger states tend to be  ignored if they                                                               
are solidly  "red" or solidly "blue."   He stated that  under the                                                               
proposed legislation, every vote will  be equal no matter where a                                                               
person lives.   He asserted that his vote, cast  in Alaska, would                                                               
count  the  same as  a  vote  cast  in  Florida, Ohio,  Iowa,  or                                                               
California.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  EMANUAL attested  that every  other election  in America  is                                                               
determined  by  popular  vote;   mayors,  assembly  members,  the                                                               
governor, and  legislators are all  elected by popular vote.   He                                                               
asked, "Why should  our President be elected by  any other means?                                                               
What's  wrong with  democracy?   Why shouldn't  our President  be                                                               
elected by a purely democratic  system that counts every person's                                                               
vote as equal  to every other person's, regardless  of where they                                                               
live?"                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  EMANUAL  asserted that  the  proposed  legislation does  not                                                               
represent a red or blue issue.   He said if some individual lives                                                               
in a  solidly red  state, such  as Alaska, or  in a  solidly blue                                                               
state, such  as California, that  individual will be  given short                                                               
shrift  by  presidential  campaigns.     He  mentioned  that  the                                                               
attention   given  to   California   -  a   blue   state  -   was                                                               
overwhelmingly for fundraising.   He maintained that  the vote of                                                               
a "red"  voter in California  did not count.   All [California's]                                                               
electors  cast their  votes for  a candidate  other than  the one                                                               
those  red voters  supported.   He asserted  that an  Alaskan who                                                               
supports a Republican [presidential]  candidate may feel that the                                                               
Electoral  College functions  in his/her  favor, but  he attested                                                               
that  politics runs  in  cycles  and past  performance  is not  a                                                               
guarantee for  future results.   He claimed  that one  should not                                                               
oppose HB 175 based on the politics of today.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:16:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAM  TESCHE  testified that  HB  175  is  good for  Alaskans  and                                                               
joining  a  compact with  other  states  would  be good  for  the                                                               
country.   She stated that  the Electoral College  was introduced                                                               
because of equity  issues.  She added that she  now believes that                                                               
with  better  transportation  and  communication  of  ideas,  the                                                               
equity is  now skewed, and the  country should move to  a "higher                                                               
level  of experiencing  our elections."   She  asserted that  she                                                               
would like to see Alaska compete for votes on an honest level.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:19:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CARLA  STACY  testified  that she  supports  Alaska  joining  the                                                               
National  Popular Vote  compact.   She  said that  there are  ten                                                               
other states  that have joined  the compact for a  combined total                                                               
of  165 electoral  votes.    She expressed  her  belief that  the                                                               
intent  of the  compact is  geared toward  one person,  one vote.                                                               
She  stated that  James Madison,  a Founding  Father of  the U.S.                                                               
Constitution, said that  the people at large were  the fittest to                                                               
choose  an executive  and  that  he was  never  in  favor of  the                                                               
Electoral  College.   She  attested  that  the Electoral  College                                                               
system  was a  compromise to  give the  slave-owning states  more                                                               
influence by counting a slave as  three-fifths of a person in the                                                               
population count.   She said,  "The Electoral College  really did                                                               
work  for  them, but  it  doesn't  work  for  us anymore."    She                                                               
maintained that  the 200,000 registered  voters of that  day were                                                               
very different from the 200 million voters of today.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. STACY stated that Alexander  Hamilton wrote in The Federalist                                                             
Papers  that the  U.S.  Constitution is  designed  to ensure  the                                                             
office of President never falls to the  lot of any man who is not                                                               
eminently endowed with the requisite  qualifications.  She opined                                                               
that the  Electoral College failed  the country in  [the election                                                               
of]  2016 and  four  previous  times.   She  maintained that  the                                                               
popular  vote  should dictate  who  will  be President  with  one                                                               
person, one vote.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:21:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BETH  FREAD  testified  that  she  believes  that  the  Electoral                                                               
College was  formed so  that the  votes of  small states  will be                                                               
counted.   She stated  that she does  not support  Alaska joining                                                               
the  compact   or  eliminating  the   Electoral  College.     She                                                               
maintained that the present system  gives Alaska power and a real                                                               
voice.  She  added that she does not believe  that her vote would                                                               
count more  in a popular  vote system.   She urged  the committee                                                               
not to support HB 175.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:25:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE COONS testified that the  "interstate compact" that would be                                                               
ratified by  HB 175  is in  violation of  Article I,  Section 10,                                                               
Clause 3 of  the U.S. Constitution.  He relayed  that this clause                                                               
states  in  part,  "No  state   shall,  without  the  consent  of                                                               
Congress,  enter into  any agreement  or compact  with any  other                                                               
state."   He stated  that he  knows the  Democratic Party  is not                                                               
above disregarding  the law  and believes  that the  (indisc.) in                                                               
the living,  breathing [U.S.] Constitution.   He added  that even                                                               
if  this terrible  piece of  legislation  was to  pass, the  U.S.                                                               
Congress   would  not   allow   the  result   [of  the   proposed                                                               
legislation]  because of  Article I,  Section 10,  Clause 3.   He                                                               
asserted that the  Electoral College is in  the Twelfth Amendment                                                               
of  the U.S.  Constitution, and  although the  Democrats like  to                                                               
violate the  U.S. Constitution  as it suits  them, to  change the                                                               
Twelfth Amendment does still require the  use of Article V of the                                                               
U.S. Constitution,  which the  proposed legislation  clearly does                                                               
not.  He said [changing  the U.S. Constitution] would require the                                                               
Democratic members who supported the  change to persuade the U.S.                                                               
Congress  to pass  an  amendment and  to  persuade 38  individual                                                               
states to  ratify it.  He  opined that the Democratic  Party does                                                               
not  believe it  must follow  the U.S.  Constitution or  the law,                                                               
(indisc.) by the many violations  of law (indisc.) the Democratic                                                               
Party  and   its  anarchist   supporters  have   performed  since                                                               
President Donald Trump was lawfully  elected, within the confines                                                               
of the U.S.  Constitution.  He urged committee  members to uphold                                                               
their oaths of office and vote "no" on HB 175.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:28:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAUL KENDALL  testified that due  to the potential for  fraud [in                                                               
the  presidential election],  [a  state] must  be  vigilant.   He                                                               
suggested  that  Alaska  have "credit  card-like"  voting,  which                                                               
would  be  as  simple  as  buying  something  in  a  store.    He                                                               
maintained that  because the voter  fraud potential for  the 2018                                                               
election  is huge,  each voter  will need  to be  validated.   He                                                               
expressed his  belief that all  political candidates  should sign                                                               
affidavits  of "promise  and performances."    He suggested  that                                                               
each candidate  answer 100 questions  from the community  so that                                                               
the  public  can  discern  who  is lying.    He  maintained  that                                                               
Governor Bill Walker  betrayed Alaskans after his  election.  Mr.                                                               
Kendall shared concerns related to various other issues.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:31:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALEX KOPLIN, Kenai Peninsula Votes,  testified that he represents                                                               
Kenai Peninsula  Votes, a non-partisan organization  that strives                                                               
to  increase voter  participation.   He  maintained  that HB  175                                                               
would support the idea that  Alaskans' votes do count in national                                                               
elections and would  encourage more people to vote.   He asserted                                                               
that the proposed  legislation would allow candidates  to be more                                                               
transparent and  to become more  familiar with all 50  states and                                                               
their issues.  He opined  that the National Popular Vote movement                                                               
in Alaska is a "positive direction" for the state.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:32:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  asked Mr. Koplin  if he was aware  that the                                                               
objective of  HB 175 is  for Alaska  to cast its  electoral votes                                                               
according to the [national] popular vote.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. KOPLIN  answered that he is  aware of that but  believes that                                                               
Alaska has many disenfranchised voters,  who are not energized to                                                               
vote.   He mentioned that Alaska  has good voter turnout  - about                                                               
60 percent voted  in the last election.  He  maintained that more                                                               
voters are needed to make the election process effective.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH asked Mr. Koplin if he read HB 175.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. KOPLIN responded yes.  He  said he has looked at the proposed                                                               
legislation, the sectional  analysis, and the legal  opinion.  He                                                               
asserted that  there would  be no  extra cost to  the state.   He                                                               
opined  that  there  is  validity   in  the  arguments  presented                                                               
regarding Article I  of the U.S. Constitution,  but he maintained                                                               
that the electoral system is  antiquated, and more people need to                                                               
be involved in the election process.   He said that regardless of                                                               
partisan politics,  he supports legislation that  encourages more                                                               
voter participation.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH stated  that he is troubled by  a compact in                                                               
which  all  the  state's  electoral  votes  are  awarded  to  the                                                               
presidential candidate who wins the  popular vote nationally.  He                                                               
asserted that the popular vote  in Alaska could be overwhelmingly                                                               
for another candidate.   He asked if that  scenario concerned Mr.                                                               
Koplin.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. KOPLIN asserted that he is  more in favor of a constitutional                                                               
amendment.  He  offered that using the popular  vote to determine                                                               
the  President and  the  Vice President  would  be a  significant                                                               
stride forward.   He  added that  he didn't  know if  the compact                                                               
would accomplish  that but  believes that  it is  "leaning toward                                                               
that direction."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:36:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EILEEN BECKER testified  that she believes enacting HB  175 for a                                                               
trial period would create a mess.   She expressed her belief that                                                               
under  the proposed  legislation, Alaska  would give  up all  its                                                               
sovereign rights.  She maintained  that the election process is a                                                               
"very involved statewide activity."   She stated that [ten states                                                               
and  the   District  of  Columbia]   have  joined   the  compact,                                                               
representing a total  of 165 electoral votes.   She asserted that                                                               
as more  people learn about  this compact, they will  realize the                                                               
mess that  it will create  nationwide.  She offered  that several                                                               
populous states  would control the  election and Alaska  would be                                                               
"nothing."   She  stated that  Alaska needs  to "keep"  its three                                                               
[electoral]  votes   in  tact;  the  National   Popular  Vote  is                                                               
unneeded; and it  is a nationwide effort  supported by Democratic                                                               
legislatures.   She said  that the  Electoral College  has worked                                                               
for over two [centuries] and will  continue to do so.  She opined                                                               
that this effort is motivated  by Democrats' hatred for President                                                               
Donald Trump.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:39:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANET GOEHRINGER testified that  the Founding Fathers established                                                               
the U.S. Constitution  and set the guidelines  for the governance                                                               
of the  country for  the benefit  of all  Americans.   She stated                                                               
that  the  guidelines  of  the   Electoral  College  ensure  fair                                                               
elections.  She relayed that  she is against the National Popular                                                               
Vote.   She maintained that it  is an effort by  Democrats to win                                                               
the election through  the popular vote, since large  areas of the                                                               
country are  liberal.  She said  that she is a  conservative; she                                                               
does  not want  what  liberals want;  and  through the  Electoral                                                               
College,  the country  got what  it needed,  which was  President                                                               
Donald Trump.  She urged the committee not to pass HB 175.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:40:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KESHA  ETZWILER testified  that  she vehemently  opposes HB  175.                                                               
She  stated,  "The Electoral  College  has  been woven  into  the                                                               
fabric of  this country for  a reason,  and our votes  do count."                                                               
She  maintained  that  the  country's  forefathers  designed  the                                                               
election process to ensure that  certain states, populations, and                                                               
policies don't dictate to the rest  of the country.  She asserted                                                               
that  HB 175  is  a "knee  jerk"  reaction to  an  outcome of  an                                                               
election  that dissatisfied  some  people.   She maintained  that                                                               
initially  electors were  harassed to  cast their  votes for  the                                                               
popular vote, and  now compacts are being made  instead of "doing                                                               
the work" it takes to amend the U.S. Constitution.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS mentioned  that  he introduced  legislation                                                               
identical  to  HB  175  last  year, which  was  before  the  2016                                                               
election.   He suggested  that there may  be some  motivation for                                                               
the  proposed  legislation  independent  of the  outcome  of  the                                                               
recent election.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:42:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRANDY  SUPER testified  that  she is  opposed to  HB  175.   She                                                               
maintained that  the idea that  Alaskan voices would be  heard by                                                               
changing the  election process is  a fallacy.  She  asserted that                                                               
under  National Popular  Vote, the  small, rural  states such  as                                                               
Pennsylvania and Alaska would "lose  their voices" and the larger                                                               
states  such  as Hawaii,  California,  and  New York  would  have                                                               
"bigger" voices.   She  stated that she  is disappointed  that HB                                                               
175 was introduced.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:43:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARIANNE  SCHLEGELMILCH expressed  her belief  that the  proposed                                                               
legislation represents a partisan  issue being spearheaded by the                                                               
losing party in the last  presidential election.  She stated that                                                               
she  opposes   all  attempts   to  alter   or  bypass   the  U.S.                                                               
Constitution,  including   the  attempt   to  "work   around  the                                                               
Electoral College,"  which has  served the  country well  for 200                                                               
years.    She  opined  that   the  popular  vote  is  subject  to                                                               
manipulation and corrupt intervention.   She expressed her belief                                                               
that  HB 175  is intended  to  bypass "our  wisely written"  U.S.                                                               
Constitution and  should not be  considered.  She  concluded that                                                               
Alaska should not join the compact.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:44:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AMY BOLLENBACH  testified that  the first  election in  which she                                                               
voted was the  [1960] election between Richard Nixon  and John F.                                                               
Kennedy.   She stated that  there was electoral fraud  in Chicago                                                               
in that  election.  She mentioned  that she had voted  for Nixon,                                                               
and  she was  bothered by  the disagreement  between the  popular                                                               
vote and  the Electoral College vote.   She stated that  in every                                                               
civil  government  election  besides the  federal  election,  the                                                               
majority  wins.   She  said that  when  she taught  parliamentary                                                               
procedure  to  seventh  graders,  her  students  would  not  have                                                               
accepted it if  she had told them  that only two or  three of the                                                               
best students  would be allowed  to vote.   She relayed  that she                                                               
supports HB 175,  and the purpose of the  proposed legislation is                                                               
to allow  the popular vote  of the nation  to decide who  will be                                                               
President.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:47:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAMELA HALL testified that she is  opposed to HB 175.  She stated                                                               
that without the  Electoral College, Alaskan voters  would not be                                                               
counted.  She asserted that  the big population states should not                                                               
elect  the President,  and Alaska  would lose  its "voice."   She                                                               
maintained that currently  there is a great deal  of voter fraud,                                                               
and  Alaska has  nothing  in  common with  the  states that  have                                                               
joined the  compact.   She stated  that she has  no idea  "why we                                                               
would give up our vote and  let them be deciding these things for                                                               
us."   She opined that the  Alaska politicians need to  "get back                                                               
to doing the business of this  state and quit worrying about what                                                               
is happening in California, New York, et cetera."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:48:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARAH VANCE  testified that she is  opposed to HB 175  because it                                                               
is unconstitutional and because it  is "mired in confusion."  She                                                               
maintained that it  is not "good government" to pass  a bill that                                                               
is  unclear on  how  it would  be executed.    She expressed  her                                                               
belief that  Alaska needs  to stand  on its own,  it does  have a                                                               
voice,  and its  voice  counts.   She said  she  supports a  more                                                               
accountable  media  -  one  that  announces  the  winner  of  the                                                               
presidential election after Alaska voters  cast their votes.  She                                                               
maintained that  investors in Alaska  are looking  for stability,                                                               
and although  it was said  that HB 175 proposes  flexibility, she                                                               
maintained  it  would create  instability.    She said  that  the                                                               
ability of Alaska to withdraw from  the compact at any time would                                                               
create  confusion  with the  voters  and  would demonstrate  that                                                               
Alaska  is "double-minded"  in government  and state  operations.                                                               
She asserted  that would be a  bad message for investors  who are                                                               
looking to  do business in Alaska.   She opined that  the compact                                                               
would  not give  Alaska  more attention  during the  presidential                                                               
campaign; Alaska would be grouped  with other states and lose its                                                               
voice.  She  asserted that Alaska currently is  "noticed" and has                                                               
a voice.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:50:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
IAN  SMITH, Young  Democrats House  District  30, testified  that                                                               
many people  conclude that the  current electoral system  is good                                                               
because it benefits them now.   He expressed his belief that "all                                                               
men  are created  equal," and  an Alaskan  should not  have three                                                               
times as much voting power as a Californian.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:51:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MALENA MARVIN  testified that the National  Popular Vote movement                                                               
is a bipartisan  movement.  She mentioned that  Newt Gingrich was                                                               
one  of the  original supporters  of  the concept,  and he  said,                                                               
"America  would be  better served  with  a presidential  election                                                               
process  that treated  all citizens  across the  country equally.                                                               
The  National Popular  Vote bill  accomplishes this  in a  manner                                                               
consistent with the [U.S.] Constitution  and with our fundamental                                                               
democratic  principles."   She stated  that she  agrees with  his                                                               
statement; she  is a patriot  who loves and believes  in America;                                                               
and  she  believes in  a  one-person,  one-vote democracy.    She                                                               
maintained that  the public  needs to  separate the  process from                                                               
their  party  affiliation.   She  relayed  that President  Donald                                                               
Trump is  on record as  supporting National Popular Vote,  and in                                                               
2012,  he said  that  the  Electoral College  is  a disaster  for                                                               
democracy.   She  related that  when asked  about this  after the                                                               
election, he said, "I'm not going  to change my mind just because                                                               
I  won," and  he added  that he  thinks that  the current  system                                                               
gives  the American  voters  the impression  that  the system  is                                                               
rigged, which is not good for anyone.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARVIN relayed  that spending  time  [in the  lower 48]  for                                                               
medical reasons  this winter caused  her to think about  her vote                                                               
being worth  less if she moved  from Alaska for any  reason.  She                                                               
maintained it  would not be right.   She noted that  the National                                                               
Popular  Vote  movement  was  not  started  in  response  to  any                                                               
presidential election but  was started quite some time  ago.  She                                                               
added that [ten states and  the District of Columbia] have passed                                                               
National Popular  Vote legislation, including four  small states,                                                               
representing  165 electoral  votes or  61 percent  of the  number                                                               
required  for winning  the election.   She  expressed her  belief                                                               
that this total  will be achieved, and Alaska could  choose to be                                                               
a part  of the movement  or "left out in  the cold."   She stated                                                               
that   she  supports   HB  175,   and  she   supports  candidates                                                               
campaigning in all 50 states.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:55:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PATRICK  RACE reiterated  that President  Trump  has opposed  the                                                               
Electoral  College.     Mr.  Race  encouraged   the  enthusiastic                                                               
supporters of the  President to follow the lead  of the President                                                               
on this issue.   Mr. Race explained that the  electoral vote of a                                                               
state reflects  the popular vote;  however, an  Electoral College                                                               
member can "follow his conscience"  and vote differently than the                                                               
popular  vote.   He relayed  an incident  regarding an  Electoral                                                               
College  member  in  Colorado  named  Michael  Baca:    Mr.  Baca                                                               
organized a  group of "Hamilton  electors" to find  a "compromise                                                               
candidate."  He was obligated  to vote for presidential candidate                                                               
Hillary Clinton  because she  won the  popular vote  in Colorado,                                                               
but he  cast his electoral  vote for presidential  candidate John                                                               
Kasich.   Mr.  Baca consequently  was removed  from the  Colorado                                                               
Electoral College;  his vote was  rescinded; and he  was replaced                                                               
by someone who  would vote for Hillary Clinton.   Mr. Race opined                                                               
that the system  is broken and needs to be  addressed.  He stated                                                               
his belief that the Electoral  College has many problems, some of                                                               
which have been cited in the hearing.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                              
MR. RACE  maintained that the  Electoral College was  not created                                                             
to overcome the  rural urban divide, as has  been stated, because                                                             
at  that time  in history,  "rural"  and "urban"  were not  clear                                                             
concepts; New York City had 25,000  people.  He declared that the                                                             
proposed legislation  does not represent a  new, partisan effort,                                                             
since National Popular  Vote was introduced by Senate  Bill 39 in                                                             
the  Twenty-Seventh Alaska  State Legislature,  2011-2012 -  well                                                             
before the  2016 election.   He  stated that  a 1968  Gallup Poll                                                             
revealed that 80  percent of the nation  supported abolishing the                                                             
Electoral College.   He urged  the committee not to  consider the                                                             
proposed legislation a partisan effort  but to assess whether the                                                             
Electoral College is functioning as it was intended.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL referred to  the incident regarding Mr. Baca.                                                               
He asked if an Electoral  College member could still vote his/her                                                               
conscience if in  a state that joined the compact.   He suggested                                                               
that maybe  the Electoral College  member should be  obligated to                                                               
vote as the popular vote dictated.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. RACE  stated that the  proposed legislation uses  the concept                                                               
of "bound"  Electoral College  members to carry  out its  goal of                                                               
enforcing National  Popular Vote.   He asserted that  through the                                                               
proposed  legislation,  the  idea   of  bound  Electoral  College                                                               
members would  be tested.   He stated  that if  committee members                                                               
believe that Electoral College members  should not be bound, they                                                               
should support HB  175, because it would test this  practice.  He                                                               
mentioned that  Electoral College members  are given the  name of                                                               
only one candidate;  a member could cross that name  out and vote                                                               
his/her conscience as Mr. Baca did.   Mr. Race said that Mr. Baca                                                               
may be fined  or imprisoned because there are laws  in place that                                                               
obligate  Electoral College  members to  follow the  will of  the                                                               
voters  in a  state.   He  stated that  through National  Popular                                                               
Vote, the  Electoral College  member would  be obligated  to vote                                                               
for the winner of the popular  vote.  He stated that the question                                                               
is whether a  state can "bind" an  elector.  He opined  that if a                                                               
state cannot bind  an elector, that is  a win; if it  can bind an                                                               
elector, then  it can bind that  elector to vote for  the popular                                                               
vote.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  stated that if  you cannot bind  an elector,                                                               
then  the compact  is worthless.   He  said that  the compact  is                                                               
based on  the electors being  obliged to  vote for the  winner of                                                               
the popular vote.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. RACE responded that currently  a state can bind its electors.                                                               
He  suggested that  someone opposing  the  National Popular  Vote                                                               
movement  would most  likely contest  it based  on the  idea that                                                               
electors cannot  be obligated  to vote  a certain  way.   If that                                                               
attack were  successful, it would  "blow up" the idea  of binding                                                               
Electoral  College  members.     Mr.  Race  opined  that  binding                                                               
Electoral College members  is a travesty.  He  cited the writings                                                               
of  Alexander Hamilton  in The  Federalist  Papers, which  states                                                             
that the  Electoral College  was created  to protect  the country                                                               
from  electing a  populist  who is  skilled in  the  low arts  of                                                               
popular  intrigue.   He relayed  that the  Founding Fathers  were                                                               
terrified  when embarking  on the  experiment [of  democracy]; it                                                               
gave much  power to  the people.   He  said the  Founding Fathers                                                               
wanted a  layer of  protection.  He  attested that  the Electoral                                                               
College members were  to consider the vote of  the people, ensure                                                               
the selection  was acceptable, and cast  their votes accordingly.                                                               
The  electors  acted  as  a  failsafe  in  case  a  really  "bad"                                                               
candidate won the popular vote.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:03:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP  agreed  that currently  the  electors  are                                                               
bound, but  they are bound  to vote  according to the  results of                                                               
the popular vote  in a state.   He asked if Mr. Race  felt it was                                                               
appropriate that  electors be bound  according to the  results of                                                               
the popular vote nationally, regardless  of how the people of the                                                               
state vote.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  RACE  responded  that  Representative   Knopp  is  asking  a                                                               
fundamental question:   Do  you want to  have every  citizen vote                                                               
for the  President, or do  you want  a small collection  of state                                                               
representatives to vote for the President?                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP  suggested  that   Alaskans  would  not  be                                                               
represented if the electors voted  for a different candidate than                                                               
chosen by  the majority  of Alaskan  voters.   He stated  that he                                                               
does  not disagree  with  the statement  made  about the  popular                                                               
vote,  but he  believes that  the National  Popular Vote  compact                                                               
would not support representation.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  cited Article  1, Section  10, of  the U.S.                                                               
Constitution,  which   read  as  follows   [original  punctuation                                                             
provided]:   "No State  shall, without  the Consent  of Congress,                                                             
lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops,  or Ships of War in time of                                                             
Peace, enter  into any Agreement  or Compact with  another State,                                                             
or  with a  foreign  Power,  or engage  in  War, unless  actually                                                             
invaded, or in such imminent Danger  as will not admit of delay."                                                             
He  stated  that  he  did   not  believe  that  casting  Alaska's                                                             
Electoral College  votes for the  candidate who won  the national                                                             
popular vote,  regardless of who  won Alaska's popular  vote, was                                                             
an improvement.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  RACE responded  that the  fundamental question  is:   Do you                                                               
want every  vote to count  in the  election for President,  or do                                                               
you want  this "funky"  Electoral College system  to be  the vote                                                               
that is  used to  determine the  President?   He added  that most                                                               
Alaskan voters  are independent, non-partisan voters.   He asked,                                                               
"Who votes for  the Electoral College, if an  independent or non-                                                               
partisan is ... elected president in  Alaska?  How does that work                                                               
under your system?"                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  responded  that the  number  of  electoral                                                               
votes is  prescribed by the  U.S. Constitution as are  the number                                                               
of elected representatives a state  has in Congress.  He conceded                                                               
that  representation is  disproportionate; Alaska  gets way  more                                                               
votes [per population]  than other states.  He  offered that this                                                               
system  is in  the  State of  Alaska's  collective interest,  and                                                               
votes are cast as winner-takes-all.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. RACE  offered that if  a non-partisan candidate  won Alaska's                                                               
votes,  he does  not know  who would  cast the  Electoral College                                                               
votes on  behalf of the  non-partisan candidate.  He  asked, "How                                                               
does the Electoral College serve the majority of Alaska voters?"                                                                
                                                                                                                                
5:07:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARGO WARING  testified that she  believes in democracy  and that                                                               
the  country has  been moving  toward increased  democracy.   She                                                               
cited  passage  of the  19th  Amendment  to the  Constitution  on                                                               
women's  suffrage as  an example.   She  mentioned that  in 1963,                                                               
Senators  were  elected  by  legislatures.   In  1964,  the  U.S.                                                               
Supreme Court ruled  in Reynolds v. Sims to have  one person, one                                                             
vote.  She opined  that is what is needed to  elect a President -                                                               
one  person, one  vote.   She  maintained that  the  only way  to                                                               
achieve that is to count every  vote and to have every vote count                                                               
equally.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. WARING  stated that great  discrepancies between  the popular                                                               
vote and the Electoral College vote  - as has been experienced by                                                               
the country  in five elections  - only engenders  questions about                                                               
"the  legitimacy  of our  President  and  the legitimacy  of  our                                                               
democracy, and distrust for government.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  expressed  his   belief  that  the  direct                                                               
election of U.S.  Senators came about through  the 17th Amendment                                                               
to the U.S. Constitution in the early 1700s.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. WARING stated her understanding  that in the Reynolds v. Sims                                                             
ruling of  1964, the U.S.  Supreme Court made the  statement that                                                               
the election of U.S. Senators had to be by direct popular vote.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:10:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JUDY ANDREE,  League of Women  Voters (LWV) of  Alaska, testified                                                               
that  the League  of Women  Voters  of the  United States,  under                                                               
which  state leagues  preside, supports  the use  of the  popular                                                               
vote in  the election  of the  President and  the Vice-President.                                                               
She maintained  that the league  made the decision to  support it                                                               
in 1970 after two years of studying  the pros and the cons of the                                                               
issue.    She  stated  that two  of  the  "misaligned"  elections                                                               
mentioned by  Ms. Waring  occurred in  the last  eight elections.                                                               
She added that  there is a trend  toward "non-landslide" election                                                               
results and  suggested that there  will be more elections  in the                                                               
future in  which the  popular vote does  not match  the Electoral                                                               
College  vote.    She  reiterated  that  such  results  bring  to                                                               
question the  legitimacy of  the person  elected.   She mentioned                                                               
that in  the last election, 48.8  percent of the votes  in Alaska                                                               
stopped  at  the  state  line  and "no  longer  existed  for  any                                                               
meaningful purpose."   She  concluded that  all the  [state] LWVs                                                               
encourage passage of HB 175.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:14:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BEN MUSE testified  that he supports a system in  which all votes                                                               
count equally.   He maintained  that American democracy  has been                                                               
changing over  the years;  the Electoral College  is not  what is                                                               
was in  1790 and doesn't function  the way it was  anticipated by                                                               
Mr.  Hamilton.   He mentioned  that  there have  been many  other                                                               
changes  in  the direction  of  more  democracy:   there  are  no                                                               
property  qualifications for  being eligible  to vote;  women can                                                               
vote;  and there  are more  elaborate primary  systems with  more                                                               
individual  input for  selection  of candidates.   He  reiterated                                                               
that  earlier  in  the  country's  history,  U.S.  Senators  were                                                               
elected  by  state legislators  and  not  by  popular vote.    He                                                               
asserted that he  does not see a strong benefit  for Alaska, as a                                                               
small state,  under the existing  Electoral College.   Alaska has                                                               
three out of  a total of 535 electoral votes,  or one-half of one                                                               
percent.  He suggested that  the small states together constitute                                                               
about eight  percent of  the Electoral  College votes,  and those                                                               
small  states  differ  from  each  other  greatly  in  interests,                                                               
industry, and politics.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:17:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALAN  DAVIS testified  that  currently his  vote  does not  count                                                               
because when  two-thirds of the  population vote  Republican, his                                                               
vote as a  Democrat is disregarded by the Electoral  College.  He                                                               
maintained that  the Electoral  College disenfranchises  him, and                                                               
it disenfranchised the  majority of the voters in  the country in                                                               
the last  election.  He  expressed his  belief that it  is wrong.                                                               
He  asserted   that  a  constitutional  amendment   to  the  U.S.                                                               
Constitution  will  not occur  because  the  two major  political                                                               
parties have  a vested  interest in  keeping the  current system;                                                               
they only  must concentrate  on a small  number of  states rather                                                               
than  conducting a  true  nationwide campaign.    He stated  that                                                               
Alaska has the indignity of  the election being called before its                                                               
election polls are  closed.  He maintained  that National Popular                                                               
Vote would  allow his  vote to  be tallied  and to  influence the                                                               
election, which currently does not occur.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:19:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON stated  that  the United  States has  the                                                               
steadiest, longest standing  political system in the  world.  She                                                               
asked why Mr. Davis would want to destabilize that system.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DAVIS  responded  that  it   is  already  destabilized;  the                                                               
Electoral  College   overrode  the  popular  vote   in  the  last                                                               
election.    He maintained  that  "fixing"  that problem  is  not                                                               
destabilizing the country.   He asserted that  the current system                                                               
is  destabilizing the  country,  encouraging people  not to  vote                                                               
because they know their vote does not count.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:20:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP asked  how the  proposed legislation  fixes                                                               
the  problem.   He said  that  under National  Popular Vote,  Mr.                                                               
Davis's vote would count if he  votes in the majority.  He asked,                                                               
"If you do not vote in the majority, how does your vote count?"                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. DAVIS responded  that his vote would be part  of the tally of                                                               
votes.  He stated that currently it is not.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  suggested that Mr. Davis's  vote is counted                                                               
in the state vote.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DAVIS answered,  "I  don't care  about  the state  election.                                                               
We're talking  about a national  election.   My vote goes  into a                                                               
particular category in the national vote."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:21:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KARLA HART testified  that Alaska has only  three electoral votes                                                               
regardless of the voter participation.   She suggested that under                                                               
National Popular  Vote, Alaska's  vote would be  more significant                                                               
in  a close  election and  Alaskans would  feel that  their votes                                                               
meant  more; therefore,  there would  be a  positive effect  on a                                                               
"get out the vote" campaign.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:22:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WILLIAM  DEATON  testified that  he  opposes  HB 175  because  he                                                               
believes  the Electoral  College works  and people  who testified                                                               
that their votes don't count  are misinformed about how it works.                                                               
He  stated  that  the  popular  vote  in  Alaska  determines  the                                                               
electors.  He  added that people who testify that  their votes do                                                               
not count  are doing so  because they  are Democrats.   He stated                                                               
that those people  could move to a Democratic state  if they want                                                               
their votes to go to a Democrat  but that their votes still go to                                                               
a Democrat  even in  Alaska.  He  maintained that  under National                                                               
Popular  Vote, Alaska's  electors  may have  to vote  differently                                                               
from Alaska's  popular vote.  He  opined that this is  wrong.  He                                                               
asserted  that HB  175  is a  very  bad bill,  and  he urged  the                                                               
committee not to vote it out of committee.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:25:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS,  after ascertaining  that there was  no one                                                               
else who wished to testify, closed public testimony on HB 175.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS announced that HB 175 would be held over.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          HB 143-NAMING THE DANIEL R. FAUSKE BUILDING                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:25:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that the final  order of business                                                               
would be HOUSE BILL NO. 143,  "An Act naming the Daniel R. Fauske                                                               
Building."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:25:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   MIKE   CHENAULT,   Alaska   State   Legislature,                                                               
presented  HB 143,  as prime  sponsor.   He paraphrased  from the                                                               
sponsor statement,  which read  as follows  [original punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     I am  pleased to offer  House Bill 143 in  honoring Dan                                                                    
     Fauske  by naming  the AHFC  Building at  4300 Boniface                                                                    
     Parkway, the Daniel R. Fauske Building.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Dan Fauske  served as  the head  of the  Alaska Housing                                                                    
     Finance  Corporation  (AHFC)  for  18  years,  managing                                                                    
     assets  of  $4.8  billion.   During  his  tenure,  AHFC                                                                    
     started  its  Weatherization  and  Home  Energy  Rebate                                                                    
     Program,  which  had provided  weatherization  upgrades                                                                    
     for  renters  and  homeowners and  rebates  for  energy                                                                    
     improvements to  homeowners for nearly 16,000  homes by                                                                    
     the  end  of  2010.  AHFC  also  played  key  roles  in                                                                    
     providing  affordable  housing   statewide,  making  it                                                                    
     possible  for  Alaskans to  pursue  the  dream of  home                                                                    
     ownership.  Under his  leadership,  AHFC continued  its                                                                    
     series of annual contributions to  the State of Alaska,                                                                    
     which totaled $1.9 billion by the end of 2010.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     In  May  2010,  while  serving  as  CEO  and  Executive                                                                    
     Director  of  the  Alaska Housing  Finance  Corporation                                                                    
     (AHFC), Fauske  was selected by the  Alaska Legislature                                                                    
     to lead a joint  development team charged with studying                                                                    
     the   feasibility    of   designing,    financing   and                                                                    
     constructing an  in-state natural gas  pipeline capable                                                                    
     of  delivering North  Slope gas  to communities  within                                                                    
     Alaska.  Initially,  the   Alaska  Gasline  Development                                                                    
     Corporation  (AGDC)  was   created  as  a  wholly-owned                                                                    
     subsidiary  of AHFC  to manage  the development  of the                                                                    
     Alaska Stand  Alone Pipeline (ASAP) plan.  In 2013, the                                                                    
     Legislature  re-established  AGDC   as  an  independent                                                                    
     corporation of the State  and appropriated $355 million                                                                    
     towards  the  project.  Fauske   continued  in  a  dual                                                                    
     capacity, leading both  Corporations, until August 2013                                                                    
     when  he resigned  from AHFC  to  focus exclusively  on                                                                    
     AGDC and gasline work.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CHENAULT commented  that  Mr. Fauske  had a  long                                                               
history with  the state, both  at the  state level and  the local                                                               
level; he served  as chief financial officer (CFO)  for the North                                                               
Slope Borough (NSB) and in many  other roles.  He maintained that                                                               
Mr. Fauske  was a  gentleman; he accomplished  all with  which he                                                               
was tasked by  the state and the legislature; and  he was a great                                                               
statesman and a friend.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:29:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS opened public testimony on HB 143.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:29:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JERRY LAVINE testified that he opposes  HB 143.  He expressed his                                                               
gratitude for Mr.  Fauske's service to the State  of Alaska while                                                               
working for  AHFC.   He mentioned  Mr. Fauske's  contributions to                                                               
AHFC  in  helping  to  "grow"   AHFC's  bottom  line  and  paying                                                               
dividends back  to the State  of Alaska.   He stated that  he did                                                               
not know Mr. Fauske  nor has he used any AHFC  services.  He said                                                               
he  opposes HB  143 because  he believes  that under  the current                                                               
fiscal situation,  the Thirtieth Alaska State  Legislature should                                                               
be  spending  its limited  time  working  on fiscal  issues,  not                                                               
renaming public buildings.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. LAVINE  asked, "What  does it  cost to change  the name  of a                                                               
public building?"   He  mentioned that the  fiscal note  from the                                                               
Department of Administration (DOA)  indicates a zero-fiscal note,                                                               
but he suggested there is a cost  for the change:  new signs; new                                                               
name plates;  changes to online  directories; changes  to printed                                                               
directories, and public  records changes.  He  maintained that HB                                                               
143 is not in the best interest of Alaska citizens.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LAVINE stated,  "With all  due respect  to Mr.  Fauske, most                                                               
people don't know  who Daniel is."  He suggested  that Mr. Fauske                                                               
is known  by people  in the financial  markets and  the executive                                                               
and legislative  branches of government,  but the  general public                                                               
would not recognize  his name.  He asserted that  the name change                                                               
may create  confusion for  the public trying  to locate  the AHFC                                                               
building in Anchorage.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. LAVINE  opined that with 34  bills and 12 resolutions  in the                                                               
House State Affairs  Standing Committee as of today, HB  143 is a                                                               
waste  of  legislative  time, and  he  encouraged  the  committee                                                               
members to  table the  proposed legislation  or vote  against it.                                                               
He conceded that evidence suggests  that Mr. Fauske did excellent                                                               
work  at AHFC,  but  he  offered that  the  committee consider  a                                                               
legislative citation to honor Mr. Fauske's work.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
5:32:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN BITTNEY testified  that he supports HB 143.   He stated that                                                               
he represented  AHFC in  the capitol  for seven  years of  his 31                                                               
years  [as  a   lobbyist].    He  mentioned   that  the  proposed                                                               
legislation is  important because AHFC  is considered one  of the                                                               
premier   housing  authorities   in   the  nation   -  the   most                                                               
sophisticated,  the   most  financially  strong,  and   the  best                                                               
operated.   He maintained that  a large  part of that  success is                                                               
due to the action of  the Seventeenth Alaska State Legislature in                                                               
combining many  of the housing  functions of the state  under one                                                               
organization and  the hire of  Mr. Fauske in  the late '90s.   He                                                               
relayed that Mr.  Fauske was able to  overcome political barriers                                                               
to put  all the  housing functions  under AHFC;  it was  no small                                                               
feat; and the practice has continued  to this day.  He maintained                                                               
that AHFC is an organization for which the state can be proud.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
5:34:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS,  after ascertaining  that there was  no one                                                               
else who wished to testify, closed public testimony on HB 143.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
5:34:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  stated that he  is a co-sponsor of  HB 143.                                                               
He  asserted that  the proposed  legislation would  appropriately                                                               
recognize  Mr. Fauske's  distinguished service  to the  people of                                                               
the State of Alaska.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:35:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  Birch moved  to report  HB 143  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS objected for purpose of discussion.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  said that  she  supports  HB 143.    She                                                               
opined  that the  proposed legislation  is appropriate  and takes                                                               
advantage of a good opportunity.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  complemented the committee  packet provided                                                               
by the  sponsor of HB 143  and stated that he  supports moving HB                                                               
143 out of committee.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  noted that  AHFC is  a model  for statewide                                                               
housing  authorities,   and  he  said  naming   the  building  is                                                               
appropriate and consistent with what  the legislature has done in                                                               
the past.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  removed his  objection.    There being  no                                                               
further  objection, HB  143  was reported  from  the House  State                                                               
Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:37:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 5:37 p.m. to 5:39 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:39:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  reiterated that  there being  no objection,                                                               
HB  143  was  reported  from the  House  State  Affairs  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:39:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 5:39 p.m. to 5:42 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:42:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS noted that the committee would be bringing                                                                 
HB 1 back to correct an oversight.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
5:43:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
State Affairs Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 5:44                                                                  
p.m.                                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 143 Sponsor Statement 3.1.17.pdf HSTA 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 143
HB0143A 3.1.17.pdf HSTA 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 143
HB 143 Fiscal Note 3.22.17.pdf HSTA 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 143
HB 143-Dan Fauske 2016 3.1.17.pdf HSTA 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 143
HB 143-Dan Fauske Bio April 2015 3.1.17.pdf HSTA 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 143
Chapter 35.40 Statutes 3.1.17.pdf HSTA 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 143
HB 143-Support-Rose 3.1.17.pdf HSTA 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 143
HB 143-Support-Welterlen 3.1.17.pdf HSTA 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 143
HB 143-Support-Tracey 3.1.17.pdf HSTA 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 143
HB143-Support-Urbina.pdf HSTA 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 143
HB 143-Support-Bitney 3.1.17.pdf HSTA 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 143
HB 143-Support-Curzie 3.1.17.pdf HSTA 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 143
HB 175 Letters of Opposition 3.22.17.pdf HSTA 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 175
HB 175 Letters of Support 3.22.17.pdf HSTA 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 175
HB175 Letter of Support Kevin Powers 3.23.17.pdf HSTA 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 175