Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/03/1996 02:05 PM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 280(CRA) "An Act relating to the mandatory incorporation of certain boroughs in the unorganized borough." Co-chairman Halford continued SB 280. Senator Torgerson was invited to join the committee. He referred to section 29.05.031 there is a prohibition against starting third- class boroughs. This amendment would basically delete that out of the statutes so the statute and SB 280 would not be contradictory. Senator Phillips moved amendment #3 and without objection it was adopted. Senator Rieger moved his re-drafted amendment #2 and said the changes were to change "3%" to "5%" and delete "250 residents or". He referred to proposed borough number three and said they were not part of the municipality of Ketchikan. If they were they would have to have a larger threshold. Co-chairman Halford said this posed a problem. Senator Rieger said a large enough percentage was wanted so the detachment petitions are not a dime a dozen; on the other hand it should be small enough to allow self-determination. He said eventually there would be a vote. Of the area that constituted the 5%+ at least 15% of the people within that area who voted in the last election must sign a petition to put it on the next ballot. Then residents of the area proposed for detachment were eligible to vote. Senator Torgerson said Senator Zharoff would have been better off with the 250 standard than in the 3% in his example. As Senator Rieger pointed out, annexation is not before the committee. Senator Frank felt the amendment was not germane to the issue. Getting into the detachment issue would cause a need for the committee to gather more information. That would need another bill and more discussion not just an attachment or amendment to this bill. He said he would support the bill as it came into the committee but that he was uncomfortable with the detachment issues. Senator Rieger explained why he thought the issue was germane. If mandatory corporations are going to be proposed they have to be balanced with self-determination abilities. Co-chairman Halford concurred. Senator Frank said he knew the issue was germane legally but did not feel it was germane from a political point of view. Senator Phillips concurred with Senator Rieger. He asked about the Lake Louise detachment. Lamar Cotten, Department of Community and Regional Affairs was invited to join the committee. He said the permanent residents of Lake Louise filed a petition to detach. They were not allowed to vote. He said that the LBC staff had not really gone through this but the commission does have broad authority. Senator Halford said in would require another education process to understand the detachment question. He asked what would happen if the detachment process in Senator Rieger's amendment were to be implemented. Mr. Cotten said this matter had not really been investigated. He explained there was a series of nine standards the LBC looked at when it comes to detachment in order to make a decision. There have been eleven petitions to detach that have been accepted. Six have actually been accepted. Co-chairman Halford asked if they could guarantee access by petition that would result in a vote based on some threshold. He referred to Eagle River and Anchorage in that they had been continuously turned down by the local boundary commission. The legislature passed, by a significant margin, legislation to specifically let the community separate. After the separation and after there was no vote available on the unification charter, the community was reunited by Court order because the legislation was special legislation and the Court said the boundary commission could have done this. That, in terms of population, was probably the biggest boundary issue since statehood. Mr. Cotten said that he and his staff would be willing to meet with committee members and go through this matter. Senator Rieger commented and said LBC could consider all petitions that are submitted and use their own judgment on what they allow or do not allow. A municipality may initiate a detachment on their own but that is through action of the local governing body which oftentimes is the problem. Mr. Cotten felt further review of the matter was necessary. Senator Torgerson said it would be better to hold the bill until tomorrow pending his further investigation. Co-chairman Halford said he would hold the bill in committee until tomorrow pending further investigation and receipt of new draft CS.