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 4-CONST AM: BUDGET RESERVE FUND                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:48:59 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS announced SJR 4 was up for consideration.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON asked  if the Legislature should  make repaying the                                                               
constitutional budget  reserve (CBR) a  priority in years  with a                                                               
surplus, and  getting it  up to  $5 billion  dollars as  a buffer                                                               
fund.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS said maybe there  should be an escalator built into                                                               
the amendment so that the  Legislature doesn't have to re-address                                                               
the dollar amount in the future.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT said he does  not like escalators. Setting the                                                               
buffer at $5 billion should cover  things for the near future and                                                               
then it wouldn't be difficult to step it up when needed.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:51:45 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS agreed  and offered  to  consider a  5 or  10-year                                                               
review.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT  said SJR 4  should probably have gone  to the                                                               
Finance Committee before the Judiciary Committee.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS announced  the committee  might  request a  second                                                               
referral after Finance has finished with SJR 4.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON  agreed  with Senator  Therriault  being  wary  of                                                               
escalators on  the spending side.  SJR 4 is different  because it                                                               
is  the financial  back  up that  bonding  ratings are  dependent                                                               
upon.  SJR  4 will  bring  voters  because  of  the appeal  of  a                                                               
disciplined spending.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:54:18 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS said  the  CBR  fulfills two  functions,  it is  a                                                               
buffer for  bad years and it  is a cash flow  account. There must                                                               
be an amount in the CBR to handle cash flow variations.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:54:55 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  SCHULTZ said  last year  the Governor  suggested $1  billion                                                               
dollars  as the  minimum. SJR  4  does not  limit the  CBR to  $5                                                               
billion dollars it limits the payments.  The CBR can grow past $5                                                               
billion from other sources.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:55:49 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS  advised Senator  Dyson and  the committee  that he                                                               
would  watch SJR  4 and  ask for  a second  referral back  to the                                                               
Judiciary Committee.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS  made a  motion to  move SJR  4 out  of committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and zero fiscal notes.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS heard no objections and so the motion passed.                                                                     

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