Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/03/1996 02:05 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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                 
  Co-chairman Halford said he would hold the bill in committee                 
  until  tomorrow pending further investigation and receipt of                 
  new draft CS.                                                                

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