Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/22/1994 01:35 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                         March 18, 1994                                        
                            1:30 p.m.                                          
                                                                               
  TAPE HFC 94-68, Side 1, #000 - end.                                          
  TAPE HFC 94-68, Side 2, #000 - end.                                          
  TAPE HFC 94-69, Side 1, #000 - 645.                                          
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson called the House  Finance Committee to order                 
  at 1:30 p.m.                                                                 
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson             Representative Hoffman                           
  Co-Chair MacLean            Representative Martin                            
  Vice-Chair Hanley           Representative Navarre                           
  Representative Brown        Representative Parnell                           
  Representative Foster       Representative Therriault                        
  Representative Grussendorf                                                   
                                                                               
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative  Brice;  Mary  Sansome,   Assistant  Attorney                 
  General-General Civil Section, Department of Law; Jim Clark,                 
  General  Counsel,  Alaska  Forest Association,  Juneau;  Jan                 
  Hansen, Director, Division of  Public Assistance, Department                 
  of Health and Social Services.                                               
                                                                               
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
                                                                               
  HB 409    "An  Act   relating  to  the  maximum   amount  of                 
            assistance that  may be  granted  under the  adult                 
            public assistance program  and the program of  aid                 
            to families  with dependent children;  proposing a                 
            special demonstration project  within the  program                 
            of  aid to  families with  dependent children  and                 
            directing  the  Department  of Health  and  Social                 
            Services  to   seek  waivers   from  the   federal                 
            government to implement the project; and providing                 
            for an effective date."                                            
                                                                               
            HB   409  was  HELD   in  Committee   for  further                 
            discussion.                                                        
                                                                               
  SB 178    "An Act  relating to  civil nuisance  actions; and                 
            providing for an effective date."                                  
                                                                               
            HCS CSSB 178  (FIN) was reported out  of Committee                 
            with  "no recommendation" and  with a  zero fiscal                 
            note by the Department of Law.                                     
                                                                               
                                1                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  HOUSE BILL NO. 409                                                           
                                                                               
       "An Act relating  to the  maximum amount of  assistance                 
       that may be  granted under the adult  public assistance                 
       program  and  the  program  of  aid  to  families  with                 
       dependent children; proposing  a special  demonstration                 
       project  within  the program  of  aid to  families with                 
       dependent  children  and  directing  the Department  of                 
       Health and  Social Services  to seek  waivers from  the                 
       federal  government  to   implement  the  project;  and                 
       providing for an effective date."                                       
                                                                               
  MARK GREENBERG, CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY, WASHINGTON                 
  D.C.  spoke  in support  of three  features of  the proposed                 
  demonstration project:                                                       
                                                                               
       *    An  increase  in  work   incentives  for  Aide  to                 
            Families  with  Dependent  Children (AFDC)  family                 
            members;                                                           
                                                                               
       *    The waiver of  the 100  hour rule, that  currently                 
            disqualifies two parent families  with a full time                 
            worker regardless of the family's income's; and                    
                                                                               
       *    Waivers  of  vehicle  equity   which  disqualifies                 
            families who own a single  vehicle worth more than                 
            $2,500.                                                            
                                                                               
  Mr.  Greenberg  discussed  the  workfare  requirement.    He                 
  emphasized that  running a workfare program costs money.  He                 
  asserted that evidence implies that workfare programs do not                 
  dramatically raise  employment.   He  questioned if  funding                 
  would be better spent to improve job programs.                               
                                                                               
  Mr.  Greenberg questioned the  equality of reducing payments                 
  to all AFDC and Adult  Public Assistance (APA) recipients in                 
  order to fund a program available to a few.                                  
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown asked  if federal welfare  reform will                 
  include  waivers  allowed for  in  HB  409.   Mr.  Greenberg                 
  pointed  out  that  the   federal  administration  has   not                 
  introduced legislation.    He observed  that federal  policy                 
  encourages state  reform but  requires programs  to be  cost                 
  neutral to the federal government.                                           
                                                                               
  HB 409 was HELD in Committee for further discussion.                         
  SENATE BILL NO. 178                                                          
                                                                               
       "An  Act  relating  to   civil  nuisance  actions;  and                 
                                                                               
                                2                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
       providing for an effective date."                                       
                                                                               
  Representative Brown provided members  with AMENDMENTS 8 and                 
  9 (copies on  file).  She  explained that Amendment 8  would                 
  clarify the definitions of  "nuisance" as a civil public  or                 
  private nuisance.                                                            
                                                                               
  Representative Parnell noted that a  motion was pending from                 
  the 3/17/94 House  Finance Committee meeting, to  report HCS                 
  CSSB178 (FIN)  out of Committee.   Representative Therriault                 
  WITHDREW  HIS MOTION  to  report HCS  CSSB178  (FIN) out  of                 
  Committee.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown  MOVED  to  ADOPT  AMENDMENT 8.    She                 
  stressed that Amendment  8 attempts to clarify  that current                 
  statutes and regulations regarding "nuisances" cover private                 
  and   public   nuisances.      She   observed   that   court                 
  interpretations  have  found  that "nuisance"  means  public                 
  nuisance.                                                                    
                                                                               
  MARIE  SANSOME,  ASSISTANT  ATTORNEY  GENERAL-GENERAL  CIVIL                 
  SECTION, DEPARTMENT  OF LAW  agreed that  Amendment 8  would                 
  clarify  the  private  nuisances would  be  included  in the                 
  context  of  air  pollution   statutes  which  cover  public                 
  nuisances.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative  Hanley  referenced   18  AAC  50.110.     He                 
  suggested  that  if there  is a  violation  of the  terms or                 
  conditions of a statute or regulation  then a person has the                 
  right to sue for a private nuisance.                                         
                                                                               
  Ms. Sansome stressed that definitions of nuisances addressed                 
  by the amendment are related only  to the application of the                 
  statutes as to  public nuisances.   She  suggested that  the                 
  amendment would clarify subsection (d).                                      
                                                                               
  JIM  CLARK,  GENERAL  COUNSEL,  ALASKA  FOREST  ASSOCIATION,                 
  JUNEAU  observed that  the point  of measurement  is at  the                 
  property line.  He alleged that because showings are made at                 
  the property line  it does not matter  if it is a  public or                 
  private nuisance.                                                            
                                                                               
  Representative Hanley  questioned if  18 ACC 50.110  defines                 
  air pollution as a nuisance.                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative Brown  suggested that  the Committee  expects                 
  and  intends that  page  1, line  12  triggers statutes  and                 
  regulations that protect  people from private  nuisances and                 
  therefore Amendment 8 is unnecessary.                                        
                                                                               
  Ms. Sansome referred to subsection (d) she noted that it was                 
  added at  the request  of Mr.  Clark.   She emphasized  that                 
                                                                               
                                3                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  there  are  legal opinions  that  statutes cited  would only                 
  cover public nuisances.  She suggested that if the intent is                 
  to  reflect that the  statute definitions should  apply to a                 
  private nuisance then  Amendment 8 should  be adopted.   She                 
  suggested  that  there  is   a  potential  conflict  between                 
  subsection (d) and section 2.                                                
                                                                               
  Mr.  Clark  reiterated  that  permits  are issued  based  on                 
  conditions at the property line.   Ms. Sansome and Mr. Clark                 
  disagreed with the interpretation of  statutes in regards to                 
  public  and  private  nuisances.   Mr.  Clark  asserted that                 
  Amendment  8 would interfere  with the affect  of the shield                 
  provided  by subsection  (d).  He  alleged that  adoption of                 
  Amendment 8 would require changes to AS 46.03.900.                           
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 94-68, Side 2)                                             
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Larson  reiterated Representative  Brown's concern                 
  that the legislation  apply to private nuisances.  Mr. Clark                 
  stressed that if a violation of  the permit occurs a private                 
  nuisance suit could be initiated.                                            
                                                                               
  Representative  Navarre  observed  that  permits  deal  with                 
  public nuisances.   He stressed  that if the  permit is  not                 
  violated  and  a civil  claim  existed the  private property                 
  owner would not be able  to bring action.  He  restated that                 
  if there is a private nuisance  caused by something that did                 
  not violate a public  permit process an action could  not be                 
  brought.  He  summarized that  the issue is  whether or  not                 
  private nuisances are included in the public permit process.                 
  Mr. Clark reiterated  that if  there is a  violation of  the                 
  regulation the shield is down.                                               
                                                                               
  Ms.  Sansome  noted  that  according  to AS  46.03.870  (a),                 
  permits  and regulations  issued  by the  state are  for the                 
  benefit of the state and public and do not create a right in                 
  a person.  She doubted that  a person could demonstrate that                 
  the violation of  the air nuisances statute  created a right                 
  to a remedy.  Mr. Clark asserted that private nuisance suits                 
  are available except  when the  shield is up.   He  observed                 
  that  the legislation  describes when  the shield is  up and                 
  when it is  down.  Ms.  Sansome questioned if air  pollution                 
  regulations would cover private nuisances if the legislation                 
  is adopted.  Mr.  Clark maintained that the right  of action                 
  for  a  private nuisance  is  created  in section  1  of the                 
  legislation.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown restated her motion to ADOPT AMENDMENT                 
  8.  Representative  Therriault OBJECTED.   A roll call  vote                 
  was taken on the motion.                                                     
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Brown, Hoffman, Navarre                                            
                                                                               
                                4                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  OPPOSED:  Parnell, Therriault, Foster,  Grussendorf, Martin,                 
                 MacLean, Larson                                               
                                                                               
  The MOTION FAILED (3-8).                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Brown  MOVED to  ADOPT AMENDMENT  9 (copy  on                 
  file).  She explained that the amendment rephrases AMENDMENT                 
  1.   The amendment would provide that  the shield is up when                 
  there  is a "showing  by the licensee,  permittee, or person                 
  subject to  the order  that the  proposed activity will  not                 
  result in  any emission  or discharge  that is  injurious to                 
  human health or welfare, animal or plant  life, or property,                 
  or that would  injuriously interfere  with the enjoyment  of                 
  life or property; or".  She  stated that she understood that                 
  Amendment 8 was not adopted because the Committee feels that                 
  it is unnecessary  and that  private nuisances are  covered.                 
  She explained that Amendment 9 will make clear  that private                 
  nuisances are expressly addressed in the permitting process.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Mr.  Clark  noted  that  Amendment  1  was  offered  by  the                 
  Department of Law.  He clarified  that a nuisance showing is                 
  not currently being made in respect to water.  He maintained                 
  that Amendment  9 would create  a new condition  which would                 
  make  the legislation  prospective.   There  are regulations                 
  requiring showings in regards to air and solid waste.                        
                                                                               
  Representative Therriault OBJECTED  to the  motion to  ADOPT                 
  AMENDMENT 9.  A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                      
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Brown, Grussendorf, Hoffman, Navarre, MacLean                      
  OPPOSED:  Therriault,  Foster,   Hanley,  Martin,   Parnell,                 
                 Larson                                                        
                                                                               
  The MOTION FAILED (5-6).                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Brown referred to subsection (f).  Subsection                 
  (f) provides  that the state  is held harmless  from inverse                 
  condemnation.  She observed that the state of California has                 
  a  similar  shield in  respect  to timber  operations.   She                 
  stressed that individuals are suing the state of California,                 
  not for inverse  condemnation, but for violations  under the                 
  permitting processes.                                                        
                                                                               
  Representative Brown objected  to line 30, page 2,  to award                 
  full  reasonable attorney  fees and  costs to  a  person who                 
  prevails in defense of a claim or court action.  She opposed                 
  changing the  rules of  civil procedure  in this  way.   She                 
  emphasized that there  is currently  judicial discretion  to                 
  look at  the circumstances and determine how court costs are                 
  spread.                                                                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                5                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Therriault MOVED to REPORT HCS CSSB 178 (FIN)                 
  out  of Committee with  individual recommendations  and with                 
  the  accompanying  fiscal   note.    Representative  Navarre                 
  OBJECTED.A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                           
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Foster,  Grussendorf,  Hanley,   Martin,  Parnell,                 
                 Therriault, MacLean, Larson                                   
  OPPOSED:  Hoffman, Navarre, Brown                                            
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED (8-3).                                                     
                                                                               
  HCS CSSB 178  (FIN) was reported  out of Committee with  "no                 
  recommendation"  and  with   a  zero  fiscal  note   by  the                 
  Department of Law.                                                           
  HOUSE BILL NO. 409                                                           
                                                                               
       "An Act relating  to the  maximum amount of  assistance                 
       that may be  granted under the adult  public assistance                 
       program  and  the  program  of  aid  to  families  with                 
       dependent children; proposing  a special  demonstration                 
       project  within  the program  of  aid to  families with                 
       dependent children  and  directing  the  Department  of                 
       Health and  Social Services  to seek  waivers from  the                 
       federal  government  to  implement   the  project;  and                 
       providing for an effective date."                                       
                                                                               
  Representative Therriault provided members  with AMENDMENT 1                 
  (copy  on   file).     He  MOVED   to  ADOPT   AMENDMENT  1.                 
  Representative   Grussendorf   OBJECTED.      Representative                 
  Therriault  explained  that  Amendment  1  would  allow  the                 
  Fairbanks  North   Star  Borough  to   participate  in   the                 
  demonstration  project.    He maintained  that  the  cost of                 
  including  Fairbanks in  the demonstration project  will not                 
  exceed revenues anticipated to be raised by the legislation.                 
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE spoke in opposition to Amendment 1.                 
  He expressed concern that the workfare will not be effective                 
  in  achieving  the  desired  goal.   He  suggested  that the                 
  workfare program  will not result in the  gain of marketable                 
  jobs.                                                                        
                                                                               
  Representative Hanley disagreed that  workfare programs will                 
  not encourage marketable job skills.                                         
                                                                               
  Members  discussed   the  introduction   of  House   Finance                 
  Committee legislation.                                                       
                                                                               
  Representative Therriault  noted support  of individuals  in                 
  his district for  Amendment 1 to HB 409.   He clarified that                 
  Fairbanks  cannot be included  in the  demonstration project                 
  without the adoption of Amendment 1.                                         
                                                                               
                                6                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  A roll call vote was taken on the motion  to ADOPT AMENDMENT                 
  1                                                                            
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Foster,  Hanley,   Martin,  Parnell,   Therriault,                 
                 MacLean, Larson                                               
  OPPOSED:  Brown, Grussendorf, Hoffman                                        
                                                                               
  Representative Navarre was not present for the vote.                         
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED (8-3).                                                     
                                                                               
  JAN  HANSEN,  DIRECTOR,  DIVISION   OF  MEDICAL  ASSISTANCE,                 
  DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH  AND SOCIAL SERVICES observed  that the                 
  adoption  of Amendment  1  would increase  the  cost of  the                 
  legislation by $300.0 thousand  dollars annually in FY  95 -                 
  99.                                                                          
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 94-69, Side 1)                                             
                                                                               
  Representative Brown provided members with AMENDMENT 2 (copy                 
  on file).   She  MOVED to  AMEND Amendment  2 by  including,                 
  Amendment to Amendment  1 (copy  on file).   There being  NO                 
  OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                
                                                                               
  Representative Brown explained that Amendment 2 would create                 
  the Healthy Families Program.  She stressed that the program                 
  would address a number  of social problems.  She  noted that                 
  section 5 would  provide that the program  is funded through                 
  the ratable reductions in  AFDC and APA.  She  observed that                 
  the sponsor may not support funding the program through  the                 
  ratable reduction.                                                           
                                                                               
  Representative  Martin asserted  that the program  should be                 
  reviewed by the House Health,  Education and Social Services                 
  Committee.    Representative  Brown  noted  that  the  House                 
  Health, Education and Social Services Committee  declined to                 
  entertain  amendments  while  the   bill  was  before  their                 
  Committee.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Hanley did not feel that the program could be                 
  funded at this  time.  Representative Brown  MOVED to delete                 
  section 5, Funding Intent, from AMENDMENT 2.  There being NO                 
  OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                
                                                                               
  Representative Brown  WITHDREW AMENDMENT 2.   She  expressed                 
  her intention to offer Amendment 2 at another time.                          
                                                                               
  Representative Navarre MOVED to add a new paragraph to read,                 
  "(4)  an  area  consisting  of  a  home rule  city  that  is                 
  contained within the  boundaries of  a second class  borough                 
  located on a peninsula within a  hundred miles of Anchorage,                 
                                                                               
                                7                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  with a population of  65,000 persons or more and  the second                 
  class borough described in this paragraph."                                  
                                                                               
  Representative Navarre WITHDREW his MOTION.                                  
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean provided members with  AMENDMENT 3 (copy on                 
  file).  She explained that Amendment 3 would allow the North                 
  Slope Borough to participate in the demonstration project.                   
                                                                               
  Representative  Hanley spoke in support  of Amendment 3.  He                 
  noted that the Department of  Health and Social Services has                 
  decided to allow all persons in rural areas to participate.                  
                                                                               
  There being NO OBJECTION, AMENDMENT 3 was adopted.                           
                                                                               
  Representative  Navarre asked if  the amendments  adopted by                 
  the Committee would  necessitate an increase in  the ratable                 
  reduction.   Representative Hanley stated  that Amendment  3                 
  would  not result  in an increase  to the  fiscal note.   He                 
  reiterated  that  Amendment  1  will not  result  in  a  net                 
  increase in the ratable reduction.                                           
                                                                               
  Representative Brown provided members with AMENDMENT 4 (copy                 
  on file).  She  explained that Amendment 4 would  delete the                 
  ratable reduction  to Adult  Public Assistance  (APA).   She                 
  argued that  the majority of  APA recipients are  elderly or                 
  disabled  persons.  She questioned if APA benefits should be                 
  reduced in  order to  fund the  demonstration project.   She                 
  pointed out that the APA  client group is not in a  position                 
  to benefit  from the  results of  the demonstration  project                 
  since they are unlikely to return to the work force.                         
                                                                               
  Representative Brice  spoke in support  of Amendment 4.   He                 
  raised the issue  of equality.    He did  not feel that  APA                 
  clients  should be asked to pay  for a program that will not                 
  benefit them.  Representative Brown MOVED to ADOPT AMENDMENT                 
  4.                                                                           
                                                                               
  In response to a question by Co-Chair Larson, Representative                 
  Hanley observed that APA payments are  at 110 percent of the                 
  poverty  level,  AFDC  payments are  at  74  percent  of the                 
  poverty level.   He explained that the  Department of Health                 
  and Social Services did not want the discrepancy between the                 
  two  recipients to increase.  He  acknowledge that there are                 
  inequities in the legislation.                                               
                                                                               
  Ms.  Hansen  reiterated that  the  Department of  Health and                 
  Social Services  desires that  any reduction  be across  the                 
  board.   She noted  that there  is a  disparity between  the                 
  level of payments for AFDC and APA.                                          
                                                                               
  Representative Brown emphasized that  there is little chance                 
                                                                               
                                8                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  that clients served  by APA will  be able  to return to  the                 
  work force.  She noted that APA clients are unable to work.                  
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown suggested  that  the program  could be                 
  funded  without  the inclusion  of  APA.   Members discussed                 
  anticipated  revenues.      Ms.   Hansen   noted   that   an                 
  appropriation from the legislature is needed  to fund FY 95.                 
  She acknowledged that the ratable reduction is in  excess of                 
  what is  need in  FY 95.   She  reiterated the  Department's                 
  position to  maintain an  across the  board reduction.   She                 
  clarified  that  APA  clients are  living  outside  of state                 
  institutions.                                                                
                                                                               
  Representative Hanley OBJECTED to the  adoption of AMENDMENT                 
  4.  A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Brown, Grussendorf, Hoffman, Navarre, Larson                       
  OPPOSED:  Hanley, Martin, Parnell, Therriault, MacLean                       
                                                                               
  Representative Foster was not present for the vote.                          
                                                                               
  The MOTION FAILED (5-5).                                                     
                                                                               
  HB 409 was HELD in Committee for further discussion.                         
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting adjourned at 3:40 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
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