Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/22/1996 03:32 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 SSTA - 2/22/96                                                                
                                                                               
       HB  90 CONVENING LEGISLATURE AFTER GOV ELECTION                       
                                                                               
 Number 180                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR SHARP brought up HB 90 as the next order of business before           
 the Senate State Affairs Committee and called the first witness.              
                                                                               
 Number 185                                                                    
                                                                               
 JONATHAN SPERBER, Aide to Representative Bettye Davis, prime                  
 sponsor of HB 90, stated that HB 90 would shift the beginning date            
 of legislative sessions following gubernatorial elections by one              
 day, in order to avoid having the opening day of the legislative              
 session fall on Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.  Mr. Sperber read             
 the sponsor's statement.                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 200                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. SPERBER stated that the administration believes HB 90 will                
 minimally impact legislative business.  In addition, the bill would           
 result in some minor cost savings.  Certain employees would not               
 have to be paid overtime by working on the holiday.                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked who that would be.                               
                                                                               
 MR. SPERBER responded that would be support staff in the executive            
 branch.                                                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS doesn't understand.                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY thinks that would be people in the executive branch            
 who stick around because the legislature is here, people who would            
 normally have a holiday.                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked if we want them around.                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY responded it is not up to us whether they're around.           
 It's up to the executive branch.                                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked why the executive branch can't make              
 that determination themselves.  And actually, what can we do here             
 on the first day, realistically.                                              
                                                                               
 MR. SPERBER responded it is his understanding that it is a day of             
 special importance by virtue of its being the first day of the                
 legislative session.  Even if only for ceremonial purposes,                   
 legislative staff and legislators would expect to be present.  By             
 simply shifting the first day of session to the following Tuesday,            
 those legislators and staff would have the opportunity to pay full            
 respect to Dr. King.  Admittedly, any possible savings that might             
 be realized here are extremely small.  The fiscal note from OMB               
 lists savings of $5,833.00 for FY99.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 245                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN has a concern with a comment in the sponsor's                   
 statement that "hundreds of legislative staff would be impacted".             
 That's probably what we need to deal with, more than changing the             
 day.                                                                          
                                                                               
 MR. SPERBER responded that Representative Davis has the belief that           
 all legislators, as well as their staff, would want to be able to             
 fully honor and celebrate Dr. King on this holiday, by being able             
 to attend other events.  He knows that Representative Davis has               
 expressed her frustration in the past about not being able to                 
 attend certain other events honoring Dr. King, because of                     
 legislative scheduling conflicts.                                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN understands that.                                               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP commented he can also see savings for all                      
 legislative staff of at least one day, because you would bring them           
 on one day later.                                                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN suggests that, instead of just moving the day one               
 day, somehow we could get the first day, Monday, to still count as            
 a day, so we wouldn't then just shift the whole session by one day.           
 He also asked why the bill specifies "the third Tuesday", rather              
 than specifying "the Tuesday following the third Monday".                     
                                                                               
 MR. SPERBER does not think there would be any difference.  He                 
 thinks the net affect would be the same.                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN stated that is not necessarily so.                              
                                                                               
 [If the month of January begins on a Tuesday, then the third                  
 Tuesday would follow the second Monday, and not the third Monday.]          
                                                                               
 It is noted that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is on the third Monday           
 in January.                                                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS stated he likes Senator Leman's idea of                
 having that day still count towards the session limit.                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY doesn't think that could be done, because the 120              
 day provision is set into the constitution.  Actually, there is a             
 starting time in the constitution, but it states "unless otherwise            
 provided by statute".  He thinks it would be pretty difficult to              
 utilize Senator Leman's idea without amending the constitution.               
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN thinks that every once in a while, the schedule would           
 be thrown off in such a way that the legislature would actually               
 start four days prior to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked Senator Leman if he wishes to propose an                 
 amendment to HB 90.                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asked Mr. Sperber if he would have any objection to             
 that.                                                                         
                                                                               
 MR. SPERBER replied he does not believe that Representative Davis             
 would have any objection.  Her primary concern is to not have a               
 conflict between a holiday and a legislative session.                         
                                                                               
 Number 320                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN thinks that would be a better way to define it.  He             
 offered an amendment to HB 90.                                                
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP noted that basically on page 1, line 8, the wording            
 would be changed at the end of the sentence to "on the Tuesday                
 following the third Monday".                                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN said, either that, or "on the day following the third           
 Monday".  Obviously it would be a Tuesday.  Whichever way the                 
 drafters-                                                                     
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP noted there would also have to be the same change on           
 page 2, line 1.                                                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN replied that is correct.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 345                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked if there were objections to the amendment.               
 Hearing none, the chairman stated the amendment was adopted.                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked the pleasure of the committee.                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY made a motion to discharge HB 90 and accompanying              
 fiscal notes with individual recommendations from committee.                  
                                                                               
 Number 355                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, ordered HB 90 released from             
 the Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.           

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