Legislature(2001 - 2002)

05/06/2001 11:34 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                        May 06, 2001                                                                                            
                          11:34 AM                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE HFC 01 - 117, Side A                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Williams called the House Finance Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 11:34 AM.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Eldon Mulder, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Bill Williams, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Con Bunde, Vice-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Eric Croft                                                                                                       
Representative John Davies                                                                                                      
Representative Carl Moses                                                                                                       
Representative Richard Foster                                                                                                   
Representative John Harris                                                                                                      
Representative Bill Hudson                                                                                                      
Representative Ken Lancaster                                                                                                    
Representative Jim Whitaker                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator Rick Halford, Sponsor; Mike Tibbles, Staff,                                                                             
Representative Williams; Mary Jackson, Staff, Senator                                                                           
Torgerson; Chris Knauss, Staff, Senator Kelly.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 185    "An Act relating to fees for certain uses of state                                                                    
          water  and  the  accounting  and  appropriation  of                                                                   
          those  fees;  relating  to authorizations  for  the                                                                   
          temporary   use  of   state  water;  making   other                                                                   
          amendments  to  the   Alaska  Water  Use  Act;  and                                                                   
          providing for an effective date."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 185  (FIN) was REPORTED out of  Committee with                                                                   
          a "do  pass" recommendation  and with  a previously                                                                   
          published  fiscal note  (#1) by  the Department  of                                                                   
          Revenue.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 105(FIN)                                                                                                                   
          "An  Act relating to  victims' rights;  relating to                                                                   
          establishing   an   office  of   victims'   rights;                                                                   
          relating  to  the authority  of  litigants and  the                                                                   
          court  to comment on  the crime victim's  choice to                                                                   
          appear or  testify in a criminal case;  relating to                                                                   
          compensation   of   victims  of   violent   crimes;                                                                   
          relating  to  eligibility   for  a  permanent  fund                                                                   
          dividend for persons  convicted of and incarcerated                                                                   
          for  certain   offenses;  relating  to   notice  of                                                                   
          appropriations    concerning    victims'    rights;                                                                   
          amending Rules 16 and  30, Alaska Rules of Criminal                                                                   
          Procedure,  Rule 9,  Alaska Delinquency Rules,  and                                                                   
          Rule 501,  Alaska Rules of Evidence;  and providing                                                                   
          for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
          HCS CSSB  105 (FIN)  was REPORTED out  of Committee                                                                   
          with  a  "do  pass" recommendation  and  with  five                                                                   
          previously published  fiscal notes: #1 -  COR, #2 -                                                                   
          LAW, #3 - REV, #4 - LAA, #5 - LAW.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 137 (FIN)                                                                                                                  
          "An  Act  relating   to  the  allocation  of  money                                                                   
          appropriated   to   the   Alaska   Human   Resource                                                                   
          Investment Council;  and providing for an effective                                                                   
          date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          HCS CSSB 137 (FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee                                                                      
          with  a  "do  pass"  recommendation  and  with  two                                                                   
          previously published  fiscal notes: #1 - LDF and #2                                                                   
          - SFC.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 145(FIN)                                                                                                                   
          "An  Act relating  to regional  and village  public                                                                   
          safety officers;  relating to the expansion  of the                                                                   
          village  public safety  officer program to  include                                                                   
          the provision  of probation and  parole supervision                                                                   
          services;  and relating to retirement  benefits for                                                                   
          village public safety officers."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          HCS CSSB  145 (FIN)  was REPORTED out  of Committee                                                                   
          with  a "do  pass"  recommendation  and with  three                                                                   
          previously published  fiscal notes (#4 -  ADM, #5 -                                                                   
          DPS, and # 6 - COR).                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 193 (FIN)                                                                                                                  
          "An Act relating to a study of the economic and                                                                       
          social  effects of the  permanent fund  dividend on                                                                   
          the state."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
          CSSB 193 (FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee with                                                                     
          "no  recommendation"  and  a  previously  published                                                                   
          fiscal note (#1 - LAA).                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HCR 18    Suspending Rules 24(c), 35, 41(b), and 42(e),                                                                         
          Uniform  Rules  of the  Alaska  State  Legislature,                                                                   
          concerning  Senate Bill No. 105, relating  to crime                                                                   
          victims.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
          HCR 18 was REPORTED out of Committee with a "do                                                                       
          pass" recommendation.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 198 (HES)                                                                                                                  
          "An Act establishing the Statewide Suicide                                                                            
          Prevention Council; and providing for an effective                                                                    
          date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          CSSB 198 (HES) was REPORTED out of Committee with                                                                     
          a "do pass" recommendation and with a previously                                                                      
          published fiscal note (#2 - HSS).                                                                                     
HOUSE BILL NO. 185                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act relating  to  fees for  certain  uses of  state                                                                   
     water  and the  accounting  and appropriation  of  those                                                                   
     fees; relating  to authorizations for the  temporary use                                                                   
     of state  water; making other  amendments to  the Alaska                                                                   
     Water Use Act; and providing for an effective date."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Williams noted that the  drafter had concerns with a                                                                   
previously adopted amendment to HB 185.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MIKE TIBBLES,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS  explained that                                                                   
the  drafter  was concerned  with  the  constitutionality  of                                                                   
tying  together   the  administrative   fee  and   the  water                                                                   
conservation  fee. He  noted that  the  work draft  GH1087\S,                                                                   
dated 5/5/01 would correct the problem.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Foster MOVED to  Rescind passage of  CSHB 185                                                                   
(FIN) from  Committee. There  being NO  OBJECTION, it  was so                                                                   
ordered.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Foster  MOVED  to  ADOPT  proposed  committee                                                                   
substitute  work  draft  GH1087\S,  5/5/01.  There  being  NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Tibbles noted that the paragraph  on page 4, lines 9 - 13                                                                   
was  restructured  so that  the  purpose  of the  annual  $50                                                                   
administrative  service   fee  was  to  maintain   the  water                                                                   
management program.  The water conservation fee  would not be                                                                   
tied to maintenance of the program.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  MOVED to report CSHB 185  (FIN) out of                                                                   
Committee with  the accompanying fiscal note.  There being NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Williams MOVED to ADOPT  the committee report passed                                                                   
with  CSHB 185  (FIN)  on 5/05/01  as  the committee  report.                                                                   
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CSHB  185 (FIN)  was REPORTED  out  of Committee  with a  "do                                                                   
pass" recommendation  and with a previously  published fiscal                                                                   
note (#1) by the Department of Revenue.                                                                                         
SENATE BILL NO. 137                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to the allocation of money                                                                                
     appropriated to the Alaska Human Resource Investment                                                                       
     Council; and providing for an effective date."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MARY  JACKSON,   STAFF,  SENATOR  TORGERSON,   explained  the                                                                   
legislation.  She observed  that  HB 239  was  passed by  the                                                                   
previous  Legislature.  House  Bill  239  established  a  new                                                                   
technical  and  vocational  education  program.  In  lieu  of                                                                   
regulations,  the first  year  funding went  directly to  the                                                                   
three public  institutions. Regulations  still have  not been                                                                   
adopted.  House  Bill  137  would  extend  funding  financial                                                                   
provisions for three years to the same institutions.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Mulder MOVED to ADOPT  proposed committee substitute                                                                   
work  draft,   LS0719\F,  Cramer   5/3/01.  There   being  NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bunde  noted that  the funding distributions  were                                                                   
changed.  Co-Chair  Mulder  explained  that there  is  now  a                                                                   
vocational  center in  Galena. Four percent  of the  proceeds                                                                   
were transferred  from the Kotzebue  Technical Center  to the                                                                   
Galena Project Education Vocation Training Center.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  John  Davies questioned  the  impact  of a  4                                                                   
percent  reduction for  the  Kotzebue Technical  Center.  Co-                                                                   
Chair  Mulder  noted  that Kotzebue  Technical  Center  would                                                                   
still  receive $318  thousand dollars.  Galena would  receive                                                                   
approximately  $182  thousand   dollars.  The  University  of                                                                   
Alaska  would  receive  $3.51  million  dollars.  The  Alaska                                                                   
Vocational  Technical  Center   would  receive  $1.2  million                                                                   
dollars.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Bunde  questioned  the rationale  of  taking  the                                                                   
funding from the Kotzebue Technical Center.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Davies MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment 1: University                                                                   
of  Alaska  63  percent,  Kotzebue   Technical  Center  -  11                                                                   
percent,  and Galena  Project  Education Vocational  Training                                                                   
Center at 4%.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Jackson   noted  that  the  Kotzebue   Technical  Center                                                                   
received slightly more than 11  percent in the previous year.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HCS CSSB 137 (FIN)  was REPORTED out of Committee  with a "do                                                                   
pass"  recommendation  and  with   two  previously  published                                                                   
fiscal note  s (#1  and #2)  by the  Department of Labor  and                                                                   
Workforce Development and the Senate Finance Committee.                                                                         
SENATE BILL NO. 193                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to a study of the economic and social                                                                     
     effects of the permanent fund dividend on the state."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS KNAUSS,  STAFF, SENATOR  KELLY testified in  support of                                                                   
the  legislation  and  stated   that  he  was  available  for                                                                   
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Davies questioned  how the information  would                                                                   
be  used. Mr.  Knass  responded  that the  information  would                                                                   
provide building blocks.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Davies  questioned  if there  is  expectation                                                                   
that the  court would allow  a two-year residency.  Mr. Knass                                                                   
noted that there  is not an expectation that  the court would                                                                   
allow  a  two-year  residency.  The  intent  is  to  see  how                                                                   
dependent people  who move  to the state  of Alaska  are upon                                                                   
state services, particularly the permanent fund dividend.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Croft   questioned   if  the   court   would                                                                   
reconsider a two-year  residency if it could  be demonstrated                                                                   
that  the permanent  fund dividend  was a  magnet. Mr.  Knass                                                                   
affirmed. Vice-Chair  Bunde felt that  the chances of  a two-                                                                   
year residency requirement would be slim.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hudson  MOVED to report CSSB 193  (FIN) out of                                                                   
Committee with the accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CSSB  193  (FIN)  was REPORTED  out  of  Committee  with  "no                                                                   
recommendation" and  a previously published fiscal  note (#1)                                                                   
by the Legislative Affairs Agency.                                                                                              
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 145(FIN)                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating  to regional and village  public safety                                                                   
     officers;  relating  to  the expansion  of  the  village                                                                   
     public safety  officer program to include  the provision                                                                   
     of  probation  and  parole   supervision  services;  and                                                                   
     relating  to  retirement  benefits  for  village  public                                                                   
     safety officers."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Croft   summarized  that   the   legislation                                                                   
supports  four new village  public safety  officers and  four                                                                   
new constables. He  observed that the original  intent was to                                                                   
add six of each.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Members  were  provided  with  Amendment 1  and  Amendment  2                                                                   
(copies on file).                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Williams  MOVED to ADOPT  Amendment 1.  [Amendment 1                                                                   
would provide  for a ruling  from the United  States Internal                                                                   
Revenue Service  permitting the retirement system  to include                                                                   
village public safety officers.]                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  RICK HALFORD,  SPONSOR testified  in support  of the                                                                   
legislation. He  explained that Amendment 1 was  requested by                                                                   
the  Administration.  The  amendment would  not  take  affect                                                                   
until the ruling.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Halford explained  that  Amendment 2  would add  the                                                                   
regional  public  safety officer  in  the category  of  peace                                                                   
officer  and clarify  that  they are  a  new category.  There                                                                   
would  be three  tiers.  Two would  be  in  the direct  state                                                                   
system. One  would be in  the contracted system.  These would                                                                   
be statewide  public safety  officer, regional public  safety                                                                   
officer and  the village public  safety officer. This  is the                                                                   
career  track for  the  VPSO system.  He  clarified that  the                                                                   
amendment  addresses regional  public safety officers.  There                                                                   
are  only four.  The  regional  public safety  officer  title                                                                   
replaces the title of constable.  The positions would be tied                                                                   
to  the village  public  safety officers  instead  of to  the                                                                   
state troopers.  They would go  into the public  safety list.                                                                   
They would  have the same  training provisions  as envisioned                                                                   
under the constable system.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
In  response  to  a question  by  Vice-Chair  Bunde,  Senator                                                                   
Halford  explained   that  there   were  concerns   with  the                                                                   
involvement by  the IRS regarding the addition  of non-profit                                                                   
employees  in the state  retirement system.  An opinion  from                                                                   
the IRS  will be obtained  under the provisions  of Amendment                                                                   
1.                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bunde  observed that  the [regional public  safety                                                                   
officer] positions  would allow  upward movement on  the VPSO                                                                   
career track.  He expressed concern that the  positions could                                                                   
be filled with by persons who  were not village public safety                                                                   
officers. Senator Halford expressed  confidence that the four                                                                   
positions would  come from the  VPSO list. He stated  that he                                                                   
wanted  to  prevent  an open  testing  situation,  where  the                                                                   
highest  score without  the experience  or commitment  to the                                                                   
local community  would  receive the position.  The intent  is                                                                   
that the positions come from the  ranks of the village public                                                                   
safety officers.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HCS CSSB 145 (FIN)  was REPORTED out of Committee  with a "do                                                                   
pass"  recommendation  and with  three  previously  published                                                                   
fiscal notes (#4 - ADM, #5 - DPS, and # 6 - COR).                                                                               
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 105(FIN)                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act  relating  to  victims'   rights;  relating  to                                                                   
     establishing an  office of victims' rights;  relating to                                                                   
     the authority  of litigants and the court  to comment on                                                                   
     the  crime victim's  choice to  appear or  testify in  a                                                                   
     criminal  case; relating to  compensation of  victims of                                                                   
     violent crimes; relating  to eligibility for a permanent                                                                   
     fund dividend for persons  convicted of and incarcerated                                                                   
     for   certain   offenses;    relating   to   notice   of                                                                   
     appropriations  concerning   victims'  rights;  amending                                                                   
     Rules  16 and 30,  Alaska Rules  of Criminal  Procedure,                                                                   
     Rule 9, Alaska  Delinquency Rules, and  Rule 501, Alaska                                                                   
     Rules  of  Evidence;  and  providing  for  an  effective                                                                   
     date."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD,  SPONSOR, noted that there  was an amendment                                                                   
drafted by the  Department of Law to address  the restitution                                                                   
collection question.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bunde  MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 1  (copy on file.)                                                                   
Amendment 1 would insert new language on page 4, line 29.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bunde WITHDREW Amendment 1.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Foster MOVED  to ADOPT  Amendment 3.  Senator                                                                   
Halford spoke  in support of  Amendment 3. He  explained that                                                                   
it was drafted  by the Administration  on a part of  the bill                                                                   
that they originated.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hudson MOVED to  report HCS CSSB 105 (FIN) out                                                                   
of Committee with  the accompanying fiscal note.  There being                                                                   
NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HCS CSSB 105 (FIN)  was REPORTED out of Committee  with a "do                                                                   
pass"  recommendation  and  with  five  previously  published                                                                   
fiscal notes (#1  - COR, #2 - LAW,  #3 - REV, #4 -  LAA, #5 -                                                                   
LAW).                                                                                                                           
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 18                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Suspending  Rules 24(c), 35,  41(b), and 42(e),  Uniform                                                                   
     Rules  of  the  Alaska  State   Legislature,  concerning                                                                   
     Senate Bill No. 105, relating to crime victims.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bunde MOVED to report  HCR 18 out of Committee. He                                                                   
explained that the resolution  supports a title change for SB                                                                   
105.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator Halford  clarified that  the title change  allows the                                                                   
inclusion  of   restitution  language  that  came   from  the                                                                   
Administration.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, HCR 18 was adopted.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HCR  18  was REPORTED  out  of  Committee  with a  "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation.                                                                                                                 
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 198(HES)                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act establishing the Statewide Suicide Prevention                                                                      
     Council; and providing for an effective date."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HALFORD,  SPONSOR,  testified   in  support  of  the                                                                   
legislation. He  explained that  the resolution is  an effort                                                                   
to increase  awareness, coordination  and efforts  in suicide                                                                   
prevention. Suicide is the most  unreported cause of the loss                                                                   
of life  and is in epidemic  proportions in rural  Alaska and                                                                   
the  Matsu Valley.  He  observed  that the  last  coordinated                                                                   
effort was in 1988.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Bunde  acknowledged  the problem  and  questioned                                                                   
what would  be done  to "turn the  corner" on the  challenge.                                                                   
Senator Halford  observed that  there are serial  suicides in                                                                   
rural areas.  He noted that those  that don't feel  like they                                                                   
have  options are  lost.  One  of the  problems  is that  the                                                                   
things that are  done to make people feel better  may elevate                                                                   
the  individual so  that  someone else  that  feels lost  may                                                                   
think that  suicide may be the  answer. He stressed  the need                                                                   
for the collective will and wisdom  of many people to address                                                                   
the  problem. He  emphasized that  the solutions  have to  be                                                                   
home grown and that it will take a lot of listening.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hudson spoke in  support of the  legislation.                                                                   
Representative Croft  felt that the composition  of the board                                                                   
provides  a  broad spectrum  of  requirements  for  different                                                                   
segments of the society outside  of government. He noted that                                                                   
the  Council  would  include   young  people,  clergy,  rural                                                                   
persons,  and those  that  have experienced  the  death of  a                                                                   
member of their family.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator Halford  noted that  the Administration  assisted` in                                                                   
the formation of the Council.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  MOVED to report CSSB 198  (HES) out of                                                                   
Committee with the accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CSSB  198 (HES)  was REPORTED  out  of Committee  with a  "do                                                                   
pass" recommendation  and with a previously  published fiscal                                                                   
note (#2 - HSS).                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 12:05 a.m.                                                                                         

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