Legislature(2021 - 2022)GRUENBERG 120

05/04/2021 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 28 EST. APRIL 24 ALASKA CONSTITUTION DAY TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 28(STA) Out of Committee
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+= HJR 7 CONST. AM: PERM FUND & PFDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 73 PERM FUND; ADVISORY VOTE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
*+ HB 124 FILLING VACANCY IN LEGISLATURE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+= HB 142 PFD ELIGIBILITY TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 163 FORM OF SIGNATURE ON VEHICLE TITLE TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 163 Out of Committee
+= HB 5 SEXUAL ASSAULT; DEF. OF "CONSENT" TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSSHB 5(STA) Out of Committee
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
             HB 124-FILLING VACANCY IN LEGISLATURE                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:38:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that  the next order  of business                                                               
would  be HOUSE  BILL  NO. 124,  "An Act  relating  to filling  a                                                               
vacancy in the legislature by appointment."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:38:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BEN CARPENTER,  Alaska  State Legislature,  prime                                                               
sponsor, introduced  HB 124.  He  noted that the impetus  for the                                                               
bill developed last summer when  former Representative Gary Knopp                                                               
passed away.   He paraphrased the sponsor  statement [included in                                                               
the   committee  packet],   which  read   as  follows   [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Currently  ambiguity exists  in AS  15.40.320 regarding                                                                    
     the  time frame  and  exceptions  in filling  vacancies                                                                    
     within 30 days.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     HB124  clarifies   this  language  pertaining   to  the                                                                    
     vacancy  appointment to  the Alaska  State Legislature.                                                                    
     Since    statehood    Alaskan   have    gone    without                                                                    
     representation in  this body 21 times  for a cumulative                                                                    
     impact of over 1,615 days.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     While  the  current  language  clearly  indicates  that                                                                    
     "when  a vacancy  occurs in  the  state legislate,  the                                                                    
     governor,  within 30  days, shall  appoint a  qualified                                                                    
     person  to   fill  the  vacancy."  The   next  sentence                                                                    
     provides  exceptions and  creates the  ambiguity. HB124                                                                    
     look to articulate  in a more direct  manor and provide                                                                    
     additional guidance as to when.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     HB124  adds the  additional  language  "within 30  days                                                                    
     after  the  vacancy  occurs:".   This  will  limit  the                                                                    
     requirement to fill the vacancy  when it will no longer                                                                    
     be necessary or prudent due to incoming electorates.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     HB124  separates for  the purpose  of clarity  language                                                                    
     that only pertains to the other body.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CARPENTER elaborated that  the statute in question                                                               
[AS  15.40.320]   contained  two  exceptions  and   a  qualifying                                                               
statement to the governor's 30-day  appointment requirement.  The                                                               
first  exception, he  said,  referred to  the  expiration of  the                                                               
remainder  of  the  predecessor's   term;  the  second  exception                                                               
referred to Senate vacancies filled  by special election; and the                                                               
qualifying  statement   referred  to  the   legislature  meeting,                                                               
convening, or reconvening.  He  maintained that the ambiguity was                                                               
based  on individual  interpretation and  whether the  qualifying                                                               
statement  referred  to  both  exceptions.     He  recalled  that                                                               
Governor Dunleavy did  not appoint a replacement  for District 30                                                               
[Representative Knopp's district] because  he claimed to lack the                                                               
authority  to make  the appointment  because the  term of  office                                                               
would have expired before the  next legislature met, convened, or                                                               
reconvened.  He opined that  the qualifying statement should only                                                               
apply  to  the second  exception,  as  its  impact on  the  first                                                               
exception would negate the first  requirement to fill the vacancy                                                               
within 30  days.   He said  it could be  argued that  the vacancy                                                               
appointment  provision  was  intended  to  ensure  representation                                                               
during  legislative session;  however, that  interpretation would                                                               
"not in  the best interest  of the people  and is counter  to our                                                               
representative form  of government,"  he contended.   He reasoned                                                               
that the  framers of Alaska's government  intended for continuous                                                               
representation  from  each  district  in  the  legislature.    He                                                               
explained that HB 124 would  provide clarity by restructuring the                                                               
statute  and  adding  the  language "within  30  days  after  the                                                               
vacancy occurs:" to communicate that  the exception to the 30-day                                                               
requirement  would   only  apply  to  appointments   wherein  the                                                               
predecessor's  term  would expire  within  those  30 days.    The                                                               
additional  language  would  result  in  a  requirement  for  the                                                               
governor to  submit a vacancy  appointment within 30  days unless                                                               
the vacancy  occurred within the  30 days preceding the  start of                                                               
the first session of the new legislature.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:43:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD BEST,  Staff, Representative Ben Carpenter,  on behalf of                                                               
Representative  Carpenter, prime  sponsor, presented  a sectional                                                               
analysis of HB  124, which read as  follows [original punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Amends  AS 15.40.320  Condition  and  time for  filling                                                                  
     vacancy by appointment.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Deletes language  (line 6-10)  If the remainder  of the                                                                  
     term of the  predecessor in office will expire  or if a                                                                    
     vacancy  in  the  state  senate will  be  filled  by  a                                                                    
     special  election  before  the  legislature  will  next                                                                    
     meet, convene, or reconvene,                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Adding language (Line 10) if.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Adding  sub-section 1  (line 11-12):  The remainder  of                                                                  
     the  term  of the  predecessor  in  office will  expire                                                                    
     within 30 days after the vacancy occurs; or.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Adding  sub-section 2  (line 13-14):  A vacancy  in the                                                                  
     state  senate  will be  filled  by  a special  election                                                                    
     before  the legislature  will  next  meet, convene,  or                                                                    
     reconvene.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:44:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  inquired about the bill  sponsor's intent                                                               
regarding a situation in which  an elected legislator resigned in                                                               
the last 30 days of his/her term.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CARPENTER said it  would be acceptable to continue                                                               
without representation  for those  30 days  due to  the statutory                                                               
exception.    He  believed  that HB  124  would  provide  greater                                                               
clarity for  such a circumstance.   He  explained that if  HB 124                                                               
were to  pass, there wouldn't  be an appointment within  those 30                                                               
days and  a new legislator who  was duly elected would  be seated                                                               
[to fill the vacancy] "with the process of the new legislature."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:45:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  clarified  that   the  scenario  he  had                                                               
envisioned was one in which a  new legislator could not be seated                                                               
"because the  elected legislator is  not available - the  term of                                                               
office, because [indisic.] expire in  30 days, so you're not able                                                               
to appoint anyone,  so you literally have to wait  until the time                                                               
expires  and then  on that  first day  of the  session, you  can,                                                               
perhaps, then  appoint someone."   He  questioned the  benefit of                                                               
the 30-day exception.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CARPENTER  supposed  that  the  30-day  exception                                                               
would not be  necessary if the mechanics of  appointments were as                                                               
simple as  the governor  picking a name.   However,  he contended                                                               
that in reality, the process was  slow and onerous.  He indicated                                                               
that  the   30-day  exception  was   intended  to   provide  more                                                               
flexibility for those unexpected and less-than-ideal scenarios.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:47:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  shared his  understanding that  the 30-day                                                               
requirement was a practical timeframe  for the governor to gather                                                               
and  submit names.   He  reasoned that  the governor  couldn't be                                                               
asked the  fill a  vacancy if there  was only 30  days left.   He                                                               
asked   whether  Representative   Carpenter   agreed  with   that                                                               
analysis.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CARPENTER  concurred.   He  believed  that  there                                                               
should  be  no  statutory  interpretation that  would  allow  the                                                               
governor  to  wait  171  days to  submit  an  appointment,  which                                                               
occurred in the instance of Representative Knopp's vacancy.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  questioned why  someone from  Kenai didn't                                                               
sue the  governor for  failing to make  an appointment  within 30                                                               
days  after Representative  Knopp's  passing.   He believed  that                                                               
would have resolved the statutory ambiguity in question.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:49:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CARPENTER   was  unsure  why  no   one  sued  the                                                               
governor.    He  surmised  that there  had  been  other  pressing                                                               
matters to attend to regarding  the COVID-19 crisis.  Further, he                                                               
said he represented a conservative  district that disliked taking                                                               
legal action.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:49:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   CLAMAN   recalled   Representative   Carpenter's                                                               
earlier statement  regarding the "clear intent"  from the framers                                                               
of Alaska's  representational form  of government  for continuous                                                               
representation from each  district in the legislature.   He asked                                                               
where that intent was specified in the framer's document.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CARPENTER  directed  attention to  AS  15.40.320,                                                               
which  indicated  that the  governor  shall  appoint a  qualified                                                               
person to fill a vacancy when  one occurs in the legislature.  He                                                               
believed  that the  statutory language  suggested that  vacancies                                                               
should be  filled under  normal circumstances.   He  continued by                                                               
emphasizing that  since statehood, vacancy appointments  had been                                                               
delayed 21 times.  He believed  that when a vacancy lasted longer                                                               
than  30 days  there was  something  wrong with  the process,  as                                                               
Alaskans were without representation during that time.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:52:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN, returning  to statement  regarding "clear                                                               
intent,"  sought  to  verify that  Representative  Carpenter  was                                                               
referring to the legislature's intent  in passing this statute as                                                               
opposed to the framer's intent in drafting the constitution.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CARPENTER  confirmed he  was referring  to whoever                                                               
created the statute.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:52:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   CLAMAN   informed   the   committee   that   the                                                               
legislature established  the statute in  1960.  He referred  to a                                                               
letter  from  Legislative  Research  Services  [included  in  the                                                               
committee packet],  which contained a table  of appointments made                                                               
to fill vacancies  in the Alaska State  Legislature that occurred                                                               
more  than 30  days  after  a death  or  resignation.   In  these                                                               
instances, he  asked whether  the governor  had failed  to comply                                                               
with  the   30-day  requirement  or  whether   the  governor  had                                                               
complied,  and  the legislature  had  taken  longer to  fill  the                                                               
vacancies.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:53:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CARPENTER   said  there  were   undoubtedly  many                                                               
different reasons  for delays in the  process throughout history.                                                               
He clarified  that each  instance may not  have been  remedied by                                                               
the proposed legislation.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  asked how  many  times  the governor  had                                                               
failed to  meet the 30-day requirement  aside form Representative                                                               
Knopp's replacement.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CARPENTER deferred to Mr. Best.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:55:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BEST  stated explained  that the  highlighted numbers  on the                                                               
table  indicated that  "the governor  had appointed  somebody and                                                               
when they had either accepted or not accepted as well."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  pointed out  that  based  on the  provided                                                               
information,  it  would  be  possible   to  parse  out  how  many                                                               
instances the governor was the dilatory factor.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN opined  that  regarding  data provided  by                                                               
Legislative  Research  Services,  further analysis  of  when  the                                                               
governor  had or  had not  complied with  the 30-day  requirement                                                               
would be helpful.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  agreed.  He said  the requested information                                                               
would provide a better sense of the scope of the precedent.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:56:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  pointed  out  that  Representative  Knopp's                                                               
vacancy occurred during the pandemic.   She questioned whether it                                                               
was  an appropriate  example, as  pandemic-related factors  could                                                               
have  significantly   influenced  or  hindered   the  appointment                                                               
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CARPENTER  believed that the delay  was not COVID-                                                               
related.   Nonetheless, he  pointed out that  it could  be argued                                                               
that all  decisions made in  2020 were impacted by  the pandemic.                                                               
He said the proposed legislation  would not materially change the                                                               
statute; instead,  it would clarify  that the  30-day requirement                                                               
must  be followed  by the  governor unless  one of  the allowable                                                               
exceptions  applied.     Further,   it  would  specify   that  an                                                               
appointment  would not  have to  be made  within 30  days if  the                                                               
vacancy  occurred 30  days  prior to  session,  as the  situation                                                               
would resolve itself.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:59:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  directed attention  to the language  on page                                                               
1, line  10, "the  governor may  not fill the  vacancy if".   She                                                               
questioned  whether  the  term  "may" was  the  impetus  for  the                                                               
governor's  interpretation of  the  statute.   Additionally,  she                                                               
asked whether  "may" should  be replaced by  "shall" to  make the                                                               
exemptive language more proscriptive.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CARPENTER noted  that  he  had asked  Legislative                                                               
Legal Services the same question  regarding "may" versus "shall."                                                               
He relayed that the term "may" was adequately prohibitive.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS noted that  Megan Wallace, Legislative Legal                                                               
Services, was available for questions.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  asked for  a  legal  interpretation of  the                                                               
sequence of events surrounding Representative Knopp's vacancy.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:01:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEGAN WALLACE,  Director, Legislative Legal Services,  shared her                                                               
understanding   that    AS   15.40.320   had    a   long-standing                                                               
interpretation  that  the  exception   in  the  existing  statute                                                               
provided that the  governor may not fill the vacancy  if the term                                                               
of the predecessor would be  filled before the legislature meets,                                                               
convenes,  or  reconvenes.   Therefore,  it  was  the  governor's                                                               
similar  interpretation that  he was  prohibited by  statute from                                                               
filling  that  vacancy  because  Gary  Knopp's  term  would  have                                                               
expired  before the  legislature  met,  convened, or  reconvened.                                                               
She  explained that  if a  special session  had been  called, for                                                               
example, the governor could have  made an appointment to fill the                                                               
vacancy  at   that  time  in  preparation   for  the  legislature                                                               
convening  or  reconvening.    She  added  that  the  statute  as                                                               
written,  was  not consistent  with  the  bill sponsor's  intent.                                                               
Thus,  the sponsor's  changes to  the statute  would clarify  the                                                               
sponsor's  intention  that  the  governor  make  the  appointment                                                               
within 30 days - the only exception  being if the term was set to                                                               
expire  within 30  days of  the  next session.   She  anecdotally                                                               
reported that the current interpretation  of the existing statute                                                               
was  that it  was intended  to potentially  prevent the  governor                                                               
from appointing  an incumbent before  an election were  to occur;                                                               
alternatively,  if  the legislature  were  not  to convene  again                                                               
before the  term expired, the  appointee wouldn't be able  to sit                                                               
on  an   interim  committee  or  otherwise   participate  because                                                               
appointment to a committee would require action by the body.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR noted that the  provision in the constitution                                                               
read  "a vacancy  in  the  legislature shall  be  filled for  the                                                               
unexpired term  as provide by law.   If no provision  is made the                                                               
governor  shall fill  the vacancy  by appointment."   She  opined                                                               
that  there should  not  be these  reoccurring  periods in  which                                                               
Alaskans are without representation.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:05:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS   asked  whether   the  bill   sponsor  had                                                               
communicated  with the  governor's  office  about the  governor's                                                               
interpretation  of  the  existing  statute  around  the  time  of                                                               
Representative Knopp's passing.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CARPENTER answered no.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS   asked  whether   the  bill   sponsor  had                                                               
considered it.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CARPENTER  answered no.   He pointed out  that the                                                               
requirement  for filling  a vacancy  was stipulated  in both  the                                                               
constitution and statute; therefore,  he didn't feel it necessary                                                               
to ask  the governor  why he  had not made  the appointment.   He                                                               
added  that  the  governor's  public  statements  on  the  matter                                                               
sufficed.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:08:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WALLACE,  in  response to  a  question  from  Representative                                                               
Vance, conveyed  that given  the long-standing  interpretation of                                                               
the existing statute, the proposed  legislation would clarify the                                                               
ambiguity if there was a desire  to ensure that the governor made                                                               
an appointment within 30 days  regardless of when the legislature                                                               
would  convene or  reconvene.   In  terms  of informally  polling                                                               
members  for  convening  a  special session,  there  would  be  a                                                               
vacancy  in that  district and  the vacant  position wouldn't  be                                                               
polled,  she  said.     She  believed  that   scenario  posed  by                                                               
Representative Vance was not specifically related to the bill.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:09:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE considered  a scenario in which  there was a                                                               
vacancy and  the legislature called  itself into  special session                                                               
within one week.   She asked whether under  existing statute, the                                                               
governor would still  have to comply with  the 30-day requirement                                                               
or whether  the governor would  have to fill that  vacancy within                                                               
the time that the legislature convened the special session.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. WALLACE said that issue  was not specifically provided for in                                                               
the  current statute;  however,  based on  passed precedent,  she                                                               
presumed that the  governor would move quickly to  ensure that an                                                               
appointment was made  before the special session.   She explained                                                               
that predicting  the result  of a  hypothetical dispute  over the                                                               
timing  before  a  special  session  was  difficult  because  the                                                               
statute had never been litigated.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:11:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS questioned  whether Representative Carpenter                                                               
had  given  any   thought  to  the  ambiguity   in  the  statutes                                                               
pertaining to legislative confirmations.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CARPENTER  explained that  in  the  midst of  the                                                               
research  process, he  had identified  a previous  legislator who                                                               
had  put   forward  a   similar  bill   with  a   broader  scope.                                                               
Nonetheless,   he  said   given  the   difficulty  of   advancing                                                               
legislation,  the  proposed  legislation was  simplified  to  one                                                               
issue.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  asked   which  former  representative  had                                                               
proposed similar legislation.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CARPENTER  answered Representative  Mark  Hodgins                                                               
[1997-1998].                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:14:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  pointed out  that Article 2,  Section IV,                                                               
of  the  constitution  indicated  that special  sessions  may  be                                                               
called by the  governor or by two-thirds of the  legislators.  HE                                                               
sought  to  clarify  whether "of  the  legislators"  referred  to                                                               
sitting legislators.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. WALLACE answered  yes.  She added that  it's likely referring                                                               
to two-thirds of all 60  legislators, as opposed to two-thirds of                                                               
those whose  seats are filled.   She recalled that  regardless of                                                               
whether there was an open seat,  a vote would still be calculated                                                               
on total membership.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:15:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN surmised that  the second exception in the                                                               
statutory language, which specified that  a vacancy in the Senate                                                               
would  be filled  by a  special election  before the  legislature                                                               
would   next  meet,   convene,  or   reconvene,  could   yield  a                                                               
significantly longer  delay.  He  questioned whether there  was a                                                               
way to  amend the language to  avoid the possibility of  having a                                                               
250-day vacancy in the Senate.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CARPENTER  supposed that there  could be a  way to                                                               
"tighten" the  language; however,  it was  not something  that he                                                               
had  considered  addressing in  this  bill.   Furthermore,  as  a                                                               
member of  the House,  he said  he strayed  away from  pursuing a                                                               
change that would impact the Senate.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:17:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  speculated that if vacancies  in both the                                                               
House and the Senate occurred  simultaneously, the governor would                                                               
not be  able to  fill the vacancy  in the House  due to  the "or"                                                               
language [at the end of paragraph (1) on page 1, line 12].                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CARPENTER deferred to Legislative Legal Services.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. WALLACE asked Representative Eastman to repeat the question.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN remarked:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The operative language on line  10 is 'the governor may                                                                    
     not   fill   the   vacancy    [if]'   and   we're   not                                                                    
     distinguishing there whether the  vacancy is a House or                                                                    
     a  Sente vacancy  and then  we add  qualifying language                                                                    
     about  when he  cannot fill  the vacancy,  and we  have                                                                    
     option one  or option  two.   ... it  would seem  to me                                                                    
     that if  there is a  Senate vacancy which is  caught up                                                                    
     under option 2 and we have  in that same window of time                                                                    
     a  House vacancy,  that even  though  maybe the  intent                                                                    
     right  now  is  that  the House  vacancy  wouldn't  get                                                                    
     caught up  - the  'or' language could  potentially mean                                                                    
     that the  House vacancy  is caught  up with  the Senate                                                                    
     vacancy.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. WALLACE  read paragraph one and  two as not dependent  on one                                                               
another.  She said  if both a House and a  Senate vacancy were to                                                               
occur at  the same time, it  would depend on which  paragraph was                                                               
operable to  control the  scenario.  She  surmised that  a Senate                                                               
vacancy, for example,  could fit the parameters  of paragraph (1)                                                               
and other  vacancies could fit  the parameters of  paragraph (2).                                                               
She  said  the  "or"  would allow  for  whichever  provision  was                                                               
applicable to control the circumstances of the vacancy.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:21:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN asked  whether  there  was language  that                                                               
could be  introduced to  clarify that  the language  in paragraph                                                               
(2) would not allow the governor  to neglect filling a vacancy in                                                               
the House.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. WALLACE said she would be happy  to work on that if there was                                                               
a desire to clarify the language in question.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  asked  whether during  the  confirmation                                                               
process, a vacancy  should be filled by the  legislators who were                                                               
elected at the same as  the representative who vacated or whether                                                               
there was  a benefit to waiting  to confirm the appointee  by the                                                               
next class of legislators.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CARPENTER acknowledged  that  under the  existing                                                               
language, it  wasn't clear.   He noted  that the language  in the                                                               
proposed  legislation would  have clarified  that if  the vacancy                                                               
was  within  the  30  days  prior   to  the  start  of  the  next                                                               
legislature,  the   governor  would  not  make   an  appointment.                                                               
Further,  whoever  was  elected  come   the  start  of  the  next                                                               
legislative cycle, would fill the  vacant seat.  He expressed his                                                               
hope that  HB 124 would  clarify any existing ambiguity  that had                                                               
troubled prior legislatures.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:26:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN inquired  about  limiting the  governor's                                                               
ability to  appoint someone before  an election.   Alternatively,                                                               
if the  governor were allowed  to make the appointment,  he asked                                                               
whether it  would be  valuable to provide  the governor  with the                                                               
discretion to choose not to make the appointment.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CARPENTER  deferred  to  the  constitution.    He                                                               
opined that  representation was of the  highest order; therefore,                                                               
it  did not  make sense  to him  to add  statutory language  that                                                               
would  allow  the  governor  not to  appoint  someone,  as  every                                                               
district should be represented in the legislature.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:28:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  inquired about the procedure  for filling a                                                               
vacancy left by an unaffiliated member.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. WALLACE said that scenario is provided for under statute.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  expressed   interest  in  addressing  that                                                               
statutory language in a future bill hearing.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:30:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS announced that HB 124 was held over.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:31:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:31 p.m. to 4:34 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 124 Sectional Analysis v. b 4.21.2021.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 124 Research LRS-21-120 4.27.2021 alt.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 124 v. B 3.03.2021.PDF HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 124 Fiscal Note GOV-EXE 4.19.21.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 124 Hearing Request Memo.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 124 Research LRS-21-120 4.12.2021.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 124
SB 28 v. I Hearing Request Memo 4.30.2021.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
SB 28
SB 28 v. I Sectional Analysis 4.30.2021.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
SB 28
SB 28 v. I Legislation.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
SB 28
SB 28 v. B Sponsor Statement 1.26.2021.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
SB 28
SB 28 v. I Fiscal Note.PDF HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
SB 28
HB 124 Letter of Support - Hykes 4.23.21.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 73 Fiscal Note PF-PFD-4-21-21.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 73
SB 28 Fiscal Note - Exec Branch 4.26.21.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
SB 28
HB 142 Fiscal Note - DOR TT 4.28.21.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 142
HB124 Sponsor Statement v. b 4.22.2021 - Revised.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 124
HB 5 Explanation of Amendment G.6 5.4.21.pdf HSTA 5/4/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 5