Legislature(2019 - 2020)FAHRENKAMP 203

03/27/2019 06:00 PM JUDICIARY

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Audio Topic
06:03:08 PM Start
06:03:40 PM SB23|| SB24
07:51:17 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time & Location --
+= SB 23 APPROP:SUPP. PAYMENTS OF PRIOR YEARS' PFD TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 23(STA) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+= SB 24 PFD SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 24(STA) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony - Sign Up by 7:00 p.m. --
<Time Limit of 1 minute>
        SB 23-APPROP:SUPP. PAYMENTS OF PRIOR YEARS' PFD                                                                     
                SB 24-PFD SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENTS                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
6:03:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
SENATE BILL  NO. 23, "An  Act making special  appropriations from                                                               
the earnings  reserve account for  the payment of  permanent fund                                                               
dividends; and providing for an effective date." and                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
[Before the committee was the CSSB 23(STA).]                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO.  24, "An Act directing the  Department of Revenue                                                               
to pay  dividends to certain eligible  individuals; and providing                                                               
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
[Before the committee was CSSB 24(STA).]                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
6:03:51 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  made opening remarks  and provided the  address for                                                               
testifiers     to     submit     written     public     testimony                                                               
atsenate.judiciary@akleg.gov.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
6:06:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES opened public testimony on SB 23 and SB 24.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
6:06:44 PM                                                                                                                    
LYNDA SAVANT, representing herself,  Wasilla, spoke in support of                                                               
SB  23 and  SB 24  because  as a  single  mom she  relies on  the                                                               
permanent fund  dividend. In  response to  Chair Hughes  she said                                                               
she supported both SB 23 and SB 24.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
6:07:41 PM                                                                                                                    
KRISTEN  BUSH,  representing  herself,   Eagle  River,  spoke  in                                                               
support of SB 23 and SB 24.  She offered her belief that what the                                                               
state  has done  with  the permanent  fund  dividend is  taxation                                                               
without  representation. She  said that  children do  not have  a                                                               
voice. The permanent fund dividend  program is not an entitlement                                                               
program but was related to  citizens' mineral rights. She said it                                                               
was wrong  in the first place  [to reduce the PFDs]  and she will                                                               
fight for all of Alaska.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
6:08:56 PM                                                                                                                    
SHAWN  DOCHTERMANN,   representing  himself,  Kodiak,   spoke  in                                                               
opposition  to  SB 23  and  SB  24. He  said  that  as a  40-year                                                               
resident and fisherman  in Kodiak he was adamantly  opposed to SB                                                               
23 and  SB 24. The  PFD is  an entitlement because  people expect                                                               
the permanent  fund dividend,  he said. He  said that  Alaska has                                                               
problems  funding state  government, yet  the governor  wanted to                                                               
give back money from three  years ago. He expressed a willingness                                                               
to give up the PFD for essential state services.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
6:10:16 PM                                                                                                                    
GREGORY  BARTLETT, representing  himself,  Soldotna, offered  his                                                               
support for both bills.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
6:10:51 PM                                                                                                                    
TANYA KITKA,  representing herself,  Kodiak, spoke in  support of                                                               
SB 23  and SB  24. She  urged members  to support  the historical                                                               
formula  for calculating  the permanent  fund dividend.  She said                                                               
that  it  only  recently  became an  appropriation  item  on  the                                                               
state's  budget.  She found  it  appalling  that the  legislature                                                               
allowed Governor  Walker to single-handedly make  the change. She                                                               
found it appalling that legislators were waffling on the issue.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
6:12:08 PM                                                                                                                    
DON  BULLOCK, representing  himself, Juneau,  stated his  concern                                                               
about   the  constitutional   issue  raised   by  the   residency                                                               
requirements  in  SB  24.  He stated  that  the  legislature  has                                                               
dueling  memos between  the Legislative  Legal  Services and  the                                                               
Department of Law.  He found the memo by Emily  Nauman to be more                                                               
convincing. He  expressed concern that  the bill requires  a two-                                                               
year residency to qualify for the  repayment, but said he was not                                                               
aware  of any  other  program  that would  require  two years  of                                                               
residency. Under the  bill, the first year of  residency would be                                                               
based on  the eligibility requirements  in 2016, 2017,  and 2018.                                                               
The additional  requirement would  be the  residency requirements                                                               
in 2019-21.  He pointed  out that  alternatives suggested  by Ms.                                                               
Nauman should be considered, such  as making the payment based on                                                               
the original qualification  or the residency in  2019-21, but not                                                               
both qualifying periods.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
6:13:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES asked whether he supports the bill.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BULLOCK answered that he has no opinion.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
6:14:00 PM                                                                                                                    
JEFF KINNAN, representing himself, Sitka,  spoke in support of SB                                                               
23 and  SB 24.  He said  that tampering  with the  permanent fund                                                               
dividend  would  be  a  disaster  for  [legislators  seeking  re-                                                               
election].  He is  100 percent  disabled and  the permanent  fund                                                               
dividend  allows  him  discretionary  income to  travel  and  buy                                                               
gifts.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
6:15:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CHARLES  SIMON,  representing  himself,   Hooper  Bay,  spoke  in                                                               
support of  SB 23  and SB  24. He supports  the repayment  of the                                                               
PFD.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
6:15:58 PM}                                                                                                                   
JENNIFER REAGAN, representing herself,  Wasilla, spoke in support                                                               
of SB  23 and SB  24. She said  this is  a right provided  by the                                                               
Constitution of the State of Alaska.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
6:16:51 PM                                                                                                                    
LYNDA  MYERS,  representing  herself, Anchorage,  said  that  she                                                               
resided in  Alaska for  the period 1969-2018.  She said  that the                                                               
government should  not have  taken it away  from Alaskans  in the                                                               
first place. She recalled that  a portion was initially set aside                                                               
for government  spending and a  portion for the people.  She said                                                               
that the legislature  has gone overboard with  spending. It needs                                                               
to go  back to the people.  She said the previous  governor stole                                                               
the money.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
6:19:09 PM                                                                                                                    
At-ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
6:20:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES reconvened the meeting.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
6:20:55 PM                                                                                                                    
KAREN PERRY,  representing herself, Chugiak, spoke  in support of                                                               
SB 23  and SB 24. She  supported a full statutory  permanent fund                                                               
dividend.  She expressed  concern  over  government spending  and                                                               
quoted  from an  article to  support her  concern. The  permanent                                                               
fund  dividend belongs  to the  people of  Alaska. She  supported                                                               
cutting  government spending  and  returning the  PFDs that  were                                                               
stolen  from Alaskans.  She  supported  the historical  statutory                                                               
PFD.  No  one can  get  away  with  breaking the  law,  including                                                               
legislators, she said.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
6:23:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES  commented  that  the  public  can  submit  written                                                               
testimony to senate.judiciary@akleg.gov.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
6:23:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CATHY HENDERSON,  representing herself,  Kenai, spoke  in support                                                               
of SB 23. She said that  she and her mother are disabled seniors.                                                               
The permanent fund  dividend helps them throughout  the year. The                                                               
permanent fund needs to go back to the people.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
6:24:35 PM                                                                                                                    
DAWN BARNARD,  representing herself, Talkeetna, spoke  in support                                                               
of SB 23 and SB 24 to have the PFD paid back to Alaskans.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
6:25:08 PM                                                                                                                    
TAMARA SCHMIDT,  representing herself,  Talkeetna, said she  is a                                                               
life-long Alaskan. The state needs  to live within its means just                                                               
as the people do, she said. She  spoke in support of SB 23 and SB                                                               
24.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
6:25:46 PM                                                                                                                    
LYNN WILLIS, representing himself,  Eagle River, stated that this                                                               
is going to cost $1 billion.  He suggested taking it from another                                                               
source of  revenue. He  asked whether  the legislature  thinks it                                                               
can  afford to  pay out  $1 billion.  He suggested  a needs-based                                                               
dividend for the poor if needed.  In response to Chair Hughes, he                                                               
answered  that he  supports SB  23  and SB  24 if  the state  can                                                               
afford it.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
6:27:03 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID OTNESS, representing himself,  Cordova, spoke in support of                                                               
SB 23, but now is not the time  for it. He said that the state is                                                               
being pressured to make rash  decisions without understanding the                                                               
long-term  consequences. He  worked  hard to  help establish  the                                                               
permanent  fund  in the  70s.  It  should  be sustained  for  the                                                               
future. He said he would love to  see a state bank or other means                                                               
to sustain the fund.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
6:29:08 PM                                                                                                                    
MICHELLE HAHN, representing  herself, Cordova, said she  is a 46-                                                               
year  resident. She  spoke against  SB 23  and SB  24 because  it                                                               
would  devastate  the  economy.   She  once  supported  the  full                                                               
statutory permanent  fund dividend,  but it  was during  the time                                                               
when the  state had $14  billion in the state's  savings account.                                                               
Governor  Dunleavy   made  promises  without   consequences.  She                                                               
recalled promises that were made about maintaining services.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
6:30:27 PM                                                                                                                    
JEFF GUARD,  representing himself,  Cordova, spoke against  SB 23                                                               
and  SB  24 because  it  will  destroy  the state's  economy  and                                                               
property values will be diminished.  He said that there would not                                                               
be anyone to  manage the fisheries. He said that  there are costs                                                               
for  government to  supply  services the  public  needs and  help                                                               
maintain  a vibrant  economy. He  said he  expects the  Senate to                                                               
ensure that state projects are funded.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
6:31:58 PM                                                                                                                    
MARIA   BYFORD,   representing   herself,  Wrangell,   spoke   in                                                               
opposition  to  SB  23  and  SB  24.  She  did  not  support  the                                                               
governor's proposal to  repay the PFDs for the  last three years.                                                               
The money  would be better  spent to provide  pre-K-12 education,                                                               
the university system, and work  for future programs. She further                                                               
thought   it   was   important   to   keep   transportation   and                                                               
communication alive  via the public  radio and ferry  system. She                                                               
also  supported funding  for Medicaid  expansion  to keep  people                                                               
healthy and  to provide treatment for  opioid addiction. Finally,                                                               
she  stressed the  importance of  maintaining the  permanent fund                                                               
for the future.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
6:33:12 PM                                                                                                                    
SUSAN STEVENS, Member, Wrangell  Tlingit & Haida, Wrangell, spoke                                                               
in support of  SB 23 and SB  24 because it provides  cash for the                                                               
village economies since  the PFD provides a  bigger percentage of                                                               
income to  Native people.  They lag behind  every social  need in                                                               
the communities  and this money  would really help. She  said the                                                               
land was Native land initially.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
6:34:33 PM                                                                                                                    
PAT HOLMES, representing himself,  Kodiak, spoke in opposition to                                                               
SB 23 and SB  24. He said that it comes down to  "Me first now or                                                               
we for the  long run." He said  that he would say no  to both. He                                                               
and his wife consulted on their  taxes and a $3,000 PFD would put                                                               
them  into a  different  tax  bracket. He  said  that low  income                                                               
residents are  also pushed up.  He said that people  should think                                                               
about  it before  they push  for "me  first." It's  a payoff  for                                                               
votes, he said.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
6:35:47 PM                                                                                                                    
LARRY BEACH,  representing himself, Wasilla, spoke  in support of                                                               
SB 23 and SB 24.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
6:36:20 PM                                                                                                                    
JIM SWISHER,  representing himself, Wasilla, spoke  in support of                                                               
SB 23  and SB 24. He  lived in rural  Alaska for 17 years,  so he                                                               
understands  the importance  of  the permanent  fund dividend  to                                                               
rural Alaskans.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
6:37:29 PM                                                                                                                    
SHERYL SMITH, representing herself,  Wasilla, spoke in support of                                                               
SB 23  and SB  24. She  acknowledged that the  courts need  to be                                                               
funded but  at the  same time  some people  in the  Mat-Su Valley                                                               
rely  on the  PFD for  energy costs,  including fuel  to run  the                                                               
generator for people who live off the grid.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
6:38:40 PM                                                                                                                    
JACK JOHNSON, representing himself,  North Pole, spoke in support                                                               
of SB 23  and SB 24. He asked members  whether the permanent fund                                                               
was used to  fund government four or five years  ago. He believed                                                               
not. Therefore,  there should not  be a question about  using the                                                               
funds now. He  would like people to have more  access to testify.                                                               
He noted that he was on hold for 49 minutes.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
6:40:35 PM                                                                                                                    
BARBARA  SEYBOLB, representing  herself,  Eagle  River, spoke  in                                                               
support of restoring  the permanent fund dividend.  She said that                                                               
the  government  was  taking  it  away  without  any  input.  She                                                               
preferred a  partnership relationship  instead of  the government                                                               
telling  people  what they  will  do.  She supported  having  the                                                               
permanent fund  dividend stay the way  it was set up  and letting                                                               
the  public vote  on  changes. She  said  the legislature  should                                                               
follow the law and care about the people.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
6:41:41 PM                                                                                                                    
LARRY  CHRISTENSEN,  representing  himself,  Soldotna,  spoke  in                                                               
support of SB 23 and SB 24. He  said he has lived in Alaska since                                                               
1991.  He has  observed  the government  taking  over. The  state                                                               
should not  have taken away  the permanent fund  dividend without                                                               
giving the  people an opportunity  to vote.  He said he  must pay                                                               
for things that the dividend previously covered.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
6:42:56 PM                                                                                                                    
FAYE SARREN,  representing herself,  Anchorage, spoke  in support                                                               
of SB  23 and SB  24. She said  that legislators spend  the money                                                               
unwisely,  which makes  people  angry. Now  they  have taken  the                                                               
dividend away  and it makes  people even angrier. She  would like                                                               
the legislature to repay the permanent fund dividends.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
6:44:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL BECK, representing himself,  Wasilla, spoke in support of                                                               
SB 23. The permanent fund dividend  needs to be given back to the                                                               
people. There  are lots of  elderly and disabled people  who need                                                               
it  and the  money goes  into the  economy and  helps keep  costs                                                               
down. The government needs to live within its means.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
6:45:09 PM                                                                                                                    
GREGORY WHITE, representing himself,  Anchorage, spoke in support                                                               
of SB 23 and SB 24. He  said he does not support government using                                                               
the permanent fund to fund the  budget. He emphasized the need to                                                               
restore the full permanent fund dividend.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
6:46:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SHEILA FAIGE, representing herself,  Wasilla, spoke in support of                                                               
SB 23 and SB 24. She said that  her husband lost his job in 2016,                                                               
just  as  Governor  Walker  decided to  take  their  money,  [the                                                               
permanent fund  dividend]. She  had to  file for  bankruptcy. She                                                               
needs the PFD to cover expenses, she said.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
6:47:25 PM                                                                                                                    
OLIVIA SELLERS,  representing herself, Wasilla, spoke  in support                                                               
of SB 23  and SB 24. She  has lived in Alaska for  over 20 years.                                                               
When the  permanent fund was  created it  was not intended  to be                                                               
used for the budget. She expressed  concern for those who rely on                                                               
the permanent  fund dividend,  such as seniors  who are  on fixed                                                               
income and need food and fuel,  and for young families and single                                                               
families who rely  on the permanent fund dividend  to boost their                                                               
income. She would  like government to balance the  budget just as                                                               
citizens must.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
6:48:38 PM                                                                                                                    
ELISPAPETA  SHECK,  representing  himself,  Anchorage,  spoke  in                                                               
support of SB 23 and SB 24.  He said he thinks that government is                                                               
too  big.  He  said  that   the  legislature  should  follow  the                                                               
constitution.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
6:51:23 PM                                                                                                                    
HERMAN MORGAN,  representing himself, Aniak, spoke  in support of                                                               
SB 23 and  SB 24. He said  that the money was  taken from people,                                                               
which for a  family of five would have been  $75,000 in the three                                                               
years. This money would be spent  on snow machines and to pay for                                                               
medical  bills.  He expressed  concern  that  the state  will  go                                                               
bankrupt.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
6:53:07 PM                                                                                                                    
VIKKI JO KENNEDY, representing herself,  Kodiak, spoke in support                                                               
of  SB 23  and  SB 24  because the  permanent  fund dividend  was                                                               
illegally taken.  She said she was  out of state for  those three                                                               
years. She urged members to stop spending wildly.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
6:54:29 PM                                                                                                                    
JEFF MAY, representing  himself, Wasilla, spoke in  support of SB                                                               
23 and SB 24.  He said that he is a  25-year resident of Wasilla.                                                               
He said the arguments presented tonight speak for themselves.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
6:55:04 PM                                                                                                                    
SABRINA MARTINO, representing herself,  Wasilla, spoke in support                                                               
of SB 23 and SB 24.  She said she supports the governor's efforts                                                               
to make  a sustainable budget,  and that spending should  be cut.                                                               
She does not  think the permanent fund dividend  should have been                                                               
taken in the  first place. The government  spending is increasing                                                               
at  a [disproportionate]  rate to  inflation  and the  population                                                               
growth in Alaska.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
6:55:48 PM                                                                                                                    
LILA JENSEN,  representing herself,  Anchorage, spoke  in support                                                               
of SB 23  because a lot of  elders depend on the  money. She said                                                               
she is a  lifelong Alaskan and mother of five.  She said that her                                                               
family  relies  on the  permanent  fund  dividend to  buy  winter                                                               
clothes.  The   permanent  fund   dividend  is  supposed   to  be                                                               
permanent,  she said.  She expressed  concern  that her  children                                                               
will not  be able to benefit  from the program because  the money                                                               
will be gone.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
6:57:22 PM                                                                                                                    
FEDERICK  TRIESELMANN,  representing  himself,  Homer,  spoke  in                                                               
opposition to  SB 23  and SB 24  because it is  a ploy  to garner                                                               
votes and good  will. He said that the payback  timeline falls in                                                               
line with  the election. It  would provide  a means to  buy votes                                                               
while gutting  state services,  like the  state ferry  system and                                                               
education, he said.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
6:58:28 PM                                                                                                                    
LINN MCCABE, representing herself, Big  Lake, spoke in support of                                                               
SB  23 and  SB  24.  She said  she  supports  using the  original                                                               
formula to  calculate the permanent  fund dividend and  it should                                                               
not  be changed.  The  permanent fund  dividend  is the  people's                                                               
money and  should not  be used for  funding government  without a                                                               
vote by  the people.  She urged members  to create  a sustainable                                                               
budget  and not  use the  PFD to  continue bloated  spending. She                                                               
said the legislature should not create any new taxes.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
6:58:55 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER joined the meeting.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
6:59:51 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE  said the sound  quality is very poor.  He asked                                                               
testifiers to indicate whether they support or oppose the bills.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
7:00:30 PM                                                                                                                    
ARMANDO  HERNANDEZ,  representing  himself, Anchorage,  spoke  in                                                               
support of SB 23  and SB 24. He said that the  PFD belongs to the                                                               
people and  the state cannot  steal it. He works  in construction                                                               
at  the state  office building.  He expressed  alarm at  the high                                                               
price of doors  and other construction needs. The  state needs to                                                               
stop spending that  amount of money. He said, "Give  us our money                                                               
back. Period."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
7:01:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES   reminded  testifiers  they  can   submit  written                                                               
testimony to senate.judiciary@akleg.gov                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
7:01:49 PM                                                                                                                    
LEIGH SLOAN,  representing herself,  Anchorage, spoke  in support                                                               
of SB 23.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JAKE SLOAN, representing himself,  Anchorage, spoke in support of                                                               
SB 23  and SB 24.  He said that  the permanent fund  dividend was                                                               
attached without a  vote of the people. He said,  "That's a wrong                                                               
that needs to be righted."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
7:02:43 PM                                                                                                                    
ELIZABETH  SWEET,  representing  herself, North  Pole,  spoke  in                                                               
support of SB  23 and SB 24  because she counts on  that money to                                                               
pay her bills.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
7:03:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MARK SWSLER, representing himself,  Soldotna, spoke in support of                                                               
SB  23 and  SB  24.  He asked  when  the  legislature will  start                                                               
cutting   the  government.   He   expressed   concern  that   the                                                               
legislature  would  continue  to  take   more  and  more  of  the                                                               
permanent  fund  dividend.  He  offered  his  belief  that  those                                                               
testifying  in   opposition  to  the  bills   were  educators  or                                                               
government  workers. He  favored  privatizing  the Alaska  Marine                                                               
Highway System.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
7:04:31 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID DENZINE,  representing himself,  Kasilof, spoke  in support                                                               
of SB 23 and SB 24. He  said that government needs to live within                                                               
its means.  He said  he would like  stricter law  enforcement. He                                                               
thinks that the social  services need to be cut. He  said he is a                                                               
retired Vietnam veteran. The schools  need to be consolidated, he                                                               
said. People should spend their  money wisely instead of [relying                                                               
on] the government.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
7:05:43 PM                                                                                                                    
WENDY MORALES, representing herself,  Anchorage, spoke in support                                                               
of SB  23 and SB  24. She disagreed  with how the  permanent fund                                                               
dividend was  taken because the  public should have voted  on it.                                                               
She said that  the right thing to do is  repay the permanent fund                                                               
dividends. She has a family of  five and she depends on the money                                                               
to pay important bills.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
7:06:29 PM                                                                                                                    
ANDREW HAAG,  representing himself,  Talkeetna, spoke  in support                                                               
of  SB 23  and  SB 24.  He  said  he is  a  20-year Alaskan.  The                                                               
permanent fund  dividend was established in  exchange for mineral                                                               
rights.  He said  just  as  he has  to  reduce costs,  government                                                               
should balance  the budget. He  supported repaying  the permanent                                                               
fund dividends.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
7:07:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SHARRY EICHENLAUB,  representing herself,  Eagle River,  spoke in                                                               
support of  SB 23 and  SB 24.  She supported cutting  the budget.                                                               
She expressed concern  that funding for education is  too high in                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
7:09:21 PM                                                                                                                    
JAMES  SQUYRES, representing  himself,  Rural  Deltana, spoke  in                                                               
support of  SB 23  and SB 24.  He said he  is a  certified public                                                               
accountant  by  profession.  He  said that  he  supports  a  full                                                               
permanent fund  dividend to restore  the public's trust.  He said                                                               
that  the unpaid  permanent fund  dividends belong  to individual                                                               
Alaskans and not to the  earnings reserve account. He offered his                                                               
belief that an  error occurred. He said that not  paying back the                                                               
PFDs would  cover up the  errors made  and set precedent  to what                                                               
amounts  to a  crime. The  earnings reserve  account has  enjoyed                                                               
investment returns from these "parked"  funds. This has benefited                                                               
the state. The state will come  out ahead once the payback occurs                                                               
over the three-year timeline, he said.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
7:10:36 PM                                                                                                                    
NORMAN CLARK,  representing himself,  Kotzebue, spoke  in support                                                               
of SB 23 and SB 24. He said  he is a Native Alaskan. He expressed                                                               
concern  that people  move to  Alaska to  get the  permanent fund                                                               
dividend, but  Alaskans do  not move to  their states  to receive                                                               
benefits.  He  offered his  belief  that  these funds  belong  to                                                               
Alaskans.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
7:11:53 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE COONS,  President, Greater  Alaskan Chapter,  Association of                                                               
Mature Citizens (AMAC), Palmer, spoke in  support of SB 23 and SB                                                               
24. He  said that the people  were robbed by Governor  Walker and                                                               
the legislature.  "The time is now  to give back what  was stolen                                                               
from us  and ensure  it never  happens again,"  he said.  He said                                                               
that  this money  will  have a  huge impact  on  the economy.  He                                                               
recalled  that  the Institute  of  Social  and Economic  Research                                                               
(Institute  of  Social and  Economic  Research)  said that  every                                                               
[PFD]  dollar creates  six dollars.  He said  that those  who are                                                               
opposed to  these bills can  apply for  the dividend and  give it                                                               
back via the  "Pick.Click.Give." program or write a  check to the                                                               
State of Alaska.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
7:13:04 PM                                                                                                                    
PAMELA SAMASH, representing herself,  Nenana, spoke in support of                                                               
SB 23 and SB 24. She said  that families benefit from the PFD and                                                               
spending  their PFDs  benefits their  communities. She  offered a                                                               
suggestion  how  the  state  could  become  more  independent  of                                                               
government.  "Don't ask  what your  country can  do for  you, but                                                               
what you can do for your country," she said.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
7:14:07 PM                                                                                                                    
TIMOTHY MARTIN, representing himself,  Sterling, spoke in support                                                               
of SB 23 and SB 24  because the permanent fund dividend helps him                                                               
provide health  care for himself,  his wife, and  his grandchild.                                                               
The  PFD  helps  supplement  their  budget.  The  permanent  fund                                                               
dividend helps his small business.  He favored cutting the budget                                                               
and providing  a better  education for our  children. He  said he                                                               
favors having the  public and the government  working together on                                                               
these issues.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
7:15:19 PM                                                                                                                    
VALERIE BECK, representing herself,  Wasilla, spoke in support of                                                               
SB 23 and  SB 24. She believes that the  PFDs should be restored.                                                               
The PFDs were  taken without giving the public  an opportunity to                                                               
weigh  in on  the matter.  She  thinks that  government has  been                                                               
wasting  money  and now  it  wants  to  take the  permanent  fund                                                               
dividend to fix its problems. She  said that she works with a lot                                                               
of elderly  people in the  Mat-Su valley. She offered  her belief                                                               
that many of these people rely  on the permanent fund dividend to                                                               
provide money  for their medications, treatments,  utilities, and                                                               
other basic needs.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
7:17:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SUSAN FLETCHER, representing herself,  Big Lake, spoke in support                                                               
of SB 23 and SB 24. She said  she is a member of the social media                                                               
group, "Save  the PFD." She said  that families who live  off the                                                               
grid rely on their PFDs.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:18:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES  reiterated that  people  can  submit testimony  in                                                               
writing to senate.judiciary@akleg.gov.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
7:18:29 PM                                                                                                                    
ADAM CARDWELL, representing himself,  Willow, spoke in support of                                                               
SB 23  and SB 24.  He said that most  of his neighbors  depend on                                                               
the money  that the  permanent fund  dividend provides.  When the                                                               
permanent fund dividend was taken  it made their lives difficult.                                                               
He said  that he  is disabled  and losing his  PFD made  his life                                                               
much  harder. He  offered his  belief that  state employees  make                                                               
almost  double what  other people  make. The  budget needs  to be                                                               
dealt with, people  need to be paid a fair  wage, and quit giving                                                               
oil and mining industries a break, he said.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
7:19:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SUSAN CARLSON, representing herself,  Willow, spoke in support of                                                               
SB 23  and SB 24. She  said that the schools  and government need                                                               
to be more  accountable for their funds. She  urged government to                                                               
budget just as the people must budget.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
7:20:31 PM                                                                                                                    
DEBRA  JOHNSTON,   representing  herself,  Anchorage,   spoke  in                                                               
support of  SB 23  and SB  24. She  said that  the PFD  was never                                                               
meant to  support the  state budget.  The split  [between funding                                                               
the  government and  funding the  PFD] was  set at  50:50 and  it                                                               
should remain at that rate. She  urged members to repay the PFDs.                                                               
She said  that Alaskans  must live within  their means.  She also                                                               
asked members  to review  the school  budgets to  determine where                                                               
that money is being spent.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
7:21:29 PM                                                                                                                    
KEN BROWN,  representing himself,  Soldotna, spoke in  support of                                                               
SB 23  and SB 24.  He said that the  money belongs to  the people                                                               
and to the private sector.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
7:21:58 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID STAMPER,  representing himself,  Wasilla, spoke  in support                                                               
of SB 23 and SB 24. He  said that elderly people need this money.                                                               
He said that  having the permanent fund dividends  cut caused him                                                               
to be homeless for two years.  He said he thinks about the people                                                               
who need the PFDs.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
7:22:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRISTINE  HUTCHINSON,  representing  herself,  Kenai,  spoke  in                                                               
support  of  SB 23  and  SB  24 and  SJR  4.  She said  that  her                                                               
testimony was cut off during her  testimony on SJR 4. She offered                                                               
her belief  that the  state must  maintain the  rule of  law. She                                                               
said that Governor Walker cut the  PFD contrary to the law, so it                                                               
needs to be  restored. She urged members to get  spending in line                                                               
with   revenue.  She   supported  the   governor's  approach   to                                                               
restructuring the budget.  She said she is not  an economist, but                                                               
the  end is  coming.  The budget  must  be cut  if  Alaska is  to                                                               
survive.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:24:22 PM                                                                                                                    
ROSE GEISERT, representing herself,  Wasilla, spoke in support of                                                               
SB 23 and SB 24. She said  the government should give us back our                                                               
PFDs because it was taken without  permission or a vote. She said                                                               
that  the permanent  fund  dividends provide  the  money for  the                                                               
things they need.  The permanent fund dividend was  meant for the                                                               
people, she said.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
AARON  BENJAMIN, representing  himself, Talkeetna,  said he  is a                                                               
42-year resident.  He spoke  in support  of SB 23  and SB  24. He                                                               
said that  no matter what  a person's economic condition  is that                                                               
this is  not an entitlement,  but a right for  Alaska's citizens.                                                               
He  said that  Alaskans have  lost  their mineral  rights and  at                                                               
least the people  are getting something for it.  He suggested the                                                               
legislators should be criminally prosecuted for theft.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
7:25:56 PM                                                                                                                    
DIXIE BANNER, representing herself,  Wasilla, spoke in support of                                                               
SB 23 and SB 24. She  said that the people demand the legislature                                                               
cut the budget. She said that  citizens expect them to listen and                                                               
not do as they please. Legislators  are not above the law and are                                                               
employees of the  people. She agreed with the  testifier who said                                                               
they committed treason  and should be prosecuted.  She would like                                                               
a constitutional budget.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:26:59 PM                                                                                                                    
MARY  CONSTANTINE,  representing  herself,  Fairbanks,  spoke  in                                                               
support  of SB  23  and SB  24.  The rural  Alaska  economy is  a                                                               
subsistence economy and rural villages  depend on the dividend to                                                               
pay  bills and  buy  merchandise like  chainsaws, snow  machines,                                                               
fish nets, boats and motors.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
7:28:11 PM                                                                                                                    
GEORGE PAUL,  representing himself, Wasilla, spoke  in support of                                                               
SB 23  and SB  24. He  suggested that  the committee  consider an                                                               
amendment to add the "Pick.Click.Give."  option to departments so                                                               
people who do not wish to receive  their PFD can give them to the                                                               
departments.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
7:29:12 PM                                                                                                                    
HOLLIE BENSON, representing herself,  Fairbanks, spoke in support                                                               
of  SB  23  and  SB  24. She  said  that  she  supports  Governor                                                               
Dunleavy's plan. She does not  believe that funds should be moved                                                               
and used for another purpose.  She is a third generation Alaskan.                                                               
The PFD  is unique to  Alaska and  shows that Alaska  cares about                                                               
their  elders  and  that  Alaska   invests  in  its  future.  She                                                               
characterized taking the PFD  as taxation without representation,                                                               
as unconstitutional, and going against Alaska's laws.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
7:30:18 PM                                                                                                                    
PATRICK MARTIN,  representing himself, Wasilla, spoke  in support                                                               
of SB 23 and  SB 24. He said he is a  47-year resident of Alaska.                                                               
He said he  was grateful that Governor Dunleavy  is strong enough                                                               
to speak  for the people.  The government has overspent  in every                                                               
respect and the [budget] needs to  be cut. The permanent fund was                                                               
created  for   the  people  by   Governor  Hammond,  who   was  a                                                               
homesteader, but not many people remember that.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
7:32:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SALLY JOHNSON, representing herself,  Palmer, spoke in support of                                                               
SB  23 and  SB 24.  She said  that Governor  Dunleavy speaks  for                                                               
every Alaskan. She said, "We need to trim government spending."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
7:32:39 PM                                                                                                                    
RYNN BURTON,  representing herself,  Anchorage, spoke  in support                                                               
of SB  23 and SB  24. It was illegal  to take the  permanent fund                                                               
dividend. He  said that people  who live a  subsistence lifestyle                                                               
and those with  disabilities are dependent on  the permanent fund                                                               
dividends to  pay medical  costs and other  items to  survive. He                                                               
supported balancing  the budget  and repaying the  back permanent                                                               
fund dividend.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
7:33:58 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE joined the meeting.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
7:34:06 PM                                                                                                                    
RONALD VAIDAUS,  representing himself, Kasilof, spoke  in support                                                               
of SB  23 and  SB 24.  He said that  the people  elected Governor                                                               
[Dunleavy] to cut the budget,  protect taxpayers, and restore the                                                               
permanent fund dividend.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:35:19 PM                                                                                                                    
MELODY  MCCULLOUGH,  representing   herself,  Wasilla,  spoke  in                                                               
support of SB 23  and SB 24. She said that  Alaskans are owed the                                                               
permanent fund  dividend. It  does not  belong to  the government                                                               
because the  government got  its share. She  said that  the state                                                               
needs to  cap government  spending and learn  how to  budget. She                                                               
said that she is raising  two grandchildren. Her husband works in                                                               
an industry  that Governor  Dunleavy would like  to bring  to the                                                               
state for more revenue.  The PFD means a lot to  her family and a                                                               
portion goes to her oldest grandchild's college fund, she said.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
7:36:55 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE WHITNEY,  representing himself,  Big Lake, spoke  in support                                                               
of SB  23 and SB  24. He said  he is the  chair of the  "Save the                                                               
PFD" group.  He said he  cannot improve on the  earlier testimony                                                               
given  by  many  Alaskans.  He  offered his  belief  that  it  is                                                               
despicable that politicians will  do this. Every politician knows                                                               
that  money is  not to  be on  the table  in this  discussion and                                                               
should  go to  a vote  of  the people.  We intend  to fire  those                                                               
[legislators] who are trying to steal from the people of Alaska.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
7:38:06 PM                                                                                                                    
LORENZO DELEON,  representing himself,  Valdez, spoke  in support                                                               
of  SB 23  and SB  24.  He said  that  people in  Valdez use  the                                                               
permanent fund dividend  to catch up on their bills  and pay fuel                                                               
oil costs.  He said  the government  needs to  be pared  down. He                                                               
suggested getting  rid of unnecessary government.  He offered his                                                               
belief that the capital should  be moved from Juneau to Anchorage                                                               
or Wasilla to save money.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
7:39:03 PM                                                                                                                    
DEBORAH  HOLLAND,  representing   herself,  Anchorage,  spoke  in                                                               
support of  SB 23  and SB  24 and SJR  4. She  said she  found it                                                               
disconcerting  that  Alaskans  are  not  being  helped  by  their                                                               
legislators. She  supported restoring  funds that were  stolen by                                                               
the previous governor.  She said that the state  faces a national                                                               
disaster and  it seemed to her  that such a disaster  would shake                                                               
funding from  the legislature. She  said that some  people cannot                                                               
live in their homes. She asked members to do the right thing.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
7:40:26 PM                                                                                                                    
KRISTA BURTON, representing herself,  Anchorage, spoke in support                                                               
of SB  23 and SB  24. She  supports Alaska cutting  spending. She                                                               
said it  is ridiculous to  take the  money away from  the people.                                                               
She suggested that  the Alaska National Wildlife  Refuge could be                                                               
opened to put people to work.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
7:41:29 PM                                                                                                                    
EDWARD  ZINGONE,   representing  himself,  Anchorage,   spoke  in                                                               
support of  SB 23  and SB  24. She said  that the  permanent fund                                                               
dividend was  implemented incorrectly by Governor  Walker and the                                                               
previous legislature did not have the  courage to call him out on                                                               
it.   He  said   that  [taking   the  permanent   fund  dividend]                                                               
implemented a  regressive tax that  took money from the  poor and                                                               
from  families. He  said his  family of  seven are  all life-long                                                               
Alaskans. He said that it has  taken over $15,000 from his family                                                               
in the last two years. He  would like to have the money restored.                                                               
He said  the permanent fund  dividend is being used  for college.                                                               
He said that  most of his children attend private  schools, so he                                                               
is not receiving any benefits from the state education system.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
7:42:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  after first determining  no one wished  to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony on SB 23 and SB 24.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
7:43:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE said that he appreciated Alaskans calling in.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
7:44:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES  said  that  the   committee  took  testimony  from                                                               
everyone except  for those who experienced  technical issues. She                                                               
said that  the public is  welcome to submit written  testimony to                                                               
senate.judiciary@akleg.gov.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
7:44:35 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE  moved to  report CSSB  23(STA), work  order 31-                                                               
GS1014\M,  from committee  with  individual recommendations  [and                                                               
attached fiscal note(s)]. There  being no objection, CSSB 23(STA)                                                               
was reported from the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
7:45:04 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE  moved to  report CSSB  24(STA), work  order 31-                                                               
GS1013\M,  from  committee  with individual  recommendations  and                                                               
attached fiscal note.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KIEHL objected.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
7:45:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL said that these bills  got a referral to the Senate                                                               
Judiciary    Standing   Committee    to   examine    a   specific                                                               
constitutional   issue.  He   expressed   appreciation  for   the                                                               
testimony  of  the  Alaskans  who  spoke  tonight.  Most  of  the                                                               
testimony  was  on the  broader  policy  issue,  but it  was  the                                                               
constitutional issue that  gives him pause. The way  this bill is                                                               
put together  it has  a constitutional  problem under  the Alaska                                                               
Constitution and  the U.S.  Constitution, he  said. It  imposes a                                                               
series  of waiting  periods for  applicants to  obtain additional                                                               
payments. As one testifier pointed out  SB 24 would create a two-                                                               
year residency requirement to qualify  for each payment. It would                                                               
also  create a  waiting period  in between,  which makes  it very                                                               
difficult for Alaskans  to exercise their right to  travel and to                                                               
live in another state, if need be, as Americans.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He said  that when  the committee  held discussions  with several                                                               
attorneys about the issue, he  was struck with the question about                                                               
how the courts might look at  this and what test they might apply                                                               
and the connection back to the  [Zobel v. Williams] case. In that                                                               
case, the  courts said it is  not necessary to look  at whether a                                                               
rational or compelling basis since  "you didn't get anywhere, you                                                               
didn't even  get to the  first test. It's  not a question  of who                                                               
won  the race.  Nobody's at  the starting  line." He  offered his                                                               
belief  that this  strange approach  of  a multi-year,  stepwise,                                                               
two-year residency waiting period eligibility.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KIEHL   recalled  the  committee  talked   through  more                                                               
fiscally  efficient  ways to  provide  the  extra permanent  fund                                                               
dividend funding. The committee  further discussed more efficient                                                               
ways from  an administrative standpoint  to do this.  However, no                                                               
one got  us to a rational  basis for this structure  that imposes                                                               
these additional  burdens on Alaskans' constitutional  rights, he                                                               
said. He restated  objection to the way the bill  is put together                                                               
since he  does not see  a viable  constitutional way to  use this                                                               
structure. He  acknowledged that  other ways  could be  used, but                                                               
the structure of this bill does not meet the test.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
7:48:14 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE  said he is  convinced of the opposite  view. He                                                               
said the best comparison is Harris  v. Hahn. A Texas law provided                                                               
free tuition to  veterans to attend state  public universities if                                                               
the resident  had either enlisted in  Texas or was a  resident of                                                               
Texas at  the time  the individual enlisted.  He said  that could                                                               
apply to  a benefit that  could go for  many years. He  said that                                                               
was the comparison that was made.  He said, "I don't think it has                                                               
any comparison  to the Zobel decision.  I like the basis.  I like                                                               
how the three  years track each other, remembering  the fact that                                                               
the  PFD is  designed for  Alaska residents."  He said  he thinks                                                               
that is the right approach  and he appreciated the administration                                                               
taking that  approach in this  bill. He  concluded that he  has a                                                               
different  point of  view. He  stated that  he was  not going  to                                                               
emphatically say that  [his argument] proves it  beyond a "shadow                                                               
of  a doubt."  However, he  said  that he  follows this  rational                                                               
basis and he believed  it was the same approach that  is in SB 23                                                               
and SB 24.  Therefore, he said he supports the  approach taken in                                                               
the bills.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
7:49:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES remarked  that the  Texas case  is significant  and                                                               
relevant. She  said, "I don't see  it as a waiting  period when a                                                               
person can leave and has the  freedom to travel in between. It is                                                               
very different than having to wait in state."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
7:50:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL maintained his objection.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
7:50:16 PM                                                                                                                    
A  roll  call vote  was  taken.  Senators Micciche,  Shower,  and                                                               
Hughes  voted in  favor of  moving CSSB  24(STA), work  order 31-                                                               
GS1013\M  from  committee and  Senator  Kiehl  voted against  it.                                                               
Therefore, the  CSSB 24  (STA) was reported  from committee  by a                                                               
3:1 vote.                                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB0023B.PDF SJUD 3/27/2019 6:00:00 PM
SB 23
SB 23 TL - Senate President.pdf SJUD 3/27/2019 6:00:00 PM
SB 23
CS SB23 Sectional.pdf SJUD 3/27/2019 6:00:00 PM
SB 23
SB0024B.PDF SJUD 3/27/2019 6:00:00 PM
SB 24
SB 24 TL - Senate President.pdf SJUD 3/27/2019 6:00:00 PM
SB 24
CS SB24 Sectional.pdf SJUD 3/27/2019 6:00:00 PM
SB 24
SB0024-1-2-011619-REV-Y.PDF SJUD 3/27/2019 6:00:00 PM
SB 24