Legislature(1999 - 2000)
04/14/2000 04:58 PM 225
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
CONFERENCE COMMITTEE ON HB 225 April 14, 2000 4:58 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Joe Green, Co-Chair Representative John Harris Representative Eric Croft Senator Dave Donley, Co-Chair Senator Mike Miller Senator Lyman Hoffman MEMBERS ABSENT All members present COMMITTEE CALENDAR HOUSE BILL NO. 225 "An Act relating to election campaigns and legislative ethics; and providing for an effective date." - HEARD AND HELD PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 225 SHORT TITLE: CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND LEGISLATIVE ETHICS Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action 5/05/99 1180 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 5/05/99 1180 (H) JUD 5/06/99 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 5/06/99 (H) HEARD AND HELD 5/06/99 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 5/06/99 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 5/07/99 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 5/07/99 (H) CSHB 225(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE 5/07/99 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 5/07/99 1247 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KOHRING 5/08/99 1259 (H) JUD RPT CS(JUD) 2DP 4NR 5/08/99 1260 (H) DP: JAMES, ROKEBERG; NR: CROFT, 5/08/99 1260 (H) MURKOWSKI, GREEN, KERTTULA 5/08/99 1260 (H) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (H.JUD) 5/08/99 1271 (H) RULES TO CALENDAR 5/8/99 5/08/99 1271 (H) HELD TO 5/10 CALENDAR 5/10/99 1289 (H) READ THE SECOND TIME 5/10/99 1290 (H) JUD CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 5/10/99 1290 (H) AM NO 1 FAILED Y16 N23 A1 5/10/99 1291 (H) AM NO 2 FAILED Y16 N19 A5 5/10/99 1291 (H) AM NO 3 FAILED Y16 N20 A4 5/10/99 1292 (H) AM NO 4 FAILED Y18 N22 5/10/99 1293 (H) AM NO 5 FAILED Y17 N21 A2 5/10/99 1294 (H) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 5/10/99 1294 (H) READ THE THIRD TIME CSHB 225(JUD) 5/10/99 1294 (H) PASSED Y27 N12 A1 5/10/99 1294 (H) EFFECTIVE DATE(S) SAME AS PASSAGE 5/10/99 1295 (H) KERTTULA NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION 5/11/99 1329 (H) RECONSIDERATION NOT TAKEN UP 5/11/99 1329 (H) TRANSMITTED TO (S) 5/12/99 1385 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 5/12/99 1385 (S) JUD 5/14/99 (S) JUD AT 2:30 PM BELTZ 211 5/14/99 (S) HEARD AND HELD 5/14/99 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 5/15/99 (S) JUD AT 12:00 PM BELTZ 211 5/15/99 (S) MOVED CS (JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE 5/15/99 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 5/16/99 1514 (S) JUD RPT SCS 1DP 2NR SAME TITLE 5/16/99 1514 (S) NR: TAYLOR, HALFORD; DP: DONLEY 5/16/99 1514 (S) (H) ZERO FN (H.JUD) 5/17/99 (S) RLS AT 10:30 AM FAHRENKAMP 203 5/17/99 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 5/17/99 1565 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR AND 1DNP 5/17/99 5/17/99 1580 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 5/17/99 1580 (S) JUD SCS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 5/17/99 1580 (S) AM NO 1 ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 5/17/99 1580 (S) AM NO 2 FAILED Y6 N14 5/17/99 1581 (S) AM NO 3 NOT OFFERED 5/17/99 1581 (S) AM NO 4 FAILED Y5 N15 5/17/99 1582 (S) AM NO 5 ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 5/17/99 1582 (S) AM NO 6 FAILED Y5 N15 5/17/99 1583 (S) AM NO 7 ADOPTED Y12 N8 5/17/99 1584 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 5/17/99 1584 (S) READ THE 3RD TIME SCS CSHB 225(JUD) AM S 5/17/99 1584 (S) PASSED Y14 N6 5/17/99 1585 (S) EFFECTIVE DATE(S) SAME AS PASSAGE 5/17/99 1585 (S) ELLIS NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION 5/18/99 1610 (S) RECON TAKEN UP - IN THIRD READING 5/18/99 1610 (S) RETURN TO SECOND FOR AM 9 UNAN CONSENT 5/18/99 1610 (S) AM NO 9 ADOPTED Y14 N4 A2 5/18/99 1614 (S) AUTOMATICALLY IN THIRD READING 5/18/99 1615 (S) RETURN TO SECOND FOR AM 10 UNAN CONSENT 5/18/99 1615 (S) AM NO 10 FAILED Y7 N13 5/18/99 1617 (S) AUTOMATICALLY IN THIRD READING 5/18/99 1617 (S) PASSED ON RECONSIDERATION Y14 N6 5/18/99 1618 (S) EFFECTIVE DATE(S) SAME AS PASSAGE 5/18/99 1658 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) AS AMENDED 5/18/99 1590 (H) HELD UNDER UNFINISHED BUSINESS 5/18/99 1635 (H) RETAINED IN UNFINISHED BUSINESS 5/19/99 1672 (H) RETURN TO RULES COMMITTEE 4/10/00 (H) RLS AT 4:00 PM CAPITOL 120 4/10/00 (H) Rls Cmte did not concur w/Sen amendmts 4/10/00 (H) MINUTE(RLS) 4/10/00 2979 (H) RLS RPT 5 DO NOT CONCUR 4/10/00 2979 (H) DO NOT CONCUR: COWDERY, PHILLIPS, 4/10/00 2979 (H) GREEN, PORTER, BERKOWITZ 4/10/00 2979 (H) HELD UNDER UNFINISHED BUSINESS 4/10/00 2990 (H) FAILED CONCUR (S) AM N35 E3 A2 4/10/00 2991 (H) CONFERENCE COMMITTEE APPOINTED 4/10/00 2991 (H) *GREEN, HARRIS, CROFT 4/11/00 2973 (S) FAILED RECEDE (S) AM Y- N18 A2 4/11/00 2974 (S) CONFERENCE COMMITTEE APPOINTED 4/11/00 2974 (S) *DONLEY, MILLER, HOFFMAN 4/14/00 (H) 225 AT 4:30 PM BELTZ 211 4/14/00 (S) 225 AT 5:00 PM BELTZ 211 WITNESS REGISTER BROOKE MILES, Regulation of Lobbying Alaska Public Offices Commission Department of Administration PO Box 110222 Juneau, Alaska 99508-0222 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information in regard to HB 225 and the current laws. MARCO PIGNALBERI, Staff to Representative Cowdery Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 204 Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information in regard to Section 6 of SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 00-1, SIDE A HB 225-CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND LEGISLATIVE ETHICS [Please note that the tape counter numbers begin with 1000.] Number 1005 CO-CHAIR DONLEY called the Conference Committee on HB 225 meeting to order at 4:58 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Green and Croft and Senators Donley, Miller and Hoffman. Representative Harris arrived as the meeting was in progress. Before the committee is the House version of HB 225, CSHB 225(JUD), and the Senate version of HB 225, SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S. CO-CHAIR DONLEY proposed that the committee draw up a Conference Committee committee substitute (CS). He then asked if the House agreed with the modifications of the House version, CSHB 225(JUD), that was transmitted to the Senate. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT referred to Section 14 of SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S, which is Section 3 of CSHB 225(JUD). Basically, the same language was used save the word "unlimited" that was not maintained in the Senate version, which Representative Donley believed to be a wise change. Therefore, in regard to those sections, Representative Donley preferred the Senate version, SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S. CO-CHAIR DONLEY pointed out that Section 5 of SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S parallels the House version. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT pointed out that [Section 5 of SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S] has some important changes, including allowing the governor and lieutenant governor to start [campaigning] six months earlier. CO-CHAIR DONLEY remarked that he thought it is more than six months. CO-CHAIR GREEN interjected his belief that [the governor and lieutenant governor start campaigning] 18 months [earlier]. CO-CHAIR DONLEY stated that is the way everybody else is. He asked Senator Hoffman if he would like to discuss Section 5 of SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S since that was a portion taken from his bill last year. Co-Chair Donley recalled that the 18 month period for legislators was being kept, but those running for lieutenant governor and governor could [campaign] immediately. SENATOR HOFFMAN recalled that the desire was to place [the lieutenant governor and the governor] on equal footing with other candidates that aren't in the legislature. He noted that this was part of his bill along with Section 16 of SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S. Number 1264 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT inquired as to what Section 5(2) does in SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S. CO-CHAIR DONLEY related his belief that Section 5(2) bifurcates between those running for lieutenant governor and governor, and those running for a legislative or municipal seat. Paragraph (2) maintains the existing system for those that run for a legislative or municipal seat. However, paragraph (2) says that those running for lieutenant governor and governor can begin their campaign earlier. He pointed out that Section 5(2) says that those who run for lieutenant governor and governor can file and begin their campaign on January 1 following the last election in which a governor was elected. CO-CHAIR GREEN noted that this was a complaint in the last election. CO-CHAIR DONLEY also mentioned that 18 months is not much time to travel around Alaska as a candidate for governor or lieutenant governor. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT agreed, but pointed out that it is a person's choice to both serve in the legislature and try to campaign for governor. CO-CHAIR DONLEY said that doesn't really apply. He believed that Representative Croft was thinking of the fund-raising problem. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT inquired as to why that wouldn't be a problem here. CO-CHAIR DONLEY explained that this doesn't [only] apply to legislators, but applies to everyone. He specified that currently, no one can file for governor until 18 months before the election, which was the point of Senator Hoffman's bill: 18 months is not enough time to get a gubernatorial campaign going. This is about everybody. However, this language says that [restriction] would remain for municipal and legislative races. However, those running for lieutenant governor and governor would be allowed to start earlier, January 1 following the governor's election, under this language. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT commented, then, that he doesn't have a problem with that change to Section 5 of SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S, what was Section 1 in CSHB 225(JUD). Number 1462 SENATOR MILLER pointed out that since the Senate version added all the new sections perhaps the easiest way to attack this is to move through the bill section by section. CO-CHAIR DONLEY then turned to Section 1 of the Senate version, SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S, which is the purpose section. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT remarked that usually the purpose section doesn't carry any import. However, the statute in Section 2 refers back to it as a method of interpreting the statute. Therefore, he indicated that [Section 1] has more weight than normal. Representative Croft emphasized that he didn't believe the burden on legislators should be minimized; he felt that Section 1 does establish an intent for the entire campaign finance section that minimizes the burden on candidates and legislators. He pointed out that there are many more important purposes to the campaign finance laws, including the level playing field and disclosure. Therefore, this purpose to minimize the burden on legislators is inappropriate. CO-CHAIR GREEN indicated that Representative Croft has a good point. SENATOR MILLER said that basically the two sections are being tied together. SENATOR HOFFMAN inquired as to where that linkage occurs. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT pointed out that the last sentence in Section 2 says, "If a statute is ambiguous, the commission shall consider the intent of the legislature in interpreting the statute." Therefore, whenever [the commission] has a problem they review it in order to determine what will minimize the burdens on candidates and legislators without compromising the efficacy [of those laws]. He believes that establishes a standard of the burden being the test. SENATOR HOFFMAN asked then if Representative Croft's suggestion is to eliminate Section 1 and leave Section 2 intact. CO-CHAIR GREEN noted that the last sentence [of Section 2] would have to be deleted. SENATOR MILLER disagreed because if the statute is ambiguous, then "the intent of the legislature in interpreting the statute" should be considered no matter who you are. If Section 1 is deleted, Section 2 would be alright since it wouldn't refer back to Section 1. Number 1698 CO-CHAIR DONLEY moved that the committee delete Section 1 [from SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S]. There being no objection, it was so ordered. CO-CHAIR DONLEY turned to Section 2. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked if the beginning of Section 2 is [existing] language. CO-CHAIR DONLEY replied yes. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT surmised then that Section 2 gets back to the purpose with the following language: "that imposes the fewest burdens necessary on citizens, candidates, and groups". Representative Croft reiterated that he didn't believe the interpretive standard should be the fewest burdens on [legislators] but rather what promotes a level playing field, more information to the public, et cetera. CO-CHAIR DONLEY pointed out that the language in [Section 2] does specify [part of the intent] to be "to provide appropriate information to the public." REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked if AS 15.13.030 has other interpretive standards. CO-CHAIR GREEN suggested that the committee come back to that issue. Number 1857 CO-CHAIR DONLEY turned to Section 3, which adopts some guidelines for polling information. CO-CHAIR GREEN commented that [Section 3] seems reasonable. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT inquired as to why people shouldn't have to pay for their own polls. CO-CHAIR DONLEY clarified that people do have to pay for their own polls. He informed the committee that this says that if a candidate requests a poll or the poll is designed to benefit the candidate, then it is considered a contribution. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT inquired as to why anyone would ever pay for their own poll if someone else could do it outside the contribution (indisc.). CO-CHAIR DONLEY explained that [a poll] cannot primarily benefit the candidate or be requested by the candidate. Co-Chair Donley asked Representative Croft why should a poll for which the candidate is solicited, but with which the candidate has no ties be considered a campaign contribution. He said, "Every time you read it in the paper, under the existing statute, you just violated the campaign laws." REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said that the point on publicly disclosed polls does make some sense. However, he believes this is a way to take polls "off budget." CO-CHAIR DONLEY disagreed and pointed out that the language clearly says that [a poll is considered] a contribution to a candidate if the poll is requested by or designed to benefit the candidate. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT commented, "We're going to end up just not requesting them and groups are going to be doing and showing it to us." He believes this is a soft route around polls and the effect will be to take polling out of campaign laws. He inquired as to how [a candidate] would design a poll to primarily benefit [that candidate]. CO-CHAIR DONLEY explained that if the poll is designed to provide information that would benefit the candidate in a campaign, [that would be a poll that is designed to primarily benefit the candidate]. Number 2010 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT remarked, "Well, ... a well run poll is always going to benefit me when I know it because that's why they're important." He commented that he is always interested in poll results because he obtains information that he didn't know before. CO-CHAIR GREEN pointed out that such a poll would be an information poll, which can't mention a candidate's name, versus a poll about the candidate. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT related his belief that the poll can mention his name. CO-CHAIR GREEN directed Representative Croft's attention to the following language in Section 3, "The results of a poll limited to issues and not mentioning any candidate may not be considered a contribution." REPRESENTATIVE CROFT acknowledged that language to be the first sentence in Section 3, but directed attention to the other sentence in Section 3. The other sentence in Section 3 reads as follows: "The results of a poll provided to a candidate that mention a candidate may not be considered a contribution to the candidate to whom the poll results were provided unless the poll was requested by or designed primarily to benefit the candidate." Therefore, he surmised that he could request issue polls, which would be off budget. However, the second sentence in Section 3 allows the results of a poll that mentions a candidate to be provided to that candidate without being a campaign contribution, unless the poll was requested. CO-CHAIR DONLEY interjected, "Or if it was done primarily to benefit you and if it had your name in it." REPRESENTATIVE CROFT posed the following situation in which the Republican/Democratic Party does much polling for groups that are either affiliated with the organization or interested in the organization. He related his understanding that [Section 3] allows polls [limited] to issues and polls designed primarily to benefit the candidate as well as polls requested by the candidate. Furthermore, this is not in the campaign finance disclosure laws under Section 1. CO-CHAIR DONLEY suggested that the first sentence of Section 3 remain and the second sentence could be deleted. That can be done within the powers of the Conference Committee. SENATOR MILLER agreed and specified that things cannot be added that were not part of either [version of the] bill. However, he believes that part of a sentence can be deleted. CO-CHAIR DONLEY commented that information polls are in a gray area. CO-CHAIR GREEN interjected that many polls don't mention the candidate. He clarified that he meant often only one of ten questions in a poll mention the candidate. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked if the committee could [only] take out words and sentences, but couldn't add anything. CO-CHAIR DONLEY and SENATOR MILLER agreed. SENATOR MILLER noted that the committee could try to obtain limited powers of free conference on a particular item [that required changes that necessitated adding language]. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT related his belief that it would be silly if reading a poll in the paper is considered a violation; that should be addressed. He commented that the nice thing about a poll is that you know it and the opponent doesn't, no matter the topic. There is a certain amount of power in the information itself and there is a certain amount of power because only the candidate knows it. He asked, "What if it's the second sentence ... and not the first?" CO-CHAIR DONLEY pointed out that [the second sentence] would still not deal with the [polls] that don't mention the candidate. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT suggested deleting, ". The results of a poll provided to a candidate that mention a candidate may not be considered a contribution to the candidate to whom the poll results were provided". Therefore, Section 3 would read as follows: "The results of a poll limited to issues and not mentioning any candidate may not be considered a contribution unless the poll was requested by or designed primarily to benefit the candidate." [With that language,] he surmised that he couldn't request that the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) do an expensive poll, [a poll] that is off budget, on all the important issues in his district. CO-CHAIR DONLEY said that he liked the language suggested by Representative Croft. Furthermore, he thought that could be accomplished within the committee's existing powers. Number 2361 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT moved that the committee adopt the following amendment: Page 2, beginning line 8, Delete, ". The results of a poll provided to a candidate that mention a candidate may not be considered a contribution to the candidate to whom the poll results were provided" There being no objection, it was so ordered. CO-CHAIR DONLEY moved on to Section 4. He recalled that the Alaska Public Offices Commission didn't have a problem with [Section 4], which clarifies that a [candidate]] can register more than one group. [This section] doesn't allow double dipping or changes in the actual limits. [There seemed to be agreement that Section 4 was acceptable.] SENATOR MILLER mentioned that the committee had already dealt with Section 5. CO-CHAIR DONLEY directed the committee to Section 6. Number 2440 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT moved that Section 6 of SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S be deleted. He explained that he didn't believe there should be, say, a Democratic Convention [funded] by the Teamsters. CO-CHAIR DONLEY clarified that [Section 6] doesn't allow fund raisers. However, he said that he would support saying that it can't be used for fund raisers if the language is not clear. The intent [in Section 6] is to help reduce the cost of the party conventions so that average people can attend them. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT agreed that it doesn't specifically state that it can't be a fund raiser. He didn't believe that corporate sponsors or labor union sponsors should be allowed to contribute outside the contribution limits. CO-CHAIR DONLEY specified that those groups can't give contributions at all. He pointed out that [the money collected] is not a contribution but rather pays for the cost of the event. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said that it would be considered a contribution if they could do it. CO-CHAIR DONLEY noted, however, that "they" can't use it for any purpose. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT posed a situation in which a person pays $1,000 for a hall or gives a candidate a $1,000. He inquired as to Ms. Miles', APOC's, [opinion]. SENATOR HOFFMAN related his understanding that [a candidate] would be prohibited from going to a function such as that and passing out campaign brochures. He said that was what was trying to be included. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT identified the Republican/Democratic Convention as the definitive political party event in which one pays for the advertising, food, hall rental and other actual costs. This can be done and there is no limit on it. Essentially, "they" could underwrite the conventions and other political party events in an unlimited manner. Representative Croft reiterated that he didn't want to see a political party convention [funded] by say, the Teamsters of BP as he doesn't believe it to be good public policy. CO-CHAIR DONLEY offered the following suggestions. First, he suggested specifying that [contributions] can't be for any fund- raising event. He also suggested placing a limit on the amount [of the contribution]. With those two parameters, there is no way that [a group] could take over a convention as is being suggested. Co-Chair Donley mentioned that the committee would need limited free powers to include those two limits. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT informed the committee that he preferred to keep the law the way it was. Number 2615 CO-CHAIR DONLEY moved that the committee request limited free powers for Section 6 in order to explore alternatives to make it more acceptable. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT objected and pointed out that there is a motion before the committee to delete Section 6. SENATOR HOFFMAN suggested that this matter be placed at the bottom of the committee's agenda. There was no objection to tabling it. CO-CHAIR DONLEY turned to Section 7 and asked Ms. Miles if APOC had problems with this section. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT inquired as to the current law in regard to this provision. BROOKE MILES, Regulation of Lobbying, Alaska Public Offices Commission, Department of Administration, informed the committee that current law requires candidates who use personal funds in a campaign to disclose their plan to repay themselves. Furthermore, current law establishes a limit on what can be repaid, which she believed was about $20,000 for legislative seats. She pointed out that [a candidate] can't give money to his/her own campaign within the 30 days before the campaign period. If a candidate uses personal funds to purchase something for the campaign and that is not paid back within 72 hours, then that is considered a nonmonetary contribution to the campaign in which case the candidate must indicate whether he/she wishes to be repaid, given that there are surplus funds at the conclusion of the campaign. MS. MILES turned to the language [in Section 7] and emphasized that the public would have no way of knowing whether a candidate intends to repay himself. Additionally, [the language] is inconsistent with the statutory limits regarding how much candidates can repay themselves from the money they put in their campaign. Ms. Miles also pointed out that the balance of how much has been spent will not be [public] knowledge until the end of the campaign. CO-CHAIR DONLEY said that he didn't understand that comment because the language [in Section 7] "says that they would have to reimburse to the candidate by the campaign and report that before the end of each reporting period." Therefore, he asked how she could claim that the public [didn't know what the candidate spent]. MS. MILES pointed out that the report is due February 15, that is the year end report. She said, "So, the whole campaign ... if you'd paid [$]80,000, [$]180,000, whatever into your campaign that you were just spending this money and you don't have to report it till the year end report ... -- the commission's concern is the cumulative amount that you've spent and each report that you file 30 days before, seven days before, and ten days after each primary and general election would be a whole new thing when you file that February 15th report." CO-CHAIR DONLEY inquired as to what would be the impact of referring to whatever the subsequent report was due. MS. MILES asked if he meant that it has to be reported on each reporting period. CO-CHAIR DONLEY replied yes. MS. MILES said that would be the same as the current law, except in regard to the limit at which the candidate pays himself/herself back. CO-CHAIR DONLEY noted that then the candidate would not have the problem of waiting until the end of the reporting period to pay himself/herself back. He related his understanding that the candidate could pay himself/herself back before the end of the reporting period. As it is now, such action has to be declared a loan and the candidate ... MS. MILES interjected that the candidate could pay himself/herself back within 72 hours. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT related his understanding that currently, a candidate can place an unlimited amount, which amounts to approximately $20,000, back into his/her campaign although that cannot be done within 30 days. MS. MILES clarified that in the 30 days before, it is only $5,000. In regard to Representative Croft, the total amount is unlimited. However, there is a limit on what the candidate can pay himself/herself, which is $20,000. Number 2819 CO-CHAIR DONLEY moved that the committee delete Section 7. He then suggested that a solution could be to report at the end of each period and specify that it doesn't supersede the limits. No objection was stated. CO-CHAIR DONLEY moved that the committee delete Section 8, which seems to be technical. No objection was stated. CO-CHAIR DONLEY turned to Section 9 and moved to retain only the language on page 5, line 4, referring to thank you advertisements as an appropriate utilization of campaign funds. He suggested deletion of the other changes included in [Section 9 that are not already in current law]. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT pointed out that under the current law, [a candidate] could do victory or thank you party [cards] and thank you gifts. Therefore, [this additional language] allows the candidate to insert the "thank you advertisements" to thank all the volunteers that worked on the campaign. CO-CHAIR DONLEY said that was his motion. No objection was stated. Number 2877 CO-CHAIR DONLEY continued with Section 10. He believed that [Section 10] included an addition in the amount of retained property, while the remainder of the section is similar to what was passed by the House. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked if these similar ideas were placed in a similar (indisc.). CO-CHAIR DONLEY specified that the problem with many of these [provisions] is that they have to show up in two places, both in the Ethics Law and the Campaign Finance Law, in order to work. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked if the House version only included [these provisions] in one of the aforementioned places. CO-CHAIR DONLEY reviewed the provisions included in Section 10 regarding campaign photographs, seasonal greeting cards and campaign signs to which Co-Chair Green agreed were included in the House version. Co-Chair Donley said that he believes the only substantive change to be the change that ["the fair market value of the property retained"] may not exceed $5,000 versus the previous amount of $2,500. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT agreed that the House version included the idea of greeting cards and photographs. SENATOR MILLER directed the committee to page 5, line 9, of the House version [CSHB 225(JUD)], which refers to photographs of a legislator. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated that he didn't find any reference to campaign signs in the House version. CO-CHAIR DONLEY recalled that when the original ethics legislation was [created] there was discussion in regard to campaign signs. He recalled that at that time, they were told that the campaign signs would not have any fair market value after the conclusion of the campaign. Therefore, the language [in SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S] clarifies that such campaign signs don't have a value and don't count towards the limit. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked Ms. Miles if the committee is missing any issues in regards to greeting cards, photographs and campaign signs. MS. MILES answered that the commission doesn't have a problem with that. She specified that the commission agrees that campaign signs don't have any value. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT commented that photographs are problematic because it is difficult to know which are for campaigns and which are not. He asked Ms. Miles if page 7, lines 21 and 22, clarifies the letter of intent and refers it back to statute. MS. MILES replied yes. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT inquired as to when the amount to $2,500 for a computer was established. MS. MILES responded that the $2,500 for a computer was established in 1996. Number 3094 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said that he didn't have a problem with Section 10 and thus he moved to adopt Section 10. There being no objections, it was so ordered. CO-CHAIR GREEN moved that the committee delete Section 11, except AS 15.13.118 which addresses public office expense term (POET) accounts. CO-CHAIR DONLEY pointed out that now there are, per the constitution, single member districts, all the Senate districts are twice as big as the House districts. Therefore, it is difficult to have the same POET designations for both bodies when they are different sizes. For example, the mailing costs in a Senate district would be twice the cost of that in a House district. However, the amount in the legislation is not even doubled for the Senate districts. CO-CHAIR GREEN interjected that the math doesn't [correlate], even if the same number of years is used. SENATOR MILLER suggested that Legislative Council would probably move to work off the counts that are currently available. CO-CHAIR DONLEY specified that [the amount] is based on the term of office, which is four years for the Senate and two years for the House. CO-CHAIR GREEN acknowledged that the Senate [districts] are twice as large as the House districts and the term of office for the Senate is twice as long as is the House's term of office. CO-CHAIR DONLEY informed the committee that it is calculated on a per year basis. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT inquired as to what [subsection] (c) of Section 11 would do. CO-CHAIR DONLEY and GREEN stated that [subsection] (c) of Section 11 is out. Number 3232 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT inquired as to "the justification for doubling what essentially the initiative and our legislation passed in '96?" He asked if there had been 100 percent inflation since 1996 or was it too low to begin with? CO-CHAIR DONLEY answered that it was too low to begin with. Furthermore, once the constitutional amendment on redistricting passed [the state] was constitutionally locked into single member districts, which was not the case prior to that time. He reiterated that with the single member districts, all the Senate districts are twice as large as the House districts. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT indicated his understanding that the aforementioned explanation would support the proportion being changed. He said, "We could lower ours instead of raising yours, I guess." CO-CHAIR DONLEY acknowledged that the House's [campaign account] could be lowered instead of raising the Senate's [campaign account] unless "you" want to increase what the public pays "us." He said that this is a way to supplant what is received from the state. This is private money, leftover campaign money, that replaces and keeps the state money from increasing. If office accounts had kept pace with inflation, they would be $30,000 versus $6,000. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said that these limits were set by initiative and by the legislature. CO-CHAIR DONLEY disagreed and stated that the initiative didn't include anything about this issue. SENATOR MILLER stated that technically no initiative passed the ballot. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT moved to delete [AS 15.13].118. SENATOR MILLER objected. CO-CHAIR DONLEY clarified that the committee has already agreed to delete everything [in Section 11] except subsections (a) and (b) of AS 15.13.118. Now the motion is to delete subsections (a) and (b) of AS 15.13.118 to which there was objection. Upon a voice vote, Representatives Harris and Green and Senators Hoffman, Donley and Miller voted against the deletion of subsections (a) and (b) of AS 15.13.118. Representative Croft voted in favor of the deletion of subsections (a) and (b) of AS 15.13.118. Therefore, subsections (a) and (b) of AS 15.13.118 were not deleted. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT moved on to Section 12, which he believed to be fine. He asked if [Section 12] is clarifying what had been an informal opinion of the Select Committee on Legislative Ethics. MS. MILES explained that when campaign finance reform was enacted in 1996, a portion of it restricted the use of public funds for election purposes, including ballot propositions. She understood that there was an ethics opinion which said that if it was a normal practice ... [tape reversed to Side B]. TAPE 00-1, SIDE B MS. MILES continued, "... and you mentioned something about the ballot proposition, but you do not form a group, you don't solicit funds to support a group." She informed the committee that there was an advisory opinion regarding this, which was issued by the commission last year. The commission's only issue with this matter is that it provides a different standard for legislators versus other elected officials, who can't use public funds. This is a large issue for municipalities with respect to school board funding, sewer projects and things of that nature. [The municipality] has to publicly appropriate the money to send out flyers supporting a particular issue. Number 3320 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT remarked that he hadn't realized that distinction, which may be troubling. However, he felt that this is more technical and it becomes more difficult if "we" can't do this. Therefore, Representative Croft moved that the committee adopt Section 12 of SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S. There being no objection, it was so ordered. CO-CHAIR DONLEY continued with Section 13 of SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S. He explained that this section allows for volunteer legal and accounting services for parties. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT pointed out that it also applies to candidates and groups as well. He also pointed out that currently that would be limited by the contribution limit of $500. SENATOR MILLER noted that for a political party the contribution limit would be $5,000. MS. MILES agreed with Representative Croft that after that [limit the candidate] would have to pay [the accountant or attorney]. The difficulty for the commission in Section 13 is the deleted portion that begins on page 10, line 31 through page 11, line 3, which is a long-standing part of the campaign finance law. Ms. Miles specified that the commission sees sub-subparagraph (iv) of Section 13 as less problematic than the aforementioned deleted language. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT surmised, then, that if a taxi driver licks stamps [for a campaign], he/she is volunteering; however, if [a candidate has] a taxi driver drive people to the polls he/she is taxiing. If a lawyer licks stamps [for a campaign], he/she is volunteering; however, if the lawyer performs lawyer work ... MS. MILES interjected that a lawyer performing lawyer work would be permitted under sub-subparagraph (iv) of Section 13, with which the commission doesn't have a problem. REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS stated that sub-subparagraph (iv) of Section 13 merely specifies the two groups that (indisc.). CO-CHAIR GREEN related his understanding that the commission merely wants to know how much it is. MS. MILES replied yes. REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS related his understanding, "But the rest of them will be excluded if you put back in the section that was taken out." Number 3213 CO-CHAIR DONLEY commented that he believes the committee has the authority to pick and choose changes. Therefore, he surmised that the committee could leave that existing language in as suggested by Ms. Miles and sub-subparagraphs (iv) and (v) could still be maintained. SENATOR MILLER agreed that the deleted language on page 10, line 31 through page 11, line 3, could be left in. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT inquired as to what is special about attorney and accounting services that would warrant this exemption. He asked if there would be any disclosure of the amount. He also asked, "If you're writing it out of the statute here, does it just go off the books?" MS. MILES clarified that it [attorney or accounting services] would not be considered a contribution. She agreed with Representative Croft that the amount would never be known by the public. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT related his understanding that the commission would not have a problem with adding a political party so long as the same limits are maintained on professional services. Therefore, a political party would be included, but would fall under the existing rules. MS. MILES answered yes. CO-CHAIR GREEN specified, then, that the committee would [agree to] Section 13 with the deleted material reinserted. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated that he didn't have a problem with inserting political party so long as [the limits] are maintained. He inquired as to [the commission's opinion] on sub-subparagraph (v) regarding mass mailings. MS. MILES informed the committee that the commission felt that the language in sub-subparagraph (v) regarding mass mailings is specific enough that it would include all of the party's candidates; the commission is comfortable with that. CO-CHAIR DONLEY commented that there is a problem. He posed a situation in which the AIP party wants to mail out a brochure with its candidate, a calculation has to be performed. That calculation is difficult because some may be different districts than others. He indicated that the calculation includes how much of a contribution that is to each candidate and it may or may not exceed the limit that a party can give to an individual candidate. He said that telling people who the party's candidates are seems like basic function of parties. SENATOR MILLER asked: Would the commission have a problem because instead of sending out a mass mailer all over Anchorage, that has everyone in Anchorage running, then they've sent it to Senate district whatever and they have the governor, lieutenant governor, U.S. Senator, Congressmen, the Senate State Senator for that district and the two House Reps, ... if they're candidates in those races filed to that Senate district and the next Senate district would get all of the top; only their state Senator and two House districts would be different. MS. MILES said that the commission realized that the language didn't specify that it had to be the central party and thus could be a district. However, it would still have to include the entire slate. She pointed out that this was an actual circumstance that occurred in one district in the 1998 election. She explained that a party had already "maxed out" on a candidate and the party wanted to do a district-wide mailing that included the candidate. That was not permitted because technically it was a contribution [to that candidate that had already "maxed out"]. CO-CHAIR DONLEY pointed out that a percentage of that would have gone to that candidate. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated that the candidate would have to pay for it. MS. MILES indicated agreement and recalled that is what happened in that election. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked if it could include anything else besides photographs and biographies. CO-CHAIR DONLEY said that he believes the intent was to attempt to narrow it down. Number 3039 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT moved that the committee adopt [the provision regarding] the mass mailing as well as the political party, but eliminate sub-subparagraph (iv) and return the professional services language [that is currently deleted in the SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S]. SENATOR MILLER objected. He said that he has difficulty in not allowing a person to contribute their time and energy because setting a dollar amount establishes a threshold by which a person can contribute a limited amount [of time and energy] to their political beliefs. Senator Miller acknowledged that there is value attached [to that time and energy]. SENATOR HOFFMAN suggested leaving it to the party and eliminate the candidate. SENATOR MILLER agreed that the candidate could be eliminated; however, he expressed difficulty in restricting the political party itself. He felt it appropriate to restrict it to the candidate or group. SENATOR MILLER moved that the committee amend Representative Croft's motion by deleting "candidate, group, or" on page 11, line 8, of sub-subparagraph (iv) and leave the remainder of sub- subparagraph (iv) in the bill. There being no objection, the amendment to the motion was adopted. Number 2912 CO-CHAIR DONLEY clarified that the committee now has before it the motion to adopt Section 13 and reinsert the deleted language on page 10, line 31, through page 11, line 3, and on page 11, line 8 delete "candidate, group, or". There being no objection, the amendment to the motion was adopted. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT moved that the committee adopt Section 14 of SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S. There being no objection, it was so ordered. CO-CHAIR DONLEY moved to delete Section 15 of SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S. No objection was stated. CO-CHAIR DONLEY continued with Section 16, which was taken from Senator Hoffman's bill last year. SENATOR HOFFMAN explained that [Section 16] is in response to a problem he encountered when Tim Grussendorf, whose father was a legislator, worked for him last session. However, because of the nepotism law Tim Grussendorf couldn't work for Senator Hoffman during special sessions or the summers, which he believes didn't make much sense. Senator Hoffman recognized [the difficulty] if Mr. Grussendorf had worked in the House of Representatives. CO-CHAIR DONLEY clarified for Representative Croft that [the statute] had not addressed such situations in relation to interims. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT recognized that subsection (d) of Section 16 resolves Senator Hoffman's problem. Representative Croft said that he didn't have any problem with Section 16. Number 2803 SENATOR HOFFMAN moved that the committee adopt Section 16 of SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S. There being no objection, it was so ordered. CO-CHAIR DONLEY continued with Section 17 of SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT pointed out that this returns to the intent language and he suggested that the entire intent language could be voted on. SENATOR HOFFMAN noted that the intent language had already been eliminated. CO-CHAIR DONLEY expressed his desire to have a new draft [CS] to review. CO-CHAIR GREEN remarked that perhaps, in that case, [Section 17] should be left in. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT informed the committee that in both Section 17 and the other [intent section, Section 2,] it adds to the general duties of the committee and the commission. He said that language is being inserted that says, "Don't be any more burdensome on us than necessary." He felt that without Sections 2 and 17, both interpretive sections, the committee would have a better CS. Number 2712 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT moved that the committee delete Sections 2 and 17. CO-CHAIR GREEN indicated that "they" would like to have the intent and thus this may be a red flag. SENATOR HOFFMAN agreed that when there is a question it has to be interpreted somehow. He inquired as to how it would be interpreted; more restrictively or less restrictively? REPRESENTATIVE CROFT pointed out that there are general guidelines on interpreting statutes, which take into account the intent of the legislature as well as other factors. He related his belief that the "shall" language creates a priority and thus he preferred to leave it to the normal interpretive techniques. CO-CHAIR DONLEY remarked, "I wish they were normal; they've used some very creative techniques over the years, including ignoring the First Amendment a couple of times." REPRESENTATIVE CROFT noted that has not been his experience. CO-CHAIR DONLEY posed the sign law issue in Fairbanks as an example of a direct violation of First Amendment rights. He acknowledged that violation was recognized after it was pointed out and the law was rewritten. SENATOR HOFFMAN noted his preference to leave [Section 17] in. CO-CHAIR GREEN commented that leaving the section in makes it easier to take out later versus [deleting Section 17] and attempting to bring it back in. Upon a voice vote, Representative Croft voted for the deletion of Sections 2 and 17 and Representatives Harris and Green and Senators Hoffman, Donley and Miller voted against the deletion of Sections 2 and 17. Therefore, with a vote of 1-5 the motion failed and Sections 2 and 17 were not deleted. CO-CHAIR DONLEY continued with Section 18 and inquired as to what it does. MS. MILES clarified that it is the old $5,000 per year for the office account. She indicated that it is necessary due to maintaining AS 15.13.118 in Section 11. CO-CHAIR DONLEY asked if there was any objection to keeping Section 18. There being no objection, it was so ordered. CO-CHAIR DONLEY moved on to Section 19 and remarked that a new effective date is necessary. He recalled that Section 19 was necessary because there were changes that occurred last year and thus it was necessary to make it contingent based on those changes becoming effective. MS. MILES stated that [those] are done and thus Section 19 is no longer necessary. Number 2509 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT moved that the committee delete Section 19. There being no objection, it was so ordered. CO-CHAIR DONLEY continued with Section 20 and asked Ms. Miles what would work best. He recognized that [there is no desire] to interfere with the campaign cycle. MS. MILES indicated agreement. SENATOR HOFFMAN suggested the year 2002. CO-CHAIR DONLEY related his understanding that limited free powers aren't necessary to change an effective date. SENATOR MILLER concurred. MS. MILES stated that January 1, 2001, would be preferable to an immediate effective date Number 2463 CO-CHAIR DONLEY indicated that the committee agreed upon an effective date of January 1, 2001. No objection was stated. SENATOR MILLER reminded the committee that Section 6 still needed to be addressed. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT moved that the committee delete Section 6 of SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S. CO-CHAIR DONLEY agreed with Representative Croft that [the groups mentioned in Section 6] shouldn't be allowed to do fund raisers and there should be a cap on that. However, he felt that there is a legitimate purpose for this which would help lower the costs of such events so that average citizens can attend. Therefore, he felt that with more sideboards Representative Croft's concerns could be addressed while facilitating [a lower cost for these events]. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT commented on the proliferation of corporate sponsorships in every arena. He didn't believe that there should be corporate sponsorships of political party conventions. Representative Croft indicated that his objection may be more philosophical. SENATOR MILLER informed the committee that he would rather maintain Section 6 because it is the current law. Perhaps, Section 6 could be dealt with at a later time in another legislature. He agreed with Co-Chair Donley that with more sideboards this section could be reworked, but maybe there isn't enough time to do so. Number 2377 MARCO PIGNALBERI, Staff to Representative Cowdery, Alaska State Legislature, informed the committee that Section 6 was requested by the Republican National Committee which has had opportunities for regional party conventions to come to Alaska. In other states [the state] is able to underwrite the cost of corporate contributions, but Alaska is not able to do that which relates to the aforementioned issue of lowering the cost for a party participant to engage in such activities. There is correspondence from the Republican National Committee representative on this matter. (Indisc.). REPRESENTATIVE CROFT repeated his motion to delete Section 6. CO-CHAIR DONLEY announced that he would support requesting limited free powers in order to rewrite Section 6 with more limitations. SENATOR MILLER suggested that Co-Chair Donley and Representative Croft develop some compromise language to bring back to the committee. He said that Representative Croft's motion could be left on the table as pending while the CS is being drafted. CO-CHAIR DONLEY pointed out that the committee could also go ahead and request limited free powers for Section 6. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT reiterated that his objection is more theoretical than technical. He asked if there is any other area for which the committee would be requesting limited free powers. There was discussion that indicated that there were no other areas requiring such a request. Therefore, Representative Croft believed that addressing the motion before the committee and then determining whether the committee wanted to request limited free powers [on Section 6] would be most appropriate. Upon a voice vote, Representative Croft and Senator Hoffman voted for the deletion of Section 6 and Representatives Harris and Green and Senators Donley and Miller voted against the deletion of Section 6. Therefore, with a vote of 2-4 Section 6 of SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S was not deleted. Number 2185 CO-CHAIR DONLEY moved that the committee request limited free powers in order to reach some compromise language in Section 6 of SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S. He asked if there was any objection to the motion. CO-CHAIR GREEN noted his agreement. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT commented that didn't believe the committee should do so. However, he acknowledged that the committee wanted to proceed in this request and thus he would not object merely to have another vote. CO-CHAIR DONLEY remarked that requesting limited free powers now could save time. He recognized that obtaining approval for the request is not certain. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT mentioned that he didn't mind the attempt. CO-CHAIR GREEN indicated that this [request] seems a bit premature. CO-CHAIR DONLEY asked if there is any objection to the motion to request limited free powers on Section 6 of SCS CSHB 225(JUD) am S. There being no objection, it was so ordered. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business before the Conference Committee on HB 225, the meeting was recessed to the call of the chairs at 6:17 p.m.