Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/17/1994 09:15 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  HB 372:        An Act relating to the four dam pool transfer                 
                 Co-chair Pearce voiced her preference that HB
                 372 would move  out of  committee and SB  243                 
                 would  be held.   Senator  Rieger voiced  his                 
                 concern   over   passing   HB   372   without                 
                 correcting the problems  in the  legislation.                 
                 Co-chairs Pearce and Frank concurred.  HB 372                 
                 was REPORTED OUT of committee with individual                 
                 recommendations and  a zero  fiscal note  for                 
                 the Dept. of Community & Regional Affairs.                    
  HOUSE BILL NO. 372:                                                          
       An Act relating to the four dam pool transfer fund.                     
  Co-chair  Pearce  announced  that  HB  372  was  before  the                 
  committee.   She said  that it was the  companion bill to SB
  243 that was still in committee.   She voiced her preference                 
  that  HB 372 would be reported out of committee while SB 243                 
  would be held.   She  noted that  Randy Welker,  Legislative                 
  Auditor, Legislative Audit Division, was in the audience and                 
  willing to answer questions.                                                 
  Co-chair Frank commented that there had been much discussion                 
  on this legislation but few resolutions.   He suggested that                 
  problems might be resolved in the budget process.                            
  Senator Rieger asked if HB 372 would address Senator Sharp's                 
  concerns  since  he was  absent from  the meeting.   Senator                 
  Sharp's concerns as understood by Co-chair Pearce had  to do                 
  with on-going funding for the Division  of Energy.  She said                 
  that HB 372 did  not speak to those concerns.   In addition,                 
  she said that Senator  Sharp had informed her staff  that he                 
  was comfortable with  dealing with  his concerns in  another                 
  piece of  legislation, the budget process, or  in some other                 
  Senator Rieger voiced his concern with HB 372.  He said that                 
  it seemed if problems were being addressed that were created                 
  in  the legislation that was "stuffed down our throats" last                 
  year, he would  prefer to  correct all the  problems in  one                 
  bill.  He said that he had not had adequate time to read the                 
  legislation last year and  now wished he had asked  for more                 
  time to do that.  He again  pointed out that there were more                 
  problems than just  what was being  addressed in HB 372  and                 
  reiterated that it would be  his preference to do it  in one                 
  piece of legislation.   He said that when  he looked at  the                 
  history of  appropriations for energy  in the  state in  the                 
  early 80s,  it had  led to  nothing but  hard feelings  from                 
  about 1984 on.  So, now, when  a discussion was held on this                 
  subject, everyone was just growling at each other because of                 
  "baggage" people carry regarding, who  got more than someone                 
  else,  resentments  from  having  to  pay  back  loans  that                 
  supplement the grants  received, who  got more grants,  etc.                 
  His biggest  concern, in  general, although  there had  been                 
  this amount of money appropriated for  projects which may or                 
  may not  be excellent projects, the  state had put  a lot of                 
  money into  energy, but  now the state  had transferred  the                 
  energy program to  a place where  it was opening up  another                 
  source of money.  He said he did not know how much money had                 
  gone into the interties, the hydro projects, the Healy clean                 
  coal project...but now  there was a  fund in AIDEA that  was                 
  called the Enterprise Development Account which had $460M in                 
  it.    There were  statutory  changes  made last  year  that                 
  allowed  AIDEA  to  go  ahead  and either  back  more  power                 
  projects  with  its  assets  or  pledge  the  state's  moral                 
  obligation  pledge.  This opened up another source of funds,                 
  the capital  reserve fund.  This fund was an indirect way in                 
  which the  Commissioner of Revenue could  request additional                 
  money  from  the  state to  avoid  defaults  on  bonds.   He                 
  expressed his serious concern over how the transfer had been                 
  done last year,  where it was  at present, and the  exposure                 
  the state had to AIDEA.  He felt AIDEA was run well  and was                 
  pleased  to  hear  from  Riley   Snell's  testimony  that  a                 
  feasibility study would be done, and done correctly before a                 
  project  went  forward.   He felt  that HB  372 was  a minor                 
  clean-up for something  that needed a broad  based clean-up.                 
  He  was  disappointed  that those  problems  were  not being                 
  Recess at 10:00                                                              
  Reconvene at 10:02                                                           
  Co-chairs Pearce  and Frank concurred  with Senator Rieger's                 
  concerns.  Co-chair Frank went on  to say that a few  things                 
  were  left  undone  and  it  was  a matter  of  strategy  or                 
  cooperation with the  other body to have  that accomplished.                 
  He said there  were Senator  Rieger's concerns, the  concern                 
  relative to the administrative costs, and another concern on                 
  a specific  project brought up by Senator Halford.  Co-chair                 
  Frank said he  was not convinced that this was  the best way                 
  to proceed and  he wanted  assurance that  the other  issues                 
  would be addressed in a strong way.                                          
  Co-chair Frank MOVED  for passage of  HB 372 from  committee                 
  with  individual  recommendations.    No  objections   being                 
  raised, HB 372  was REPORTED  OUT of committee  with a  zero                 
  fiscal  note  for  the Department  of  Community  & Regional                 
  Affairs.    Co-chairs   Pearce  and   Frank  signed  a   "no                 
  recommendation."   Senators Rieger  and Kerttula signed  the                 
  committee report with a "do not pass" recommendation.                        

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