Legislature(1999 - 2000)

05/14/1999 03:17 PM C33

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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                                                            
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                                                            
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.                                                                                

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