Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205

03/02/2016 03:30 PM RESOURCES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSSB 125(RES) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
            SB 125-LEGISLATIVE MEMBERS OF AGDC BOARD                                                                        
4:33:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL announced consideration of SB 125.                                                                                
SENATOR MIA  COSTELLO, sponsor  of SB  125, said  the legislature                                                               
has a  depth of knowledge  regarding the  gasline, and SB  125 is                                                               
offered  in  a  spirit  of cooperation  and  making  the  gasline                                                               
process better  for all  Alaskans. The  bill adds  two non-voting                                                               
ex-officio members to the  Alaska Gasline Development Corporation                                                               
(AGDC). She said there are more  members on her son's soccer team                                                               
than there  are on  the AGDC board.  Adding members  will improve                                                               
communication and the process, she stated.                                                                                      
4:35:49 PM                                                                                                                    
WESTON   EILER,  staff   to   Senator   Costello,  Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature, said that  the first two sections of SB  125 add two                                                               
nonvoting  legislative members  to serve  two-year terms  (on the                                                               
AGDC), one from  the House and one from the  Senate, and sections                                                               
3  through 6  are conforming  amendments. The  AGDC now  has five                                                               
public  members  and  two   commissioners  of  state  departments                                                               
appointed  by  the  governor.  He  said SB  125  is  intended  to                                                               
strengthen and  diversify the board  for upcoming  complex policy                                                               
issues  and large  funding decisions,  which require  transparent                                                               
and clear decision-making. Having  legislators on the board gives                                                               
all parties a seat at  the table, and legislators understand that                                                               
a long  view is needed  for budgeting decisions.  The legislators                                                               
will  be   an  asset,  he   opined,  providing   perspective  and                                                               
continuity.  Legislators  serve  on  over  12  state  boards  and                                                               
commissions, he  added, including  the Knik  Arm Bridge  and Toll                                                               
Authority and the Alaska Aerospace  Corporation. They will better                                                               
understand  AGDC if  they  are  on the  board,  which is  helpful                                                               
because any  contract over the  span of  two years needs  to come                                                               
back to the Legislature, he stated.                                                                                             
SENATOR STOLTZE  said he  served on two  boards as  an ex-officio                                                               
and always participated in executive sessions.                                                                                  
SENATOR  COSTELLO said  she intends  for the  two legislators  to                                                               
attend all meetings.                                                                                                            
MR. EILER noted  that legislative council said  the bill language                                                               
allows members to participate in executive sessions.                                                                            
4:41:03 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STOLTZE  said the bill  relies on good faith,  and "every                                                               
hand outreached  hasn't always  been shaken,  hence this  bill is                                                               
before  us." He  said  the change  will allow  a  better flow  of                                                               
information. Most board members are  not legislators, and when he                                                               
was   an   ex-officio,   he  helped   provide   the   legislative                                                               
perspective,   especially  when   asking   candid  questions   in                                                               
executive sessions. The board will  still make its own decisions,                                                               
he stated, but it will be with better informed consent.                                                                         
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  said AGDC started  out with people  who had                                                               
pipeline  experience,  and  now  it is  shifting  more  to  being                                                               
political, and that is not the direction it should go.                                                                          
SENATOR COSTELLO  appreciated his  sentiment, "but who  better to                                                               
have sitting there in the room  than people that were around when                                                               
the  statutes and  the  laws  were written  and  crafted for  the                                                               
project?"  The benefit  of having  expertise  is invaluable,  and                                                               
legislators  are elected  by their  neighbors  and are  political                                                               
people, but  they "wear different  hats." She said  the precedent                                                               
is set with other boards, and she  offers the bill in a spirit of                                                               
SENATOR STOLTZE  said he was reminded  of a movie from  the 1980s                                                               
where people were  shocked that there was a  whorehouse in Texas,                                                               
"but there  are politics  on this board."  His good  friend, John                                                               
Burns, had  "tire tracks on  his back" from  a truck driven  by a                                                               
"trimmed out  politician," and he  probably saw that his  job was                                                               
more political than he expected.                                                                                                
CHAIR  GIESSEL opened  public testimony,  and, finding  none, she                                                               
closed it.                                                                                                                      
4:45:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COGHILL  asked if  the  bill  needs  to be  explicit  in                                                               
allowing legislative board members to attend executive sessions.                                                                
MILES  BAKER, Vice  President,  Internal  Affairs, AGDC,  Juneau,                                                               
answered  that the  board has  not discussed  it, but  he assumes                                                               
legislative members would participate in executive sessions.                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL asked if there are any barriers.                                                                                
MR. BAKER said  he is not aware  of any, but he will  get back to                                                               
the committee with an answer.                                                                                                   
SENATOR COGHILL  said he expects  there will be barriers,  and it                                                               
needs to be put into law.                                                                                                       
CHAIR GIESEL said that she thinks Senator Coghill is correct.                                                                   
SENATOR  STOLTZE  said  he  understands  Mr.  Baker's  situation,                                                               
because "when  you're walking  on eggs you  don't hop."  He asked                                                               
for a document to clear up the issue.                                                                                           
4:47:33 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  if the  board gets  per diem  and if                                                               
travel is involved.                                                                                                             
MR. BAKER answered that public  members of the AGDC board receive                                                               
a $400 honorarium  for each day they do board  business, which is                                                               
typically one  meeting per month  preceded by a day  of committee                                                               
work. He  estimated a total  of two  to four days  of honorariums                                                               
each month, but  the two commissioners are not  entitled to them.                                                               
The  board  usually  meets  in  Anchorage,  but  it  has  met  in                                                               
Fairbanks and Palmer, and AGDC pays for hotels and travel.                                                                      
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI said SB 125 has  no fiscal note and asked if                                                               
legislative members would use their office accounts.                                                                            
MR. BAKER assumed  that the legislators would  operate similar to                                                               
the commissioners,  and travel and  per diem would be  subject to                                                               
the legislative budget rules and not come from the AGDC budget.                                                                 
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if the legislative  members will sign                                                               
confidentiality agreements.                                                                                                     
MR. BAKER  answered that for most  of what the board  is involved                                                               
in  there   have  not  been   many  requests   [for  agreements].                                                               
Legislators  are already  entitled  to most  of the  confidential                                                               
information  that  would  require  the  board  to  sign  such  an                                                               
agreement, but  whether their normal  oath of office  would apply                                                               
or  whether  the  legislative  members would  need  to  sign  the                                                               
agreements could be answered by legal counsel.                                                                                  
4:51:24 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STOLTZE  asked what activities  or information  might the                                                               
board want to exclude legislators  from, "since you used the term                                                               
MR. BAKER explained  that he meant that not  everything the board                                                               
deals with needs confidentiality agreements.                                                                                    
4:52:30 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESEL closed public testimony.                                                                                           
SENATOR  MICCICHE offered  conceptual amendment  1 stating  that,                                                               
other than  voting, legislative  board members  shall participate                                                               
in all processes of the  board, including executive sessions, and                                                               
they shall not receive an honorarium.                                                                                           
SENATOR COGHILL objected for discussion.                                                                                        
SENATOR  STOLTZE  suggested  "no  compensation"  instead  of  "no                                                               
honorarium." This  is not an issue  on most boards, but  "I think                                                               
there's  been  other factors  that  even  cause this  legislation                                                               
being brought forward."                                                                                                         
SENATOR  MICCICHE  suggested  adding  travel or  per  diem  after                                                               
SENATOR COGHILL  said it  is not clear  if legislators  could use                                                               
their legislative accounts.                                                                                                     
SENATOR STOLTZE  said he served  on the Alaska  Seafood Marketing                                                               
Council and  the Knik  Arm Bridge Toll  Authority, and  there has                                                               
never  been a  question that  the legislative  branch "picked  up                                                               
these;  it was  certainly  a courtesy  to  us ...  and  it was  a                                                               
benefit to have  us on the board as a  nonvoting member." He said                                                               
legislators cannot be  voting members because of  the dual office                                                               
[statute].  That the  committee is  even dealing  with this  bill                                                               
dictates why the language has to be so specific, he opined.                                                                     
SENATOR  MICCICHE  said conceptual  amendment  1  is: other  than                                                               
voting,  legislative members  of the  board shall  participate in                                                               
all processes of the board, including executive sessions.                                                                       
4:57:52 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
4:58:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE   continued  with  his   conceptual  amendment:                                                               
[legislative  members will  not] be  compensated by  AGDC for  an                                                               
honorarium, travel,  or per diem  for their participation  on the                                                               
AGDC board.                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  GIESEL noted  the need  to renumber  the bill.  Finding no                                                               
further objections, conceptual amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                         
4:59:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO moved to report  SB 125, version 29-LS1250\E, as                                                               
amended,  from  committee  with  individual  recommendations  and                                                               
attached fiscal note(s).                                                                                                        
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  objected and said he  respects the sponsors                                                               
in  putting SB  125  forward, but  the  legislature has  numerous                                                               
opportunities  to participate  with the  AGDC, including  regular                                                               
briefings  and  testimony.  He  stated  that  Alaska  needs  less                                                               
politics  [in the  AGDC],  and  the bill  adds  a  new layer.  He                                                               
removed his objection, but he said he will not support the bill.                                                                
CHAIR  GIESSEL heard  no further  objections,  and CSSB  125(RES)                                                               
moved out of committee.                                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB0100-Version S.PDF SRES 3/2/2016 3:30:00 PM
HB 100
HB0100 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SRES 3/2/2016 3:30:00 PM
HB 100
HB0100-Supporting Document- Agrium Overview.pdf SRES 3/2/2016 3:30:00 PM
HB 100
HB0100-Supporting Document-McDowell Report-Agrium (2013).pdf SRES 3/2/2016 3:30:00 PM
HB 100
HB0100-Supporting Document-McDowell Report-Agrium Updated (2015).pdf SRES 3/2/2016 3:30:00 PM
HB 100
HB0100-Letter of Support-Furie.pdf SRES 3/2/2016 3:30:00 PM
HB 100
HB0100-Letter of Support-Sherwood.pdf SRES 3/2/2016 3:30:00 PM
HB 100
HB0100-Letter of Support-Udelhoven.pdf SRES 3/2/2016 3:30:00 PM
HB 100
HB0100-Fiscal Note-Tax-DOR-2-26-2016.pdf SRES 3/2/2016 3:30:00 PM
HB 100
SB0125-Version E.PDF SRES 3/2/2016 3:30:00 PM
SB 125
SB 0125 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SRES 3/2/2016 3:30:00 PM
SB 125
SB0125-Fiscal Note-AGDC-DCCED-2-29-2016.pdf SRES 3/2/2016 3:30:00 PM
SB 125
SB0125-Supporting Document-Legislative Membership State Boards and Commissions.pdf SRES 3/2/2016 3:30:00 PM
SB 125