Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/14/2017 05:15 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Location Change --
-- Time Change --
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Moved HJR 14 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
        SB 72-DISCRIMINATION: GENDER ID.; SEXUAL ORIENT.                                                                    
5:17:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON announced the consideration of SB 72 and stated the                                                                
     At this  time, I would  like to close  public testimony                                                                    
     on   [SB  72],   "Discrimination:  Gender   ID,  Sexual                                                                    
     Orientation"  that  was  presented by  Senator  Gardner                                                                    
     which we first heard on March 31.                                                                                          
SENATOR BEGICH objected and explained as follows:                                                                               
      Mr. Chairman, I object to closing testimony on that                                                                       
        bill without proper notification to people. I am                                                                        
     confused by that, could you explain this to me?                                                                            
CHAIR WILSON explained as follows:                                                                                              
     Yes, we can always reopen testimony another time, but                                                                      
     at this time just for, yes, SB 72.                                                                                         
SENATOR BEGICH replied as follows:                                                                                              
     You said SB 72.                                                                                                            
CHAIR WILSON replied yes.                                                                                                       
SENATOR BEGICH noted his objection and concern as follows:                                                                      
     I find that uncomfortable. We  have received so much e-                                                                    
     mail,  we received  phone calls  asking about  when the                                                                    
     next public testimony is going to  be on this and I was                                                                    
     not aware  that you were going  to do that today.  So I                                                                    
     feel  a  little  blindsided  by that.  I  have  assured                                                                    
     constituents  that I  would tell  them that  if I  knew                                                                    
     there was public  hearing open still that  I would pass                                                                    
     that  on to  them and  I  feel a  little blindsided  by                                                                    
     this. You might want to take an at-ease.                                                                                   
5:19:03 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
5:20:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON called the committee back to order. He explained                                                                   
the purpose of closing public testimony on SB 72 as follows:                                                                    
     So  this  being  the  closing down  into  the  interim,                                                                    
     prepping for the  interim, we found it best  to sort of                                                                    
     close public testimony so that  we don't, folks waiting                                                                    
     for to  come back to  testify and  we can take  this up                                                                    
     and  open testimony  at a  later date  in time  when we                                                                    
     have a bill to come back before us another day.                                                                            
SENATOR BEGICH withdrew his objection as follows:                                                                               
     Mr.  Chairman,  thank  you   for  that  explanation,  I                                                                    
     withdraw my objection.                                                                                                     
[CHAIR WILSON held SB 72 in committee for future consideration,                                                                 
and public testimony was closed.]                                                                                               
        SB  72-DISCRIMINATION: GENDER ID.;SEXUAL ORIENT.                                                                    
5:34:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WILSON  called  committee  back to  order  and  recognized                                                               
Senator Micciche.                                                                                                               
SENATOR MICCICHE commented on closing  public testimony on SB 72,                                                               
stating the following:                                                                                                          
     Mr. Chairman,  I do think sometimes  the public doesn't                                                                    
     understand  when  we   temporarily  close  down  public                                                                    
     testimony. I  think I appreciate your  explanation, the                                                                    
     fact is we  are in the last couple of  days and we will                                                                    
     be prioritizing to just a  few bills and the bills that                                                                    
     are in this  stage of the process will not  be taken up                                                                    
     until next year.  So I just wanted to make  sure on the                                                                    
     SB 72 issue that people  understood that we don't leave                                                                    
     public  testimony open  over the  interim and  when the                                                                    
     bill  is going  to be  heard  it gets  picked back  up.                                                                    
     Sometimes people just call in,  they may be kind of new                                                                    
     to this  process and  they just call  in for  that bill                                                                    
     and don't realize that that's  not an unusual thing. So                                                                    
     I  just wanted  to clarify  a  little bit  more, but  I                                                                    
     appreciate you  doing your part earlier  to clarify for                                                                    
     the public. I think our process can be confusing.                                                                          
CHAIR  WILSON agreed  with Senator  Micciche. He  added that  his                                                               
office  is  always still  open  to  take comments,  questions  or                                                               
concerns on SB 72.                                                                                                              
SENATOR  BEGICH  thanked  Chair  Wilson  for  his  commitment  to                                                               
appreciating  that  the process  can  continue  in the  following                                                               
session on SB 72.                                                                                                               
[SB 72 was held in committee with public testimony closed.]