Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205

02/09/2017 03:30 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSSB 5(STA) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         SB 5-POLITICAL CONTRIBUTION LIMITS/PROHIBITION                                                                     
3:31:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DUNLEAVY  announced the consideration  of SB 5.  [Version O                                                               
committee substitute (CS) was adopted 1/31/2017.]                                                                               
CHAIR DUNLEAVY opened public testimony on SB 5.                                                                                 
3:31:57 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
3:32:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DUNLEAVY called the committee back to order.                                                                              
3:32:51 PM                                                                                                                    
ANDREE  MCLEOD, representing  self, Anchorage,  Alaska, testified                                                               
in support of  SB 5. She opined  that SB 5 will  close a loophole                                                               
in  political action  committees  (PACs). She  said  there was  a                                                               
reason  why  the Campaign  Reform  Act  of  1996 was  enacted  to                                                               
prohibit lobbyists from certain  activities. She pointed out that                                                               
Article 1  in the Legislative  Declaration of Lobbying  finds and                                                               
declares  that   the  operation  of   responsible  representative                                                               
democracy requires  that the fullest  opportunity be  afforded to                                                               
the people to  petition their government and so  lobbyists have a                                                               
right to do what they do.                                                                                                       
She set forth that the extortion  scheme that has been brought up                                                               
by "Gabby's  PAC" is  bad and totally  corrupts the  process. She                                                               
pointed  out   that  extortion  is  the   practice  of  obtaining                                                               
something, especially  money, through force or  threats. She said                                                               
there are high moral and  ethical standards among public servants                                                               
in  the  legislative  branch and  assuring  the  people's  trust,                                                               
respect, and confidence is important.  She stated that a fair and                                                               
open  government requires  legislators  to  conduct the  public's                                                               
business in a  manner that preserves the  process's integrity and                                                               
avoids conflicts of interest or  even appearances of conflicts of                                                               
interest. She  said in order  for the rules governing  conduct to                                                               
be respected,  the code must  be administered fairly  and without                                                               
She remarked  that "heavy  leaning" on  legislators by  the Rules                                                               
chair has occurred and allowing  it to continue is egregious. She                                                               
noted that  the Rules chair controls  the door of the  bills that                                                               
go on  the floor. She  detailed that the  Ethics Act says  that a                                                               
legislator  may   not,  through   inference  or   anything  else,                                                               
threaten,  state   or  imply  that   they  take  or   withhold  a                                                               
legislative action including  support or opposition to  a bill as                                                               
a  result of  a person's  decision to  provide or  not provide  a                                                               
political contribution.  She opined that  anybody who has  been a                                                               
Rules chair  understands the nuances,  but her  understanding has                                                               
been that some heavy leaning has occurred on lobbyists.                                                                         
MS. MCLEOD summarized  that corruption is going on and  it has to                                                               
stop  immediately.  She   said  passing  SB  5   will  close  the                                                               
loopholes. She  asked that legislators not  leave any ambiguities                                                               
in  any definitions  of  what  a "group"  is.  She asserted  that                                                               
leaving   the  current   situation  unchecked,   dysfunction  and                                                               
corruption ensues.                                                                                                              
3:37:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DUNLEAVY closed public testimony on SB 5.                                                                                 
3:37:28 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
3:38:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  DUNLEAVY called  the  committee back  to  order. He  asked                                                               
Senator  Meyer,  the  bill's  sponsor,  to  provide  his  closing                                                               
comments on SB 5.                                                                                                               
SENATOR KEVIN  MEYER, Alaska  State Legislature,  Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
summarized as follows:                                                                                                          
     The purpose of  this legislation is to  break as little                                                                    
     new  ground as  possible. We  are  not trying  to do  a                                                                    
     comprehensive   restructuring   or  overhaul   of   our                                                                    
     campaign finance  laws. We are  not trying  to prohibit                                                                    
     legislators from forming PACs,  they will still be able                                                                    
     to do that under this legislation.                                                                                         
     We  only want  to  address the  loophole  that came  to                                                                    
     everyone's  attention  last  fall during  the  election                                                                    
     process and  put some sideboards on  legislator control                                                                    
     groups; this was obviously brought  to our attention in                                                                    
     Anchorage  by   the  Anchorage  Daily  News,   and  the                                                                    
     Democratic party  took action and filed  a complaint to                                                                    
     APOC,   and  others   too  have   voiced  concern   and                                                                    
     complaints  about this.  I think  all of  us should  be                                                                    
     concerned  about it  as well  because it  does kind  of                                                                    
     taint  the  whole  process,  especially  down  here  in                                                                    
     Juneau.  These   legislators  that  have   PACs  should                                                                    
     operate in  line with how  other elected  officials are                                                                    
     required,  ourselves.  We   cannot  take  contributions                                                                    
     while we  are in session  and we cannot take  them from                                                                    
     lobbyists unless the lobbyist lives in our district.                                                                       
     So  basically,  SB  5  does  two  things:  disallows  a                                                                    
     lobbyist's contributions,  except a lobbyist  can still                                                                    
     contribute to  candidates in  their home  district; and                                                                    
     it  prevents   fundraising  and   expenditure  activity                                                                    
     during the legislative session.                                                                                            
3:40:16 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL moved to report CS for SB 5, version 30-                                                                        
LS0112\O, from committee with individual recommendations and                                                                    
attached fiscal note(s).                                                                                                        
CHAIR DUNLEAVY announced that without objection, CSSB 5(STA)                                                                    
moved out of the Senate State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SJR 1 Annual Report 2014 PFD Division.pdf SSTA 2/9/2017 3:30:00 PM
SJR 1 APRN PFD cuts could mean big ripples in Alaska economy.pdf SSTA 2/9/2017 3:30:00 PM
SJR 1 Chart Employment Impact in Various Scenarios.pdf SSTA 2/9/2017 3:30:00 PM
SJR 1 Data Tables PFDs and Poverty in Alaska.pdf SSTA 2/9/2017 3:30:00 PM
SJR 1 Fact Sheet How PFDs Reduce Poverty in Alaska.pdf SSTA 2/9/2017 3:30:00 PM
SJR 1 How the Dividend is Calculated.pdf SSTA 2/9/2017 3:30:00 PM
SJR 1 Income Inequality by State.pdf SSTA 2/9/2017 3:30:00 PM
SJR 1 Inflation Proofing to the PF FY80 - FY15.PDF SSTA 2/9/2017 3:30:00 PM
SJR 1 ISER Alaska's Economy Historical Trends and Future Outlook.pdf SSTA 2/9/2017 3:30:00 PM
SJR 1 Offical Election Pamphlet - 1999.pdf SSTA 2/9/2017 3:30:00 PM
SJR 1 PF Fund Financial History and Projections.pdf SSTA 2/9/2017 3:30:00 PM
SJR 1 Sponsor Statement.pdf SSTA 2/9/2017 3:30:00 PM
SJR 1 Support Opposition Statements to 1999 Special Election.pdf SSTA 2/9/2017 3:30:00 PM
SJR 1 The Alaska Survey PFD Poll.pdf SSTA 2/9/2017 3:30:00 PM