Legislature(1999 - 2000)

04/28/1999 01:50 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                                         
April 28, 1999                                                                                                                  
1:50 P.M.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
TAPE HFC 99 - 112, Side 1.                                                                                                      
TAPE HFC 99 - 112, Side 2.                                                                                                      
TAPE HFC 99 - 113, Side 1.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault called the House Finance Committee                                                                          
meeting to order at 1:50 P.M.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault   Representative Foster                                                                                     
Co-Chair Mulder    Representative Grussendorf                                                                                   
Vice Chair Bunde   Representative Kohring                                                                                       
Representative Austerman  Representative Moses                                                                                  
Representative J. Davies  Representative Williams                                                                               
Representative G. Davis                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mark Hodgins, Staff, Senator Jerry Ward; Representative                                                                         
Andrew Halcro; Pamela LaBolle, President, Alaska State                                                                          
Chamber of Commerce, Juneau; Don Etheridge, Alaska Laborers                                                                     
Union, Juneau; Juanita Hensley, Department of                                                                                   
Administration; Darwin Peterson, Staff, Senator John                                                                            
Torgerson; George Utermohle, (Testified via Teleconference),                                                                    
Attorney, Legislative Legal and Research Services; Mike                                                                         
Tibbles, Staff, Representative Gene Therriault.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HB 141 An Act providing for preferential voting in state                                                                        
and local elections.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
 HB 141 was not heard and was rescheduled for a                                                                                 
later date.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 33(FIN) An Act relating to contracts for the                                                                               
performance of certain state functions previously                                                                               
performed by state employees and to the Commission                                                                              
on Privatization and Delivery of Government                                                                                     
Services; and providing for an effective date.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
 HCS CS SB 33 (FIN) was reported out of Committee                                                                               
with "no recommendation" and with a fiscal note by                                                                              
the Legislative Affairs Agency and the Office of                                                                                
the Governor dated 2/1/99.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 101(FIN) An Act relating to disasters and to the                                                                           
          Disaster relief fund.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HCS CS SB 101 (FIN) was reported out of Committee                                                                               
with a "do pass" recommendation and with a zero                                                                                 
fiscal notes by the Department of Environmental                                                                                 
Conservation dated 4/7/99 and Department of                                                                                     
Military and Veterans Affairs dated 4/7/99.                                                                                     
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 33(FIN)                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
An Act relating to contracts for the performance of                                                                             
certain state functions previously performed by state                                                                           
employees and to the Commission on Privatization and                                                                            
Delivery of Government Services; and providing for an                                                                           
effective date.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MARK HODGINS, STAFF, SENATOR JERRY WARD, stated SB 33 is an                                                                     
act relating to contracts of performance of certain state                                                                       
functions.  He noted that "privatization" would help to                                                                         
address the budget deficit and would provide a good plan to                                                                     
cut the cost of government while at the same time continuing                                                                    
to deliver services.  Mr. Hodgins stated that privatization                                                                     
would allow State government "get out" and then allow                                                                           
private enterprise to pick up.  Government should not be                                                                        
based on a for profit concept.  There are certain areas of                                                                      
government such as education, protection, health and safety                                                                     
issues, and the transportation of infrastructure for the                                                                        
citizens as indicated in the State Constitution.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Hodgins commented that SB 33 recommends forming a                                                                           
commission to address various aspects of delivery for                                                                           
services by State government and how those services could be                                                                    
redistributed.  He listed examples of privatization                                                                             
possibilities:                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
* The sale of government assets, publicly owned                                                                                 
facilities or enterprises;                                                                                                      
 * Private development infrastructure; and                                                                                      
 * Contracting out.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Hodgins spoke to some current trends toward                                                                                 
privatization in reshaping government.  He emphasized that                                                                      
savings are the most important factor.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
* Contracting out some health and social service                                                                                
programs; and                                                                                                                   
 * Situations within the Department of Corrections.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Hodgins continued, the most likely candidates for                                                                           
privatization are those services readily available in the                                                                       
private sector, such as towing, tree trimming, street                                                                           
repairs, and data processing.  There are four key areas                                                                         
which offer immediate opportunity for privatization:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
* Highway infrastructure of private construction and                                                                            
maintenance;                                                                                                                    
* Corrections facilities by awarding private                                                                                    
operating contracts for existing prisons or by                                                                                  
private construction of new prisons;                                                                                            
* Fleet and highway maintenance.  There is a history                                                                            
of contracting out services for road and bridge                                                                                 
maintenance; and he added that                                                                                                  
* Significant cost savings could be achieved if                                                                                 
State legislation required local governments to                                                                                 
open selected services to competitive bidding.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Hodgins commented that the State and federal government                                                                     
should not compete with the private sector.  He stressed                                                                        
that contracting out through the competitive bidding process                                                                    
should be pushed more aggressively.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Hodgins addressed the newly proposed commission.  He                                                                        
pointed out that Senator Ward's would like to see that                                                                          
members of the commission are compensated only for travel                                                                       
and per diem costs.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bunde asked if there was anything in State                                                                       
law that would prevent the Legislature from privatizing                                                                         
activities.  Mr. Hodgins discussed that feasibility studies                                                                     
need to occur prior to privatization.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Austerman commented that SB 33 was "more                                                                         
than" a privatization bill.  He advised that in order to                                                                        
undertake the work proposed in this bill will require much                                                                      
time in order to establish a rational plan.  He emphasized                                                                      
the magnitude of this job, which will take a lot of input                                                                       
and public hearings.  Representative Austerman stressed the                                                                     
importance of the work.  He pointed out that there is                                                                           
nothing in the bill which speaks to appointment dates.                                                                          
Because of the size of the job, the public portion of the                                                                       
commission will need to be compensated more than per diem                                                                       
costs.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Hodgins explained that the interest of the legislation                                                                      
is that the privatization will begin with the accumulation                                                                      
of ideas and thoughts, which would then create direction and                                                                    
effort.  Senator Ward is adamant that he does not want the                                                                      
plan to be enhanced with compensation; the positions will                                                                       
consist of public volunteers.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Austerman questioned what the future intended                                                                    
size of government would be with passage of this                                                                                
legislation.  If the information is not available, the State                                                                    
can not plan for the size that the budget should be each                                                                        
year.  He reemphasized that the proposed job is bigger than                                                                     
suggested by the legislation.  Additionally there is                                                                            
included a sunset clause which would halt the longevity                                                                         
concern.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grussendorf echoed concerns voiced by                                                                            
Representative Austerman.  He speculated that the task laid                                                                     
out for this commission is beyond the scope of being                                                                            
accomplished.  He questioned why one member from the Local                                                                      
Boundary Commission (LBC) had been included.  Mr. Hodgins                                                                       
stated that the bill title indicates that it would be the                                                                       
"delivery of government services".  He acknowledged that                                                                        
could mean a lot of different ideas.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative J. Davies asked a definition of                                                                                  
"privatization" and if it meant delivery of governmental                                                                        
services through the private sector.  Mr. Hodgins explained                                                                     
that privatization means that some services should only be                                                                      
provided by the State and other services should be totally                                                                      
subsidized by the public sector.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster voiced concerns that often times newly                                                                    
formed commission's take on a life of there own and become                                                                      
the problem rather than the solution.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Austerman pointed out that he supports the                                                                       
concept of the legislation and hoped that the result would                                                                      
be worthwhile.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault referenced Page 4, Lines 14-20,                                                                             
questioning why those lines began with "state".  He argued                                                                      
that some functions should be transferred to local                                                                              
government.  Mr. Hodgins pointed out that those functions                                                                       
have traditionally been provided by the State in delivery of                                                                    
State services.  He added that the commission would not be                                                                      
isolated to municipalities but would include the federal                                                                        
government also. Representative J. Davies recommended                                                                           
inserting "funded" following the word "state".                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PAMELA LABOLLE, PRESIDENT, ALASKA STATE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE                                                                     
(ASCC), JUNEAU, voiced support for SB 33.  She noted that                                                                       
the proposal to create a task force to explore privatization                                                                    
opportunities within State government was before the 20th                                                                       
Legislature twice--in 1997 as SB 68 and in 1998 as SB 209.                                                                      
SB 68 passed the Legislature but was vetoed by the Governor.                                                                    
The concept is a familiar one.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ms. LaBolle commented that privatization has been a priority                                                                    
of the ASCC membership for several years.  The ASCC believe                                                                     
that the potential exists for many functions and services                                                                       
now provided by state government to be delivered by the                                                                         
private sector at a lower cost, with greater efficiency and                                                                     
with more opportunity for innovation.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms. LaBolle commented that the reason most often given by                                                                       
the State for continuing to do the work in-house is that                                                                        
private firms are not geared up to handle the work when it                                                                      
needs to be done.  She pointed out that the Chamber sent a                                                                      
letter to Alaskan engineering firms throughout the State, to                                                                    
determine the readiness of these firms to provide service                                                                       
needs.  About 35% of those contacted responded indicating                                                                       
that there are a lot of firms ready, willing and able to                                                                        
undertake the work.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
(Tape Change HFC 99 - 102, Side 2).                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms. LaBolle urged Committee members to support SB 33 in                                                                         
creating a commission on privatization and alternative ways                                                                     
for delivering government services.  The Chamber membership                                                                     
believes that the work of such a commission would be the key                                                                    
to finding ways to reduce costs.  She summarized that it is                                                                     
very important that a study is pursued by this Legislature.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bunde questioned if the proposed commissioner                                                                    
would be a duplicated service within the Legislative                                                                            
Committee.  Ms. LaBolle reiterated that the Chamber knows                                                                       
that the State needs to reduce the size of government and                                                                       
that this bill would be of great benefit.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bunde doubted that anyone from the public                                                                        
sector would be willing to donate 12 weeks of their time in                                                                     
order to be a part of the commission unless they had a                                                                          
serious personal interest and hoping to get a contract out                                                                      
of it.  Ms. LaBolle disagreed, stating that it was the                                                                          
"civic minded community" statewide that would want to be                                                                        
participating in the proposed commission.  She cited that                                                                       
situation had occurred during Governor Hammond years and                                                                        
some corporations donated employees.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kohring voiced his support of the                                                                                
legislation, as it would redefine state government.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Moses suggested that it is better to hire                                                                        
experts when making important decisions.  He did not believe                                                                    
that the proposed task force could address the concern                                                                          
better than the State economic task force.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster noted that he agreed with the concept,                                                                    
however, pointed out that the composition of the commission                                                                     
would again be represented by urban concerns and foresaw                                                                        
problems with the legislation for the Bush Alaska.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DON ETHERIDGE, DISTRICT COUNCIL, ALASKA LABORERS UNION,                                                                         
JUNEAU, noted that the Labor Union does not oppose the bill                                                                     
with the compromise reached in the State Affairs Committee,                                                                     
however, the Labor Union does not like the bill.  He noted                                                                      
that taking jobs away from State employees versus saving                                                                        
money for the State are two very different perspectives of                                                                      
the legislation.  In order to do a fair job, each job would                                                                     
need to be addressed individually to determine if the State                                                                     
or private industry could do it cheaper.  He strongly                                                                           
recommended that the legislation produce a fair study.  Mr.                                                                     
Etheridge emphasized that the Labor Union would support the                                                                     
legislation as long as they continued to have a seat on that                                                                    
commission.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault voiced concern with Sections 2 & 3.  He                                                                     
understood that the Labor Union currently addresses such                                                                        
concerns through the Administration.  Mr. Etheridge noted                                                                       
that information contained in Section #2, mirrors the                                                                           
current contract with the Administration.  Co-Chair                                                                             
Therriault stated that he would be more comfortable if that                                                                     
language were struck out, as he understood the language on                                                                      
the Senate side mandated that type of matter could not be                                                                       
negotiated.  Mr. Etheridge replied that the Labor Union                                                                         
supports the language in Section #2 because it mirrors the                                                                      
contract language and specifies the procedures needed to                                                                        
privatize.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JUANITA HENSLEY, DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION, stated that                                                                      
the Administration does not oppose SB 33, as it provides for                                                                    
a commission to study how government function could be run                                                                      
more efficiently under the private sector.  She continued,                                                                      
the Administration would like to see a change to the                                                                            
membership of the commission leaving the Governor's                                                                             
appointment and at the same time, designating a seat                                                                            
representing Labor.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bunde questioned if that language needed to                                                                      
be included in statute or if a resolution could accomplish                                                                      
the same intent.  Ms. Hensley agreed that a resolution could                                                                    
accomplish the same intent and that current contracts with                                                                      
labor agreements do not forbid "contracting out" language.                                                                      
However, the Administration feels strongly that certain                                                                         
steps have to be undertaken which would include a cost                                                                          
effective feasibility study.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault MOVED to adopt Amendment #1 which would                                                                     
delete Sections #2 & #3.  Representative J. Davies OBJECTED.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault advised that the Committee should not be                                                                    
taking negotiated contractual language and putting it into                                                                      
State statute.  He recommended that the commission be given                                                                     
that responsibility.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative J. Davies pointed out that the bill before                                                                       
the Committee was a compromise with the Labor Union.  Co-                                                                       
Chair Therriault stated that price of compromise was "too                                                                       
high".  Mr. Hodgins advised that removing Sections #2 & #3                                                                      
would bring the bill back to the original version and that                                                                      
the sponsor would prefer it without the language.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Etheridge explained that Section #2 language was                                                                            
included in all State contracts.  He emphasized that the                                                                        
Union would prefer to keep Section #2 in the bill.  It would                                                                    
clarify exactly what was intended in privatizing.  For the                                                                      
commission to be able to determine whether there was a                                                                          
savings, such information would need to be included.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kohring cautioned that Section 2 of the bill                                                                     
is not relevant to the legislation.  Co-Chair Therriault                                                                        
added that the language would give power to the Unions which                                                                    
they currently have to negotiate.  He emphasized that the                                                                       
Legislature would be mandating this by statute if the                                                                           
language remained in the bill.  He believed that it could                                                                       
invalidate the proposed fiscal note.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative G. Davis voiced support for inclusion of the                                                                     
language as it would encourage support of the Labor Union.                                                                      
Mr. Hodgins noted that an amendment had been included in the                                                                    
Senate Finance Committee (SFC) which placed a moratorium on                                                                     
any further negotiations for the feasibility study.  That                                                                       
had been deleted in the House State Affairs Committee and                                                                       
that the language of Sections #2 and #3 had been added in                                                                       
that Committee.  He understood that the Union would still                                                                       
support the bill without that language.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bunde inquired if there had been a sunset                                                                        
clause proposed.  Mr. Hodgins acknowledged that there is a                                                                      
sunset clause which would delete Sections #1, #4, & #7, but                                                                     
not Sections #2 & #3.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Austerman OBJECTED.  He asked why it would                                                                       
remain after the task force.  Co-Chair Therriault explained                                                                     
that organized labor wanted to retain Section #2 in statute,                                                                    
which he believed would be worth a lot. Representative                                                                          
Williams recommended amending Section #8, adding Sections #2                                                                    
& #3, in order that the legislation would have the Union's                                                                      
support.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative G. Davis indicated that it would be                                                                              
beneficial to have that section included during the duration                                                                    
of the task force.  Co-Chair Therriault pointed out that                                                                        
language is already included in contract and reiterated that                                                                    
it would be dangerous to place it in statute.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kohring asked if the amendment were passed,                                                                      
would the Union continue to support the legislation.  Mr.                                                                       
Etheridge replied that the Union would support the bill as                                                                      
it came out of the House State Affairs Committee.  He                                                                           
indicated that he would need to take any change back to the                                                                     
full Union to determine continued support.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Austerman MOVED to AMEND Amendment #1,                                                                           
striking the original language of the amendment and                                                                             
inserting a change in Section #8, clarifying that this act                                                                      
would be repealed on January 1, 2000.  Co-Chair Therriault                                                                      
OBJECTED.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR:  Williams, Austerman                                                                                                  
OPPOSED: G. Davis, Foster, Kohring, Moses, Bunde,                                                                               
Therriault                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representatives Grussendorf, J. Davies, and Mulder were not                                                                     
present for the vote.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION FAILED (2-6).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Williams OBJECTED to the adoption of the                                                                         
original amendment.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Foster, Kohring, Moses, Austerman, Bunde,                                                                             
Therriault                                                                                                                      
OPPOSED:  Williams, G. Davis                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representatives Grussendorf, J. Davies and Mulder were not                                                                      
present for the vote.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION PASSED (6-2).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
(Tape Change HFC 99 - 113, Side 1).                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault MOVED to adopt Amendment #2, Page 4,                                                                        
Lines 14 - 20.  In each of the enumerated sentences, after                                                                      
the word "state" insert the word "funded".  There being NO                                                                      
OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kohring MOVED to report HCS CS SB 33 (FIN)                                                                       
out of Committee with individual recommendations and with                                                                       
the accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster stated that he did support                                                                                
privatization, however, the bill includes some harmful                                                                          
language.  He cited language on Page 4, Line 6, "identify                                                                       
state government functions that should be eliminated".  He                                                                      
emphasized that language would place Bush Alaska in jeopardy                                                                    
with no guarantee what the make-up of the commission would                                                                      
consist of.  He agreed with the intent of the legislation                                                                       
however, could not support it because it would be harmful to                                                                    
his district.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bunde added that he would be more comfortable                                                                    
with the bill if it were a resolution rather than a proposed                                                                    
statute change.  No one wants cuts to their budget                                                                              
districts.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Austerman noted that he shared concerns                                                                          
voiced by Representative Foster and agreed that the                                                                             
legislation should be a resolution rather than placed into                                                                      
statute.  He indicated that he also would be a no vote.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Williams recognized Representative Foster                                                                        
concerns.  He asked if there was a way to add a rural                                                                           
community person to the commission.  Representative Foster                                                                      
pointed out that with only one rural representative on the                                                                      
commission, Bush Alaska would still be outnumbered by 11 to                                                                     
1.                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
The meeting RECESSED at 3:45 P.M. to the call of the Chair.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The House Finance Committee meeting RECONVENED at 4:45 P.M.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kohring WITHDREW the MOTION to MOVE the bill                                                                     
from Committee.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was withdrawn.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster MOVED to adopt Amendment #3.  [Copy on                                                                    
File].  There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kohring MOVED to report HCS CS SB 33 (FIN)                                                                       
out of Committee with individual recommendations and the                                                                        
accompanying fiscal notes.  Representative Austerman                                                                            
OBJECTED.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Kohring, Williams, Bunde, G. Davis, Foster,                                                                           
Therriault, Mulder                                                                                                              
OPPOSED:  Grussendorf, Austerman                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representatives Moses and J. Davies were not present for the                                                                    
vote.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION PASSED (7-2).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HCS CS SB 33 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with "no                                                                       
recommendation" and with fiscal notes by the Legislative                                                                        
Affairs Agency and the Office of the Governor dated 2/1/99.                                                                     
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 101(FIN) am                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to disasters and to the disaster                                                                               
relief fund."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Mulder MOVED to adopt work draft 1-LS0625\Y,                                                                           
Utermohle, 4/27/99, as the version before the Committee.                                                                        
There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault MOVED to adopt Amendment #1.  [Copy on                                                                      
File].  He explained that the amendment would insert                                                                            
language "an incident such as" on Page 4, Line 10.  He                                                                          
believed that the language would add back more flexibility                                                                      
and would provide direction to the Administration.  There                                                                       
was NO OBJECTION to adoption of Amendment #1.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grussendorf voiced concern with the language                                                                     
change made on Page 1, Line 13, having replaced "a                                                                              
concurrent resolution" with "law". Representative                                                                               
Grussendorf advised that from a procedural point, in order                                                                      
to be responsive to an emergency, the language should be                                                                        
changed back.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DARWIN PETERSON, STAFF, SENATOR JOHN TORGERSON, explained                                                                       
that the service would continue to need to be addressed by                                                                      
law.  Mr. Peterson pointed out that George Utermohle                                                                            
indicated that was an oversight in statute, and that a                                                                          
concurrent resolution would be the vehicle which could stop                                                                     
the Governor's disaster declaration done by law not by                                                                          
concurrent resolution.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative J. Davies argued that presiding officers                                                                         
could not do anything by law or by concurrent resolution.                                                                       
Such action would be dependent upon the vote of the entire                                                                      
body.  Mr. Peterson explained that Mr. Utermohle had amended                                                                    
the legislation to read "law".                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
GEORGE UTERMOHLE, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), ATTORNEY,                                                                     
LEGISLATIVE LEGAL AND RESEARCH SERVICES, explained that he                                                                      
recommended the change because under the provision, a                                                                           
disaster declaration is good for a period of thirty days.                                                                       
In order to extend that period, there must be an extension                                                                      
of the power to address the disaster, which is a power given                                                                    
by law.  To extend that power provided in statute, would                                                                        
take an act of the Legislature.  He advised that extending                                                                      
through a concurrent resolution would not be appropriate.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault questioned if authority had been granted                                                                    
for a disaster declaration in the front section of the                                                                          
budget and would that take new law to continue.  Mr.                                                                            
Utermohle replied that it would as it is provided by the                                                                        
provision.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grussendorf pointed out that in the original                                                                     
legislation, a concurrent resolution was proposed.  He                                                                          
challenged the timing in changing that to a "law".  Mr.                                                                         
Utermohle responded that he did not question the purpose                                                                        
behind the resolution, however, noted that he was trying to                                                                     
provide for the recommendation so that the action taken by                                                                      
the Legislature will have effect and be upheld given a court                                                                    
challenge.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative J. Davies advised that law currently is                                                                          
provided for such a mechanism.  He asked how this would be                                                                      
different then LBA acting through a revised program.  Mr.                                                                       
Utermohle replied that an appropriation does not have the                                                                       
affect of changing the law.  The appropriation may authorize                                                                    
the Governor's response to extend it to the disaster                                                                            
declaration but the Governor's power to act would be                                                                            
restrained by the language in the statute.  An appropriation                                                                    
would not change that.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative J. Davies replied that it would not                                                                              
absolutely be constrained to 30 days, however, it would be                                                                      
unless the Legislature takes that action.  Mr. Utermohle                                                                        
replied that the language stipulates that a disaster may not                                                                    
be placed into effect after 30 days, unless extended by the                                                                     
Legislature.  Representative J. Davies pointed out that the                                                                     
current statute states that "unless extended by the                                                                             
Legislature" by a concurrent resolution.  It is provided for                                                                    
a 30-day extension by that mechanism.  Mr. Utermohle argued                                                                     
that logic had been used to justify the use of the                                                                              
concurrent resolution to absolve regulations.  The                                                                              
Legislature has the power to grant agencies to adopt                                                                            
regulations and has the power to determine the means by                                                                         
which those regulations could be repealed or resolved.  The                                                                     
Court determined that the Legislature could not give                                                                            
themselves that power.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grussendorf advised that this is the                                                                             
separation of powers issue, however, the discussion is not a                                                                    
separation of powers concern.  In response to Representative                                                                    
J. Davies, Mr. Utermohle testified that he was not sure how                                                                     
the appropriation would fit into this.  Representative                                                                          
Grussendorf pointed out that the Governor should have the                                                                       
appropriation power.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault summarized that Mr. Utermohle foresaw a                                                                     
problem with proposed language and has advised the                                                                              
Legislature that a change could address this concern.  Mr.                                                                      
Utermohle agreed.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grussendorf MOVED to amend the language in                                                                       
the committee substitute deleting "law" and inserting "a                                                                        
concurrent resolution" as Amendment #2.  There being NO                                                                         
OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault requested Mr. Utermohle to write a memo                                                                     
outlining his concerns. Representative J. Davies asked him                                                                      
to include information regarding how the action would be                                                                        
different from authority given to the Legislative Budget and                                                                    
Audit Committee.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MIKE TIBBLES, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE GENE THERRIAULT,                                                                            
provided an in-depth overview of the proposed committee                                                                         
substitute, l-LS0625\Y, Utermohle, 4/27/99.  He advised that                                                                    
there was no fire limit placed in the House Finance                                                                             
committee substitute.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative J. Davies questioned how different the                                                                           
proposed legislation was from existing statute.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Peterson replied that it is not that different from                                                                         
existing statutes.  Mr. Tibbles noted that Subsection (I)                                                                       
was identical to the previous version.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative J. Davies MOVED to adopt Amendment #3 to Page                                                                    
2, Line 13, inserting "per disaster declaration" after                                                                          
"$1,000,000".  There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bunde MOVED to report HCS CS SB 101 (FIN) out                                                                    
of Committee with individual recommendations and with the                                                                       
accompanying fiscal notes.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                    
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HCS CS SB 101 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with a "do                                                                    
pass" recommendation and with two zero fiscal notes by the                                                                      
Department of Environmental Conservation dated 4/7/99 and                                                                       
Department of Military and Veterans Affairs dated 4/7/99.                                                                       
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The meeting adjourned at 5:50 P.M.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
H.F.C. 13 4/28/99 pm                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects