Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/16/2018 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved SB 134 Out of Committee
Moved SCS SSHJR 21(JUD) Out of Committee
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<Above Item Removed from Agenda>
<Above Item Removed from Agenda>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
         HB  44-LEGISLATIVE ETHICS: VOTING & CONFLICTS                                                                      
2:08:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   COGHILL  reconvened   the  meeting   and  announced   the                                                               
consideration  of  HB 44.  [SCS  CSSSHB  44(STA) was  before  the                                                               
committee.]   He  noted   that   the   State  Affairs   Committee                                                               
significantly changed the bill.                                                                                                 
2:08:58 PM                                                                                                                    
RYAN JOHNSTON, Staff, Representative Jason Grenn, Alaska State                                                                  
Legislature, Juneau, Alaska,  reviewed the following changes                                                                    
from version R to version N and for HB 44:                                                                                      
     The  sections  of  Version  R   can  be  found  in  the                                                                    
     corresponding sections of Version N                                                                                        
     ? Ver R  Section 1 corresponds with Section 7  in ver N                                                                    
     ? Ver R  Section 2 corresponds with Section 8  in ver N                                                                    
     ? Ver R  Section 3 corresponds with Section 9  in ver N                                                                    
     ? Ver R Section 4 corresponds with Section 11 in ver N                                                                     
     The new sections of the bill include:                                                                                      
     Sections  1 and  2 prohibits  foreign corporations  and                                                                  
     nationals from making  political expenditures on behalf                                                                    
     of candidates in state elections.                                                                                          
     Section 3,  page 6 lines  5-12, amends  AS 24.10.120(a)                                                                  
     to implement  a stricter policy on  legislative foreign                                                                    
     Section 4,  page 6 lines  5-12, amends  AS 24.10.130(b)                                                                  
     so there will be no  per diem for legislators after 121                                                                    
     days if the budget has not been passed                                                                                     
     Section 5,  page 6 lines 25-31,  amends AS 24.10.130(c)                                                                  
     to direct the  Legislative Council to adopt  a per diem                                                                    
     policy in accordance with section 4 of the bill.                                                                           
     Section 6,  page 8 lines  1-12, amends  AS 24.45.121(a)                                                                  
     to  read  that a  lobbyist  may  only purchase  a  non-                                                                    
     alcoholic beverage for a legislator.                                                                                       
     Section 10,  page 9, amends AS  24.10.120(a) to clarify                                                                  
     that a  Legislator can accept a  non-alcoholic beverage                                                                    
     from a lobbyist.                                                                                                           
     Section 12,  page 11 line 4-19,  amends AS 39.23.540(d)                                                                  
     to include the  new stipulations on per  diem set forth                                                                    
     in section 4.                                                                                                              
     Section 13, page 11, line 20, repeals AS 24.10.051(b).                                                                   
     Section 14, page 11 lines  21-24, amends the uncodified                                                                  
     law of the State of  Alaska to direct the Alaska Public                                                                    
     Office  Commission to  adopt the  necessary regulations                                                                    
     to implement sections 1 and 2 of this bill.                                                                                
     Section 15, page 11 lines  27-31, amends the uncodified                                                                  
     law  of  the State  of  Alaska  to  state that  if  any                                                                    
     section of  this bill is  found invalid, then  the rest                                                                    
     of the bill will not be affected.                                                                                          
     Section 16, page  12 line 1, states that  section 14 of                                                                  
     the bill  will take effect immediately  upon the bill's                                                                    
     Section 17, page 12 line  2, changes the effective date                                                                  
     to July 1, 2018.                                                                                                           
2:11:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL  said  he understands  that  the  only  difference                                                               
between the initiative and the bill  is the de minimis value of a                                                               
meal versus the $15 amount which is in statute.                                                                                 
MR. JOHNSTON agreed.                                                                                                            
2:12:55 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  if the  sponsor supports  the Senate                                                               
committee substitute.                                                                                                           
MR. JOHNSTON replied, "The Representative  is appreciative of the                                                               
conversation  that goes  on with  this bill  and appreciates  the                                                               
ability  to speak  before the  committee and  apologizes that  he                                                               
can't be here currently."                                                                                                       
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  commented that  it  was  a good  political                                                               
CHAIR COGHILL  said he'd like to  dialog with the sponsor  on the                                                               
record about the policy calls.  He offered his perspective of the                                                               
per  diem  provision.  He  struggles  with  it  because  extended                                                               
sessions aren't always within the  legislature's control. He said                                                               
he  can understand  why some  people don't  support international                                                               
travel,  but   "whether  we   like  it  or   not  Alaska   is  an                                                               
international  state." Its  largest trading  partners are  China,                                                               
Japan,  Korea,  and  Canada. Furthermore,  Alaska  is  an  Arctic                                                               
state, the Pacific  fishery is international, and  tourism has an                                                               
international flavor.  He said he  would study the  language, but                                                               
to exclude  the impact an  international conversation  might have                                                               
on a  campaign might  be unwise. He  opined that  legislators may                                                               
need   to   be   part   of  both   national   and   international                                                               
organizations. He said he understands  that money is perceived as                                                               
buying elections, but it's up  to the integrity of the individual                                                               
whether  the  money  is  used  as a  voice  to  communicate  with                                                               
constituents or if it's used to drive special interests.                                                                        
2:19:40 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  if  there is  any  legal opinion  or                                                               
consultation about whether the current  version of the bill would                                                               
take the initiative off the ballot.                                                                                             
MR. JOHNSTON  responded that the  Senate State  Affairs Committee                                                               
received a legal  memo that said the current version  of the bill                                                               
satisfies the  intent of the  initiative. However, it  would rest                                                               
on a court case. He offered to supply a copy of the memo.                                                                       
CHAIR   COGHILL  advised   that  the   3/21/18  memorandum   from                                                               
legislative attorney Dan Wayne is in the packets.                                                                               
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI said  he  read  the memo  and  it seems  to                                                               
address  constitutional issues  as  opposed to  whether it  would                                                               
take the initiative off the ballot.                                                                                             
2:21:40 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  JOHNSTON  said  any constitutional  concerns  will  only  be                                                               
resolved through  a court case.  He offered to have  someone from                                                               
the lieutenant governor's office come  and talk about its finding                                                               
that the initiative was not unconstitutional.                                                                                   
CHAIR  COGHILL  relayed  that  testimony  in  the  State  Affairs                                                               
Committee was  that being constitutional  to go on the  ballot is                                                               
one question and  whether the policy calls  are constitutional is                                                               
another,  larger   question.  Legal  advice  on   that  point  is                                                               
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI noted  that the memo did  raise the question                                                               
about  the effect  of the  bill  in an  initiative election.  The                                                               
conclusion is  not a slam dunk  in either direction, but  it does                                                               
say the court would probably  find the bill passes the three-part                                                               
CHAIR  COGHILL  shared  that  he  is not  a  fan  of  either  the                                                               
initiative or  the bill because  of the restrictions that  may be                                                               
outside legislators'  control. It also supposes  the authority of                                                               
lobbyists that  may not be  entirely accurate. He  reiterated the                                                               
request to  have a dialog on  the record with the  sponsor during                                                               
the 9:00 a.m. meeting tomorrow.                                                                                                 
MR. JOHNSTON said  the sponsor has a Finance meeting  at the same                                                               
time but he would do his best.                                                                                                  
2:26:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL held HB 44 in committee for further consideration.                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 44 - Explanation of Changes (ver. R to ver. N).pdf SJUD 4/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 44
CS to HJR 21 - Version J.pdf SJUD 4/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
HJR 21
SB 134 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 4/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 134
SB 134 - Sectional Analysis (ver. A).pdf SJUD 4/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 134
SB 134 - Supporting Document - Economist - A Question of Proof.pdf SJUD 4/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 134
SB 134 - Supporting Document - CNN Article.pdf SJUD 4/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 134
SB 134 - Supporting Document - Examples Where AS is Misinterpreted.pdf SJUD 4/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 134
SB 134 - Supporting Document - Leg. Research Report.pdf SJUD 4/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 134
SB 134 - Supporting Document - Juneau Empire Article.pdf SJUD 4/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 134
SB 134 - Letter of Support - Miles Curtis.pdf SJUD 4/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 134