Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/26/1996 03:35 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                  SB 141 LEGISLATIVE ETHICS                                  
 Number 420                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP brought up SB 141 as the next order of business                
 before the Senate State Affairs Committee.                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY made a motion to adopt the "R" version committee               
 substitute for SB 141.                                                        
 Number 435                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, stated the committee                    
 substitute was adopted.                                                       
 Number 470                                                                    
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS made a motion to adopt amendment M.1 by                
 Amendment M.1:                                                                
  Would create new Section 2, page 1.  Prohibits spouses and                   
 spousal equivalents of legislators from serving as legislative                
 CHAIRMAN SHARP objected to the amendment.  He asked if there was              
 any discussion.                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN made a motion to amend the amendment.                           
 Amendment to amendment M.1:                                                   
  Delete the term "spousal equivalent" and replace it with                     
 whatever language the committee used before to replace that term.             
 The drafter can determine what that language should be.                       
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated he would speak to his objection to amendment            
 M.1.  His objection is that the regulation for disclosure by                  
 lobbyists, whether they be married to legislators or not, is very             
 detailed and very strict at the present time.  Therefore, he does             
 not see reason to deny anyone from practicing a legal, highly                 
 regulated trade.                                                              
 Number 500                                                                    
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS thinks the public sees legislative spouses             
 who are also lobbyists as a conflict of interest.  By having it               
 totally banned, then there is no question in anyone's mind about              
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked if there is any objection to the amendment to            
 the amendment.  Hearing none, the chairman stated amendment M.1 has           
 been amended.                                                                 
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked if there were any other comments on the                  
 amended amendment.  The chairman asked that the role be called on             
 amendment M.1.                                                                
 Amendment M.1 passed by a vote of 4 yeas, 1 nay.  Voting for the              
 amendment are Senators Phillips, Leman, Duncan, and Donley.  Voting           
 against the amendment is Senator Sharp.                                       
 Number 515                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY stated what he would like to do, instead of moving             
 amendment O.4 - he was working this afternoon on something he                 
 thinks would better address that issue.  He wants to clarify what             
 is meant by "public area".  He  proposed that after the language              
 "...government business." on page 4, line 17, add "offices of                 
 individual legislators are not public areas for the purpose of this           
 SENATOR LEMAN asked if that language was instead of amendment O.4.          
 SENATOR DONLEY replied it is offered instead of amendment O.4.  So            
 we are actually adopting exactly what the committee asked for, we             
 are just clarifying the definition of "public area".  Senator                 
 Donley moved the amendment.                                                   
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked if there are objections to the amendment.  We            
 will call it amendment O.4.                                                   
 CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, stated the amendment was                
 Number 550                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY stated amendment O.3 would affect the language on              
 page 6, Section 7.  His original amendment asked that some of the             
 descriptive words be deleted, because he did not think they were              
 consistent with the original purpose of the Ethics Act.  Senator              
 Donley wants to modify his original amendment.                                
 The amendment would read as follows:                                          
  Delete the word "minimal" on line 10, delete the words "short"               
 and "incidental" on line 14, and delete the last sentence on line             
 15, "Incidental political campaign activities shall be kept to a              
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked about the word "incidental" after the word               
 SENATOR DONLEY stated he would leave that one in, because he thinks           
 that is appropriate to the original intent.  But the others go far            
 beyond what the original Ethics Act intended, and they're putting             
 their own interpretation into it, which he thinks is inconsistent.            
 SENATOR DONLEY made a motion that his amendment be adopted.                   
 Number 575                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY stated he finds "minimal" to be a very difficult               
 standard.  It is subjective and in the eye of the beholder.  He               
 finds offensive the idea on line 14 that you can only answer a                
 short telephone call.  It was always anticipated, especially on the           
 part of legislators, that telephone calls would not be limited.               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked, how about "incidental" telephone                
 calls, instead of "short"?                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY asked how does one control incoming telephone calls?           
 He asserted that you cannot control them.                                     
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS stated, but you can ask the caller to call             
 another number.                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN stated that's how he handles political calls; he just           
 refers the caller to another phone number.                                    
 TAPE 96-23, SIDE B                                                            
 SENATOR DONLEY thinks there was a very consistent philosophy                  
 running through the Ethics Act, that the telephone calls were - it            
 doesn't cost the state anything, first of all.  The idea that                 
 someone has to have a short telephone call is ludicrous.  What is             
 a short telephone call?  "Short" is so subjective.                            
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked Senator Donley how he handled those              
 telephone calls before.                                                       
 SENATOR DONLEY responded it will be different for different people            
 in different locations.  Some people's legislative offices may be             
 far away from their homes.  We have other lives as legislators, and           
 this is not an improper impact upon the state.                                
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked Senator Donley if he sees a difference between           
 "minimal" on line 10, and "minimum" on line 15.                               
 SENATOR DONLEY stated he is proposing to take both those out.                 
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked if there are objections to the amendment.                
 SENATOR LEMAN objected.  Senator Leman agrees that interpretation             
 difficulties produce some very ludicrous situations.  He has seen             
 the APOC come up with some ludicrous interpretations of what he               
 sees as common-sense rules.  But he hopes the legislative record is           
 clear here that is not what is intended in opposing amendment O.3.            
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked that the role be called on amendment O.3.                
 Amendment O.3 passed by a vote of 4 yeas, 1 nay.  Voting for the              
 amendment are Senators Sharp, Phillips, Duncan, and Donley.  Voting           
 against the amendment is Senator Leman.                                       
 Number 535                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP brings up amendment O.7 as the next item before the            
 Amendment O.7:                                                                
  Conceptual amendment; Legislator may not work for Executive                  
 Branch, quasi-state agency, or university while holding public                
 office.  Legislator may not provide any services, materials, or               
 supplies unless legislator goes through the state's procurement               
 code procedures regulating the competitive bidding process.                   
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated the amendment would clarify what legislators            
 could not do.  Where that amendment would fit into the legislation            
 would be up to the drafter.                                                   
 CHAIRMAN SHARP made a motion to adopt amendment O.7.                          
 SENATOR DUNCAN objected to the amendment.  He doesn't know of a               
 legislator who has ever worked for the executive branch or for a              
 state agency.  He thinks that is already prohibited.  Senator                 
 Duncan disclosed that he would be directly impacted by this                   
 amendment, if he understands the amendment.  When the amendment               
 states "including the university" - for the last fifteen years he             
 has had individual contracts with the university system to teach a            
 course, which is a contract that is available to anyone in the                
 public who is qualified.  It has gone through all the review and              
 everything and is a very minimal salary.  It has been very                    
 beneficial to the university though, to be able to use part-time              
 instructors.  As he understands, this amendment would prohibit him            
 doing that.  This activity has always been allowed in the past, and           
 has been discussed by the Ethics Committee.  It is not a position             
 of high income, and the course is only offered if the enrollment is           
 high enough to pay the cost of the course, so it is not a budgetary           
 Number 500                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN stated that activity wouldn't trouble him so much if            
 the application of the law was consistent.  When the legislature              
 addressed this several years ago, as legislative history shows, he            
 and several other legislators asked the question, and were assured            
 that the prohibitions against working for the state would not keep            
 them from doing their professional jobs.  Senator Leman is a                  
 consulting engineer, and he was assured that though there would be            
 certain restrictions, they would be able to do their jobs.  And yet           
 the rules came out and said they couldn't do that for an agency of            
 the state.  Initially, the ruling was that they could do it for               
 municipalities.  Then the Ethics Committee said we couldn't, if the           
 municipalities received any funding for the project he was working            
 on provided by the state.  He thinks that went beyond legislative             
 intent and legislative history.  He thinks if they're not going to          
 do something like this, they should take a look at the other, and             
 decide what is minimal.  He could make the same argument in his               
 case as Senator Duncan has made.  He is troubled by the                       
 interpretation that any association, and in his case the                      
 association occurred for years before he was in the legislature, is           
 disallowed because he is in the legislature.                                  
 SENATOR DUNCAN is not sure about that interpretation, because he              
 thinks there is at least one individual in the legislature who                
 works for a city as a city attorney.  It cannot be determined                 
 whether it is state money that pays that individual or local money.           
 SENATOR LEMAN agrees, and he had the same trouble about comingling            
 of funds.  How does the municipality decide what is their money,              
 etc.  In most cases the easiest thing to do is just stay away from            
 SENATOR DUNCAN stated there was a court case some years ago                   
 concerning state operated schools, specifying that there was no               
 problem with Nick Begich's involvement in public education.  He               
 thinks the amendment is an over-reach, especially when you are not            
 talking about state dollars being used.  He doesn't think there has           
 ever been a legislator who has worked for a state agency, executive           
 branch, legislative branch, or judicial branch.  He thinks that's             
 always been clearly prohibited.                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY thinks that's prohibited by the constitution.                  
 SENATOR DUNCAN thinks the only thing not already prohibited that              
 would now be prohibited under amendment O.7 is his case.  He also             
 thinks there are other legislators who would be qualified to teach            
 university courses, who would then also be prohibited from doing              
 SENATOR LEMAN acknowledged that Ms. Redman of the University of               
 Alaska has been talking to him about teaching engineering courses             
 at the university.  But I need to finish the work on my PhD.                  
 SENATOR DONLEY thinks the executive branch and the quasi-state                
 agency elements of amendment O.7 are already covered in a                     
 constitutional prohibition.  He thinks what we're getting down to             
 is the prohibition on university.  He thinks the university is a              
 separately created constitutional animal.  It has it's own internal           
 budget process, much to his dismay, most of the time.  He can find            
 as much logic in limiting local government employment and native              
 corporation employment as in limiting university employment.                  
 CHAIRMAN SHARP thinks the difference between what Senator Donley is           
 talking about and what we have here, is that these get practically            
 100% of their money and authorization from the State of Alaska.               
 Number 430                                                                    
 SENATOR DUNCAN asked for clarification on contracts, because the              
 way in which he is hired at the university is under contract.  He             
 is not sure how that would relate to the amendment.  There is also            
 language relating to legislators holding contracts if they do not             
 exceed a certain amount.  The difference is, his is a contract                
 position, and not an employee position.  He is not sure if you                
 could call it a competitive bid or not, but it is open to anyone              
 who has the background.                                                       
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated he feels pretty firmly that just because a              
 legislator hasn't worked for any of these entities in the past, the           
 opportunity should be closed.  He knows of several people from                
 Fairbanks who worked for the university and quit their jobs to run            
 for office.                                                                   
 SENATOR DUNCAN stated they would have to quit their jobs.  He could           
 not work full-time for the university and be in office.  The                  
 difference is, and it's been looked at by the attorneys, he is a              
 contracted instructor for an individual course, which is much                 
 different than an employee of the university.                                 
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated it would be available if it satisfied the               
 provision allowing services, materials, or supplies, as long as the           
 legislator went through the procurement code procedures.                      
 SENATOR DUNCAN stated the amendment is more than conceptual.  On              
 the last page of members' packets is an actual written amendment.             
 That amendment would prohibit contracts.                                      
 CHAIRMAN SHARP thinks it would only be allowed for supplies and               
 SENATOR DUNCAN stated he is concerned that they are making a                  
 blanket prohibition against teaching at the university, which means           
 that an individual could not teach an individual course under                 
 Number 370                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated he has moved amendment O.7, and he still                
 thinks it's good public policy and perception.  He asked if there             
 were any other comments before he called for a vote.                          
 SENATOR DONLEY stated if the amendment passes, he will be proposing           
 changes to it.  He thinks the logic of it should be extended to               
 local governments and native corporations.                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP thinks that strays a little far from actual state              
 owned, operated, and authorized agencies or facilities.                       
 Number 357                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN stated he will support the amendment, but he would              
 also support an income test for this type of activity and other               
 activity he mentioned earlier.  He would like to craft something              
 specifying an annual amount, or an annual amount per contract for             
 university teaching and municipal government work and those types             
 of activities.  He thinks those types of activities were not meant            
 to be prohibited.  If something like that could be accommodated, he           
 would support it.                                                             
 SENATOR DONLEY thinks the state's range 10 base salary level might            
 be an appropriate level for that.                                             
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated he wouldn't argue with that.                            
 SENATOR DONLEY thinks if the amount was no more than the base                 
 amount of salary legislators receive, then arguably your conflict             
 would never exceed what you make as a legislator.  He also likes              
 the fact that the amount will shift over time, and that it's won't            
 be a fixed dollar amount.                                                     
 Number 340                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY made a motion for a conceptual amendment that there            
 be an exception for the applicability of amendment O.7 for                    
 contracts not to exceed the legislative base salary - that the                
 total contractual income from that entity would not exceed the                
 legislative base salary.  The constitutional prohibitions will                
 always supersede these, so the prohibition of ever working for the            
 executive branch would still be in place.                                     
 SENATOR LEMAN asked Senator Donley if it was his intent that the              
 conceptual amendment apply to contracts with municipal governments,           
 and that the legislative intent would be to change the current                
 policy, as interpreted by the Ethics Committee.                               
 SENATOR DONLEY stated he thinks he would have to add "local                   
 government bodies" after "quasi-public corporations", so it would             
 be part of the list of entities in amendment O.7.                             
 Number 313                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked how the public will see this: is this a                  
 weaseling out of a prohibition, or is this a situation for the                
 benefit of the legislators, or is this legitimate?                            
 SENATOR DONLEY replied it is actually a tightening-up of existing             
 law.  We already have an absolute prohibition of working for the              
 executive branch.  This would actually be putting a cap on                    
 university and other contracts for the first time.                            
 CHAIRMAN SHARP thinks the executive portion is in the conceptual              
 amendment, but not in amendment O.7.                                          
 SENATOR DUNCAN stated that the executive portion is in amendment              
 O.7 also.                                                                     
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked, what makes legislators so much more special             
 that they can do this, and not spouses of legislators?                        
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS agreed with the chairman.                              
 SENATOR DONLEY stated the spouse of a legislator could be a full-             
 time University of Alaska employee; that is not limited.                      
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated he is comparing Senator Donley's amendment              
 with forbidding legislator's spouses to be lobbyists.                         
 SENATOR LEMAN commented that maybe there should be a diminimous               
 standard there, also.                                                         
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked, you mean a lobbyist makes as much as            
 a legislator?  He doesn't think that will work.                               
 SENATOR DONLEY stated his amendment would be to add "local                    
 government" after "public corporations", and specify that there               
 would be an exception for contracts - and he liked the chairman's             
 language.  He wonders if it's still in this, as it was in the                 
 conceptual version, where there was a contract under - it didn't              
 seem to fall through into the actual language of the amendment, did           
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked if that was through the state procurement code           
 SENATOR DONLEY replied, yes.  There was some impartial procedure              
 that went into it.  He thought that was a good insulating factor,             
 but he wouldn't know how to craft that.  To add "local government"            
 after "public corporations" and say that there would be an                    
 exception if the contracts didn't exceed the legislative base                 
 salary.  That can't have any impact upon any of the constitutional            
 Number 270                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN stated the local government restriction is not to               
 local governments, it's to local governments if the funds are                 
 coming from a state appropriation.  He thinks that to restrict all            
 local government contracts, with the exception of this diminimous             
 standard is the wrong approach.  We probably should say, "local               
 government contracts that are funded through a state appropriation,           
 up to that diminimous standard."  He thinks that would be closer to           
 what they're trying to reach.                                                 
 SENATOR DONLEY stated the issues of municipal aid and revenue                 
 sharing exist, and there seems to be a conflict there.  Municipal             
 aid is a much bigger conflict than a university course paid for by            
 student-generated funds.                                                      
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated he's heard a lot of words on an amendment to            
 the amendment, but he hasn't seen anything in writing.                        
 SENATOR DONLEY stated he would try again.  After the words "quasi-            
 public corporation" add "local government".  Then put a caveat on             
 that there would be an exception for contracts awarded through an             
 open-bid process, not to exceed the legislative base salary.                  
 SENATOR LEMAN objected to the amendment to amendment O.7.  It                 
 doesn't cover what he's been trying to reach.                                 
 CHAIRMAN SHARP thinks it expands it for some, and restricts it for            
 others.  He asked that the role be called.                                    
 SENATOR DUNCAN stated he is trying to decide what Senator Leman is            
 trying to reach.  Is he trying to reach the fact that certain                 
 people in Senator Leman's profession are prohibited from                      
 representing people before boards and commissions?                            
 SENATOR LEMAN replied, no, he is trying to reach work for                     
 municipalities.  But what Senator Donley's amendment does is go               
 beyond that, and specify that can't be done, except up to some                
 diminimous standard.  He is not so offended by that as he is by not           
 being able to do any consulting, even of work that may have                   
 filtered through an appropriation process.                                    
 SENATOR DUNCAN stated in that case, Senator Leman should be just as           
 offended at the university section.                                           
 SENATOR LEMAN responded he stated that earlier.  As long as we are            
 consistent all the way across, he wouldn't be offended with that.             
 SENATOR DUNCAN thinks that is important, and that they should take            
 the time to figure out how to be consistent.  But he is not sure              
 they can figure it out in five minutes.                                       
 SENATOR LEMAN asked what the next committee of referral for SB 141            
 It is noted that there is no other committee of referral.  The bill           
 will go next to the Rules Committee.                                          
 SENATOR DONLEY noted this is the first time the committee has                 
 discussed this specific proposal.                                             
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated he will withdraw amendment O.7 if Senator               
 Donley withdraws his amendment.                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY replied he would be happy to do so.                            
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated they will reconsider it Thursday.  His                  
 intention is to move SB 141 out of committee on Thursday.  He asked           
 Senator Pearce if she wanted to address some of the conceptual                
 Number 203                                                                    
 SENATOR PEARCE thanked the chairman for the opportunity to comment            
 on the committee substitute for SB 141.  She thanked the committee            
 for their work on the legislation; she and the Ethics Committee               
 both appreciate it.  Senator Pearce told the committee that last              
 year the Anchorage Daily News indicated they thought legislators              
 should have to reveal any work intrests they had in the state                 
 immediately after they had that interest.  As she understands it,             
 there is currently nothing in SB 141 reflecting that.  However,               
 Senator Pearce does recommend that the committee look at having the           
 legislative financial disclosure statement deadline on February 15            
 of each year.  That would give the public the opportunity to look             
 at the business interests that an individual legislator has earlier           
 in the session, so they can make a judgement on our behavior in               
 terms of possible conflicts of interest.                                      
 SENATOR PEARCE also thinks that the governor, lieutenant governor,            
 the commissioners, and confirmed board members who draw a salary,             
 like APUC board members, should be held to the same standard of               
 conflict of interest reporting to which legislators are held,                 
 rather than the lesser standard in the present law for                        
 administrative employees.                                                     
 Number 132                                                                    
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS stated he agrees with Senator Pearce on the            
 February 15 deadline, but thinks there is a practical problem                 
 related to doing that, since limited partnerships don't report                
 until the beginning of March.                                                 
 SENATOR PEARCE doesn't think that you need to declare a specific              
 income for limited partnerships.  We could go back and look at                
 that.  She is sure we could also change it to say a legislator                
 would have to do some sort of analysis.  Maybe we could have a                
 limited disclosure of what the limited partnerships are, without              
 listing the amount, and then update the information when you find             
 out how much money you will get from the partnership.  Senator                
 Pearce thinks there is a way to work around that.  She thinks it is           
 too long a delay for a legislator to receive work on January 1, and           
 not have to report that until April 15; that is a very long time.             
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS thinks there is a practical problem with the           
 limited partnerships.                                                         
 SENATOR PEARCE thinks that can be worked out.                                 
 Number 108                                                                    
 SENATOR PEARCE stated it has taken the Ethics Committee an enormous           
 amount of time in deliberations for the committee to interpret the            
 statutes, so the more clear the statutes are, the better off they             
 all are and the less time it takes the committee.  She suggests, at           
 least for legislative races, that an absolute deadline of June 1 be           
 set for an end of session mailing.                                            
 Number 080                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY stated he has a problem with a June 1 deadline,                
 because he has a problem getting his newsletter out by July.                  
 SENATOR PEARCE stated she was just trying to figure out a good date           
 that was around 90 days before the primary campaigns.  She just               
 thinks there should be a specific date set.  In this particular               
 case, special sessions don't really affect this.  If the governor             
 calls us into a special session in October, she doesn't expect all            
 those legislators who are also candidates to be mailing at public             
 SENATOR DONLEY stated he was thinking along the lines of the                  
 sessions in which the legislature starts later in January, and                
 therefore would not get out of session until later in May.                    
 SENATOR PEARCE stated maybe you want to pick a different date.  She           
 picked that date because it's a date to which we all pay a lot of             
 Number 040                                                                    
 SENATOR PEARCE stated on Section 4, she believes that legislators             
 ought to be able to hand people whatever they want to, but                    
 legislative employees should not be allowed to distribute or post             
 literature.  She asked Senator Donley if the intent of his                    
 amendment was to change what we were doing in terms of fund-raising           
 SENATOR DONLEY replied, no, he didn't do what was on there.  We did           
 something entirely different.  Were you here for that?                        
 SENATOR PEARCE responded, no.  She stated there is nothing that               
 speaks to AS 24.60.030, subsection (e), but it is in the law and is           
 something that probably needs to be defined.  We have the committee           
 trying to define whether or not a legislator is negotiating for               
 employment, and frankly, that word is not defined at all.  It is a            
 section she believes should be looked at and defined.                         
 [End of Tape 96-23, Side B]                                                   
 [Short amount of testimony not recorded during the changing of                
 TAPE 96-24, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
 SENATOR PEARCE said it should be laid out clearly, so that we                 
 understand exactly what we're supposed to say or write when we make           
 either an oral or a written declaration of a possible conflict.  It           
 is a question that has come up a number of times during discussions           
 at the [Ethics] committee level.  On Page 6, Section 8, regarding             
 the special session question, we need to figure out what "accept"             
 means.  She doesn't think the definition that the [Ethics]                    
 committee has come up with is what was intended.  She doesn't have            
 a problem with not being able to accept funds during a special                
 session, but we need to find a way to handle those funds that                 
 doesn't get you in trouble with APOC when you do what the Ethics              
 Committee wants you to do.  Right now, the committee tells you not            
 to accept a check, and APOC tells you that if you get a check, you            
 have to run it through your account, and then send it back.  Under          
 the committee, that is accepting the check.  Whatever you do, you             
 end up breaking either the Ethics Committee's or APOC's rules.  I             
 can tell you, none of you really want to have to go before either             
 Number 062                                                                    
 SENATOR PEARCE stated that on lines 8 and 9 of that same section,             
 we talk about a "substantial purpose of the event".  She is not               
 sure what the definition is of "substantial purpose".  We may want            
 to define that.                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY commented that Senator Pearce's suggestions were               
 good ones, but he is discouraged because he thought they were                 
 almost done revising the bill.                                                
 Number 080                                                                    
 SENATOR PEARCE apologized.  She stated that on page 10 of the "O"             
 version, new language about a public record of disclosure                     
 concerning gifts relates to gifts not connected with the recipients           
 legislative status.  She does not think that type of gift should be           
 made public; she thinks that disclosure should be confidential to             
 the [Ethics] committee.  She asked, relating to the language at the           
 bottom of page 10, if you're going to specify "aunt and uncle", do            
 you also want to specify "niece and nephew"?                                  
 SENATOR DONLEY thinks it's page 11 on the "R" version.                        
 SENATOR PEARCE stated that definition is used in many places, and             
 so deserves consideration.  It includes the inheritance question.             
 Number 120                                                                    
 SENATOR PEARCE wants to go back to Senator Donley's amendment                 
 regarding removing "incidental" and "minimal".  She appreciates the           
 concern by members of the committee into what balance should be               
 struck.  She thinks that "incidental" and "minimal" are in the eyes           
 of the beholder and that the bill should be made as specific as               
 possible: don't use adjectives.  Make sure that everyone reading              
 the same language will reach the same interpretation.  That is                
 extremely important.  Regarding the legal defense funds, she hopes            
 this language would not be precluded by the campaign finance reform           
 initiative, and she would like to make sure it is written in such             
 a way that it would stand.                                                    
 SENATOR PEARCE stated, in regards to the amendment relating to the            
 subject of a complaint being able to attend any Ethics Committee              
 meeting including confidential meetings, she thinks the committee             
 should think about that amendment long and hard.  She thinks                  
 subjects of complaints should be allowed to be a part of some of            
 the meetings, but should not be at all of them.  She thinks the               
 [Ethics] committee has done a reasonable job of allowing access.              
 Number 160                                                                    
 SENATOR PEARCE encouraged the committee to look at the Executive              
 Ethics Act and make sure the elected officials and the                        
 commissioner-level folks are treated much the same as legislators,            
 in terms of the standards met.  She thinks that will make a                   
 difference in how the public views state officials and improve                
 management of the state.  She thinks the committee and legislature            
 over-steps its' bounds when it attempts to micro-manage where a               
 spouse can find employment, as long as the employment is disclosed.           
 It's certainly an over-reach to affect folks who are in a                     
 relationship but are not married.  She doesn't think it's up to the           
 legislature to limit the ability of people to find work in the                
 state; we are a very small state.  Senator Pearce agrees with                 
 Senator Leman's concerns over employment, and thinks there should             
 be some way to address his situation.  She doesn't know if there's            
 ever been an opinion requested regarding working as a city                    
 attorney.  If we want a citizen legislature and to encourage good             
 people to leave the private sector, and if we want term                       
 limitations, we need to make sure that we can encourage people to             
 run for office.  She doesn't think we should go to extraordinary              
 lengths to limit legislators, candidates, and their family members            
 from feeding their families.  As long as everything is disclosed,             
 it should be up to the constituencies to make those decisions.  The           
 Ethics Committee did not recommend that spouses of legislators not            
 be allowed to lobby.                                                          
 Number 221                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated that the committee has requested a comparison           
 of the Executive Branch Ethics Act and the Legislative Ethics Act.            
 If there are glaring problems, we may want to determine if there is           
 an opportunity to correct that in this bill, which would require a            
 title change and some other major changes.                                    
 SENATOR PEARCE stated though it would require a title change, she             
 doesn't know that the amount work would be that enormous.  There is           
 a certain level of public servant who should all be expected to               
 meet the same standards.                                                      
 SENATOR DUNCAN stated a title change would not be a problem; this             
 is a senate bill.                                                             
 SENATOR PEARCE stated the Ethics Committee was wrestling with                 
 whether contract employees come under the Legislative Ethics Act by           
 definition, and whether employees in layoff status come under the             
 Executive Ethics Act.  You can interpret whether or not you think             
 they are receiving any remuneration from the state, because they              
 don't lose their public service time by staying in layoff status,             
 rather than leaving state service.  There are a lot of people in              
 Legislative Affairs Agency who are treated much differently than              
 the employee in state service at the same level and range.                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated SB 141 would be set aside until Thursday's              
 committee meeting.                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects