Legislature(2019 - 2020)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/27/2019 09:00 AM FINANCE

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Audio Topic
09:01:29 AM Start
09:03:02 AM SB55
09:31:17 AM SB61
09:57:37 AM Discussion on Permanent Fund Dividend Calculation
10:56:13 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 55 TEMP. APPOINTMENTS TO COURT OF APPEALS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+ SB 61 COMM FISHERMEN'S FUND:VESSEL OWNER CLAIMS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+ Discussion on Permanent Fund Dividend Calculation TELECONFERENCED
<Item Above Added to Agenda>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
SENATE BILL NO. 55                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act  relating to  judges of  the court  of appeals;                                                                    
     and providing for an effective date."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:03:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DAVID WILSON, SPONSOR, presented the legislation.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:04:01 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:04:18 AM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wilson continued to present the description of the                                                                      
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:05:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair von Imhof acknowledged SENATOR MIA COSTELLO.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wilson presented the Sectional Analysis (copy on                                                                        
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1: Amends AS 22.07.010  to provide an exception                                                                    
     for  an  additional court  of  appeals  judge under  AS                                                                    
     22.07.070(c)                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Section   2:  Conforming   amendment   to  remove   the                                                                    
     exception  for an  additional  court  of appeals  judge                                                                    
     after a three-year period                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3: Adds a new  subsection, AS 22.07.070 (c), to                                                                    
     allow  the  chief  justice  of  the  supreme  court  to                                                                    
     appoint  acting court  of appeals  judges as  needed to                                                                    
     serve for no longer than  two years. An acting court of                                                                    
     appeals judge must  meet the qualifications established                                                                    
     under AS 22.07.404.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Section  4: Repeals  AS 22.07.070(c)  after a  two-year                                                                    
     period                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 5:  Adds a  revisors instruction  directing the                                                                    
     revisor  of statutes  to change  the catch  line of  AS                                                                    
     22.07.070 from  "Vacancies" to  "Selection of  court of                                                                    
     appeals judges"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Section 6:  Establishes that sections  2 and 4  of this                                                                    
     act will take effect on July 1, 2021                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Hoffman wondered whether  the backlogs were included                                                                    
in the testimony.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wilson replied  that it was difficult  to figure out                                                                    
the  reason for  the backlogs.  He remarked  that there  was                                                                    
always a  possibility for appeal.  He stated that  the Court                                                                    
of Appeals  recently had  judges retire,  and the  new judge                                                                    
would recuse themselves,  so it was difficult  for the third                                                                    
judge to see the case.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Senator Hoffman queried the location of the three judges.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wilson replied that there  were only three judges on                                                                    
the Court of Appeals.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  wondered why  the legislation  was presented,                                                                    
if the Courts were not asking for it.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Wilson felt  that it  was a  need that  he observed                                                                    
within the court system.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:09:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson surmised that the  Chief Justice would appoint                                                                    
the Court of Appeals Judge.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wilson  replied that it  would be one judge  for two                                                                    
years, which was less than the three-year cycle.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  stressed that the  judges were chosen  by the                                                                    
governor, which  was chosen  from a  list from  the Judicial                                                                    
Council. He  surmised that the  bill bypassed  that process,                                                                    
and queried the justification for that bypass.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Wilson replied  that there  was  already a  statute                                                                    
that  allowed  for  the Supreme  Court  Justice  to  appoint                                                                    
district court judges to serve  temporarily for a three-year                                                                    
period.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  noted that the  Court of Appeals did  not see                                                                    
any new  evidence, so  they were on  a different  level than                                                                    
the lower courts.  He felt that equating  the District Court                                                                    
to the Court of Appeals was a "bit of a stretch."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wilson replied that there  was not an attempt to set                                                                    
up a new hierarchy.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Shower asked  for an  explanation  of the  Repealer                                                                    
section.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wilson replied that Section  4 repealed AS 2.07.007c                                                                    
after the  two-year period. He  stressed that it was  not in                                                                    
perpetuity, and  had a direct  calculated cost to  that time                                                                    
period.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  von  Imhof  asked for  thoughts  about  the  judge                                                                    
addressing the backlog.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:14:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NANCY MEADE,  GENERAL COUNSEL,  ALASKA COURT  SYSTEM, shared                                                                    
that Court System  did not seek this change  in statute, but                                                                    
welcomed the  change. She  remarked that  each fall,  as the                                                                    
Court  System assessed  its needs,  this was  discussed, but                                                                    
took a conservative approach with its request.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:19:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Bishop  queried the  number  of  backlogs. He  also                                                                    
queried  the qualifications  the Supreme  Court Judge  would                                                                    
use to fill the position.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Meade  replied that the  statute set  out qualifications                                                                    
for  a district  court judge,  and  the bill  said that  the                                                                    
qualifications must be met.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bishop asked for the number of backlogs.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Meade  replied  that  the   Court  of  Appeals  handled                                                                    
different types of  cases, but the number of  cases that had                                                                    
been briefed awaiting decision at the  end of FY 18 were 341                                                                    
cases.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bishop  wondered whether  the temporary  judge would                                                                    
qualify for Judiciary retirement.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Meade  replied in  the negative,  but would  be eligible                                                                    
for Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS).                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator   Wielechowski   wondered   whether  there   was   a                                                                    
requirement  for  the  Court  of  Appeals  judges  to  issue                                                                    
decisions within six months.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Meade  responded that there was  a statutory requirement                                                                    
that  a  matter could  not  be  pending  for more  than  six                                                                    
months.  She  furthered  that   the  definition  of  "matter                                                                    
pending" was not about the moment a case was briefed.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wielechowski queried statistics  on the frequency in                                                                    
the last two years.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Meade agreed to provide that information.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wielechowski  wondered whether the Court  of Appeals                                                                    
heard the cases as a three-member panel.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Meade replied in the affirmative.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:25:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Wielechowski  wondered  how adding  one  additional                                                                    
person would work.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Meade replied that the fourth  judge was pulled up for a                                                                    
few years, and the panel rotated regularly.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Micciche  wondered why this  was not a  priority for                                                                    
the Court.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Meade  replied that the  Supreme Court was  cognizant of                                                                    
the fiscal situation,  by not asking for more  than what was                                                                    
absolutely necessary.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Wielechowski noted  that  the  repealer would  take                                                                    
affect July  1, 2021. He  wondered whether someone  could be                                                                    
appointed on  June 30, 2021,  and that person serve  for two                                                                    
years.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Meade replied  that the  fiscal note  only had  funding                                                                    
available for two years.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  wondered how  optimistic, with  the increased                                                                    
cases,  and decreased  budgets that  there would  not be  an                                                                    
additional request.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Meade responded that she did  not know how long it would                                                                    
take, but the court was optimistic.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair von  Imhof wondered whether Ms.  Meade had anything                                                                    
to add to the fiscal note conversation.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Meade replied in the negative.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair von Imhof OPENED public testimony.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair von Imhof CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:30:01 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:30:40 AM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SB  55  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB61 Sectional Version A.pdf SFIN 3/27/2019 9:00:00 AM
SL&C 3/5/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 61
SB61 Sponsor Statement 02.27.19.pdf SFIN 3/27/2019 9:00:00 AM
SL&C 3/5/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 61
SB 61 Fishermens Fund - Research Fact Sheet - 03.01.19.pdf SFIN 3/27/2019 9:00:00 AM
SL&C 3/5/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 61
SB 61 Support Letter UFA.pdf SFIN 3/27/2019 9:00:00 AM
SL&C 3/5/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 61
SB 61 Support Letter PSVOA.pdf SFIN 3/27/2019 9:00:00 AM
SL&C 3/5/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 61
SB 61 Support Letter SEAFA.pdf SFIN 3/27/2019 9:00:00 AM
SL&C 3/5/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 61
SB 55 - Sectional Summary.pdf SFIN 3/27/2019 9:00:00 AM
SJUD 3/11/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 55
SB 55 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 3/27/2019 9:00:00 AM
SJUD 3/11/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 55
SB 55 - Explanation of Changes, Version A to B.pdf SFIN 3/27/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 55
032719 Senate Finance POMV Split Presentation March 27.2019.pdf SFIN 3/27/2019 9:00:00 AM
Permanent Fund Divdend
SB 61 DOL Worker's Compensation Sen Fin Question 3-27.pdf SFIN 3/27/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 61
SB 55 - 4.1.2019 Courts Response.pdf SFIN 3/27/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 55