Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/24/2018 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 208 TRUSTS; COMM PROP TRUSTS; POWERS OF APPT TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
+= HB 123 DISCLOSURE OF HEALTH CARE COSTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS CSHB 123(JUD) Out of Committee
+= HB 259 CONFINING VEHICLE LOADS TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS CSHB 259(JUD) Out of Committee
+= HB 336 SUPPORTIVE DECISION-MAKING AGREEMENTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 336(JUD) AM Out of Committee
+= HB 44 LEGISLATIVE ETHICS: VOTING & CONFLICTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS CSSSHB 44(STA) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         HB  44-LEGISLATIVE ETHICS: VOTING & CONFLICTS                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:53:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL announced  the consideration of HB  44. [SCS CSSSHB                                                               
44(STA), version N, was before the committee.]                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:54:08 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:57:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL reconvened the meeting.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:57:22 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked  the  sponsor if  he  supported  the                                                               
changes in the State Affairs committee substitute (CS).                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:57:36 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JASON GRENN,  Alaska  State Legislature,  Juneau,                                                               
Alaska, sponsor of HB 44, said yes.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if there are  differences between the                                                               
bill and the initiative.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRENN replied they are substantially similar.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL  advised  that legislative  legal  said  the  only                                                               
difference is that the initiative  says that when a lobbyist pays                                                               
for a legislator's  meal, it must be a de  minimis amount and the                                                               
bill  specifies a  $15  amount.  That is  the  amount in  current                                                               
statute and the thought was that these pass the sameness test.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  if passing  HB 44  would remove  the                                                               
initiative from the ballot.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRENN  said if  the bill is  signed into  law, the                                                               
Division of Elections will determine  whether it is substantially                                                               
similar  to  the  initiative.  If so,  the  initiative  would  be                                                               
removed  from the  ballot. He  noted that  he has  testified that                                                               
they seem to be mirror images.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:59:44 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  expressed  concern  that  the  legislature                                                               
would be  able to change the  bill next year whereas  a citizen's                                                               
initiative can't be changed for two years.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL  offered his  experience  that  it's difficult  to                                                               
change things back whether it's a bill or initiative.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI cited  minimum  wage as  an instance  where                                                               
that happened.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:00:30 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO offered her understanding  that this was brought                                                               
forward  because  two  legislators  who work  for  oil  companies                                                               
benefitted from the way they voted  on an oil tax bill. The voter                                                               
initiative subsequently came through and  the voters in those two                                                               
districts  overwhelmingly supported  the way  that their  elected                                                               
officials had voted.  If there had been a provision  on the books                                                               
that  prohibited those  citizen  legislators from  voting on  the                                                               
measure, 60,000  Alaskan voters would  not have had a  voice, she                                                               
said.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
She asked  for assurance that  in passing  HB 44, the  members of                                                               
this citizen  legislature would not  be prevented from  voting on                                                               
measures,  they  just  have  to   state  they  have  a  potential                                                               
conflict.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRENN said  HB 44  was  not intended  to shine  a                                                               
light on previous votes or  legislation. As a citizen running for                                                               
election he  thought it was  important to do anything  that would                                                               
build  trust and  transparency with  the voters.  When HB  44 was                                                               
originally drafted,  the Senators  in the scenario  she described                                                               
would  not  have  been  precluded  from  voting  based  on  their                                                               
employment.  However,  the  bill  was changed  in  the  committee                                                               
process.  It  is more  restrictive  on  who  rises to  declare  a                                                               
conflict, but  the Uniform Rule  that allows a lone  objection to                                                               
compel the  person to vote was  not changed. He said  he believes                                                               
the  bill allows  for  a citizen  legislature  but clarifies  the                                                               
statute  related to  stating a  conflict. It  is consistent  with                                                               
many other states.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL found no further questions.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:06:33 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO  moved to  report the Senate  CS for  CSSSHB 44,                                                               
version  N, from  committee with  individual recommendations  and                                                               
attached fiscal note(s).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:06:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  stated that without objection,  SCS CSSSHB 44(STA)                                                               
moves from the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                             

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