Legislature(1995 - 1996)

01/31/1995 05:05 PM WTR

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 Number 024                                                                    
 HB 83 - REVIEW OF FEDERALLY MANDATED PROGRAMS                               
 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN, sponsor of the measure, stated that HB             
 83 is a companion to HJR 8 and articulates that the citizens of               
 Alaska stand against further attempts, by the federal government,             
 to encroach upon our autonomy and rights as a state under the Tenth           
 Amendment to the United States Constitution.  It requires that any            
 commissioner or agency head faced with implementing a federal                 
 mandate or condition must first carefully analyze the mandate for             
 three specific difficulties before making any efforts at                      
 compliance.  First, is the federal policy or legislation an                   
 unconstitutional abrogation of state power?  Second, is it in                 
 conflict with state policy?  And third, is the federal mandate a              
 cost effective method in this of dealing with the problem it                  
 addresses.  Representative Ogan said the agency head or                       
 commissioner will present his findings in the form of a written               
 report to the Governor, the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee,           
 and the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.  The two legislative           
 committees receiving such reports shall review them and are                   
 authorized to research the legality of the mandate.  Their                    
 conclusions shall be presented to the Governor, along with specific           
 recommendations to the executive branch for compliance, modified              
 compliance, or a legal challenge.  He said that the resolution                
 provides a mechanism to scrutinize efforts by the federal                     
 government to impose unsuitable policy on our state, and to assert            
 our right to self-determination, a right purchased for us at high             
 cost by our ancestors.                                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE GAIL PHILLIPS arrived at 5:09 p.m.                             
 Number 070                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE JERRY MACKIE inquired as to foreseen legal problems            
 by not enacting federal mandates and what kind of money we would              
 lose by not implementing some of these mandates.                              
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN responded by saying that he did not believe               
 that there was an analysis done.  The federal government has                  
 imposed some 192 mandates on our state.  He stated that over a nine           
 year period, environmental unfunded federal mandates have cost the            
 Municipality of Anchorage nearly one-half billion dollars.                    
 Number 114                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE asked why are we doing this if the federal              
 government is not going to give us the money.  For instance, if we            
 don't adhere to the federal mandates in the Department of                     
 Environmental Conservation (DEC) that we've got the Environmental             
 Protection Agency (EPA) managing and different problems there.  He            
 said he would like to look at Medicaid and the other programs that            
 have financial impact that affect us.                                         
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said he believes the bill would bring those               
 sort of problems to the forefront.  Currently, there's no modality            
 to set up and analyze any of this.  He says that he's sure that the           
 federal government will take the loose funding for refusing to do             
 a mandate into consideration.  The federal government has the                 
 option to implement the mandate.                                              
 Number 140                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS stated that he's not aware of any federal           
 mandate that the state has to spend money on.  The state can reject           
 any of them.  There are several requirements that we are given as             
 a time frame to implement, such as the "helmet law" last year.  We            
 had so (X-number of) many years to implement to it or lose a                  
 percentage of those federal dollars that would not be able to be              
 spent on highway construction.  The U.S. Senate just passed SB 1,             
 which was their response to unfunded mandates and the House has a             
 similar bill to be out soon.  He believes there are some technical            
 and legal questions that come up with this legislation.                       
 Number 173                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE GAIL PHILLIPS responded by saying that she doesn't             
 believe the state has an option on mandates that come down dealing            
 with public education or special education.  We have to handle                
 those regardless.                                                             
 REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE inquired if the bill was necessary or if the            
 Administration has the ability to do this or if we have to give               
 statutory authority to the Administration to use federal mandates.            
 CHAIRMAN BARNES said if the Administration were able to do this,              
 surely they would have.                                                       
 Number 190                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN says the federal government routinely                     
 "blackmails" us.  It's a form of taxation that the federal                    
 government wants to pass a program, but they don't want to fund it,           
 so they say that the states have to do this otherwise if we don't             
 do it, we'll be blackmailed and they will withhold funds for this             
 program or that program.                                                      
 REPRESENTATIVE GENE KUBINA stated that the legislature is just as             
 guilty as the federal government by requiring cities to do things,            
 whether its senior citizen tax rebates we don't fund or whether its           
 telling school districts to teach something else and then don't               
 fund them or whether its telling each department to make out                  
 another report, even though they put out a zero fiscal note.  I can           
 tell you there's a cost to it and it coming out of somebody's                 
 budget.  Every time we pass a law and direct anybody in the state,            
 we are really doing the same thing.                                           
 Number 230                                                                    
 JOHN B. `JACK' COGHILL, Consultant, Coghill, Wilcox and Associates,           
 says the bill relieves the policy maker, which is the legislature,            
 in directing the Administration and the people within the agencies            
 to give a report so that the legislature can act accordingly.  It             
 puts lawmakers right in the driver's seat. This issue has been                
 around at least since 1981, and this is the first time he's seen              
 anyone focus on it to the point where we'll be able to do something           
 about it.                                                                     
 ROBERT SCHMACHER, testifying from the Mat-Su Borough, said the bill           
 is something that the Alaska Independence Party has talked about              
 many times.  He said as an individual he feels the bill is a very             
 important issue for the committee to consider.  He urged that the             
 bill be moved in its current form.                                            
 Number 290                                                                    
 GENE OTTENSTROER, testified, via teleconference, from Delta                   
 Junction.  He said he feels in general it's a good bill.  As the              
 bottom line, he was concerned about how much freedom we would have            
 to give up.                                                                   
 SCOTT HAMANN, Alaskan Bikers Advocating Training and Education                
 (ABATE), testified, via teleconference, from Kenai.  He said he               
 supports the bill but, addressed the problem of implementing the              
 mandate first and then having review after the year's done.  We               
 need to have a vehicle, in place, to review the program before the            
 mandate is in place to see if we want the program.                            
 GARY SUPERMAN, testifying via teleconference from Kenai, said he's            
 surprised at the number of Tenth Amendment resolutions and bills              
 that have cropped up.  He said he questions about the legislative             
 review being to open ended.  He would like the legislature to                 
 incorporate the bill with that of the Senate bill in Colorado.                
 Number 351                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS pointed out that if there was one thing               
 that people were talking about during this past interim around the            
 Kenai Peninsula, it was the legislature taking action on this type            
 of legislation.  She said she appreciates very much the input from            
 the general public during the interim.                                        
 MIKE SEAMAN, testifying via teleconference from Kenai, said he                
 thinks a bill is needed, but was hesitant to say whether this was             
 the right way to go.                                                          
 SEYMOUR MILLS, testifying via teleconference from Kenai, felt that            
 any bill that passes out would need a review to check to see that             
 it fits under Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, before           
 anything ever happens.  If it doesn't fit, then it should be                  
 JACK KREINHEDER, Senior Policy Analyst, Office of Management and              
 Budget (OMB), Office of the Governor, said although he had not been           
 informed about a position pro or con of the Knowles Administration,           
 he talked with Pat Pourchot, Legislative Liaison, who said that the           
 Governor certainly supported the intent of these measures with more           
 flexibility to deal with our unique circumstances.  The                       
 Administration has some concern about the requirement to review.              
 He said apparently every federal program has this requirement and             
 that the Administration's position is that it may be better to                
 concentrate our resources on the programs that are identified by              
 the legislature and the Administration, as the ones with the                  
 biggest fiscal impacts or that present the biggest problems to the            
 state rather running through the whole laundry list of programs,              
 some of which may not present a problem.                                      
 Number 425                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE made a motion to move Amendment 1, which was            
 offered by Representative Ogan.                                               
      On page 2, lines 13 through 15, delete "The commissioner of              
      each department or head of another agency in the Executive               
      Branch shall annually review each program administered by that           
      department or agency.  Insert, "The Office of Management and             
      Budget shall annually review each program administered by each           
      department or agency of the Executive Branch."                           
      On page 2, line 16, delete "The commissioner or agency head,"            
      and insert "The Office of Management and Budget."                        
      On page 2, line 19, delete "commissioner or agency head" and             
      insert "Office of Management and Budget."                                
      On page 3, line 18, following "governor," insert "and the                
      Alaska Congressional delegation."                                        
 MR. KREINHEDER, OMB, said he feels that on the surface, he sees no            
 problem with the amendment and that in concept, it makes sense to             
 let more than one agency do the review.                                       
 Number 455                                                                    
 ELMER LINDSTROM, Special Assistant, Department of Health and Social           
 Services, admits to being a guilty party of high fiscal notes.  The           
 department is subject to federal mandates and it will need                    
 additional resources as to what programs they need to look at if              
 OMB is going to be directing.                                                 
 CHAIRMAN BARNES asked for a roll call on the amendment.                       
 Representatives Mackie, Kubina, Williams, Davis, Mulder, Phillips,            
 and Barns all voted in favor of the adoption of Amendment 1.  It              
 passed unanimously.                                                           
 REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS made a motion to move CSHB 83(WTR) out of             
 committee with individual recommendations.                                    
 CHAIRMAN BARNES asked if there was an objection.  Hearing none, the           
 motion passed.                                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE was excused from the meeting.                           

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