Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/06/1996 01:38 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                                                                               
                                                                               
                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                        February 6, 1996                                       
                            1:38 P.M.                                          
                                                                               
  TAPE HFC 96-26, Side 1, #000 - end.                                          
  TAPE HFC 96-26, Side 2, #000 - end.                                          
  TAPE HFC 96-27, Side 1, #000 - end.                                          
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Mark  Hanley called  the  House Finance  Committee                 
  meeting to order at 1:38 p.m.                                                
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Hanley               Representative Martin                          
  Co-Chair Foster               Representative Mulder                          
  Representative Brown          Representative Navarre                         
  Representative Grussendorf    Representative Parnell                         
  Representative Kelly          Representative Therriault                      
  Representative Kohring                                                       
                                                                               
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative  Con  Bunde;  Catherine   Reardon,  Director,                 
  Division of Occupational  Licensing; Dana LaTour,  Director,                 
  Division of Elections, Office of Lieutenant Governor; Robert                 
  Montznik,  Montznik  Computer  Services,   Anchorage;  Patti                 
  Swenson,   Staff,   Representative   Bunde;   Duane   Buell,                 
  Safeguard, Juneau;  Wayne  Regelin,  Director,  Division  of                 
  Wildlife Conservation, Department of Fish and Game.                          
                                                                               
  SUMMARY                                                                      
                                                                               
  HB 59     An Act relating to raffles and auctions of certain                 
            permits to  take big  game; and  providing for  an                 
            effective date.                                                    
                                                                               
            CSHB 59 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with a                 
            "do pass" recommendation and with  a fiscal impact                 
            note by the Department of Fish and Game.                           
                                                                               
  HB 211    An Act relating to voter registration and to state                 
            election administration.                                           
                                                                               
            CSHB 211 (FIN) was reported  out of Committee with                 
            a  "do  pass" recommendation    and with  a fiscal                 
            impact  note  by  the  Office  of  the  Lieutenant                 
            Governor.                                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                1                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  HB 382    An Act extending the termination date of the Board                 
            of Dispensing  Opticians;  and  providing  for  an                 
            effective date.                                                    
                                                                               
            CSHB 382 (STA) was reported  out of Committee with                 
            a "do  pass"  recommendation  and  with  a  fiscal                 
            impact  note  by the  Department  of  Commerce and                 
            Economic Development.                                              
                                                                               
  HB 404    An Act extending the termination date of the Board                 
            of Chiropractic  Examiners; and  providing for  an                 
            effective date.                                                    
                                                                               
            CSHB 404 (STA) was reported  out of Committee with                 
            a  "do pass"  recommendation  and  with  a  fiscal                 
            impact note  by  the Department  of  Commerce  and                 
            Economic Development.                                              
  HOUSE BILL NO. 382                                                           
                                                                               
       "An Act extending the termination date of  the Board of                 
       Dispensing Opticians;  and providing  for an  effective                 
       date."                                                                  
                                                                               
  CATHERINE  REARDON,  DIRECTOR,   DIVISION  OF   OCCUPATIONAL                 
  LICENSING spoke in  support of  CSHB 382 (STA).   She  noted                 
  that the  legislation would  extend the sunset  date of  the                 
  Board  of Dispensing  Opticians until  the year  2002.   She                 
  observed that  the legislation clears up questions regarding                 
  reciprocity and credential  licensure.   She noted that  two                 
  different  statutes  address  licensing  persons from  other                 
  states:                                                                      
                                                                               
       *    A.S.  08.71.145.   Licensure  by credentials,                      
            provides that a  person with a valid  license                      
            in  another  territory,  state,  district  or                      
            possession  of  the  United  States shall  be                      
            issued  a  license  without  examination  for                      
            those professional areas  in which the person                      
            is licensed.                                                       
                                                                               
       *    A.S.  08.71.150.    Issuance  of  license  by                      
            reciprocity, provides that  an applicant  who                      
            has been licensed and has been  practicing as                      
            a dispensing optician  in a state, territory,                      
            district or possession  of the United  States                      
            which  has  requirements  for  licensing  and                      
            gives reciprocal rights  equivalent to  those                      
            of state of Alaska, shall be licensed.                             
                                                                               
  House Bill 382 repeals AS 08.71.150.  Ms. Reardon noted that                 
  the other sections  bring the statutes into  compliance with                 
                                                                               
                                2                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  the elimination of AS 08.71.150.  Co-Chair Hanley noted that                 
  the Legislative Auditor recommended the above changes.                       
                                                                               
  Representative Martin MOVED to report CSHB 382 (STA) out  of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal note.                                                    
                                                                               
  In response to a question by Representative Grussendorf, Ms.                 
  Reardon  noted  that  the  House  State   Affairs  Committee                 
  recommended extending the  three boards up for  sunset until                 
  the year 2002.                                                               
                                                                               
  There being NO OBJECTION, CSHB 382 (STA) was reported out of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal note.                                                    
                                                                               
  CSHB 382  (STA) was  reported out  of Committee  with a  "do                 
  pass"  recommendation and with  a fiscal impact  note by the                 
  Department of Commerce and Economic Development.                             
  HOUSE BILL NO. 404                                                           
                                                                               
       "An Act  extending the termination date of the Board of                 
       Chiropractic Examiners; and  providing for an effective                 
       date."                                                                  
                                                                               
  Ms.  Reardon spoke in support of CSHB  404 (STA).  She noted                 
  that  the  legislation  extends  the Board  of  Chiropractic                 
  Examiners.  She noted that the repealer on line 7, page 1 of                 
  the  legislation eliminates licensure  by credentials.   She                 
  noted that the Legislative Auditor found the that the  Board                 
  was not licensing  individuals by credential.   She observed                 
  that the  Board had  difficulty determining  if chiropractic                 
  examinations in other states were equivalent to those of the                 
  state of  Alaska.   The auditor  concluded that  significant                 
  number  of  applicants were  achieving  their licenses.   He                 
  suggested  that  the  statute  should  reflect  the  current                 
  procedure.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Hanley  pointed out that fiscal  notes accompanying                 
  CSHB 382 (STA) and CSHB 404  (STA) represent funding that is                 
  already included  in the  operating budget.   He  emphasized                 
  that new dollars are not required.   He added that the  cost                 
  of operation is covered by licensing fees.                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Navarre MOVED to report CSHB 404 (STA) out of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal note.                                                    
                                                                               
  CSHB 404  (STA) was  reported out  of Committee  with a  "do                 
  pass" recommendation  and with a  fiscal impact note  by the                 
  Department of Commerce and Economic Development.                             
                                                                               
                                3                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  HOUSE BILL NO. 59                                                            
                                                                               
       "An Act  relating to  raffles and  auctions of  certain                 
       permits  to  take  big  game;   and  providing  for  an                 
       effective date."                                                        
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE CON  BUNDE, sponsor  of HB  59, testified  in                 
  support of the legislation.  He noted that the purpose of HB                 
  59 is to  allow qualified organizations to raffle or auction                 
  big game permits as  a revenue source for game  management.                  
  A qualified organization which auctions  a permit can retain                 
  a percentage of  the sale  plus administrative costs,  while                 
  the remaining amount will be returned  to the state for fish                 
  and game activities.                                                         
                                                                               
  Representative  Bunde observed  that  HB  59 authorizes  the                 
  Department of   Fish  and Game  to issue  one bison  harvest                 
  permit each year for a bison from the Delta bison herd.  The                 
  permit  may  be   auctioned  or   raffled  by  a   qualified                 
  organization on behalf of the  Department of Fish and  Game.                 
  The organization  is entitled  to receive reimbursement  for                 
  expenses plus up to  ten percent of the net proceeds  to use                 
  for the promotion of fish and game law enforcement.                          
                                                                               
  Representative Bunde  observed  that  the  legislation  will                 
  allow the Department  of Fish and  Game to issue, through  a                 
  competitive auction  or raffle,  up to  two harvest  permits                 
  each year  for each  of the  following species:  Dall sheep,                 
  bison, musk ox, brown or  grizzly bear, moose, caribou,  and                 
  wolf.  The qualified organization  that conducts the auction                 
  may  retain   up  to  ten   percent  of  the   profits  plus                 
  administrative  costs.     The  remaining  profit   will  be                 
  deposited into the Fish and Game fund.                                       
                                                                               
  Representative  Bunde  noted  that  there  are at  least  11                 
  western  states  that  have  provisions  for  auctioning  or                 
  raffling big game  harvest permits.  He  asserted that every                 
  state with a  similar program  has had a  positive impact on                 
  their  budget.    He maintained  that  the  legislation will                 
  provide another revenue source for the Dept of Fish and Game                 
  and will enable the continuation of game management programs                 
  for the common use of the people.                                            
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown  asked  if  there  is  competition  to                 
  determine which organizations would be  qualified to run the                 
  raffles.    Representative  Bunde noted  that  the  original                 
  legislation was  crafted for  the Alaska  Fish and  Wildlife                 
  Safeguard  Association  (Safeguard) and  only  covered bison                 
  permits.     The   legislation  was   expanded   to  include                 
  competitive  auctions.  He  observed that  organizations can                 
  approach the Department of  Fish and Game with  proposals to                 
                                                                               
                                4                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  auction game.  The  Department of Fish and Game  will decide                 
  which proposal  is the most  feasible and lucrative  for the                 
  state  of Alaska.   He explained that  Safeguard could apply                 
  for additional raffles.                                                      
                                                                               
  In   response  to   a  question  by   Representative  Brown,                 
  Representative  Bunde  stated that  Safeguard  realized $3.0                 
  thousand dollars from their bison raffle.  He  stressed that                 
  the organization needs  $20.0 thousand dollars to  carry out                 
  their work.                                                                  
                                                                               
  Representative Brown referred  to the March 23,  1993 report                 
  by the Division of Legislative Audit.   The audit noted that                 
  Safeguard receives significant state support.   She observed                 
  that the report  recommends that the Department  of Fish and                 
  Game  divorce  itself  from  Safeguard  unless the  problems                 
  identified   in    the   audit   report    were   addressed.                 
  Representative Bunde  stated that it  was his  understanding                 
  that the problems listed in the audit have been addressed.                   
                                                                               
  Representative Brown  quoted the  audit:   "We believe  that                 
  this diversion of  monies from the  state General Fund to  a                 
  private corporation may violate the  state constitution.  It                 
  further  erodes the  legislature's  most significant  power,                 
  that    of    appropriation."        She   questioned    the                 
  constitutionality of  allowing  a  private  organization  to                 
  benefit from a state resource.                                               
                                                                               
  Representative  Bunde  stressed  the  beneficial  nature  of                 
  Safeguard in  assisting fish  and wildlife  protection.   He                 
  maintained   that   Safeguard   increases  the   enforcement                 
  capability  of  the  State  by  encouraging citizens  to  be                 
  involved.                                                                    
                                                                               
  In response to a question by Co-Chair Hanley, Representative                 
  Brown  acknowledged that  the  audit  did  not  specifically                 
  address the permits.   She emphasized that the state support                 
  to Safeguard  is not  through a  direct appropriation.   Co-                 
  Chair  Hanley  compared  the  situation  to that  of  gaming                 
  permits.    Representative Brown  pointed  out that  a state                 
  asset is being auctioned.  Co-Chair Hanley acknowledged that                 
  the  constitutional  question  needs to  be  addressed.   He                 
  stressed that the legislation addresses other issues.                        
                                                                               
  Representative  Therriault questioned  if a  permit to  hunt                 
  moose  would   be  considered  an   appropriation  of  state                 
  resources.  Representative Brown pointed out that the winner                 
  of the  raffle  receives a  free hunting  license and  tags.                 
  Representative Therriault responded that the winner has paid                 
  a fee in the cost of the raffle.                                             
                                                                               
  Representative  Therriault  asked   for  details   regarding                 
                                                                               
                                5                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  changes   made    by   the    House   Resource    Committee.                 
  Representative   Bunde  noted  that   the  definition  of  a                 
  qualified  organization  was  added and  the  State's  share                 
  changed from 50 to 90 percent.                                               
                                                                               
  Representative  Grussendorf  pointed   out  that  a  hunting                 
  license does not allow  an auction to the highest  bidder or                 
  the sell of  the meat harvested.   He expressed support  for                 
  the  concept of HB 59.   He questioned  if the Department of                 
  Fish  and  Game will  be  able  to monitor  the  hunts.   He                 
  observed  that bison  and musk  ox hunts  are not  generally                 
  available and would raise larger sums.                                       
                                                                               
  Representative Bunde  acknowledged that these  permits would                 
  be new but asserted that there  are precedents in Alaska and                 
  other  states.   He  explained that  the Governor  may issue                 
  special  hunting  licenses  to  visiting  dignitaries.    He                 
  emphasized that  most bidders would  be wealthy  individuals                 
  that   would  consider   their  participation   a  form   of                 
  philanthropy.   Representative Brown noted  that individuals                 
  living in and out-of-state could participate.                                
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown noted that  wolves would be classified                 
  as both big game animals and predators under separate pieces                 
  of pending legislation.   She questioned  how the status  of                 
  wolves would be classified.  Representative Bunde noted that                 
  if wolves are not a big game animal a tag cannot be issued.                  
                                                                               
  Representative  observed that  subsection  (c) would  exempt                 
  these  activities  from  AS.  05.15.   Brown  asked  why the                 
  raffles would be exempted from existing regulation for games                 
  of  chance and  skill under  the Department of  Commerce and                 
  Economic  Development.     She  questioned   why  regulatory                 
  oversight would  not be  maintained.   Representative  Bunde                 
  could not recall why subsection (c) was included.                            
                                                                               
  Representative Brown  expressed concern  that a  competitive                 
  auction or raffle could be issued to an organization without                 
  competition  from  other  organizations.    Co-Chair  Hanley                 
  referred to page  2, lines 10  and 11.   He noted that  "the                 
  department,  subject   to   regulations   adopted   by   the                 
  commissioner, may issue,  (a permit)  through a  competitive                 
  auction or raffle".   Representative  Bunde asserted that it                 
  is in the  Department of  Fish and Game's  best interest  to                 
  have competitive bids.                                                       
                                                                               
  WAYNE REGELIN, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF WILDLIFE  CONSERVATION,                 
  DEPARTMENT  OF  FISH AND  GAME  noted that  current statutes                 
  allow one permit to be auctioned  from the Delta Bison herd.                 
  He observed  that Safeguard  is the  only organization  that                 
  currently qualifies  for this  permit issuance.   He  stated                 
  that this statute  is being expanded  by request from  other                 
                                                                               
                                6                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  groups.  He pointed  out that several groups use  raffles or                 
  auctions  of big  game  licenses to  raise  funds for  their                 
  organizations and to help wildlife management.                               
                                                                               
  Mr.  Regelin noted  that the  original bill allowed  a 50/50                 
  split between the  organizations and the Department  of Fish                 
  and Game.  He observed that federal law stipulates that only                 
  10 percent of the funds can go to a licensed vendor.  Ninety                 
  percent  of the funds must  go into the  Fish and Game Fund.                 
  He maintained  that the  Department will  establish specific                 
  regulations governing how the permits would be issued.                       
                                                                               
  Mr. Regelin noted that the judges allowed those convicted of                 
  a  fish  and game  violation to  either  make a  donation to                 
  Safeguard or write a check to the State.  The audit referred                 
  to  this  practice.   Mr.  Regelin noted  that  donations to                 
  Safeguard   in   lieu  of   a   fine  are   longer  allowed.                 
  Representative Brown  noted that the  Legislative Budget and                 
  Audit report references raffles by Safeguard on page 8.  She                 
  added  that  the  audit  also  points  to  free  advertising                 
  provided  to Safeguard by  the Department of  Fish and Game.                 
  Mr.  Regelin   maintained  that  these  problems  have  been                 
  resolved.    He  emphasized  that  Safeguard  is  a  private                 
  nonprofit organization  that is very beneficial  to wildlife                 
  management through enforcement.                                              
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Foster questioned  if IRA Councils  would qualify.                 
  Mr. Regelin stated that a qualified organization refers to a                 
  nonprofit corporation established to  promote fish and  game                 
  law enforcement or  an organization  that is established  to                 
  promote  management of  hunted game species  and the  use of                 
  game  populations   for  hunting  and   that  complies  with                 
  applicable laws  governing activities under  subsection (b).                 
  He  did  not think  that  Native nonprofit  groups  would be                 
  covered.   He stated that Safeguard,  the Safari Club, North                 
  American Elk  Foundation and  the Wildlife Sheep  Foundation                 
  would  qualify.    Co-Chair  Foster  noted  that  Kawerak  a                 
  regional  Native nonprofit  corporation has  a branch  which                 
  cares for the local reindeer herd.   Mr. Regelin stated that                 
  the  Department  of Law  would  determine if  they  would be                 
  eligible.  He emphasized that organizations do not receive a                 
  large percentage of the proceeds.   Organizations do receive                 
  publicity from the raffles.                                                  
                                                                               
  In  response to a  question by Co-Chair  Foster, Mr. Regelin                 
  stated  that  the   Department  supports  the   legislation.                 
  Representative Bunde gave examples of  funds raised by other                 
  states.  He  noted that the  state of Montana raised  $789.0                 
  thousand dollars.                                                            
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Foster asked  if  Mr. Regelin  foresaw  a musk  ox                 
  raffle in the  Nome area.   Mr. Regelin replied that  he did                 
                                                                               
                                7                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  not foresee a  musk ox  hunt in  the Nome area  due to  dual                 
  management with the federal government.   He emphasized that                 
  permits would be issued in areas where there is not a lot of                 
  competition.                                                                 
                                                                               
  In response to a question by Representative Grussendorf, Mr.                 
  Regelin noted that  the Department of  Fish and Game has  no                 
  authority over reindeer.   He noted  that there are musk  ox                 
  hunts in three locations in Alaska.                                          
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 96-26, Side 1)                                             
                                                                               
  Mr.  Regelin  stressed that  hunts  by nonresidents  must be                 
  guided.  He   explained that the  hunt would be included  in                 
  the guide's hunt limit.                                                      
                                                                               
  Representative Brown  questioned  how  the  current  process                 
  works and how  the program would  be expanded.  Mr.  Regelin                 
  noted  that  the  only  organization  that  qualifies  under                 
  current law is  Safeguard.  He stated  that regulations have                 
  not been established.                                                        
                                                                               
  In  response  to  a question  by  Representative  Brown, Mr.                 
  Regelin   reiterated   that   regulations  have   not   been                 
  implemented.    He  emphasized  that  the  organizations  in                 
  question  do have Alaskan branches.   He maintained that the                 
  Department  has  a   good  working  relationship   with  the                 
  organizations which would qualify.                                           
                                                                               
  Mr. Regelin explained  that the exemption in  subsection (c)                 
  was inserted at  the request of  the Department of  Commerce                 
  and Economic  Development.  Representative  Brown questioned                 
  the  rationale  for  the  exemption  from oversight  by  the                 
  Department  of  Commerce  and  Economic  Development.    Mr.                 
  Regelin could not respond.  He  stated that an  organization                 
  would  have  to  provide an  accounting  of  their expenses.                 
  Representative Brown restated that Safeguard would  be taken                 
  out from under the review of  the Department of Commerce and                 
  Economic Development.                                                        
                                                                               
  DWAYNE BUELL,  LOCAL  CHAIRMAN,  ALASKA  FISH  AND  WILDLIFE                 
  SAFEGUARD testified in support  of HB 59.  He  stressed that                 
  Safeguard has  been active  in promoting  fish and  wildlife                 
  enforcement  since  1989.    He  emphasized  that  Safeguard                 
  provides a 1-800  telephone number  that allows citizens  to                 
  report  illegal  activities.    He  stressed that  the  fine                 
  diversion activities referred  to in  the audit report  were                 
  stopped.  He observed  that Safeguard is unable to  make use                 
  of direct contributions which were given  out as prices.  He                 
  asserted that Safeguard has raised over $4.0 million dollars                 
  for the State through fines and confiscated property.                        
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                8                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Mr. Buell noted  that a part-time  coordinator hired by  the                 
  Department of Fish and  Game worked with Safeguard.   Due to                 
  objections this position no longer works with Safeguard.  He                 
  stressed that the  Bison raffle does not  provide sufficient                 
  return for the  amount of work  required.  He observed  that                 
  the sale  of a  poster by  Safeguard and  advertised by  the                 
  Department of Fish and Game has also been discontinued.                      
                                                                               
  In response to a question by Representative Brown, Mr. Buell                 
  stated that Safeguard is not planning to expand their raffle                 
  activities.  He  theorized that the exemption  in subsection                 
  (c)   could   increase    their   competition   from   other                 
  organizations.    He  noted  that  organizations  requesting                 
  permits under AS 05.15 would have to be in existence for two                 
  years.                                                                       
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Foster expressed support for HB  59.  He expressed                 
  concern that permittees be accompanied  by a licensed guide.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown  noted   that  the  program  will   be                 
  expanded.    She  expressed support  for  regulation  by the                 
  Department  of Commerce and  Economic Development.  Co-Chair                 
  Hanley noted  that the legislation requires  that permittees                 
  be subject to regulations adopted by the commissioner of the                 
  Department of  Fish and Game.   He observed  that permittees                 
  would  have to  apply with  the  Department of  Commerce and                 
  Economic Development and  the Department of Fish and Game if                 
  subsection (c) is deleted.   Representative Brown  responded                 
  that there  needs to be someway to  account for the money to                 
  make sure that the State receives the  money it is due.  Co-                 
  Chair  Hanley pointed  out that  the Department of  Fish and                 
  Game   oversees  a   variety   of   licenses  and   permits.                 
  Representative Bunde expressed  confidence that the  State's                 
  interests will be  adequately safeguarded by the  Department                 
  of Fish and Game.                                                            
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder MOVED  to report CSHB 59  (RES) out of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal note.  There being NO OBJECTION, it  was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  
                                                                               
  CSHB 59 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with a "do pass"                 
  recommendation  and  with  a  fiscal   impact  note  by  the                 
  Department of Fish and Game.                                                 
  HOUSE BILL NO. 211                                                           
                                                                               
       An  Act  relating to  voter  registration and  to state                 
       election administration.                                                
                                                                               
  Representative Bunde testified in support of HB 211.  He                     
                                                                               
                                9                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  stated that HB 211 will correct problems with voter                          
  registration that were noticed during the 1994 election.                     
  Some of the problems addressed are:  Purged voters (inactive                 
  voters) who voted questioned ballots without registering,                    
  voting by convicted felons, the possibility of deceased                      
  people voting, voters assigned to the wrong district,                        
  unprocessed address changes, invalid residence addresses,                    
  and data processing review board problems.                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Bunde noted that section 1 of HB 211 changes                  
  the way the official voter registration lists are prepared                   
  for polling places.  Currently, the official list used at                    
  each polling place contains only the active registered                       
  voters. Under HB 211 the official list will contain inactive                 
  and registered voters.  He asserted that an official list of                 
  inactive but registered voters will allow people who have                    
  not voted within the past two years to vote a regular ballot                 
  instead of a questioned ballot.  He maintained that this                     
  will eliminate approximately 1500-2000 questioned ballots                    
  statewide, possibly more depending upon who decides to vote.                 
                                                                               
  Representative Bunde stressed that the official list will be                 
  made available to the public so any member of any district                   
  or political party will be able to obtain lists of both                      
  active and inactive registered voters.  He emphasized that                   
  section 2 will give candidates and political parties the                     
  opportunity to contact inactive registered voters prior to                   
  an election.  He asserted that more voters will reactivate                   
  themselves by voting.                                                        
                                                                               
  Representative Bunde noted that in the 1994 election seven                   
  dead people may have voted.  He stated that section 3                        
  directs the Division of Elections to purge the official                      
  voter registration list for deceased persons on a monthly                    
  basis.                                                                       
                                                                               
  Representative Bunde stressed that there is a gap of time                    
  between sentencing and the conviction of a felon.  If the                    
  Division of Elections has not obtained the necessary                         
  information from the Department of Corrections regarding                     
  felony convictions the names are not purged from the                         
  official voter list.  He observed that a convicted felon                     
  could vote before his/her name is purged.  Section 4 directs                 
  the Division of Elections to promptly cancel the                             
  registration of a person convicted of a felony.  After                       
  discharge from prison, a person can present proof of a                       
  unconditional discharge from custody and become a registered                 
  voter again.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative Bunde noted that during the last election                     
  there were 14,144 question ballots statewide, of these 5,131                 
  were counted, 7,883 were partially rejected, and 1,129 were                  
                                                                               
                               10                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  totally rejected.  He emphasized that those rejected were                    
  not notified of their status until after the election was                    
  certified.                                                                   
                                                                               
  In response to a question by Representative Mulder,                          
  Representative Bunde explained that one list will allow                      
  individuals to be listed as an active or inactively active                   
  voter.  He stressed that current law provides that an                        
  actively registered individual could be purged from the list                 
  if they have not voted in the last two years.                                
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder questioned the effort required to                      
  implement the changes during a presidential election year.                   
  Representative Bunde estimated that the process would be                     
  speeded by the elimination of questioned ballots.  Voters on                 
  the inactive active list would be allowed to vote without                    
  voting a questioned ballot.                                                  
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder asked at what point a convicted felon                  
  is allowed to resume their right to vote.                                    
                                                                               
  PATTI SWENSON, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE explained that                    
  felons resume voting privileges after they have been                         
  unconditionally released from parole.                                        
                                                                               
  Representative Bunde noted that section 1 of CSHB 211 (STA)                  
  was passed into law with the adoption of SB 5.  He stated                    
  that section 1 needs to be removed.                                          
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder MOVED to adopt Work Draft #9-LS0616\M                  
  amended to delete section 1 (copy on file).  There being NO                  
  OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                
                                                                               
  ROBERT MONZNIK, MONTZNIK COMPUTER SERVICES, ANCHORAGE                        
  testified via the teleconference network.  He spoke in                       
  support of the legislation.  He recounted problems                           
  encountered during the last election.  He maintained that                    
  election supervisors should not be members of Data                           
  Processing Review Boards.  He emphasized that the Board's                    
  function is to audit ballots in order to assure that they                    
  are properly counted.  He noted that voters continue to vote                 
  outside of the district of their residence.                                  
                                                                               
  DANA LATOUR, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF ELECTIONS, OFFICE OF THE                  
  LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR expressed concerns by the Division                       
  regarding HB 211.  She noted that prior to passage of the                    
  National Voters Registration Act (NVRA) if a voter did not                   
  vote or make contact with the Division the voter would be                    
  sent a letter informing them that they have 90 days to                       
  respond.  Those that failed to respond became inactive.                      
  Those that responded would remain active for another two                     
  years.  She observed that under the NVRA the Division must                   
                                                                               
                               11                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  wait four years until an inactive status change can occur.                   
  She noted that HB 349 and SB 182 would bring the Division                    
  into compliance with NVRA.  She asserted that the majority                   
  of voters contacted do not respond because their address is                  
  not current.  She asserted that most questioned ballots are                  
  voted for convenience.  She maintained that dual lists will                  
  not resolve problems with voters that have moved or are                      
  going to the nearest voting place for convenience.  She                      
  added that convicted felons are kept on the inactive list                    
  for 2 years.                                                                 
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 96-27, Side 1)                                             
                                                                               
  Ms. LaTour stressed that the use of a questioned ballot                      
  allows the Division to update voter information and reduces                  
  the inactive list.                                                           
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Hanley asked if it would place an additional burden                 
  to have more names on one list.  He observed that some                       
  voters that would vote a questioned ballot under current law                 
  would not under the legislation.  He asked if extra work                     
  created by the legislation would be balanced by the number                   
  of people that would not vote questioned ballots.  Ms.                       
  LaTour noted that there are approximately 60,000 voters on                   
  the inactive list.  There are over 2,000 inactive voters in                  
  one Fairbanks district.  She added that if an inactive voter                 
  votes a ballot that they should not have voted then the                      
  ballot would be commingled with normal precinct registers.                   
                                                                               
  She asserted that questioned ballots give one more                           
  opportunity to make sure that people are casting ballots in                  
  an appropriate manner and that they have the right to vote                   
  in that precinct.  She stressed that election supervisors                    
  are concerned about training the DPR Boards which are only                   
  used two times every two years.                                              
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Hanley suggested that voters that see their names                   
  on an inactive list would be as likely to update their                       
  voter's registration information as those voting a                           
  questioned ballot.                                                           
                                                                               
  Ms. LaTour noted that the Division has the capability to                     
  make the inactive list available to the public.  She noted                   
  that these lists could be used to update voter information                   
  during campaigns.                                                            
                                                                               
  Ms. LaTour referred to section 3.  She requested that                        
  "computer tape" be deleted and "electronic format" be added.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Ms. LaTour referred to sections 9 and 10.  She observed that                 
  sections 9 and 10 provide that voters be notified that their                 
                                                                               
                               12                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  ballot was rejected or that only a portion of their ballot                   
  counted.  She noted that the legislation would require the                   
  Division to provide a summary of the reason for rejection                    
  and a copy of the statement for approximately 7,000 rejected                 
  ballots.  She stressed that the Division does not have a                     
  problem with the requirement to provide voters with a                        
  summary of the reason for rejection.  She stated that the                    
  Division is concerned with the requirement to provide "a                     
  copy of the statement of the challenge to the absentee                       
  ballot."  She observed that the Division's computer program                  
  can send a summary of the reason that the challenge to the                   
  absentee ballot was upheld and the ballot rejected.  She                     
  stressed that sending a copy of the statement would require                  
  staff to find and xerox the actual envelops that would then                  
  be attached to the letter.  She did not feel that the                        
  Division could comply with both requirements within 10 days                  
  after completion of the review of ballots by the state                       
  review board for a primary election.  She added that the                     
  Division could provide the summary of the reason for                         
  rejection within the time frame.                                             
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Hanley summarized that the Division could meet the                  
  requirement to send a summary of the reason within 10 days,                  
  but sending the actual statement would be problematic.  Ms.                  
  Latour agreed with his assessment.                                           
                                                                               
  In response to a question by Representative Therriault,                      
  Representative Bunde stated that the summary should be                       
  adequate.  He encouraged the Committee to retain the 10 day                  
  requirement.  Mr. Montznik agreed that a summary would be                    
  adequate.                                                                    
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder MOVED to delete "a copy of the                         
  statement of the challenge to the questioned ballot; and" in                 
  sections 7, 9 and 10, page 3, line 11, and 24 and 25, and                    
  page 4, line 15.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so                        
  ordered.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder MOVED to delete "a computer tape" and                  
  insert "an electronic format" on page 2, line 11.                            
  Representative Parnell noted that the intent is to make the                  
  format more user friendly for consumers.  Ms. LaTour agreed                  
  that the intent is to allow the easy transfer of                             
  information.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Hanley noted that the Division retains concerns                     
  regarding section 2.  Representative Bunde argued in support                 
  of section 2.  He pointed out that if a person has not voted                 
  in two years and still lives in the district they have to                    
  vote a questioned ballot under the current system.  He                       
  argued that a questioned ballot does not necessarily lead to                 
  an update in registration information.                                       
                                                                               
                               13                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder suggested that section 2 may encourage                 
  more persons to voter.                                                       
                                                                               
  Ms. LaTour clarified that voters will remain on the active                   
  voter's registration list for four years under NVRA.                         
                                                                               
  Representative Parnell asked if the amendments adopted by                    
  the House Finance Committee would reduce the Department's                    
  fiscal note.  Ms. LaTour noted that staff time would be                      
  reduced by $1.5 thousand dollars.                                            
                                                                               
  In response to a question by Representative Mulder, Ms.                      
  LaTour noted that voters will remain on the active list                      
  until the issue is resolved.  Representative Mulder noted                    
  that Alaska has a very mobil population.  Ms. LaTour                         
  restated that a questioned ballot updates a voter's                          
  registration and moves them off of the inactive list.                        
  Representative Therriault stressed that most persons are on                  
  the inactive list due to inactivity.  Representative Bunde                   
  asserted that inactive active voters will be removed from                    
  the inactive list when they vote.                                            
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Hanley summarized that a state inactive list could                  
  be maintained as long as voters are not purged.  To meet                     
  federal law the state would maintain a four year active list                 
  and a two year inactive list.  Ms. LaTour clarified that the                 
  State can maintain the same inactive list to meet federal                    
  law.                                                                         
                                                                               
  Representative Parnell MOVED to report CSHB 211 (FIN) out of                 
  Committee with individual recommendations and with the                       
  accompanying fiscal note.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was                  
  so ordered.                                                                  
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting adjourned at 3:41 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
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