Legislature(1997 - 1998)

03/04/1998 01:50 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
           HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                             
              March 4, 1998                                                    
                 1:50 P.M.                                                     
                                                                               
TAPE HFC 98 - 52, Side 1                                                       
TAPE HFC 98 - 52, Side 2                                                       
TAPE HFC 98 - 53, Side 1                                                       
                                                                               
CALL TO ORDER                                                                  
                                                                               
Co-Chair Mark Hanley called the House Finance Committee                        
meeting to order at 1:50 p.m.                                                  
                                                                               
PRESENT                                                                        
                                                                               
Co-Chair Hanley    Representative Kelly                                        
Co-Chair Therriault   Representative Kohring                                   
Representative Davies  Representative Martin                                   
Representative Davis   Representative Mulder                                   
Representative Foster                                                          
Representative Grussendorf                                                     
                                                                               
Representative Moses was absent from the meeting.                              
                                                                               
ALSO PRESENT                                                                   
                                                                               
Annalee McConnell, Director, Office of Management and                          
Budget, Office of the Governor; Dan Spencer, Chief Budget                      
Analyst, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the                        
Governor; Nancy Slagle, Director, Division of Administrative                   
Services, Department of Transportation; James Baldwin,                         
Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law; Mike Tibbles,                   
Staff, Representative Therriault; Jeff Logan, Staff,                           
Representative Green; Jim Sourant, Staff, Representative                       
Porter.                                                                        
                                                                               
The following testified via teleconference: Fred Smith,                        
Association of Village Council Presidents, Bethel; Debra                       
Tennyson, Department of Community and Regional Affairs,                        
Anchorage; Chris Hladick, City Manager, Dillingham.                            
                                                                               
SUMMARY                                                                        
                                                                               
HJR 36 Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the                         
State of Alaska relating to redistricting of the                               
legislature, and repealing as obsolete language in                             
the article setting out the apportionment schedule                             
used to elect the members of the first state                                   
legislature.                                                                   
                                                                               
HJR 36 was HELD in Committee for further                                       
consideration.                                                                 
                                                                               
HJR 44 Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the                         
State of Alaska relating to redistricting of the                               
legislature.                                                                   
                                                                               
HJR 44 was HELD in Committee for further                                       
consideration.                                                                 
                                                                               
HB 370 "An Act making an appropriation for relief of the                       
1997 fishery disaster in Bristol Bay and on the                                
Kuskokwim River; and providing for an effective                                
date."                                                                         
                                                                               
HB 370 was HELD in Committee for further                                       
consideration.                                                                 
                                                                               
HB 461 "An Act making supplemental and special                                 
appropriations; and providing for an effective                                 
date."                                                                         
                                                                               
 HB 461 was HELD in Committee for further                                      
consideration.                                                                 
HOUSE BILL NO. 370                                                             
                                                                               
"An Act making an appropriation for relief of the 1997                         
fishery disaster in Bristol Bay and on the Kuskokwim                           
River; and providing for an effective date."                                   
                                                                               
Co-Chair Hanley provided members with a proposed committee                     
substitute for HB 370, Work Draft 0-LS139\F, dated 3/4/98                      
(copy on file).  He clarified that the proposed committee                      
substitute identifies the same regions and funding amounts                     
as contained in the original version.  He added that the                       
breakout of loans and community block grants are the same.                     
                                                                               
FRED SMITH, ASSOCIATION OF VILLAGE COUNCIL PRESIDENTS,                         
BETHEL testified via teleconference in support of HB 370.                      
He noted that the legislation includes areas that were not                     
in the Governor's original declaration area and provides a                     
full state obligation for the federal funds.  He spoke                         
against changes to the legislation that would delay its                        
passage.                                                                       
                                                                               
CHRIS HLADICK, CITY MANAGER, DILLINGHAM testified via                          
teleconference in support of HB 370.  He noted that projects                   
would be fisheries related and would focus on getting as                       
many people to work as possible.  He stressed that the money                   
would not go into the general fund to pay for general                          
services.                                                                      
                                                                               
DEBRA TENNYSON, DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL                           
AFFAIRS, ANCHORAGE testified via teleconference.  She gave                     
examples of proposed projects.  Projects would include                         
repairs to existing buildings, dock and harbor projects,                       
road and trail work, landfill maintenance, and boat ramps.                     
She clarified that grants would not be limited to fishermen.                   
She emphasized that most of the communities are small and                      
the majority of the population in these communities is                         
involved in fishing activities.                                                
                                                                               
Co-Chair Hanley expressed frustration with federal                             
guidelines.  He observed that economic relief is indirect.                     
He noted that, although communities will benefit, it is                        
unlikely that future economic disasters will be reduced due                    
to the funding.                                                                
                                                                               
Representative Foster MOVED to ADOPT Work Draft 0-LS139\F,                     
dated 3/4/98.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                    
                                                                               
Co-Chair Hanley reviewed changes made by the committee                         
substitute.  He observed that the total funds are the same.                    
The loan funds were separated from the community grants.  He                   
noted that the Department of Community and Regional Affairs                    
did not have the legal authority to provide loans.  Loans                      
would be appropriated through the Disaster Relief Fund.  The                   
Commercial Fishing and Revolving Loan Fund (CFRL) would be                     
used to match federal funds instead of general funds.  The                     
(CFRL) has a surplus of $3 million dollars.  The money will                    
be repaid.  The only cost would be the loss of interest.                       
                                                                               
DAN SPENCER, CHIEF BUDGET ANALYST, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND                    
BUDGET, OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR stated that the                                 
Administration is still checking on the funding source                         
change.  Co-Chair Hanley observed that the match and the                       
money would be split at the same rate.                                         
                                                                               
HB 370 was HELD in Committee for further consideration.                        
HOUSE BILL NO. 461                                                             
                                                                               
"An Act making supplemental and special appropriations;                        
and providing for an effective date."                                          
                                                                               
Co-Chair Hanley provided members with a proposed committee                     
substitute for HB 461, Work Draft 0-LS1638\E, dated                            
3/4/98(copy on file).                                                          
                                                                               
Representative Martin MOVED to ADOPT Work Draft 0-LS1638\E,                    
dated 3/4/98.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                    
                                                                               
Co-Chair Hanley compared CSHB 461 (FIN) with the original                      
version, HB 461. He noted that the language "appropriations                    
that are time sensitive" was removed at the request of the                     
drafter.  The drafter accidentally removed subsection (a).                     
He observed that Amendment 1 would add subsection (a) back                     
into the committee substitute (copy on file).  He observed                     
that section 1 (b) was deleted because it is contained in HB
370.   Subsection (c) of the old version is now subsection                     
(a).   He noted that the total amount is the same.  There                      
was a funding source change.  Subsection (c) of the                            
committee substitute is similar to subsection (d) of the                       
previous version.  The funding source was changed from                         
general fund program receipts to federal funds.  The federal                   
funding source is the time study match money received by                       
school districts.  This will not count as general fund                         
expenditures because federal funds will be used.  Subsection                   
(d) and (e) of the committee substitute correspond to                          
subsections (e) and (I).  These sections provide funding for                   
the Poker Flats Research range. Total funding for the Poker                    
Flats project is $20 million dollars.  Subsection (f) in the                   
committee substitute is the same.  Subsection (g) is the                       
same dollar amount.  Subsistence harvest research projects                     
was changed to subsistence data collection.  Subsection (h)                    
was previously subsection (j).  Subsection (i) was                             
previously subsection (k).                                                     
Representative Martin MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 1, to add                       
subsection (a).  Subsection (a) would add $1,786,400                           
thousand dollars in Alaska Housing Finance Corporation                         
corporate receipts for operation of the Bank of America                        
building.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                        
                                                                               
Mr. Spencer discussed Amendment 2.  Amendment 2 would add                      
$1,303,600 thousand dollars to the Department of Revenue for                   
Child Support Enforcement Division grants (copy on file).                      
He observed that state and federal funding would cover three                   
federal fiscal years, which is the life of the grants.  He                     
suggested that the appropriation be made as a capital                          
expense so that the funding does not lapse at the end of the                   
fiscal year.                                                                   
                                                                               
Representative Davies MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 2 with a                        
conceptual amendment to include the appropriation in the                       
back section as a capital project.  There being NO                             
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                  
                                                                               
Co-Chair Hanley noted that he anticipated an additional                        
amendment from the Department of Corrections.                                  
                                                                               
Representative Davies referred to subsection (f), Glennallen                   
to Tok highway funding.  Co-Chair Hanley noted that the                        
Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) was                        
amended to include the project.  The Department has                            
sufficient funding to provide the state match.                                 
                                                                               
ANNALEE MCCONNELL, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND                          
BUDGET, OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR noted that the condition of                     
the road has deteriorated.  She stressed that the urgency of                   
completing this project is greater than any other project                      
that is underway.                                                              
                                                                               
NANCY SLAGLE, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES,                   
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION noted that the Department wants                   
to complete the work this summer.  The bid would have to be                    
released in April.  Poor weather conditions caused the road                    
to deteriorate faster than anticipated.  The Department had                    
projects included in the STIP that went through to the year                    
2004.  These were removed from the STIP and combined into                      
one project.  Approval has been received from the federal                      
Highways Department.  No other projects will be delayed                        
because of the project.  The Department is unsure of the                       
level of federal funding it will receive in FY 99.                             
                                                                               
Representative Grussendorf noted that the original                             
supplemental request included $464 thousand dollars in test                    
fisheries receipts for a project relating to herring roe on                    
kelp.  He stressed the need for quick action on this                           
appropriation.                                                                 
                                                                               
Ms. McConnell stressed that many of the supplemental                           
projects are time sensitive.  She spoke in support of the                      
appropriation.                                                                 
                                                                               
HB 461 was HELD in Committee for further consideration.                        
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 44                                                  
                                                                               
Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the State                          
of Alaska relating to redistricting of the legislature.                        
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault noted that Work Draft, 0-LS538\I was                       
adopted on 3/3/98.                                                             
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 1 (copy on                        
file).  Amendment 1 would add "and as may be provided by                       
law" after "section" on page 3, line 3.  Representative                        
Davies OBJECTED.  Co-Chair Therriault stated that the intent                   
is to clarify that the legislature may add additional                          
clarifications through statute.                                                
                                                                               
JIM SOURANT, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE PORTER observed that                        
Amendment 1 would allow the legislature to provide                             
additional firm guidelines for the chief justice in the                        
process of selecting the five board members.                                   
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault observed that the Court indicated that                     
it would be more comfortable with greater direction by the                     
legislature.  Mr. Sourant agreed.  Co-Chair Therriault noted                   
that clarification might pertain to the length of residency                    
or a prohibition against all members being from one                            
political party.                                                               
                                                                               
Representative Davies stated his objection based on the fact                   
that the other criteria would not be known at the time the                     
question goes on the ballot.  He stressed that specific                        
concerns could be addressed in the resolution.                                 
                                                                               
Representative Mulder spoke in support of the amendment.  He                   
maintained that the intent is to make the process fair and                     
equitable.                                                                     
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault noted that geographical balance would be                   
maintained by requiring one member to be appointed from each                   
judicial district.                                                             
                                                                               
Mr. Sourant emphasized that changes to the Constitution                        
should be minimal.  He stated that additional statutory                        
clarification could not be contrary to the Constitution.                       
                                                                               
Representative Davies asked if the language "subject to the                    
provisions of this section" is necessary.                                      
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault stated that the language clarifies that                    
the Constitution contains some requirements and that                           
additional changes may be placed in law.                                       
                                                                               
Representative Davies asserted that Amendment 1 would open                     
the process to political influences.                                           
                                                                               
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                      
                                                                               
IN FAVOR: Mulder, Davis, Foster, Kelly, Kohring, Therriault                    
OPPOSED: Davies, Grussendorf, Hanley                                           
                                                                               
Representatives Moses and Martin were absent from the vote.                    
                                                                               
The MOTION PASSED (6-3).                                                       
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 2 (copy on                        
file).  He observed that the amendment clarifies when                          
members of the redistricting board are to be appointed.  He                    
observed that the current version would provide that they be                   
appointed between January 1st and 16th of the year following                   
the census.  He emphasized that board members have been                        
appointed before the information is actually available.  He                    
observed that members could use the time to review court                       
cases and establish procedures.  The amendment would provide                   
that board members be appointed by September 1st of the year                   
of the census.                                                                 
                                                                               
There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment 2 was adopted.                             
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 3 (copy on                        
file).  Representative Grussendorf OBJECTED for the purpose                    
of discussion.  Co-Chair Therriault noted that Amendment 3                     
would require members to reside in the judicial district                       
that they are appointed to represent.  He added that members                   
would be appointed based on judicial districts in existence                    
on January 1, 1999.                                                            
                                                                               
In response to a question by Representative Davies, Co-Chair                   
Therriault stated that the provision would retain 5 members                    
on the committee.  Geographical representation would be                        
maintained.                                                                    
                                                                               
(Tape Change, HFC 98 -52, Side 1)                                              
                                                                               
Representative Davies felt that it would make sense for the                    
board to reflect changes in judicial districts.  He spoke in                   
support of one member from each of the judicial district and                   
one member at-large.  Co-Chair Therriault spoke against a                      
mechanism that would expand the board.  Co-Chair Hanley                        
pointed out that an additional judicial district could                         
result in an even number of members on the board.  He                          
observed that the at-large member could come from the new                      
district if another one is created.                                            
                                                                               
Representative Davies WITHDREW his objection.  There being                     
NO OBJECTION, Amendment 3 was adopted.                                         
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 4 (copy on                        
file).  Representative Davies OBJECTED.                                        
                                                                               
MIKE TIBBLES, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT explained                       
that Amendment 4 would change the effective date from the                      
year 2001 to the year 2000.  This change corresponds to the                    
appointment of board members.  Co-Chair Therriault clarified                   
that the new mechanism would be before the board when they                     
are appointed in the year 2000.                                                
                                                                               
Mr. Tibbles noted that the amendment addresses subsection                      
(b).  The amendment would delete the effective date of                         
December 31, 2000.   The section would be effective on the                     
date that the lieutenant governor certifies that a majority                    
of the voters have approved the amendment.  Section 12 is                      
amended to reflect the year 2000 date.                                         
                                                                               
Representative Martin noted that the transitional section is                   
not part of the Constitution.                                                  
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault noted that section 8 on page 4 provides                    
that the current redistribution plan stay in place until the                   
new plan is approved.                                                          
                                                                               
Co-Chair Hanley pointed out that constitutional amendments                     
are enacted under the provisions of the Constitution.  He                      
questioned the need for section 8.                                             
                                                                               
Mr. Baldwin clarified that Article XIII of the Constitution                    
provides that amendments are effective 30 days after the                       
certification of the election returns, unless otherwise                        
provided in the amendment.                                                     
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault asked if it would be possible for the                      
Governor to impanel a redistricting board in 1998 or 1999                      
based on old census information.  Mr. Baldwin did not think                    
that a governor could appoint a board based on the prior                       
census.  He noted that reapportionment boards have been                        
impaneled before the end of a governor's term.  Governor                       
Cowper appointed a board before the end of his term.                           
Governor Hickel discharged the board when he came to office.                   
There must be some dramatic circumstance to do a midterm                       
reapportionment.  Co-Chair Hanley pointed out that under the                   
legislation, the chief justice would appoint the board.  He                    
noted that the board could not recommend a reapportionment                     
plan until they receive the new census data.                                   
                                                                               
In response to a question by Co-Chair Hanley, Mr. Baldwin                      
reiterated his belief that the transitional section provides                   
for a 12-year cycle.  He emphasized that the provision                         
encourages litigation to keep the present plan in place for                    
another legislative term.  He observed that litigation was                     
not resolved on the 1990 reapportionment until 1994.                           
                                                                               
Co-Chair Hanley summarized that if the transitional language                   
were removed the amendment would take effect under normal                      
constitutional provisions.                                                     
                                                                               
Mr. Baldwin stressed his concern that section 8 would result                   
in the retention of the current plan for an additional 2                       
years.                                                                         
                                                                               
Representative Martin pointed out that a governor would need                   
an appropriation to fund a reapportionment board.  He                          
observed that the first United States census for the state                     
of Alaska was done in 1990.  He maintained that the state of                   
Alaska would not receive census information before                             
September.                                                                     
                                                                               
Mr. Sourant explained that the 2001 effective date was                         
arbitrarily picked.  He did not object to changing the                         
effective date.  He agreed that reapportionment can only                       
occur once every 10 years unless there is a compelling                         
reason.  He did not see any reason for a delayed effective                     
date.                                                                          
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault WITHDREW Amendment 4.  He MOVED to ADOPT                   
Amendment 5, to delete section 11 on page 5, lines 15 - 24.                    
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                   
                                                                               
Co-Chair Hanley observed that the Constitution states that                     
the reapportionment and redistricting shall be effective for                   
the members of the legislature until after the official                        
reporting of the next decennial census.  The new criteria                      
would be sixty days after the adoption and final                               
adjudication of the succeeding redistricting plan.                             
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault observed that at the time of the last                      
redistricting, Representative Miller's district had doubled                    
in population while other districts had dropped.  He                           
observed that the Representative would not have wanted to                      
see litigation continue the inequity.                                          
                                                                               
Co-Chair Hanley summarized that the old system would remain                    
until all litigation were resolved.                                            
                                                                               
Representative Davies maintained that the "final plan" on                      
page 3, line 13 refers to the final plan of the                                
redistricting board.  He asserted that the language is                         
confusing and that there needs to be a distinction between                     
the final plan of the redistricting board and the existing                     
official plan.                                                                 
                                                                               
Mr. Sourant emphasized the need for a plan to be in place                      
prior to the election.  Co-Chair Therriault observed that a                    
temporary new plan would at least redistribute population.                     
Discussion ensued regarding the interpretation of section 8.                   
                                                                               
Mr. Sourant clarified that the sponsor's intent is that the                    
old plan remain in place until the new plan has been                           
resolved.                                                                      
                                                                               
Co-Chair Hanley agreed that "final plan" could be                              
interpreted to mean the new redistricting plan.                                
                                                                               
Representative Martin stressed that the inclination is to                      
prolong the process.                                                           
                                                                               
Mr. Sourant stated that the language on page 5, lines 15 -                     
24 would clarify that the "final plan" refers to the plan                      
that is in existence today.                                                    
                                                                               
Representative Mulder and Co-Chair Hanley agreed that the                      
language implies that the new plan would stay in place until                   
it is replaced by the final official plan.  Members                            
concluded that section 8 needed further clarification.                         
                                                                               
Representative Davies spoke in support of retaining the new                    
redistricting plan as a temporary plan until it is replaced                    
by a new adjusted plan.                                                        
                                                                               
Mr. Sourant stressed that language was added to expedite                       
Supreme Court consideration of litigation relating to the                      
redistricting plan.                                                            
                                                                               
HCR 44 was HELD in Committee for further consideration.                        
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 36                                                  
                                                                               
Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the State                          
of Alaska relating to redistricting of the legislature,                        
and repealing as obsolete language in the article                              
setting out the apportionment schedule used to elect                           
the members of the first state legislature.                                    
                                                                               
JEFF LOGAN, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE GREEN provided members                       
with Amendment 1 (copy on file).  He noted that the                            
amendment applies to the effective date and the                                
applicability section.  The amendment would leave the                          
effective date but delete the applicability section.                           
                                                                               
(Tape Change, HFC 98 -53, Side 1)                                              
                                                                               
Mr. Logan explained that the amendment would clarify that                      
the reapportionment plan that is currently in effect is the                    
plan that the sponsor wants to be under until the new plan                     
takes effect.  He maintained that a governor could                             
reapportion the state at times other than immediately after                    
the decennial census.                                                          
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault pointed out that there has not been a                      
problem with a governor trying to redistrict before the                        
census.  Mr. Logan noted that there was a mid session                          
reapportionment in 1964 as the result of a court decision.                     
He asserted that reapportionment could be necessary due to a                   
dramatic rise in population in time of war or during                           
construction of a new pipeline.                                                
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault pointed out that the Governor would                        
select the reapportionment board.                                              
                                                                               
Representative Davies asserted that the State would want to                    
reapportion if there were a dramatic change in population.                     
Mr. Logan stressed that the intent is to clarify that the                      
reapportionment plan that is currently in place would be the                   
plan that would be used.                                                       
                                                                               
Representative Davies MOVED to delete section 10.  There                       
being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                         
                                                                               
Representative Martin expressed concern with the use of                        
"contiguous".  He observed that the US Supreme Court has                       
required that districts be compact as well as contiguous.                      
                                                                               
HJR 36 was HELD in Committee for further consideration.                        
RECESSED                                                                       
                                                                               
The Committee was recessed until 1:30 p.m. on March 5, 1998.                   
                                                                               
                                                                               
Draft HFC 10 3/4/98pm                                                          

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