Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/19/1993 01:30 PM CRA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE March 19, 1993 1:30 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Harley Olberg, Chairman Representative Jerry Sanders, Vice-Chairman Representative Con Bunde Representative John Davies Representative Cynthia Toohey Representative Ed Willis Representative Bill Williams MEMBERS ABSENT None OTHER HOUSE MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Pat Carney COMMITTEE CALENDAR *HB 18: "An Act relating to police protection service areas in municipalities." PASSED FROM COMMITTEE WITH NO RECOMMENDATIONS *HB 32: "An Act relating to reimbursement of school construction debt; and providing for an effective date." HEARD AND HELD IN COMMITTEE *HB 20: "An Act relating to the electrical service extension fund." NOT HEARD Bills previously heard: HB 1: "An Act establishing a motor vehicle recycling grant fund and a motor vehicle recycling registration fee; and providing for an effective date." PASSED FROM COMMITTEE WITH A DO PASS RECOMMENDATION HB 180: "An Act relating to the residential housing inspection requirements of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation." PASSED FROM COMMITTEE WITH NO RECOMMENDATIONS (* first public hearing) WITNESS REGISTER Jon M. Peterson, Legislative Aide to Representative Gail Phillips State Capitol, Room 216 Juneau, AK 99801-1182 Phone: 465-2689 POSITION STATEMENT: Gave an overview of SSHB 1 David Harding, Legislative Aide to Representative Eileen Maclean State Capitol, Room 507 Juneau, AK 99801-1182 Phone: 465-4833 POSITION STATEMENT: Gave an overview of HB 180 Representative Con Bunde State Capitol, Room 112 Juneau, AK 9801-1182 Phone: 465-4843 POSITION STATEMENT: Prime Sponsor of HB 18 Maribeth Brown, Chair Southeast Anchorage Police Protection Task Force 14960 Sierra Way Anchorage, AK 99516 Phone: 345-1468 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 18 Richard Weinig, Attorney 800 E. Dimond Suite 3-620 Anchorage, AK 99515 Phone: 349-1900 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 18 Pat Abney, Member Southeast Anchorage Police Protection Task Force 5800 E. 142nd Avenue Anchorage, AK 99516 Phone: 345-1335 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 18 Dianne Holmes 15140 Mesa Anchorage, AK 99516 Phone: 345-1514 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 18 Jerry McCutchin 121 W. 11th Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 277-3076 POSITION STATEMENT: Suggested amendments to HB 18 Hugh Doogan 359 Slater Street Fairbanks, AK 99701 Phone: 456-1869 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 18 Kent Swisher, Executive Director Alaska Municipal League 217 Second Street, Suite 200 Juneau, AK 99801 Phone: 586-1325 POSITION STATEMENT: Voiced concerns about HB 18 Representative Pat Carney State Capitol Court Building, Room 607 Juneau, AK 99801-1182 Phone: 465-2186 POSITION STATEMENT: Prime Sponsor of HB 32 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 18 SHORT TITLE: FEES FOR POLICE PROTECTION BY STATE BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BUNDE TITLE: "An Act relating to police protection service areas in municipalities." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/04/93 29 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/11/93 29 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/11/93 29 (H) CRA, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 03/18/93 (H) CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/19/93 (H) CRA AT 01:30 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 32 SHORT TITLE: SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION DEBT REIMBURSEMENT BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) CARNEY TITLE: "An Act relating to reimbursement of school construction debt; and providing for an effective date." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/04/93 32 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/11/93 32 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/11/93 32 (H) CRA, HES, FINANCE 03/11/93 (H) CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/18/93 (H) CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/19/93 (H) CRA AT 01:30 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 20 SHORT TITLE: ELECTRICAL SERVICE EXTENSION FUND GRANTS BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MENARD,Carney TITLE: "An Act relating to the electrical service extension fund." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/04/93 29 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/11/93 29 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/11/93 29 (H) CRA, LABOR & COMMERCE, FINANCE 01/20/93 117 (H) COSPONSOR(S): CARNEY 03/18/93 (H) CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/19/93 (H) CRA AT 01:30 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 1 SHORT TITLE: MOTOR VEHICLE RECYCLING GRANT FUND & FEE BILL VERSION: SSHB 1 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) PHILLIPS,Finkelstein, Nordlund TITLE: "An Act establishing a motor vehicle recycling grant fund and a motor vehicle recycling registration fee; and providing for an effective date." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/04/93 25 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/11/93 25 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/11/93 25 (H) CRA, RESOURCES, FINANCE 01/13/93 52 (H) SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED- REFERRALS 01/13/93 52 (H) CRA, RESOURCES, FINANCE 01/20/93 116 (H) COSPONSOR(S): FINKELSTEIN 01/27/93 167 (H) COSPONSOR(S): NORDLUND 02/11/93 (H) CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/23/93 (H) CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/23/93 (H) MINUTE(CRA) 03/17/93 (H) CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/17/93 691 (H) RES REFERRAL WAIVED BILL: HB 180 SHORT TITLE: AHFC HOUSING INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MACLEAN TITLE: "An Act relating to the residential housing inspection requirements of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/25/93 455 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 02/25/93 455 (H) CRA, LABOR & COMMERCE 03/11/93 (H) CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/11/93 (H) MINUTE(CRA) 03/17/93 (H) CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 93-16, SIDE A Number 000 CHAIRMAN HARLEY OLBERG called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m. He noted for the record Representatives Bunde, Toohey, Williams, Sanders, and Willis were present. SSHB 1: MOTOR VEHICLE RECYCLING GRANT FUND AND FEE Number 040 VICE CHAIRMAN JERRY SANDERS, CHAIR OF THE SSHB 1 SUBCOMMITTEE, testified, "My staff and I have worked with the sponsor and departments and found that there's an ongoing federal program for picking up abandoned autos at this time, which is administered by the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. In that light, we have brought to you this document (CSSSHB 1 (CRA)) dated March 16, 1993. ...and I want to MOVE for ADOPTION of this document..." Without objections CSSSHB 1 (CRA) was ADOPTED. Number 078 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked for an explanation of CSSSHB 1 (CRA). JON A. PETERSON, LEGISLATIVE AIDE TO REPRESENTATIVE GAIL PHILLIPS, PRIME SPONSOR OF SSHB 1, testified, "...Because of the nature of this ongoing federal program, that was administered by the Department of Transportation, it made sense to transfer the administration of the program from the department that was in the original bill to the Department of Transportation." Number 113 REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY asked if the same fiscal note pertained to CSSSHB 1 (CRA). MR. PETERSON indicated there was now a new fiscal note "because of a different operating agency." CHAIRMAN OLBERG asked if this program could be characterized as "fairly revenue neutral." MR. PETERSON said, "The version of the bill before you (CSSSHB 1 (CRA)) calls for an additional $2 a year fee for registration to come into the general fund to be reappropriated back out to a fund that's also created in the bill to be used for grant purposes to go to municipalities to assist them in picking up and recycle cars." Number 148 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE MOVED that CSSSHB 1 (CRA) be moved out of committee with individual recommendations. Without objections, the MOTION CARRIED. HB 180: AHFC HOUSING INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS Number 164 DAVID HARDING, LEGISLATIVE AIDE TO REPRESENTATIVE EILEEN MACLEAN, PRIME SPONSOR of HB 180, began by saying, "Some problems occurred as a result of the merging of the Rural Housing Loan programs that were in DCRA (Department of Community and Regional Affairs) into AHFC (Alaska Housing Finance Corporation) last year (1992). The existing rural loan program was specifically exempted from the inspection requirements in the statute under consideration. So when this other rural loan program came over to AHFC it seems as though there would be an argument for a similar exemption. That is not what Representative MacLean is proposing here. She recognizes the value of a housing inspection program to insure good construction standards. What we've asked to do is broaden the pool of people eligible to make these inspections in rural areas..." MR. HARDING then addressed the concerns raised when HB 180 was last heard in the committee, "...Architects and engineers, whether or not they should be added specifically as a group of eligible inspectors or whether they ought to be approved on a case by case basis. The availability of architects and engineers would make a very small, very important difference. The likelihood is that when an architect, for example, was in a rural community inspecting some public works project...they might be asked by the community or someone in the community to do one of these inspections as long as they're there. It would be done as a professional courtesy, this is not going to be a cash cow for architects and I really believe it will be more of a headache for them than anything else. If they have to go to AHFC and get specific authorization, they just won't do it... Representative MacLean asks that you leave architects and engineers in there..." Number 198 MR. HARDING continued, "A couple of people asked last week that in any case inspectors be approved on a case-by-case basis. That is largely what this bill (HB 180) allows AHFC to do. They can approve someone to be an inspector for part of one inspection or an entire single inspection or they can just identify someone in the community that they feel is good enough to do any part of this inspection. There's a lot of flexibility there for them to provide a case-by-case review as they see fit... There has been an informal inspection process out there in the rural areas already. The banks who are loaning the money out there have had to in whatever ways available to them, provide some kind of inspection process so they can have some assurance that they're putting their money behind a good project. They've identified people in the communities over the years that they can trust..." Number 230 MR. HARDING then said, "There was a suggestion to allow a grace period of maybe a year or three years to allow time for people in remote areas to become ICBO certified... Our feeling is that really would not work because there's just not the volume of housing construction out there to make it work... There was the question on the definition of rural... The law already exempts from these inspection requirements, any municipality that has its own code and its own inspection program. In Southeast Alaska that includes Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Petersburg and Skagway..." MR. HARDING concluded, "On the matter of substandard housing, there was the concern that this might open the door to bad housing being built in rural Alaska. ...Again, I think the bankers who make the loans would tell you the quality of housing in rural Alaska, even without an inspection program has been steadily improving over the years...because of the cost of energy and the awareness of energy efficiency..." Number 283 REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES asked, "You said there was still the ability of AHFC to approve people, but as I read the bill (HB 180), a person by virtue of being an architect or engineer would automatically be approved." MR. HARDING said, "That's right." REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said, "I would still raise that as an area of some concern to me. I don't know if it's fatal... It doesn't take much of a refresher course to understand certain basic principles that are important... I'm not so sure it would be an unreasonable requirement to ask AHFC to have a small checklist or one day refresher course..." MR. HARDING replied, "I would think AHFC certainly could make available the kind of checklist you're talking about..." REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES pointed out that often banks are involved only in the construction phase because mortgages are sold. Number 344 REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG said, "This says an architect and an engineer are eligible. It doesn't say they're automatically going to be hired by anybody. I'd be surprised if Alaska Housing didn't have a fairly stringent in-house training program or qualification scenario." REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE MOVED that HB 180 be passed out of committee with individual recommendations. Without objections, IT SO MOVED. Number 379 HB 18: FEES FOR POLICE PROTECTION BY STATE REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 18, testified saying, "This is a statewide police protection enhancement bill and a revenue generating bill." He then read his sponsor statement aloud. (A copy of this sponsor statement may be found in the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee Room, Capitol 110, and after the adjournment of the second session of the 18th Alaska State Legislature, in the Legislative Reference Library.) REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE referred to the Department of Public Safety's fiscal note as "fiction" and said, "If you will note in the fiscal note, it appears to me the Department of Public Safety has attempted to increase their Anchorage compliment by 29 staff members. They're making up all the positions that were reduced because of budgetary restraints and this is another back door run, I think, at building additional bureaucracy." Number 472 MARIBETH BROWN, CHAIRPERSON, SOUTHEAST ANCHORAGE POLICE PROTECTION TASK FORCE, testified via teleconference in favor of HB 18 saying, "At a time when revenues are declining and forcing the reduction of some of our basic services, such as public safety...this bill could help, I believe. HB 18 would allow communities that wanted increased police services to petition for those services, indicating the level of service they desired. ...This would give quite a measure of self-determination for different communities, and I think it's a step in the right direction." Number 512 RICHARD WEINIG, ATTORNEY, ANCHORAGE, testified via teleconference in support of HB 18. He said, "It's a statewide bill, not just an Anchorage, Hillside bill... It's a revenue generating bill...for every area in the state that wants additional police service and is willing to pay for it and doesn't have to go through appropriations from the legislature. People who want the services pay for the services. ...It's a win-win situation." REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked Mr. Weinig a question regarding the fiscal note. MR. WEINIG said he hadn't seen the fiscal note. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE again referred to the fiscal note as "fiction" and said, "they're talking about building a new dynasty." Number 584 PAT ABNEY, MEMBER, SOUTHEAST ANCHORAGE POLICE PROTECTION TASK FORCE, testified via teleconference from Anchorage, in support of HB 18. DIANE HOLMES, ANCHORAGE, testified via teleconference in support of HB 18. She said, "I think this type of bill is really the forerunner of how our communities are going to be governed in the near future." Number 640 JERRY MCCUTCHIN, ANCHORAGE, testifying via teleconference, suggested a detailed amendment in order to hire recently retired police within the communities. HUGH DOOGAN, FAIRBANKS, testified via teleconference against HB 18 saying, "I think the Department of Public Safety is overtaxed right now...in reference to Hillside's problem down there...they can set up their own city...under the regulations of Community and Regional Affairs." TAPE 93-16, SIDE B Number 022 KENT SWISHER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ALASKA MUNICIPAL LEAGUE, testified expressing concerns about HB 18. He said, "In most situations, law enforcement is a local government responsibility... We would be concerned with how we direct a response to a call, if there is both a local police department and a state trooper unit. ...We wonder how this all integrates in any circumstance and whether it, in fact, has the effect of undermining the structure of local government and local law enforcement. We are also concerned about the cost of administration by the local government. We are in effect, going to be in a situation of dealing with a separate amount of money as a new tax item to spread among the number of taxpayers just as if we were dealing with a basic beginning tax assessment and all the things that go with that, including the folks who are unable or unwilling to pay that assessment, and against whom collection action must be taken..." Number 098 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE pointed out that the Task Force on Governmental Roles encouraged introduction of legislation of this type as documented in the members packets. (A copy of everything in the member packets may be found in the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee Room, Capitol 110, and after the adjournment of the second session of the 18th Alaska State Legislature, in the Legislative Reference Library.) He added, "In my way of thinking, the assessment expense will be minimal...the relationship between troopers and police isn't as complex as it might seem to some..." Number 160 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE then MOVED to ADOPT an AMENDMENT he had distributed to the committee in order to avoid "a bunch of amateur police forces or private police forces". (A copy of the amendment may be found in the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee Room, Capitol 110, and after the adjournment of the second session of the 18th Alaska State Legislature, in the Legislative Reference Library.) There were no objections to the motion and the AMENDMENT was ADOPTED. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said, "I think it's generally bad public policy for the state to impose duties on the municipality or for the federal government to impose duties on the state, when those duties are not reimbursed. So I have a problem with that aspect of this." He then MOVED that the word "not" BE REMOVED from "The municipality may not deduct money collected from assessments for administrative or other costs incurred by the municipality," (line 16 -17, page 2). Number 228 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "I would entertain this as a FRIENDLY AMENDMENT if after we strike the word 'not', and now we have 'may', we would add the additional verbiage 'a reasonable fee'." REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said fine and reiterated the changes. CHAIRMAN OLBERG said there were no objections to the motion and that these changes, as a second amendment, be incorporated. Number 266 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said, "I'm a little concerned by having the statewide Department of Public Safety providing levels of service to small service areas throughout the state. I think we ought to give the municipalities the option, if we're going to do this, to form service areas, give them the option to, at the same time get that service from an adjacent municipality...if it exists... What we're doing here moves us away from local government...rather than to try to consolidate these services within local government." He also pointed out that "Title 29 prohibits formation of a new service area, if you can provide that service by annexation to an existing one." Number 308 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE talked about the police situation in his district. He added, "I understand Representative Davies' concerns. Again, the best government is the closest to the people and if the people in a particular service area want to have that kind of service they ought to have those decisions available to them. Number 320 REPRESENTATIVE ED WILLIS gave an example of police protection in Eagle River. He continued, "The home rule charter does provide and does allow for service area. Why can't your area form that service area and do what we did." Number 345 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE replied, "I'm pleased that Eagle River is having their needs met. Obviously, the Hillside people are not having their needs met. At another time we can talk about political intrigues that go on behind the scenes. ...We have local service areas, Eagle River chose to do one thing. Hillside, perhaps Talkeetna, Nikiski, whoever chooses to do another, they should have that option." REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS said, "That's what I'm wondering, I thought you did have that option. Why can't you form the police service area under the charter and get the level of service you want?" REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE replied, "The troopers will not cooperate and they must be brought to this by statute." Number 360 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS said, "It gets back to the question of who's going to provide the service then. We, in Eagle River, get a municipality police force. It's all part of it and it seems to be working real well." REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "It didn't work for us." REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY gave an example of what she thought HB 18 would accomplish. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE MOVED that HB 18, as amended, be moved out of committee with individual recommendations. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES OBJECTED and added, "Does the sponsor object to providing the option within this attaching to the local municipality." REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "Yes." REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said, "That's the reason for my objection. I think that this (HB 18), as it's drafted now, is in conflict with Title 29." Number 400 A roll call vote was taken. Representatives Davies and Willis voted AGAINST movement of HB 18. Representatives Sanders, Williams, Bunde, Toohey, Olberg voted TO MOVE the bill out of committee with individual recommendations. HB 32: SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION DEBT REIMBURSEMENT Number 417 REPRESENTATIVE PAT CARNEY, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 32, read his sponsor statement for the record. (A copy of the sponsor statement may be found in the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee Room, Capitol 110, and after the adjournment of the second session of the 18th Alaska State Legislature, in the Legislative Reference Library.) He added, "I have a little trouble understanding why there's a big fiscal note because they're already reimbursing municipalities for school construction for past bonded indebtedness that was covered by state law." Number 460 REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY continued, "This legislation (HB 32) is strictly a judgement call, I think, on the part of the committee. The only decision we have to make, I think, is whether or not organized municipalities that pay taxes should have an opportunity to get state reimbursement for school construction. Everyone knows that the current system isn't working. I think if we make a decision to spend some BP money or some other money for school construction statewide, even then we aren't assured that our urban areas will be adequately taken care of. ...The decision will have to be made at a later date in finance, about what we ultimately do about this problem." REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said he strongly supported HB 32 and added, "Under the present system, even if the governor's proposal to spend $150 million a year in additional money were to go into effect under the current system of priorities, we don't believe that schools will be constructed (fast enough) to meet the need in Fairbanks." Number 499 CHAIRMAN OLBERG requested clarification of the school appropriation process and asked, "Aren't we already doing this?" REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY said, "The current funding has to do with commitments made in the past...this legislation (HB 32) will not affect this year's budget at all. It won't affect the budget until two years after the bonds are sold by the municipalities. ...Then the municipalities gets reimbursement from the state for 70 percent. Even at the best, it would be three to four years before we see any cost to the state in the way of bonded indebtedness reimbursement." CHAIRMAN OLBERG asked, "Does this fall in the category of binding a future legislature?" REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY replied, "We can always under-fund, Mr. Chairman, we're doing that right now." Number 515 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES commented, "The state has been paying off its indebtedness at a fairly rapid rate. The usual rule of thumb is...to have that down less than five percent of your rolling GF (general fund) dollars. This wouldn't have any effect on our annual budgets until a couple of years from now. At that time we will have paid down our bonded indebtedness...below that magic five percent number." Number 530 VICE CHAIR JERRY SANDERS said, "I think the situation they're describing would explain the fiscal note. I think, by the time we'd be paying this two or three years from now, the state intended to be out of this business and not have anybody paying that and they'd have to reinstitute it." REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked about the list distributed to the committee members. (A copy of the list may be found in the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee Room, Capitol 110, and after the adjournment of the second session of the 18th Alaska State Legislature, in the Legislative Reference Library.) REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY said, "This is a list of the proposed schools to be funded under the Governor's proposal for priority one schools and if you'll notice, it puts almost no money into the areas where the heaviest population is." Number 565 CHAIRMAN OLBERG asked, "Does the present reimbursement system exist in statute, the debt reimbursement that's being done now, or is that an annual capital appropriation that is subject to legislative whim?" REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY said, "It is covered in the statute but it is legislative whim, the amount to be funded in relationship to the total amount we're committed to." REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES pointed out, "Last year (1992) the total amount that we funded for statewide school construction was only about 27 million dollars. We anticipate in the Fairbanks area we will need to construct in this next decade 100 million dollars worth of schools." CHAIRMAN OLBERG said, "I need to do a little bit of homework on this (HB 32)." Then offered to bring up HB 32 again Tuesday, March 23, 1993. ADJOURNMENT CHAIRMAN OLBERG adjourned the meeting at 3:54 p.m.