Legislature(1999 - 2000)
05/14/1999 03:17 PM C33
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 33-TASK FORCE ON PRIVATIZATION CO-CHAIR HALFORD called the Conference Committee on SB 33 to order at 3:17 p.m. Present were Senators Halford, Pearce and Elton, and Representatives Brice and Cowdery. JULI LUCKY, legislative staff to Co-Chair Halford, described the differences between the House and Senate versions of SB 33 as follows. Subsection (7) of Section 1 of the House version (the findings and intent section) was removed from the Conference Committee Substitute (CCS). That subsection read: "there may be functions of state government that should cease." CO-CHAIR HALFORD asked if that same language remains in another section of the CCS. MS. LUCKY replied that sections dealing with the commission's duties and reports contain that language. It was removed from the findings and intent section only. CO-CHAIR HALFORD clarified that the fact that some state functions should cease may be the result of the Commission on Privatization's review but it is no longer an initial finding in the bill. SENATOR ELTON stated he would not characterize that duty of the Commission as one it may do, but as one it shall do. MS. LUCKY continued. Sections 2, 3, and 4 of the Senate version, dealing with public employee relations, rights of public employees, and contract bargaining, are not included in the CCS. Section 2 of the CCS corresponds to Section 5 of the Senate version; it deals with the composition of the committee and contains most of the substantial changes made in the CCS. A provision allowing two members to be appointed by the Governor was removed from the CCS. Appointments that were in both the House and Senate versions of the bill and remain in the CCS are the Senate and House Co-Chairs, the Alaska Municipal League appointment, and the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce appointment. CO-CHAIR HALFORD asked if the Administration requested the removal of the provision allowing the Governor to appoint two members. MS. LUCKY said it did. MS. LUCKY continued. Two public members will be appointed by the Senate President, one must be a member of a Native corporation. Both versions originally required each presiding officer to appoint two public members, however the House version required the Speaker of the House to appoint one public member who is a member of a Native non-profit corporation. The CCS requires each presiding officer to appoint a member from either a non-profit or a for- profit Native corporation. The CCS retains the provision from the House version that one appointee be a member of the AFL-CIO. Subsections 8 and 9 pertain to the appointment of a minority member from each house. As previously mentioned, the presiding officers of the House and Senate will make those appointments rather than the Governor. SENATOR ELTON asked whether any discussion took place about making one appointment from a Native non-profit corporation and one from a Native for-profit corporation. CO-CHAIR HALFORD explained the only discussion was with the sponsor and that the change was an effort to maintain a smaller group versus a larger group. The House version provided for 15 members while the Senate version provided for 11 members. SENATOR ELTON remarked that the House version required the Senate President to select a member from a Native corporation and that the Speaker of the House select a member from a Native non-profit corporation. The CCS now allows the Speaker to appoint a member from a Native corporation. He asked why that changed. CO-CHAIR HALFORD said he was not aware of any particular reason. MS. LUCKY replied that it is her understanding that being able to select a member from either a Native non-profit or a for-profit corporation will provide a larger pool from which to choose. MS. LUCKY stated the next section of the CCS pertains to member compensation. The House provision was retained which allows payment of per diem and travel expenses for all appointed members. The CCS contains one additional duty that was in the House version. It allows the commission to identify state government functions that should be eliminated. The time line provision in the CCS corresponds to the Senate version; no preliminary report is required and a final report is due to the legislature on January 1, 2000. The report section contains language from the House version pertaining to state government functions that should be eliminated. The January 1, 2000 repealer date corresponds to the Senate version and is the same as the due date of the report. CO-CHAIR HALFORD asked for a motion to adopt the proposed CCS as the working document of the committee. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN so moved. SENATOR ELTON objected and proposed an amendment to use the time line from the House version. He maintained that the time line was added to the bill as a House floor amendment and it received significant support. The House time line provides for a preliminary report due January 1, 2000 and a final report due January 1, 2001. CO-CHAIR HALFORD suggested that the committee vote to adopt the proposed CCS first. SENATOR ELTON withdrew his objection to adopt the proposed CCS, therefore CO-CHAIR HALFORD announced, with no objection, the CCS was adopted. Number 180 SENATOR ELTON moved to adopt the language from HCS CSSB 33(FIN)amH regarding the time line of the commission. He clarified that a new Section 6 would have to be added that would be identical to the language on page 4, lines 13 - 19 of HCS CSSB 33(FIN)am H, and that the repeal date would change to January 1, 2001. CO-CHAIR HALFORD noted that because the sponsor wants the commission to complete its work as soon as possible, he will not support the amendment. REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY asked if the CCS requires only one report. CO-CHAIR HALFORD said that is correct and that the commission would be defunct as of January 1, 2000. The proposed amendment would require two reports and continue the commission for another year. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN objected to adopting Senator Elton's proposed amendment. He said two reports will be more costly, he wants the report finished "on his watch," and he believes the report should be acted upon during the next legislative session. REPRESENTATIVE BRICE maintained that the work before the commission is of such magnitude and depth that to try to complete the task in six months is asking too much. He commented that the potential for privatization and realignment of programs within the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities alone is very large. SENATOR ELTON pointed out that his amendment does not mandate that the legislature wait to take action until January 1, 2001. The commission could accomplish its work earlier and submit a report at any time. SENATOR PEARCE remarked that any entity, whether government or private, will use the entire amount of time allotted. REPRESENTATIVE COWDERY agreed with Senator Pearce and Representative Ogan and said he believes six months is a reasonable amount of time to complete the report. CO-CHAIR HALFORD asked for a roll call vote. The motion to adopt Senator Elton's amendment failed with Representative Brice and Senator Elton voting "yea," and Representatives Cowdery and Ogan and Senators Pearce and Halford voting "nay." REPRESENTATIVE BRICE moved to return the CCS to the full body for consideration. There being no objection, the motion carried. There being no further business to come before the committee, CO- CHAIR HALFORD adjourned the meeting at 4:20 p.m.