Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

03/24/2021 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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Audio Topic
01:32:57 PM Start
01:33:33 PM Confirmation Hearing
03:15:16 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: Treg TELECONFERENCED
Taylor, Attorney General
-- Public Testimony --
+ SB 9 ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL; ALCOHOL REG TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
+ SJR 1 CONST AM: GUARANTEE PERM FUND DIVIDEND TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 24, 2021                                                                                         
                           1:32 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lora Reinbold, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Mike Shower, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Shelley Hughes                                                                                                          
Senator Robert Myers                                                                                                            
Senator Jesse Kiehl                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Attorney General, Department of Law                                                                                           
Treg Taylor - Anchorage                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 9                                                                                                               
"An  Act  relating  to  alcoholic   beverages;  relating  to  the                                                               
regulation  of  manufacturers,   wholesalers,  and  retailers  of                                                               
alcoholic  beverages;  relating  to licenses,  endorsements,  and                                                               
permits  involving   alcoholic  beverages;  relating   to  common                                                               
carrier  approval to  transport or  deliver alcoholic  beverages;                                                               
relating  to the  Alcoholic Beverage  Control Board;  relating to                                                               
offenses  involving  alcoholic  beverages; amending  Rule  17(h),                                                               
Alaska Rules  of Minor  Offense Procedure;  and providing  for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 1                                                                                                   
"An  Act  relating  to  alcoholic   beverages;  relating  to  the                                                               
regulation  of  manufacturers,   wholesalers,  and  retailers  of                                                               
alcoholic  beverages;  relating  to licenses,  endorsements,  and                                                               
permits  involving   alcoholic  beverages;  relating   to  common                                                               
carrier  approval to  transport or  deliver alcoholic  beverages;                                                               
relating  to the  Alcoholic Beverage  Control Board;  relating to                                                               
offenses  involving  alcoholic  beverages; amending  Rule  17(h),                                                               
Alaska Rules  of Minor  Offense Procedure;  and providing  for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TREG TAYLOR, Designee                                                                                                           
Attorney General                                                                                                                
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:  Testified  as  Attorney  General  Designee,                                                             
Department of Law.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MIKE GERAGHTY, Attorney; representing self                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Spoke as invited testifier.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHARLES MCKEE, representing self                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Spoke  on   a  matter  unrelated   to  the                                                             
confirmation hearing.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ANDREE MCLEOD, Good Government Director                                                                                         
Alaska Public Interest Research Group                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified with  concerns about  Treg Taylor,                                                             
attorney general designee.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
THERESA OBERMEYER, representing self                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:  Testified  in opposition  to  Treg  Taylor,                                                             
attorney general designee.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DAVID CARTER, representing self                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:  Testified  in opposition  to  Treg  Taylor,                                                             
attorney general designee.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JULIE SMYTH, representing self                                                                                                  
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:  Testified  in opposition  to  Treg  Taylor,                                                             
attorney general designee.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:32:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LORA   REINBOLD  called  the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:32  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order  were  Senators Kiehl,  Myers,  Hughes,  Shower, and  Chair                                                               
Reinbold.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
^CONFIRMATION HEARING                                                                                                           
                      CONFIRMATION HEARING                                                                                  
              Attorney General, Department of Law                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:33:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD announced  the  consideration  of the  Governor's                                                               
Appointee for Attorney General, Department of Law.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:34:30 PM                                                                                                                    
TREG  TAYLOR,  Designee,  Attorney General,  Department  of  Law,                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska, said  he grew up in  Southern Alberta, Canada.                                                               
His family  lived on  the Kainai  Nation Reservation  for several                                                               
years when  his parents  taught school there.  He stated  that he                                                               
has  fond  memories  of  the  Kainai, one  of  the  three  tribes                                                               
comprising the Blackfoot  Confederacy. He said he  learned a deep                                                               
respect for  culture and  traditions different  from his  own. He                                                               
has always been drawn to public  service. He related his hero has                                                               
always  been his  grandfather, who  served in  the U.S.  Army Air                                                               
Corps during WWII  and was stationed in Alaska.  He elaborated on                                                               
his relationship with his grandfather.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL DESIGNEE  TAYLOR said he moved to  Iowa with his                                                               
mother when his parents divorced.  He later attended the U.S. Air                                                               
Force  Academy.  He described  some  of  his experiences  at  the                                                               
academy  that led  him to  serve on  a religious  mission in  the                                                               
Canary Islands  and his struggles  to decide whether to  sign the                                                               
acceptance  letter  to  continue   his  U.S.  Air  Force  Academy                                                               
service.  He recalled  his faith  led  him to  that decision.  He                                                               
elaborated  on how  he met  his wife,  worked several  summers in                                                               
Alaska, attended  college and drove up  the Alaska-Canada Highway                                                               
(ALCAN) to move to Alaska. He elaborated on his family life.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  DESIGNEE TAYLOR  reviewed his work  history. He                                                               
practiced in  commercial litigation, representing the  state, the                                                               
Municipality  of  Anchorage,  energy  companies  and  many  other                                                               
businesses in  Alaska. He was  hired by DeLisio Moran  Geraghty &                                                               
Zobel.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:41:32 PM                                                                                                                    
ATTORNEY  GENERAL DESIGNEE  TAYLOR stated  he worked  at McKinley                                                               
Capital Management, LLC  from January 2008 to  December 2014. One                                                               
of  his  primary roles  was  to  help  the company  navigate  the                                                               
rapidly   changing  investment   management  regulatory   schemes                                                               
worldwide.  He  left to  work  as  Senior Corporate  Counsel  for                                                               
Arctic  Slope Regional  Corporation (ASRC)  from January  2015 to                                                               
December 2018. He  was then asked to join the  Department of Law,                                                               
as the Civil Division's Deputy Director in December 2018.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  DESIGNEE TAYLOR  listed his  community activity                                                               
participation.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:45:40 PM                                                                                                                    
ATTORNEY  GENERAL  DESIGNEE  TAYLOR  stated that  not  only  does                                                               
Alaska  have the  highest  rate  of sex  crimes,  but its  sexual                                                               
assault rate  is almost double  the rate  of any other  state. He                                                               
vowed  the state  has  determined to  do  everything possible  to                                                               
address this  epidemic. Until this  issue is resolved,  the state                                                               
will  be hobbled.  He  acknowledged  this would  not  be an  easy                                                               
problem  to address  but he  will work  to make  Alaska a  better                                                               
place for Alaskans.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:46:01 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD disclosed that she  helped Mr. Taylor campaign for                                                               
the school board in 2008.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
She  asked  if he  is  confirmed  if  he would  consider  himself                                                               
employed by the governor or the people of Alaska.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL DESIGNEE  TAYLOR answered that he  swore an oath                                                               
to the U.S. Constitution and  the Alaska Constitution. The Alaska                                                               
Constitution  begins  with  "We  the   people  of  Alaska  ?"  so                                                               
ultimately, his  commitment is to  the people of Alaska.  He said                                                               
he is  also employed by the  state at the governor's  request. In                                                               
further  response, he  agreed he  would  work for  the people  of                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:47:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD  asked if  the emergency  powers of  the executive                                                               
branch were  intended to  be used for  short periods  and whether                                                               
the Alaskans'  civil liberties  could be  infringed upon  for the                                                               
greater good of Alaskans.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL DESIGNEE  TAYLOR said  the Alaska  Disaster Act                                                               
was  principally  designed  to  allow  the  governor  to  rapidly                                                               
respond to acute  disasters such as earthquakes.  Although it was                                                               
not intended for an extended  pandemic, the Act gave the governor                                                               
broad authority to respond.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:48:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD  recalled that he previously  acknowledged that he                                                               
reviewed mandates to identify constitutional concerns.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL DESIGNEE  TAYLOR replied  that he  reviewed the                                                               
disaster declaration for constitutional or other legal issues.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR REINBOLD asked if the  mandates can infringe upon Alaskans'                                                               
civil liberties for short periods for the good of all Alaskans.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL DESIGNEE TAYLOR answered  yes. The intent of the                                                               
Alaska  Disaster Act  is to  give the  governor the  authority to                                                               
take  actions  that  sometimes  infringe  upon  individual  civil                                                               
liberties.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:50:15 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES  asked  if  it   would  be  appropriate  for  the                                                               
legislature to limit  the governor's powers in  statute to create                                                               
checks and  balances related  to the  mandates, such  as limiting                                                               
the length of time. She asked  if it would be appropriate for the                                                               
legislature to  make determinations on the  necessity to continue                                                               
the mandates and if he would advise the governor to support it.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:50:59 PM                                                                                                                    
ATTORNEY GENERAL DESIGNEE TAYLOR responded  that after any use of                                                               
a disaster declaration,  it would be good for  the legislature to                                                               
go back to  assess any actions taken and make  suggestions to the                                                               
governor. He said he would support this effort.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:51:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIEHL  said he  previously  expressed  concern with  the                                                               
serial  disaster  declarations.  He   offered  his  view  that  a                                                               
separation of  powers issue arose when  the legislature delegated                                                               
its authority to the governor  and reserved to itself the ability                                                               
to  pass  on how  long  the  disaster  declarations could  be  in                                                               
effect. The  governor issued  a series  of declarations  giving a                                                               
variety of reasons, which he  briefly listed. He asked Mr. Taylor                                                               
if he saw any separation of  powers issues. He asked how he would                                                               
advise  the  governor  as  to  the  constitutionality  of  serial                                                               
disaster declarations, if not convening  the legislature after 30                                                               
days.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL DESIGNEE TAYLOR answered  that he believes it is                                                               
a  separation  of powers  issue.  He  explained that  the  Alaska                                                               
Disaster Act,  as written,  gives the  governor the  authority to                                                               
institute a  disaster declaration for  30 days, which  is exactly                                                               
what the governor did. The  legislature could consider any policy                                                               
concerns  on   whether  the   governor  appropriately   used  his                                                               
authority  under  the  Act  to issue  a  succession  of  disaster                                                               
declarations.  If  so, the  legislature  could  amend the  Alaska                                                               
Disaster Act, he said.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KIEHL stated  that the  Alaska Disaster  Act limits  the                                                               
governor to  issue one  declaration per  condition. He  related a                                                               
hypothetical situation  in which  geologists issued a  warning of                                                               
potential volcanic  action for many volcanoes  throughout Alaska.                                                               
He  asked  whether  the  governor  could  issue  a  new  disaster                                                               
declaration  if the  legislature did  not convene  and geologists                                                               
found the presence of ash at one of these volcanos.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL DESIGNEE  TAYLOR acknowledged  that the  Alaska                                                               
Disaster Act  was an  imperfect tool  for the  COVID-19 epidemic.                                                               
Under the  plain reading  of the  Act, the  governor can  issue a                                                               
declaration  for  30  days.  The  COVID-19  epidemic  spanned  18                                                               
months,   with  changing   circumstances  that   needed  constant                                                               
monitoring. The governor made ongoing  decisions on the pandemic.                                                               
The  governor  had  the  authority   to  declare  the  additional                                                               
disaster declarations. The legislature  had the authority to call                                                               
itself  into  session  to act  on  those  disaster  declarations.                                                               
Although  the   process  was  not   ideal,  he  hoped   that  the                                                               
legislature and  the governor would  address these issues  in the                                                               
coming  months. He  characterized the  problem as  a hole  in the                                                               
Alaska Disaster Act.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:55:39 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD  asked if  Alaska's  laws  should be  arbitrarily                                                               
applied with winners and losers.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL  DESIGNEE  TAYLOR   responded  that  every  law                                                               
somewhat  chooses   winners  and  losers.  For   example,  a  law                                                               
governing new  taxi services  by its  very nature  allows certain                                                               
people to open  a business but not others.  The legislature takes                                                               
those policy considerations into account  and tries to craft laws                                                               
that are fair and equitable to all Alaskans.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:56:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD asked how the  essential and non-essential workers                                                               
were  determined,  how the  mandates  were  applied, and  if  the                                                               
executive  branch  should  identify essential  and  non-essential                                                               
workers.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL  DESIGNEE  TAYLOR  responded  that  identifying                                                               
essential  and  non-essential  workers   is  a  policy  decision.                                                               
However,  as attorney  general,  he does  not  offer opinions  on                                                               
policy decisions. Given  the nature of the  pandemic, tough calls                                                               
needed to be  made. The governor likely weighed  the positive and                                                               
negative  options  and  decided   what  he  thought  best  served                                                               
Alaskans. Since the governor answers  to the voters of the state,                                                               
voters can react to the governor's decisions at the polls.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL DESIGNEE TAYLOR,  in further response, explained                                                               
that his role as attorney general  is to apply the law and defend                                                               
the laws  when they are  challenged. He said the  Alaska Disaster                                                               
Act mandates had the effect of law.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:59:05 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER referred to an  early comment that the legislature                                                               
could have called  itself into a special session.  He pointed out                                                               
that  many  legislators  were  not   polled  as  to  whether  the                                                               
legislature  should  call  itself  into session  to  act  on  the                                                               
disaster  declarations.  However,  many  legislators  would  have                                                               
liked  an  opportunity to  do  so.  He related  that  legislators                                                               
respond to  their constituents and some  businesses reported that                                                               
the  mandates  were  not  equally  applied.  Some  felt  unfairly                                                               
targeted or  threatened with liquor or  other license revocations                                                               
if they did  not close to control the  pandemic. Some businesses,                                                               
such as  marijuana shops were  allowed to remain open,  but other                                                               
small businesses or  churches were required to  close. Some small                                                               
businesses did not survive the pandemic.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER  emphasized the need  to debrief, that it  will be                                                               
important for  the legislature and  state to review  policies and                                                               
determine which laws and policies  worked during the pandemic and                                                               
amend  statutes and  policies  to achieve  a  better outcome.  He                                                               
asked  for  the attorney  general's  commitment  to help  address                                                               
these issues in the event other disasters occur.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL  DESIGNEE  TAYLOR   agreed  that  it  would  be                                                               
critical for  the legislature  and the  executive branch  to hold                                                               
those discussions  and develop recommended changes  to the Alaska                                                               
Disaster Act to achieve a better outcome and process.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:02:34 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER asked he supports  and will not oppose the efforts                                                               
of  the  legislature to  assert  its  responsibilities to  review                                                               
COVID-19 actions.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  DESIGNEE TAYLOR answered that  he supports that                                                               
effort.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:02:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES  echoed that  the  Alaska  Disaster Act  was  not                                                               
designed for  an extended  period. She  expressed an  interest in                                                               
ensuring that the  economic impacts are balanced  with the health                                                               
impacts in  statute. She said  it is  one thing to  keep everyone                                                               
healthy but adverse effects to the economy must be avoided.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:04:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD agreed.  She expressed  concern  about the  state                                                               
health alerts'  impact on  religious liberties.  She asked  if he                                                               
reviewed the state health alerts.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL DESIGNEE TAYLOR responded  that he may have seen                                                               
them, but he did not officially review them.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:04:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD  expressed concern with COVID-19  Health Alert 010                                                               
-  Recommendations  Regarding the  Use  of  Cloth Face  Coverings                                                               
issued  on  April 3,  2020.  This  alert highly  recommended  all                                                               
Alaskans wear cloth face coverings  in public settings when other                                                               
social distancing measures were  difficult to maintain. She asked                                                               
whether the governor's  July 22, 2020, mask mandate  was still in                                                               
place.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL DESIGNEE TAYLOR  responded that the governor did                                                               
not issue a statewide mask mandate.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  REINBOLD further  clarified that  her question  related to                                                               
the  governor's mask  mandate for  state workers  and people  who                                                               
enter state-owned buildings and facilities.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL DESIGNEE  TAYLOR offered  his belief  that this                                                               
mandate was still in place.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR REINBOLD  expressed concern about specific  health mandates                                                               
imposed  at   churches  requiring  face  masks,   which  detailed                                                               
guidelines  related to  specific church  activities. She  offered                                                               
her  belief   this  health   mandate  infringed   upon  religious                                                               
liberties. She asked for his  views on infringements on religious                                                               
liberties,  including  limiting  the  number of  people  who  can                                                               
gather at church services and functions.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL   DESIGNEE  TAYLOR   answered  that   like  any                                                               
protected class such as  religious liberties, heightened scrutiny                                                               
should be  applied. This is exactly  what the courts will  do, he                                                               
said.  During  a  court  proceeding,  the  court  will  determine                                                               
whether  the   disaster  declaration  or  mandate   was  narrowly                                                               
tailored to  address the state's  interest and that  the interest                                                               
was great enough  to infringe on a person's  religious freedom or                                                               
other protected freedom.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:07:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD pressed  for a  yes  or no  answer about  whether                                                               
first amendment religious freedoms could be infringed upon.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  DESIGNEE TAYLOR  answered that there  are times                                                               
when  personal liberties,  including religious  freedoms, can  be                                                               
infringed upon.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  REINBOLD  asked  if  he   supported  the  mask  and  other                                                               
restrictions imposed at churches.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  DESIGNEE TAYLOR  reminded members that  he does                                                               
not  make  policy  calls;  instead,  he  reviews  the  governor's                                                               
policies and  the administration's policies. For  example, people                                                               
have freedom of  speech rights, but they cannot yell  "fire" in a                                                               
full  theater. The  courts recognize  certain limitations  can be                                                               
imposed  to curtail  some  religious  freedoms. He  characterized                                                               
these  curtailed  activities  as  wise ones,  falling  under  the                                                               
separation of  powers. The courts ultimately  decide whether laws                                                               
overly   burden  its   citizens   and   Alaska's  residents.   He                                                               
acknowledged that citizens  sometimes experience infringements on                                                               
their freedoms given those checks and balances.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES clarified  that the  state did  not mandate  that                                                               
people   wear  cloth   masks  in   churches.  The   health  alert                                                               
recommended people wear masks.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  REINBOLD offered  her belief  that the  governor mentioned                                                               
cloth  coverings either  in  his mandates  or  in press  releases                                                               
hundreds of times.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:09:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD asked whether he  reviewed the federal court cases                                                               
to  evaluate if  the mandates  are  applied lawfully  and in  the                                                               
State of Alaska's best interests,  such as the U.S. Circuit Court                                                               
Jew Ho v. Williamson (1900) case.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL  DESIGNEE TAYLOR  related  the  purpose of  his                                                               
review of  mandates was to  determine any apparent  conflict with                                                               
the U.S. Supreme Court and Alaska Supreme Court.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SHOWER  asked  whether   the  Fourteenth  Amendment  due                                                               
process rights  were protected when the  governor issued disaster                                                               
declarations and  mandates. He related the  importance of knowing                                                               
any advice he  gave or would give the governor  in these matters.                                                               
As previously noted, some businesses closed down.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL  DESIGNEE  TAYLOR  answered that  by  its  very                                                               
nature, the Alaska  Disaster Act removes some  due process rights                                                               
and  safeguards in  order  to address  an  impending epidemic  or                                                               
disaster.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:12:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER asked  if another similar disaster  were to occur,                                                               
whether  he  would  advise  the  governor  to  take  a  different                                                               
approach. He pointed out that  COVID-19 declarations and mandates                                                               
adversely impacted some businesses but not others.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  DESIGNEE TAYLOR  responded that many  cases are                                                               
before  the  courts  relating  to   these  very  subjects.  Those                                                               
decisions  will further  define and  clarify when  the state  can                                                               
infringe on  citizens' rights. As  previously stated, he  said he                                                               
hoped the  legislature would address some  issues statutorily. He                                                               
said one change he would make  would be to advise the governor to                                                               
initially conduct  a constitutional  review rather than  later on                                                               
in the process.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:15:42 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD  commented that the mandates  affected many areas,                                                               
such as closing schools, including  private schools. She said she                                                               
was not a fan of winners and losers.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL DESIGNEE TAYLOR  responded that the governor has                                                               
not  issued a  statewide  mandate affecting  the average  citizen                                                               
since  May 2020.  There were  disaster declaration  provisions to                                                               
address  specific   sectors,  such  as  the   commercial  fishing                                                               
industry, due  to its vital  nature to the economic  viability in                                                               
Alaska. Most people  are familiar with airport  testing, which is                                                               
currently  discretionary. Thus,  there  has  been a  considerable                                                               
amount of time without an  overarching mandate from the governor,                                                               
he said.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:17:04 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD highlighted the  numerous mandates [and guidelines                                                               
in attachments]  A through  H for  [the COVID-19  Health] Mandate                                                               
16, issued on April 22, 2020, that impacted Alaskans.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  REINBOLD repeated  her earlier  question about  whether he                                                               
had reviewed Jew  Ho v. Williamson (1900) the  U.S. Circuit Court                                                               
decision.   Approximately  15,000   Chinese   residents  in   San                                                               
Francisco  were quarantined  to contain  the bubonic  plague. The                                                               
court held this  was unconstitutional on the grounds  that it was                                                               
unreasonable, unjust,  and oppressive.  Jew Ho  demonstrates that                                                               
quarantine can be  used as an instrument of  prejudice and impact                                                               
vulnerable  populations.  She  pointed  out  that  instances  are                                                               
cropping up  in which  people with  vaccines can  access services                                                               
that unvaccinated people cannot obtain.  She asked him to comment                                                               
on this case.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL DESIGNEE TAYLOR responded  that the court got it                                                               
right since government  cannot target a specific  group of people                                                               
when managing a pandemic.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR REINBOLD  asked if  he would  protect and  defend Alaskans'                                                               
right not  to get the mRNA  vaccine as a condition  of employment                                                               
or receive services.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL  DESIGNEE  TAYLOR  responded that  it  was  the                                                               
governor's  intent   that  obtaining  a  vaccine   is  voluntary.                                                               
However,   private  businesses   may  decide   requirements  that                                                               
employees must follow.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:20:45 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES remarked that private  schools were never mandated                                                               
to close and many of them did very well.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR REINBOLD  said she  would not debate  the issue.  She asked                                                               
whether he knew  that mRNA vaccines require  informed consent and                                                               
cannot be mandated under federal law.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL DESIGNEE TAYLOR stated  his intent to review the                                                               
law and follow the law.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:22:35 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL  recalled holding conversations with  Mr. Taylor on                                                               
the case  of Janus v.  American Federation of State,  County, and                                                               
Municipal Employees. He said he  agrees to disagree on the merits                                                               
of the  case but  pointed out the  separation of  powers question                                                               
relates  to the  executive  branch funding  for  efforts on  that                                                               
case. He  asked how the  executive branch can continue  to exceed                                                               
the amount  for outside  contracts when  the legislature  has the                                                               
power to  appropriate. Last year,  the legislature  established a                                                               
budget structure for expenditures on outside contracts.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL   DESIGNEE  TAYLOR   agreed  that  this   is  a                                                               
separation of powers issue. He said  he did not make the decision                                                               
to get involved in the litigation  or to use outside counsel. The                                                               
Alaska Supreme Court has made  it clear that the attorney general                                                               
has the  authority to  bring lawsuits  in the  public's interest.                                                               
That   is   what  occurred   with   the   governor's  prior   two                                                               
predecessors.  He said  he is  aware of  the confinement  clause,                                                               
which  does not  allow the  legislature to  use an  appropriation                                                               
bill to administer  a state program. He suggested  there might be                                                               
issues  with that  aspect. He  said he  has asked  DOL to  review                                                               
those decisions  and make recommendations. Based  on this review,                                                               
he might ultimately decide that  the appropriation restriction is                                                               
necessary and  stop the practice.  He offered his  willingness to                                                               
do so if  that is what the law states.  Currently, he is awaiting                                                               
that decision, but  he is fully prepared  to decide independently                                                               
of the ones his predecessors made, depending on the report.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:25:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD referred to Health  Alert or mandate 013 issued on                                                               
April 9, 2020. She read, "The  statewide school closure of all K-                                                               
12 and  private schools is  being extended  from May 1,  2020, to                                                               
the end of the 2019-2020 school year.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:25:25 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MYERS related  that some  executive  orders and  federal                                                               
laws have  recently passed.  He asked for  DOL's efforts  to push                                                               
back on federal overreach.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  DESIGNEE TAYLOR responded that  it is essential                                                               
that  the state  respond.  He opined  that  the state's  economic                                                               
viability is  at risk  over the next  four years.  The governor's                                                               
budget proposal provides  funds to research the  legal issues and                                                               
use outside  counsel when necessary.  DOL has  reviewed executive                                                               
orders. The agencies will engage  in a rulemaking process and DOL                                                               
will participate.  If DOL finds  that the rules violate  the law,                                                               
the  department  will litigate.  Currently,  the  state joined  a                                                               
Louisiana lawsuit regarding a proposed  moratorium on leasing for                                                               
onshore  oil  and  gas  exploration. DOL  also  intervened  in  a                                                               
Wyoming  case to  address whether  presidential executive  orders                                                               
violated administrative procedures.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:28:47 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER  highlighted that  the legislature  is considering                                                               
measures  related to  significant voter  rights issues  and other                                                               
bills related to states' rights.  He asked what efforts DOL would                                                               
make   to  address   federal  overreach   and  protect   Alaska's                                                               
uniqueness.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL  DESIGNEE TAYLOR  answered  that  DOL would  be                                                               
actively engaged  to protect statehood  rights. For  example, DOL                                                               
has  intervened in  the  challenge to  a  final [Alaska  Roadless                                                               
Rule]  exempting  the  Tongass  National Forest  [from  the  2001                                                               
provision]   that  prohibited   road   construction  and   timber                                                               
harvests. Alaska is  one of many states with  resources that make                                                               
it   economically  viable   to  live.   DOL  continues   to  work                                                               
collectively with other states to address these issues, he said.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:32:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIEHL  turned  to  major  drinking  water  contamination                                                               
caused by  per and poly-fluoroalkyl substances  (PFAS) related to                                                               
use if  fire-fighting foams. He asked  if he would work  with the                                                               
Department  of Environmental  Conservation (DEC)  to address  the                                                               
costs and burdens on DEC staff.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  DESIGNEE TAYLOR  agreed that PFAS  foam testing                                                               
is  a significant  concern to  those living  near airports  where                                                               
PFAS testing took  place. He stated the issue is  complex. DOL is                                                               
currently engaged  in several litigation  cases related  to PFAS,                                                               
including a lawsuit  filed against the manufacturer  of PFAS. The                                                               
litigation  is  costly  since it  requires  outside  experts  and                                                               
studies, so  it will likely  be lengthy. He  said he hopes  for a                                                               
good outcome.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:33:55 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES  recalled  several   letters  from  other  states                                                               
regarding federal  overreach, including West  Virginia, Missouri,                                                               
Texas and Montana. Alaska and  Hawaii are currently exempted from                                                               
the  Clean  Power Act,  which  might  be  at  risk with  the  new                                                               
administration. She asked what efforts  the department would make                                                               
on this issue.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL  DESIGNEE  TAYLOR  responded  that  this  is  a                                                               
critical  issue. He  acknowledged that  the Biden  administration                                                               
has  made it  clear  that it  will establish  its  own rules.  He                                                               
highlighted  that  DOL  is  unsure  whether  Alaska  will  remain                                                               
exempt, but  the department will  work to  do so. DOL  is closely                                                               
monitoring this issue, he said.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES  expressed an interest  in obtaining his  ideas on                                                               
addressing sexual assault crimes in Alaska.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:36:14 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD stated  her intention  to bring  Mr. Taylor  back                                                               
before the committee to elaborate on these issues further.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR REINBOLD  said she  met with Mr.  Taylor about  three weeks                                                               
ago. At  that time,  she asked  whether he had  any input  on the                                                               
[February 18, 2021] letter to her from Governor Dunleavy.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  DESIGNEE TAYLOR  said he often  reviews letters                                                               
from Governor Dunleavy before they are sent.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR REINBOLD  pointed out her concern  that he does not  have a                                                               
background in criminal law, including prosecution.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR REINBOLD  then read  a portion  of Art. 3,  Sec. 20  of the                                                               
Alaska Constitution:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The governor  may proclaim martial law  when the public                                                                    
     safety requires  it in case  of rebellion or  actual or                                                                    
     imminent invasion.  Martial law shall not  continue for                                                                    
     longer  than  twenty days  without  the  approval of  a                                                                    
     majority  of the  members of  the legislature  in joint                                                                    
     session                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR REINBOLD,  in response to Governor  Dunleavy's letter, said                                                               
she denies ever  stating that the Governor  declared martial law.                                                               
She suggested that the governor  may have been confused about her                                                               
comments on  the 14 pages  of regulations and statutes  that were                                                               
suspended, along with the numerous mandates.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   REINBOLD  said   Governor  Dunleavy's   accusations  were                                                               
significant allegations.  She asked Mr.  Taylor if he  would work                                                               
with  her to  have that  letter retracted  because, in  her view,                                                               
none  of  it is  substantiated.  She  said  he  did not  need  to                                                               
respond.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL DESIGNEE TAYLOR acknowledged her concerns.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:38:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD  asked   if  he  acknowledged  by   law  and  the                                                               
separation  of powers  that  the legislative  body  has the  sole                                                               
authority granted  by the  state constitution  to create  law and                                                               
the executive branch is to uphold and execute Alaska law.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL   DESIGNEE  TAYLOR  agreed  that   the  primary                                                               
responsibility of the  legislative branch is to enact  law and it                                                               
is  the  principal  responsibility  of the  executive  branch  to                                                               
enforce that law.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR REINBOLD restated the question.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  DESIGNEE TAYLOR  responded that he  agrees that                                                               
she described  the general  relationship between  the legislature                                                               
and the  executive branch but  that this process has  some checks                                                               
and balances. For  example, he said the governor  has veto power,                                                               
affecting which bills become law.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:39:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL turned to the  constitutional provision that allows                                                               
the  legislature to  sweep funds  into the  Constitutional Budget                                                               
Reserve  Account.   Several  years  ago,  the   executive  branch                                                               
reinterpreted which accounts were subject  to the sweep. He asked                                                               
whether he agreed with the  longstanding view that the Power Cost                                                               
Equalization  (PCE)  endowment  is  not  subject  to  the  sweep.                                                               
Second, he  asked if  he could commit  to communicating  with the                                                               
legislature when the executive branch  intends to reinterpret the                                                               
longstanding understanding of an issue such as PCE.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL DESIGNEE TAYLOR answered  that the PCE issue has                                                               
arisen  in   his  discussions   with  numerous   legislators.  He                                                               
acknowledged DOL  is currently examining  the issue  to determine                                                               
the department's position.  He said he likes to  discuss and work                                                               
through issues. The  last course of action  should be litigation.                                                               
He  expressed  his  willingness  to  hold  discussions  with  the                                                               
legislature.  However, sometimes  policy calls  must be  made. He                                                               
said he's  not an elected  official, so  he does not  make policy                                                               
calls; the chief executive and cabinet members make those.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:42:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD asked  if the judicial branch  or executive branch                                                               
of state government has any  lawmaking authority under the Alaska                                                               
Constitution.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL DESIGNEE TAYLOR answered no.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR REINBOLD asked what constitutional  or legal foundations he                                                               
would consider regarding  the authority of the  governor to issue                                                               
executive orders limiting public  and private gatherings, closing                                                               
or  imposing restrictions  on businesses  and regulating  a broad                                                               
variety of  other aspects of the  daily life of citizens  for the                                                               
greater good of Alaskans.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL DESIGNEE  TAYLOR,  after  first clarifying  the                                                               
question, opined  that the legislature deferred  its authority to                                                               
the  governor  for   some  of  the  situations   related  to  the                                                               
declarations issued,  which are laid  out in the  Alaska Disaster                                                               
Act. He explained that he  would first review the Alaska Disaster                                                               
Act  itself, consider  Alaska case  law and  case law  from other                                                               
states, if  necessary, to best  advise the governor in  any given                                                               
situation. In  terms of  the COVID-19  pandemic, there  were many                                                               
first impressions related to the  disaster declarations. In those                                                               
instances, he  gave the best  advice possible, based on  what was                                                               
known at the time. It is up  to the governor to decide whether to                                                               
heed his advice or to go in a different direction.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:45:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD asked  whether  the  governor's emergency  powers                                                               
pertaining  to the  governor's mandates  resulting in  the direct                                                               
deprivation  of citizens'  rights is  compatible or  incompatible                                                               
with the Alaska Constitution.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  DESIGNEE TAYLOR answered that  it is compatible                                                               
with Alaska Constitution, case law and the statutory framework.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  REINBOLD asked  whether the  U.S. Constitution  and Alaska                                                               
Constitution represent the supreme law of the land.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL DESIGNEE TAYLOR answered absolutely.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:45:56 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SHOWER said  he understood  Mr. Taylor  to say  that the                                                               
legislature  delegated   its  authority  to   the  administration                                                               
concerning the disaster declarations.  He asked what steps should                                                               
be  taken to  better address  the issues  that arose  between the                                                               
governor and the legislature.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL DESIGNEE  TAYLOR responded that at  the time the                                                               
Alaska   Disaster   Act   passed,  it   acknowledged   that   the                                                               
legislature's pace  and power  is slow given  that it  takes time                                                               
for the legislature to gain  consensus. Thus, the Alaska Disaster                                                               
Act recognized that the legislature  must be bypassed at times to                                                               
deal  with disasters.  He suggested  that  the legislature  could                                                               
fine-tune the Alaska Disaster Act.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER asked  his opinion on whether part  of the problem                                                               
with the disaster declaration was  that the legislature let it go                                                               
on for too long without addressing it.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL DESIGNEE TAYLOR  answered that one option always                                                               
available   to  the   legislature  is   to  remain   silent.  The                                                               
legislature can  decide not to  take issue. He  characterized the                                                               
legislature's inaction as a policy call.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:49:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD  recalled that he  found the  proclaimed emergency                                                               
powers of the governor as  it pertains to the mandates compatible                                                               
with the Alaska Constitution.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL DESIGNEE TAYLOR answered yes.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR REINBOLD  remarked that she  sees it differently  and found                                                               
numerous violations of the Alaska Constitution.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:49:28 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD said  she was  a no  vote regarding  the disaster                                                               
declarations. She  disagreed that the disaster  declaration chaos                                                               
was the  legislature's fault.  She said  the legislature  was not                                                               
called  into  special session.  She  offered  her view  that  the                                                               
legislature has the responsibility to  write laws, but it was not                                                               
consulted on health mandates.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SHOWER stated  that  he  voted no  on  Senate Bill  241,                                                               
Extending COVID-19  Declaration Relief. He offered  his view that                                                               
the  legislature should  have been  engaged, but  it was  not. He                                                               
clarified  he was  not blaming  individual legislators.  However,                                                               
the  legislature  had  the  ability and  the  authority  to  take                                                               
action, but it did not.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  REINBOLD  maintained   her  view  that  it   was  not  the                                                               
legislature's fault.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:52:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL  expressed concern with his  interpretation that no                                                               
action by  the legislature ends  something. This seemed  to imply                                                               
that if the legislature does  not affirmatively act, the governor                                                               
could fill the  void with whatever action he  desired. He pointed                                                               
out that the  governor had the power to  convene the legislature.                                                               
However,  by  not  exercising   that  constitutional  power,  the                                                               
governor set  up a  statutory consequence  and acted  contrary to                                                               
it.  He asked  him  to  identify the  principle  under which  the                                                               
administration operates.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL DESIGNEE  TAYLOR responded that he  did not mean                                                               
to imply  that legislative inaction  allows the  executive branch                                                               
or judiciary to act in any  way it wants. However, there are some                                                               
instances where legislative inaction does have the force of law.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:54:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD  asked  Mr.  Taylor   to  come  back  before  the                                                               
committee to address criminal law issues.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL DESIGNEE TAYLOR agreed to do so.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:54:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES  stated that she  was on emergency leave  when the                                                               
vote on Senate  Bill 241 occurred. She offered her  view that the                                                               
executive   branch  and   the   legislature   must  assume   some                                                               
responsibility. The Alaska Disaster Act  has been law for decades                                                               
and the  legislature has not  taken any action. She  related that                                                               
she  reviewed  the statutes  and  the  attorney general  provides                                                               
advice and  responds to  legislative proposals.  She said  she is                                                               
grateful he is willing to work with the legislature.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL  DESIGNEE TAYLOR  responded  that  he would  be                                                               
happy to do so.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:55:33 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD  said she did  not vote  yes on Senate  Bill 241                                                               
due to  her deep concerns about  the bill. She asked  if he would                                                               
review  and  evaluate  during  extraordinary  times  whether  all                                                               
mandates  the governor  issues are  based on  the law  to protect                                                               
civil liberties and for the good of the people.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  DESIGNEE TAYLOR  responded that  is what  he is                                                               
tasked to do, which he will do to the best of his ability.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:57:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD  opened  public  testimony  on  the  confirmation                                                               
hearing for Treg Taylor.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:57:43 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE  GERAGHTY, Attorney;  representing self,  Anchorage, Alaska,                                                               
stated that he is an attorney  for an Anchorage law firm, Holland                                                               
&  Hart,  but  he  is  representing himself  today.  He  said  he                                                               
previously   served  as   attorney   general   for  the   Parnell                                                               
administration from  2012 to  2014. He said  he hired  Mr. Taylor                                                               
after  graduating  from law  school  in  2004.  He worked  as  an                                                               
associate  for  the firm  for  approximately  five years,  during                                                               
which  time he  worked closely  with him  on some  litigation. He                                                               
characterized Mr. Taylor as a hard  worker, a good attorney and a                                                               
valued member of  the firm. He left the practice  to serve in the                                                               
private sector  as an  in-house attorney. He  said he  has always                                                               
known Mr.  Taylor as  an honest and  ethical attorney.  He always                                                               
tried to  do the  right thing.  He offered his  view that  no one                                                               
comes into  a job  knowing all the  answers. An  attorney general                                                               
has  the  considerable  resources  of  DOL  to  assist  with  any                                                               
decisions.  He  opined  that  Mr.   Taylor  would  draw  on  that                                                               
knowledge. He  opined that  Mr. Taylor would  not do  anything to                                                               
tarnish  the attorney  general's office.  He offered  his support                                                               
for  Treg  Taylor  and  urged  members to  vote  to  forward  his                                                               
confirmation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:00:42 PM                                                                                                                    
CHARLES MCKEE, representing self,  Anchorage, Alaska, described a                                                               
personal dispute he wished the  attorney general to consider that                                                               
had no relevance to the confirmation hearing.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:02:59 PM                                                                                                                    
ANDREE MCLEOD,  Good Government Director, Alaska  Public Interest                                                               
Research Group,  Anchorage, Alaska,  spoke in opposition  to Treg                                                               
Taylor.  She  stated  that  Mr.  Taylor  came  before  the  House                                                               
Judiciary  Committee  twice.  She   offered  her  view  that  his                                                               
statements  made  clear  that  he  should  not  be  confirmed  as                                                               
attorney general  because of his  insistence on  violating Alaska                                                               
law, public  trust and the  trust of Alaskans. Although  he makes                                                               
promises,  his  actions and  repeated  positions  related to  Ben                                                               
Stevens  leaving  the  governor's   office  to  work  for  Conoco                                                               
Phillips demonstrate that he either  does not understand Alaska's                                                               
laws or he  does understand them and  has purposefully, willfully                                                               
and intentionally chosen to contradict these laws.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCLEOD  said the laws in  question are clear and  simple. The                                                               
Alaska Executive  Branch Ethics Act restricts  certain activities                                                               
for employees who  work in the governor's office  when they leave                                                               
state service.  It mandates restrictions  of one or two  years. A                                                               
governor may waive those restrictions  by following a process. It                                                               
must  be  written  and  submitted to  the  attorney  general  for                                                               
approval  or disapproval.  Unfortunately,  that was  not done  in                                                               
this  case. Mr.  Taylor insists  it  is not  necessary until  Mr.                                                               
Stevens believes he  has a conflict of interest  and contacts the                                                               
state to  obtain a waiver.  Many former employees  have requested                                                               
waivers  and followed  the  laws. These  employees  knew that  an                                                               
appearance of a conflict of  interest must be taken seriously and                                                               
that  there are  reasons for  the required  waiting periods.  She                                                               
offered  her view  that Mr.  Taylor misconstrued  laws that  were                                                               
passed to protect the public interest.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR REINBOLD  stated that  Ms. McLeod's  time was  up. However,                                                               
she could submit written comments to the committee.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:06:34 PM                                                                                                                    
THERESA  OBERMEYER, representing  self,  Anchorage, Alaska,  said                                                               
Ms. McLeod  covered many  of the issues  related to  Ben Stevens.                                                               
She referred to AS 39.52.180  for specific ethical guidelines for                                                               
state employees, which she hoped  members would review. She urged                                                               
members not to confirm Mr. Taylor.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:08:37 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID CARTER,  representing self, Anchorage, Alaska,  stated that                                                               
he  is a  retired attorney.  He  said Alaskans  want and  deserve                                                               
honesty, integrity and transparency  from their elected officials                                                               
and  senior executive  branch officials.  He  said Alaskans  want                                                               
their legislators  and attorneys general to  easily recognize and                                                               
reject conflicts  of interest. Mr.  Taylor moved from  the Arctic                                                               
Slope  Regional  Corporation  (ASRC) to  the  attorney  general's                                                               
office  and  Ben Stevens  moved  from  the governor's  office  to                                                               
Conoco Phillips.  Mr. Stevens accepted  $1,000 per week  while he                                                               
was  a sitting  Senator.  Alaskans  do not  want  to reward  that                                                               
behavior or  those who look the  other way. He urged  members not                                                               
to confirm Treg Taylor as attorney general.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:10:46 PM                                                                                                                    
JULIE SMYTH,  representing self,  Fairbanks, Alaska, said  she is                                                               
an Inupiaq,  raised in the  foster care system in  Fairbanks. She                                                               
has  heard family  members relate  the impacts  and struggles  of                                                               
systemic racism  and trauma. Her  grandparents were sent  away to                                                               
boarding  schools.  Laws  can be  written  to  target  indigenous                                                               
people, such  as Inupiat.  Mr. Treg  Taylor recently  stated that                                                               
the March 16, 2021, shootings of  six Asian women in Atlanta were                                                               
not racially  motivated, that the  shooter was having a  bad day.                                                               
She urged members not to confirm Mr. Taylor.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:13:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD  closed  public  testimony  on  the  confirmation                                                               
hearing for Mr. Taylor, Attorney General, Department of Law.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[The confirmation  for Treg Taylor,  the Governor's  appointee as                                                               
attorney general was held in committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:15:16 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Reinbold adjourned the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee                                                                
meeting at 3:15 p.m.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                

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