Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

02/09/2005 08:30 AM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
= SB 36 ABSENTEE BALLOTS
Moved CSSB 36(JUD) Out of Committee
= SJR 1 CONST. AM: APPROPRIATION LIMIT
Heard & Held
= SJR 4 CONST AM: BUDGET RESERVE FUND
Moved SJR 4 Out of Committee
                                                                                                                                
             SJR 1-CONST. AM:  APPROPRIATION LIMIT                                                                          
9:30:48 AM                                                                                                                  
CHAIR SEEKINS announced SJR 1 was up for consideration.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRED  DYSON and  Lucky Schultz,  staff to  Senator Dyson,                                                               
introduced themselves as sponsors of SJR 1.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON  asked  the committee  to  accept  the  conceptual                                                               
amendment to SJR 1.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS  announced  to  the   committee  that  they  would                                                               
consider the amendment.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON  informed Chair Seekins that  the Finance committee                                                               
would deal with the numbers portion of SJR 1.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:33:36 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS announced  that  his intent  was  to consider  the                                                               
judiciary portion of SJR 1 and  to allow the Finance committee to                                                               
look at the numbers.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON advised  Chair Seekins  that the  base number  has                                                               
been adjusted to cover the out years.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS  referred to  a  conceptual  amendment before  the                                                               
committee  and  the  committee members  discussed  the  amendment                                                               
language.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS moved  to adopt Amendment 2.  Hearing no objection,                                                               
the committee adopted Amendment 2.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS  referred  back  to  Amendment  1  and  asked  the                                                               
committee "what  if the Legislature  itself deems that  there are                                                               
extraordinary circumstances  that needs  to be  addressed outside                                                               
of the Governor's request?"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. LUCKY SCHULTZ  answered that a clause was added  last year to                                                               
accomplish that  scenario and if  the committee prefers  it could                                                               
be added to SJR 1.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:38:34 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS advised  that he is attempting to  be proactive. He                                                               
said a  political body (such  as the Governor), which  has fiscal                                                               
responsibility  should  never  be  allowed  to  consider  special                                                               
circumstances.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH referred to separation of powers.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS answered  that  he  was not  willing  to give  the                                                               
Governor too much power.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:39:32 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT said he wants to see a balance of power.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS  agreed saying  he  would  like  to see  that  the                                                               
Legislature  also   has  authority   to  determine  what   is  an                                                               
extraordinary circumstance, by a two-thirds vote.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT  said the Governor  can call a  committee back                                                               
into  special   session  but   can't  force   them  to   make  an                                                               
appropriation. The  committee can  pass an appropriation  but the                                                               
Governor can veto it.  It is a check and balance.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON advised that language  from last year's bill covers                                                               
the issue. He read the language:                                                                                                
     If  the Legislature  by law  declares an  extraordinary                                                                    
     circumstance  exists  upon  affirmative  vote  of  two-                                                                    
     thirds of  the members  of each house,  Legislature may                                                                    
     pass  an appropriation  that exceeds  the appropriation                                                                    
     limit under  this section to address  the extraordinary                                                                    
     circumstances.  Notwithstanding Section  17 of  Article                                                                    
     2,  a  bill  declaring  an  extraordinary  circumstance                                                                    
     passed  by the  Legislature may  not become  law unless                                                                    
     signed by the Governor.                                                                                                    
Discussion last year was, "what  if the Governor vetoes it? Would                                                               
there have to be a three-quarter vote to overrule the Governor?"                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:41:34 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS  said when  the Governor  is faced  with a  veto or                                                               
with declaring  extraordinary circumstances;  the cat  is already                                                               
out of the bag.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON  offered  to  add   a  conceptual  amendment  with                                                               
language from last year's bill.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS said he would be more comfortable with that.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:42:21 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked Senator Dyson  to work with the drafters                                                               
and  come  back  to  committee  with  the  appropriate  committee                                                               
substitute.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. SCHULTZ said  if the Legislature passes  an appropriation for                                                               
a special circumstance, it cannot  become law until signed by the                                                               
Governor, but SJR1 says both parties must agree.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS said  he feels more comfortable that  it be subject                                                               
to the same procedure that any other bill would be.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:43:24 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS agreed.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON said  there is some reason to move  SJR 1 with some                                                               
dispatch since  budget decisions  must be  made soon.  A spending                                                               
limit has  populace appeal.  The committee  could ask  the Senate                                                               
President  to  give additional  referral  back  to the  Judiciary                                                               
Committee once the Finance Committee has done its work.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS  said the  committee could  pass SJR  1 out  in the                                                               
next meeting.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:46:07 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DYSON  said he  would support any  extra time  and effort                                                               
spent  on constitutional  issues  when  considering amending  the                                                               
constitution.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS referred  to a point made by  Senator French, which                                                               
was  what if  a big  argument negatively  affected the  education                                                               
budget? The Legislature needs the  override ability of the normal                                                               
course.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON  agreed  to  finish   the  amendment  before  next                                                               
committee meeting.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SJR 1 was held in committee.                                                                                                    

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