Legislature(2007 - 2008)

03/12/2008 02:57 PM FIN

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 260(STA)                                                                                                
     "An  Act  relating  to  a  State  Officers  Compensation                                                                   
     Commission   and  establishing   how  legislators,   the                                                                   
     governor,   the  lieutenant   governor,  and   executive                                                                   
     department heads shall be  compensated; providing for an                                                                   
     effective  date  by  repealing the  effective  dates  of                                                                   
     certain  sections of  ch. 124, SLA  1986; and  providing                                                                   
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MIKE  DOOGAN, sponsor, reported  that the bill                                                                   
is an  attempt to restore  a compensation commission  modeled                                                                   
after  a  compensation  commission  in  Alaska  in  the  late                                                                   
1970's, the last compensation  system that worked.  There are                                                                   
several  repealers  in the  bill  that  would take  out  some                                                                   
aspects  of  current  law.     The  bill  would  establish  a                                                                   
commission  of  five citizen  members  all appointed  by  the                                                                   
Governor.   One would  be appointed from  a list  prepared by                                                                   
the Speaker  of the House,  one from  a list provided  by the                                                                   
President  of the  Senate, and  the other three  would  be at                                                                   
large members.   None  of the  members can  have served  in a                                                                   
position  over which the  commission has  authority,  for the                                                                   
previous four years.                                                                                                            
Representative  Doogan  explained that  the  bill covers  the                                                                   
Governor,  the  lieutenant  governor,   executive  department                                                                   
heads, and legislators.   It is staffed by  the Department of                                                                   
Administration.  There is a fiscal  note for $7,500.  The law                                                                   
requires the commission  to report at least  every two years.                                                                   
It  does not  require that  the  report change  compensation.                                                                   
The  recommendations of  the  commission  take affect  unless                                                                   
they  are specifically  rejected  by  the legislature.    The                                                                   
legislature   retains   authority   over  what   happens   to                                                                   
compensation   because    it   does   require    a   specific                                                                   
appropriation  to  fund  it.   This  is  not  an  arrangement                                                                   
peculiar  to Alaska.   He referred  to a  report in  members'                                                                   
packets from the National Council of State Legislators.                                                                         
4:05:31 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Thomas asked  about the  legal services  memorandum.                                                                   
Representative  Doogan  recalled  that  in  the  House  State                                                                   
Affairs Committee, a question  was raised whether or not this                                                                   
legislation should  be a resolution.   The letter is  a legal                                                                   
opinion that it should be a bill.                                                                                               
Co-Chair  Stedman  asked if  a  sunset provision  is  needed.                                                                   
Representative Doogan hoped it  would continue into infinity,                                                                   
if it works.   If there are problems, it can  be removed from                                                                   
Co-Chair    Hoffman    noted    that    the    commissioner's                                                                   
recommendations  would  take effect  unless  rejected by  the                                                                   
legislature.   He wondered  if that  would include  the first                                                                   
recommendation.  Representative Doogan said it would.                                                                           
Senator Elton asked if "executive  department head" refers to                                                                   
commissioners.   Representative Doogan  thought that  was the                                                                   
language needed to refer to commissioners.                                                                                      
Co-Chair Stedman  noted the  small fiscal note.   He  said he                                                                   
would refer  the bill  to a finance  subcommittee made  up of                                                                   
Senator  Elton -  Chair, Senator  Olson,  and Senator  Dyson.                                                                   
He  felt  there   was  a  relationship  between   the  salary                                                                   
structure and some of the recent improprieties.                                                                                 
CSHB 260(STA)  was heard  and HELD  in Committee for  further                                                                   
4:10:22 PM                                                                                                                    

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