Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

05/02/2006 03:30 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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03:36:12 PM Start
03:37:31 PM Confirmation Hearing - Claire Hall, Commissioner - Apoc
03:39:34 PM HB300
03:45:46 PM HB133
04:22:31 PM HB399
04:38:05 PM Confirmation – Scott Nordstrand, Commissioner, Department of Administration
04:38:41 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Scheduled But Not Heard
Scheduled But Not Heard
Moved SCS CSHB 399(STA) Out of Committee
Scheduled But Not Heard
Moved SCS CSSSHB 133(STA) Out Committee
+ Confirmation Hearing: TELECONFERENCED
Claire Hall, Commissioner -- APOC
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 300(O&G) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                          May 2, 2006                                                                                           
                           3:36 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Gene Therriault, Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Thomas Wagoner, Vice Chair                                                                                              
Senator Charlie Huggins                                                                                                         
Senator Kim Elton                                                                                                               
Senator Bettye Davis                                                                                                            
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 288                                                                                                             
"An Act declaring September Education Savings Month."                                                                           
     SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                    
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 347(JUD) am                                                                                               
"An Act  relating to mandatory  motor vehicle  insurance, license                                                               
suspensions, mandatory  impoundments of vehicles used  in certain                                                               
offenses,  notices  relating  to   motor  vehicles,  and  notices                                                               
relating to driver's licenses."                                                                                                 
     SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                    
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 399(FIN)                                                                                                  
"An Act  establishing the office  of elder fraud  and assistance;                                                               
and relating to fraud involving older Alaskans."                                                                                
     MOVED SCS CSHB 399(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                   
CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 25(STA)                                                                                       
Urging  the United  States  Congress  to adopt  Sec.  303 of  the                                                               
United States House of Representatives  version of the Tax Relief                                                               
Extension Reconciliation Act of 2005.                                                                                           
     SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                    
CS FOR SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 133(JUD) am                                                                        
"An Act relating  to incorporation of boroughs,  to annexation by                                                               
local  action,   and  to  regulations   of  the   Local  Boundary                                                               
Commission  to provide  standards  and  procedures for  municipal                                                               
incorporation,   reclassification,   dissolution,   and   certain                                                               
municipal boundary changes; and providing for an effective                                                                      
     MOVED SCS CSSSHB 133(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                 
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 300(O&G)                                                                                                  
"An  Act relating  to the  qualifications  of the  member of  the                                                               
Alaska  Oil  and Gas  Conservation  Commission  who need  not  be                                                               
certified,  trained,  or  experienced  in  either  the  field  of                                                               
petroleum engineering or the field of petroleum geology."                                                                       
     MOVED CSHB 300(O&G) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
Confirmation Hearing Claire Hall, Commissioner - APOC                                                                           
     CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                      
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB 399                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ELDER FRAUD AND ASSISTANCE/OPA                                                                                     
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) CHENAULT                                                                                          
01/27/06       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/27/06       (H)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
02/07/06       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/07/06       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
02/07/06       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/08/06       (H)       STA RPT 1DP 1NR 3AM                                                                                    
02/08/06       (H)       DP: LYNN;                                                                                              
02/08/06       (H)       NR: GRUENBERG;                                                                                         
02/08/06       (H)       AM: GARDNER, ELKINS, GATTO                                                                             
03/07/06       (H)       FIN AT 9:00 AM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
03/07/06       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/07/06       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
04/12/06       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
04/12/06       (H)       <Bill Hearing Postponed>                                                                               
04/19/06       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
04/19/06       (H)       Moved CSHB 399(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/19/06       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
04/20/06       (H)       FIN RPT CS(FIN) 6DP 3NR                                                                                
04/20/06       (H)       DP: HOLM, KELLY, FOSTER, KERTTULA,                                                                     
                         STOLTZE, CHENAULT;                                                                                     
04/20/06       (H)       NR: HAWKER, WEYHRAUCH, MEYER                                                                           
04/24/06       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/24/06       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 399(FIN)                                                                                 
04/25/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/25/06       (S)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
04/27/06       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
04/27/06       (S)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
05/02/06       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
BILL: HB 133                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MUNICIPAL BOUNDARY CHANGES/ COMMISSION                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) COGHILL                                                                                           
02/09/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/09/05       (H)       CRA, STA                                                                                               
02/16/05       (H)       SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED                                                                          
02/16/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/16/05       (H)       CRA, STA                                                                                               
02/24/05       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/24/05       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/24/05       (H)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
03/03/05       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
03/03/05       (H)       Moved CSSSHB 133(CRA) Out of Committee                                                                 
03/03/05       (H)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
03/04/05       (H)       CRA RPT CS(CRA) 5DP 2NR                                                                                
03/04/05       (H)       DP: SALMON, NEUMAN, KOTT, THOMAS,                                                                      
03/04/05       (H)       NR: LEDOUX, CISSNA                                                                                     
04/02/05       (H)       STA AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                            
04/02/05       (H)       Moved CSSSHB 133(STA) Out of Committee                                                                 
04/02/05       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/04/05       (H)       STA RPT CS(STA) NT 3DP 2NR                                                                             
04/04/05       (H)       DP: LYNN, ELKINS, SEATON;                                                                              
04/04/05       (H)       NR: GARDNER, GRUENBERG                                                                                 
04/04/05       (H)       JUD REFERRAL ADDED AFTER STA                                                                           
04/13/05       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
04/13/05       (H)       <Bill Hearing Postponed to 4/18>                                                                       
04/18/05       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
04/18/05       (H)       Moved CSSSHB 133(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                 
04/18/05       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/19/05       (H)       JUD RPT CS(JUD) NT 2DP 3NR                                                                             
04/19/05       (H)       DP: COGHILL, MCGUIRE;                                                                                  
04/19/05       (H)       NR: GRUENBERG, DAHLSTROM, GARA                                                                         
04/25/05       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/25/05       (H)       VERSION: CSSSHB 133(JUD) AM                                                                            
04/26/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/26/05       (S)       CRA, STA                                                                                               
05/02/05       (S)       CRA AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
05/02/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
05/02/05       (S)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
05/06/05       (S)       CRA AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
05/06/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
05/06/05       (S)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
05/01/06       (S)       CRA AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
05/01/06       (S)       Moved CSSSHB 133(JUD) am Out of                                                                        
05/01/06       (S)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
05/02/06       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
BILL: HB 300                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: OIL & GAS CONSERVATION COMMISSION MEMBER                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KOHRING                                                                                           
05/04/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/04/05       (H)       O&G, RES                                                                                               
01/24/06       (H)       O&G AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
01/24/06       (H)       Moved CSHB 300(O&G) Out of Committee                                                                   
01/24/06       (H)       MINUTE(O&G)                                                                                            
01/25/06       (H)       O&G RPT CS(O&G) 5DP 1NR                                                                                
01/25/06       (H)       DP: GUTTENBERG, SAMUELS, DAHLSTROM,                                                                    
                         ROKEBERG, KOHRING;                                                                                     
01/25/06       (H)       NR: GARDNER                                                                                            
02/15/06       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/15/06       (H)       Moved CSHB 300(O&G) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/15/06       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/17/06       (H)       RES RPT CS(O&G) 2DP 1NR 4AM                                                                            
02/17/06       (H)       DP: SAMUELS, RAMRAS;                                                                                   
02/17/06       (H)       NR: CRAWFORD;                                                                                          
02/17/06       (H)       AM: GATTO, SEATON, ELKINS, LEDOUX                                                                      
03/22/06       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
03/22/06       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 300(O&G)                                                                                 
03/24/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/24/06       (S)       STA, RES                                                                                               
04/20/06       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/20/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/20/06       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
05/02/06       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
Claire Hall                                                                                                                     
Fairbanks, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Alaska Public Office Commission (APOC)                                                                   
Representative Vic Kohring                                                                                                      
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HB 300                                                                                        
John Norman, Chair                                                                                                              
Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC)                                                                                
333 W. 7th Ave., Ste. 100                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska 99501                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 300                                                                                         
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HB 133                                                                                        
Mark Hickey, Lobbyist                                                                                                           
Lake and Peninsula Borough                                                                                                      
211 Fourth Street                                                                                                               
Juneau, AK 99801                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 133                                                                                         
John Hozey, City Manager                                                                                                        
City of Valdez                                                                                                                  
Valdez, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Suggested amendment to HB 133                                                                            
Dan Bockhorst, Staff                                                                                                            
Local Boundary Commission                                                                                                       
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development                                                                        
PO Box 110800                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK 99811-0800                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Responded to questions related to HB 133                                                                 
Sue Wright, Staff                                                                                                               
Representative Mike Chenault                                                                                                    
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 399                                                                                        
Pat Luby, Advocacy Director for AARP in Alaska                                                                                  
3601 C Street                                                                                                                   
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 399                                                                                         
Ed Sniffen, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                          
Department of Law                                                                                                               
PO Box 110300                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0300                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 399 & suggested a clarifying                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
CHAIR GENE  THERRIAULT called the  Senate State  Affairs Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 3:36:12 PM.  Present were Senators                                                             
Kim  Elton,  Thomas  Wagoner, Charlie  Huggins,  and  Chair  Gene                                                               
Therriault.  Senator Bettye  Davis arrived  during the  course of                                                               
the meeting.                                                                                                                    
    ^CONFIRMATION HEARING - Claire Hall, Commissioner - APOC                                                                
CHAIR THERRIAULT  announced the  confirmation hearing  for Claire                                                               
Hall as  Commissioner of Alaska Public  Offices Commission (APOC)                                                               
to be the first order of business.                                                                                              
3:37:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CLAIRE  HALL, APOC  Confirmation Candidate,  reviewed her  resume                                                               
and noted that members had the information in the packets.                                                                      
CHAIR THERRIAULT asked if this would be her first appointment.                                                                  
MS. HALL said that's correct.                                                                                                   
CHAIR THERRIAULT  noted there were  no questions and asked  for a                                                               
motion  to  report   Ms.  Hall's  name  to  the   full  body  for                                                               
SENATOR WAGONER  motioned to  report the name  of Claire  Hall to                                                               
the full body for confirmation.                                                                                                 
CHAIR  THERRIAULT announced  that  without  objection Ms.  Hall's                                                               
name would be  forwarded to the full body  for consideration, but                                                               
that  this  did not  constitute  an  obligation  to vote  for  or                                                               
against the confirmation before the full body.                                                                                  
     CSHB 300(O&G)-OIL & GAS CONSERVATION COMMISSION MEMBER                                                                 
3:39:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   GENE  THERRIAULT   announced  HB   300  to   be  up   for                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE VIC KOHRING, sponsor of  HB 300, recapped that the                                                               
legislation requires that  the public member of the  Alaska Oil &                                                               
Gas  Conservation Commission  (AOGCC)  have  a basic  fundamental                                                               
knowledge  of  the  industry.  Given   the  significance  of  the                                                               
commission and  the importance  of the industry  to the  State of                                                               
Alaska, it's important that the member have such knowledge.                                                                     
CHAIR  THERRIAULT  recapped  the  discussion  from  the  previous                                                               
hearing  and said  that the  AOGCC has  indicated that  it worked                                                               
with the sponsor on the language.                                                                                               
SENATOR CHARLIE HUGGINS asked Mr.  Norman for his thoughts on the                                                               
proposed change.                                                                                                                
JOHN  NORMAN, Chair,  AOGCC, replied  requiring commissioners  to                                                               
have  a  basic  or  fundamental understanding  of  the  regulated                                                               
industry would improve the commission.                                                                                          
CHAIR THERRIAULT asked for the will of the committee.                                                                           
3:44:16 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WAGONER  motioned to report CSHB  300(O&G) from committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s).                                                                    
SENATOR  KIM  ELTON objected  to  say  that  the problem  is  the                                                               
definition of  "fundamental" and  there is  no reason  to believe                                                               
that this will  constrain the governor in  making an appointment.                                                               
He  said he  appreciates the  sponsor's intention,  but he  isn't                                                               
sure the bill gets there. He removed his objection.                                                                             
CHAIR THERRIAULT  announced that without objection  CSHB 300(O&G)                                                               
moved from committee.                                                                                                           
   CSSSHB 133(JUD) AM-MUNICIPAL BOUNDARY CHANGES/ COMMISSION                                                                
3:45:46 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT announced HB 133 to be up for consideration.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN  COGHILL, sponsor  of HB 133,  explained that                                                               
the bill  proposes changes to  procedures for the  Local Boundary                                                               
Commission  (LBC). It  would change  the LBC  ability to  propose                                                               
petitions, amend  petitions, deal  with incorporations,  and take                                                               
public testimony.                                                                                                               
Section  1 requires  that the  LBC provide  public notice  before                                                               
amending a petition so that the public is included.                                                                             
Section 2 calls for two  public hearings for incorporation rather                                                               
than just one.                                                                                                                  
Section  3  deals with  the  ability  for  people  to vote  on  a                                                               
proposed  annexation.  A  current   LBC  regulation  mandates  an                                                               
aggregate  vote on  proposed annexations  and this  change is  to                                                               
protect those in  the proposed annexing area.  As proposed, there                                                               
would be a vote  in the municipal area that wants  to annex and a                                                               
vote in  the area  that is proposed  for annexation.  This change                                                               
encourages public dialogue, he asserted.                                                                                        
Section  4 relates  to LBC  regulations and  the need  for accord                                                               
with  Title 29,  which asserts  legislative authority  and forces                                                               
participation in the dialogue.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  mentioned  that   he  had  an  amendment                                                               
relating to detachments.                                                                                                        
3:52:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIM ELTON  posed a hypothetical situation  related to the                                                               
Greens Creek  annexation by  the City and  Borough of  Juneau. If                                                               
just two  voters resided in  the Greens  Creek area, he  asked if                                                               
one of the  two voters could have stopped  the annexation process                                                               
under proposed Section 3.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL acknowledged  that property  owners would                                                               
have to agree on the annexation.                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON commented that one  public hearing might suffice in                                                               
an area that has just two voters  and asked if there isn't a need                                                               
for an "escape hatch" to avoid such a scenario.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  replied he  would  need  to ponder  that                                                               
SENATOR ELTON suggested that the  problem comes from the wording.                                                               
He  questioned whether  a property  owner would  qualify to  vote                                                               
without being a resident of the area.                                                                                           
CHAIR  THERRIAULT pointed  out that  property  ownership isn't  a                                                               
qualification for voting in an area.                                                                                            
SENATOR ELTON asked  if a majority vote in both  the annexing and                                                               
the annexed areas would be required for detachments.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL said  yes.  Obviously it  could be  quite                                                               
contentious,  which   is  why   he  didn't   address  detachments                                                               
initially.  However, if  the voters  residing in  an area  aren't                                                               
able to choose the form  of government, he would question whether                                                               
they are well served.                                                                                                           
3:59:38 PM                                                                                                                    
MARK  HICKEY,  Lobbyist  for  the  Lake  and  Peninsula  Borough,                                                               
testified in support  of HB 133. Providing background  on the two                                                               
methods  that   the  LBC  has   to  deal  with   annexations  and                                                               
detachments,  he explained  that  Section 2  is  current law  and                                                               
deals  with local  action. The  alternative  method provides  for                                                               
legislative  review  and  requires  legislative  action  to  deny                                                               
within 45 days.                                                                                                                 
Local action  is addressed in  Section 3  and is a  scenario that                                                               
the Lake and  Peninsula Borough has faced  several times. Without                                                               
the  change proposed  in Section  1, Lake  and Peninsula  Borough                                                               
residents could face  a hostile takeover and  have no opportunity                                                               
to vote on the issue. Under  Section 1 voters in both areas would                                                               
have to affirm the action.                                                                                                      
Addressing  Senator Elton's  question, he  said it's  complicated                                                               
but there  is a legislative review  component to the LBC  that is                                                               
provided for  in the Alaska  State Constitution and  the proposed                                                               
change in Section 3 doesn't eliminate that.                                                                                     
4:03:34 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS asked for an interpretation of page 2, line 21.                                                                 
MR. HICKEY replied that is  existing law and his understanding is                                                               
that  a municipality  may request  a boundary  change to  include                                                               
adjacent property that it owns.                                                                                                 
SENATOR HUGGINS asked if that creates  a problem for the areas he                                                               
MR. HICKEY said no.                                                                                                             
CHAIR  THERRIAULT asked  if he  has  an opinion  on the  proposed                                                               
amendment relating to detachments on page 2, line 16.                                                                           
MR. HICKEY offered the view that the amendment makes sense.                                                                     
4:07:04 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN HOZEY,  City Manager for  the City of Valdez,  suggested the                                                               
following amendment to Title 29.05.031:                                                                                         
     In setting boundaries of a  proposed borough or unified                                                                    
     municipality,   consideration   shall   be   given   to                                                                    
     assisting  administrative or  corporate boundaries  and                                                                    
     to  drainage   basins  or  other   regional  geographic                                                                    
     features. Such corporate  and administrative boundaries                                                                    
     may be  considered, however such boundaries  may not be                                                                    
     entitled  to any  presumption in  the determination  of                                                                    
     appropriate  boundaries under  subsection  (a) of  this                                                                    
MR. HOZEY explained  that the amendment deals with  the fact that                                                               
inordinate weight is assigned to the model borough boundaries.                                                                  
CHAIR  THERRIAULT  asked the  sponsor  if  he had  discussed  the                                                               
proposed amendment with Mr. Hozey.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  said yes  and although the  suggestion is                                                               
good it is beyond the scope of the bill at this point.                                                                          
4:11:24 PM                                                                                                                    
DAN BOCKHORST,  Staff to the  Local Boundary  Commission, advised                                                               
that he  was available  to answer  technical questions.  He noted                                                               
the  Chair Hargraves  had  provided a  written  statement to  the                                                               
CHAIR  THERRIAULT asked  if any  issues that  were raised  needed                                                               
MR.    BOCKHORST   suggested    that    there   is    significant                                                               
misunderstanding related to the  model borough boundaries and how                                                               
they were created.  He asked that the record reflect  that he did                                                               
not  agree with  the characterization  that inordinate  weight is                                                               
given to the model boundaries and  that it has been an impediment                                                               
to borough formation.                                                                                                           
Calling  Senator Elton's  suggestion  relating to  the number  of                                                               
public  hearings  practical, he  clarified  that  his reading  of                                                               
Section  2 is  that it  only applies  in the  event that  the LBC                                                               
submits  a  borough  incorporation petition  to  the  Legislature                                                               
under  the  terms  of  Article   X,  Section  12.  Therefore  the                                                               
hypothetical  situation for  the Green's  Creek annexation  would                                                               
not have applied.                                                                                                               
4:15:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT asked  if he would comment on  the suggestion to                                                               
add the word "detachment" on page 2, line 16.                                                                                   
MR. BOCKHORST replied the commission has no objection.                                                                          
CHAIR THERRIAULT  moved conceptual Amendment  1 on behalf  of the                                                               
sponsor to  include detachments. Offering a  conceptual amendment                                                               
would  provide the  drafters the  ability  to provide  conforming                                                               
SENATOR  ELTON objected  to  ask whether  the  LBC suggested  the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  replied Mr.  Hargraves brought it  up and                                                               
it would provide consistency.                                                                                                   
SENATOR  ELTON agreed  that consistency  is  good, but  suggested                                                               
that this  would create  a very high  threshold for  a detachment                                                               
because it would remove property from the tax base.                                                                             
CHAIR THERRIAULT  offered the counter  argument that  there could                                                               
be property  tax value but  delivery of services is  difficult to                                                               
cover with the amount that is raised from the property tax.                                                                     
SENATOR ELTON maintained his objection to Amendment 1.                                                                          
CHAIR  THERRIAULT   asked  for  a  roll   call  vote.  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment  1  passed with  Senators  Wagoner,  Huggins and  Chair                                                               
Therriault voting yea and Senator Elton voting nay.                                                                             
CHAIR THERRIAULT  noted that  Legislative Finance  has determined                                                               
it's possible to  zero the fiscal note and he  would like to vote                                                               
on that action separate from the bill.                                                                                          
He asked for the will of the committee.                                                                                         
Wagoner  motioned to  report SCS  CSSSHB 133(STA)  from committee                                                               
with  individual recommendations.  There being  no objection,  it                                                               
was so ordered.                                                                                                                 
CHAIR THERRIAULT  informed the sponsor  that the  amendment would                                                               
trigger a title change.                                                                                                         
CHAIR THERRIAULT asked for a motion on a zero fiscal note.                                                                      
SENATOR  WAGONER moved  that a  zero fiscal  note for  SCS CSSSHB                                                               
133(STA) be prepared and forwarded  from committee with the bill.                                                               
There being no objection, the motion carried.                                                                                   
          CSHB 399(FIN)-ELDER FRAUD AND ASSISTANCE/OPA                                                                      
4:22:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT announced HB 399 to be up for consideration.                                                                   
SUE WRIGHT, Staff to  Representative Mike Chenault, characterized                                                               
HB 399 as  an event driven piece of  legislation that establishes                                                               
a pilot program to address the issue of elder abuse in Alaska.                                                                  
4:24:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT  noted that the  bill establishes a  new section                                                               
and  asked if  the legislation  is  separate from  the office  of                                                               
elder abuse.                                                                                                                    
MS.  WRIGHT replied  when the  catalyst case  came to  light, the                                                               
Alaska Office of  Public Advocacy (OPA) stepped  forward to help.                                                               
Because of its  standards, background and legal  experience it is                                                               
best  qualified to  handle elder  abuse cases.  She related  that                                                               
Josh Fink, OPA Director, has  done a remarkable job of increasing                                                               
efficiency so that the office is able  to take on such cases at a                                                               
very small cost.                                                                                                                
SENATOR KIM ELTON  asked if the definition of  fraud would extend                                                               
to Internet scams.                                                                                                              
MS. WRIGHT replied  fraud takes many forms but  she believes that                                                               
the federal  government could handle  Internet fraud  better than                                                               
other entities.                                                                                                                 
PAT  LUBY,  Advocacy  Director for  AARP  in  Alaska,  encouraged                                                               
support for  HB 399 saying  that elderly people are  difficult to                                                               
educate  about fraud  and they  are particularly  vulnerable. The                                                               
more that can be done to shine  a light on elder fraud and punish                                                               
the perpetrators the  more helpful it will be to  Alaskans of all                                                               
4:29:00 PM                                                                                                                    
ED SNIFFEN, Assistant Attorney General,  Department of Law (DOL),                                                               
stated  support for  HB  399.  The one  concern  is that  without                                                               
clarifying  language  the bill  could  preempt  and prohibit  the                                                               
attorney  general  from  enforcing Alaska's  Consumer  Protection                                                               
Act.  Although  the  DOL routinely  investigates  and  prosecutes                                                               
crimes  involving elder  fraud,  there is  a statutory  exemption                                                               
that would  prohibit it from  doing that if another  state agency                                                               
is  already  doing  the  same thing.  He  asked  that  clarifying                                                               
language be  inserted and  advised that the  DOL is  excited that                                                               
there will  be an additional  resource to utilize to  help combat                                                               
fraud targeting the elderly.                                                                                                    
CHAIR   THERRIAULT  asked   Ms.   Wright  if   the  sponsor   had                                                               
contemplated that issue.                                                                                                        
MS. WRIGHT  responded when the  case came to light  she contacted                                                               
the attorney  general's office and  was told to contact  the U.S.                                                               
Attorney  and the  FBI. In  doing research  she found  that elder                                                               
abuse complaints  had been filed in  the state but none  had been                                                               
CHAIR  THERRIAULT asked  Mr.  Sniffen to  review  the section  of                                                               
existing statute that he referenced.                                                                                            
MR. SNIFFEN  replied the exemption  is found in AS  45.50.481 and                                                               
reiterated his previous explanation.                                                                                            
CHAIR  THERRIAULT  remarked  it  seems  to  be  an  unanticipated                                                               
consequence that the drafter could deal with it rather easily.                                                                  
MR. SNIFFEN suggested adding subsection  (g) on page 4 after line                                                               
15.  It would  read as  follows: "Nothing  in this  section shall                                                               
prohibit the  attorney general from investigating  or prosecuting                                                               
unfair or deceptive acts or practices under AS 45.50.471."                                                                      
CHAIR THERRIAULT questioned whether OPA is able to prosecute.                                                                   
MR. SNIFFEN  replied the way he  reads the bill they  do have the                                                               
ability to bring civil cases against perpetrators.                                                                              
CHAIR THERRIAULT asked Ms. Wright if  she wanted to work with the                                                               
drafter before the bill moved from committee.                                                                                   
MS.  WRIGHT said  her preference  is to  move the  bill with  the                                                               
understanding  that  it  will  be   clarified  that  it  wouldn't                                                               
interfere  with the  DOL investigating  and prosecuting  fraud or                                                               
crimes against Alaska residents. She  added that she believes the                                                               
last section allows  that to happen, but she  isn't certain. This                                                               
is the first time I've heard  this complaint and I'm surprised to                                                               
hear it at this point, she said.                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON  moved  conceptual  Amendment  1  to  include  the                                                               
language as proposed by Mr. Sniffen.                                                                                            
CHAIR THERRIAULT  announced that  without objection,  Amendment 1                                                               
passed. He noted the new fiscal  note dated April 20, 2006, which                                                               
brings the cost down to $189,000.                                                                                               
SENATOR  WAGONER  motioned  to   report  SCS  CSHB  399(STA)  and                                                               
attached   fiscal   note(s)   from  committee   with   individual                                                               
recommendations. There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                   
 ^Confirmation - Scott Nordstrand, Commissioner, Department of                                                              
4:38:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT  announced that  although the  committee members                                                               
had signed the letter to advance  the name of Scott Nordstrand as                                                               
Commissioner  of the  Department  of Administration  to the  full                                                               
Legislature for consideration, a motion had not been made.                                                                      
SENATOR WAGONER motioned  to report the name  of Scott Nordstrand                                                               
for Commissioner of the Department  of Administration to the full                                                               
Legislature for confirmation. There was no objection.                                                                           
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Therriault adjourned the meeting at 4:38:41 PM.                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects