Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/17/2003 04:29 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                        May 17, 2003                                                                                            
                         4:29 P.M.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE HFC 03 - 100, Side A                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Williams called the House Finance Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 4:29 P.M.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative John Harris, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Bill Williams, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Kevin Meyer, Vice-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Ethan Berkowitz                                                                                                  
Representative Mike Chenault                                                                                                    
Representative Mike Hawker                                                                                                      
Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                                    
Representative Carl Moses                                                                                                       
Representative Bill Stoltze                                                                                                     
Representative Jim Whitaker                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft                                                                                                            
Representative Richard Foster                                                                                                   
Representative Joule                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bruce Weyhrauch; Kevin Jardell, Assistant                                                                        
Commissioner, Department of Administration                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Brooke Miles, Director, Alaska Public Officers Commission,                                                                      
Anchorage                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CS SB 102(L&C) An Act increasing the amount of revenue                                                                          
          received by the state from charitable gaming                                                                          
          activities; relating to taxes on pull-tabs; and                                                                       
          providing for an effective date.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          CS SB 102 (L&C) was scheduled but not HEARD.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SB 117    An Act eliminating the longevity bonus program and                                                                    
          making related conforming changes; and providing                                                                      
          for an effective date.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          SB 117 was scheduled but not HEARD.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 119(FIN) An Act authorizing the Alaska Public Offices                                                                      
          Commission  to  issue advisory  opinions;  amending                                                                   
          campaign   financial   disclosure   and   reporting                                                                   
          requirements,    campaign   contribution    limits,                                                                   
          provisions    related   to   contributions    after                                                                   
          elections,   and  provisions   related  to   unused                                                                   
          campaign  contributions;  providing  for  expedited                                                                   
          consideration  of,  and  modifying  procedures  for                                                                   
          determining, violations  of state election campaign                                                                   
          laws;  amending  the time  period  within which  to                                                                   
          file an administrative  complaint of a violation of                                                                   
          state   election   campaign  laws;   amending   the                                                                   
          definitions   of   'express    communication'   and                                                                   
          'political  party'  for state  election  campaigns;                                                                   
          amending   the  registration  fee   for  lobbyists;                                                                   
          providing  for increased  use of electronic  filing                                                                   
          for   reports   to   the  Alaska   Public   Offices                                                                   
          Commission; adding a  definition of 'commission' in                                                                   
          the  regulation  of  lobbying  laws;  amending  the                                                                   
          requirements   for  the   reporting  of   financial                                                                   
          interests by public  officials; adding a definition                                                                   
          of  'domestic partner'  in  the legislative  ethics                                                                   
          code   and  in   the   public  official   financial                                                                   
          disclosure   requirements;    allowing   classified                                                                   
          employees  to  take  an active  part  in  political                                                                   
          party  management;  making  conforming  amendments;                                                                   
          and providing for an effective date.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          HCS CS SB 119 (FIN) was reported out of Committee                                                                     
          with "no  recommendations" and with fiscal  note #5                                                                   
          by the Department of Administration.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 119(FIN)                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     An Act authorizing the Alaska  Public Offices Commission                                                                   
     to issue advisory opinions;  amending campaign financial                                                                   
     disclosure   and   reporting    requirements,   campaign                                                                   
     contribution     limits,    provisions     related    to                                                                   
     contributions  after elections,  and provisions  related                                                                   
     to   unused   campaign  contributions;   providing   for                                                                   
     expedited  consideration  of, and  modifying  procedures                                                                   
     for determining,  violations of state  election campaign                                                                   
     laws; amending  the time period within which  to file an                                                                   
     administrative   complaint  of  a  violation   of  state                                                                   
     election  campaign  laws;  amending the  definitions  of                                                                   
     'express communication' and  'political party' for state                                                                   
     election  campaigns; amending  the registration  fee for                                                                   
     lobbyists;  providing for  increased  use of  electronic                                                                   
     filing  for   reports  to  the  Alaska   Public  Offices                                                                   
     Commission; adding  a definition of 'commission'  in the                                                                   
     regulation of  lobbying laws; amending  the requirements                                                                   
     for  the  reporting  of financial  interests  by  public                                                                   
     officials; adding a definition  of 'domestic partner' in                                                                   
     the legislative  ethics code and in the  public official                                                                   
     financial  disclosure requirements; allowing  classified                                                                   
     employees  to take  an active  part  in political  party                                                                   
     management; making conforming  amendments; and providing                                                                   
     for an effective date.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Harris  MOVED  to ADOPT  work  draft  #23-GS1090\Q,                                                                   
Craver,  5/13/03, as  the version of  the legislation  before                                                                   
the  Committee.     Representative  Berkowitz   OBJECTED  for                                                                   
purposes of discussion.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN   JARDELL,   ASSISTANT  COMMISSIONER,   DEPARTMENT   OF                                                                   
ADMINISTRATION,   explained  that   the  proposed   committee                                                                   
substitute  represented the  bill before  the Senate  Finance                                                                   
Committee had amended it.  He  requested that Ms. Miles speak                                                                   
to the legislation.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BROOKE  MILES,  (TESTIFIED  VIA   TELECONFERENCE),  DIRECTOR,                                                                   
ALASKA PUBLIC OFFICERS COMMISSION  (APOC), ANCHORAGE, pointed                                                                   
out the  two changes contained  in the committee  substitute.                                                                   
The  first  one identifies  how  campaign  contributions  are                                                                   
recorded.   That language begins  on Page 4, Line  30 through                                                                   
Page 5,  Line 6.   Under the "Q"  version, disclosure  of the                                                                   
names and addresses  of the groups contributing  would not be                                                                   
required  to be  reported unless  the  criteria described  in                                                                   
Section 7 was met.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
The second  change speaks to  the financial disclosure  laws.                                                                   
That  language begins  on  Page 19,  Line  18, with  deleting                                                                   
"$5,000"  and inserting  "$10,000"; the  change would  follow                                                                   
through on Pages 19, 20, & 21.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Williams  asked why  a change  was made from  $1,000                                                                   
dollars to  $5,000 dollars.   Ms.  Miles advised that  change                                                                   
had been  made before  the Senate  Finance Committee  and was                                                                   
increased from $5,000 to $10,000 dollars.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
In response  to Co-Chair Williams,  Ms. Miles  commented that                                                                   
the  agency  supports  increasing   the  threshold  for  many                                                                   
reasons.    The  public  official  financial  disclosure  law                                                                   
applies  to  the members  on  boards  and commissions.    The                                                                   
Administration thought that it  would be difficult recruiting                                                                   
for those positions with inclusion of that requirement.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Berkowitz  WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION.    There                                                                   
being NO  further OBJECTION, Version  "Q" was adopted  as the                                                                   
working document.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Stoltze MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  #1.   Co-                                                                   
Chair Williams OBJECTED for purposes of discussion.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Stoltze  stated   that  the  amendment  would                                                                   
delete the exemption  for "AS 39.25.160(a)" on  Line 22, Page                                                                   
23.   He noted  that language  was already  in existing  law.                                                                   
Currently,  there  is  a  bill   on  the  House  side,  which                                                                   
addresses that concern.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Berkowitz   pointed  out   that   classified                                                                   
employees are  currently prohibited from  participating above                                                                   
those levels.   Representative  Stoltze agreed,  stating that                                                                   
he wanted to guarantee that continue to remain the case.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Berkowitz OBJECTED  to Amendment #1.  He asked                                                                   
if the  other repeallers would  be similar prohibitions  on a                                                                   
person's  right to  participate.   Ms.  Miles responded  that                                                                   
they  are not  and explained  the  sections.   Representative                                                                   
Berkowitz WITHDREW  his OBJECTION,  suggesting that  it would                                                                   
protect the employees.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Williams advised  that the  Alaska Public  Officers                                                                   
Commission  (APOC) would  like  to see  the  bill before  the                                                                   
Committee adopted.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRUCE  WEYRAUCH commented that  the provisions                                                                   
of the  House State Affairs  version provided for  the status                                                                   
quo, HB  157 versus SB 119.   There are limits  on lobbyist's                                                                   
contributions  in both  bills.   There  are  more status  quo                                                                   
decisions  regarding how  much  could be  given to  political                                                                   
parties between the Senate and  the House versions.  When the                                                                   
process was in  the House State Affairs Committee,  there had                                                                   
been  30  amendments  on  the   bill  given  no  quantitative                                                                   
reasoning.  Those  have been reduced in the  House version of                                                                   
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Berkowitz  stated that he had  sat through the                                                                   
discussion during  the House  State Affairs consideration  of                                                                   
the bill.   Representative  Weyhrauch interjected  that there                                                                   
are good  aspects of  each bill.   Ms.  Miles added  that the                                                                   
                                           st                                                                                   
reporting  period  would  end   February  1   for  the  final                                                                   
disbursement of campaign assets.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch  inquired if there was  a comparison                                                                   
between  the House  and Senate  numbers.   Ms. Miles  advised                                                                   
that she had not prepared a "side  by side" but recalled that                                                                   
an  aspect of  the  House State  Affairs  version would  keep                                                                   
political campaign limits the same as current law.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Williams   inquired  if  Representative   Weyhrauch                                                                   
wanted  it  to   remain  the  same  as  the   House  version.                                                                   
Representative Weyhrauch explained  that would be a Committee                                                                   
decision.   He noted that  he had not  supported many  of the                                                                   
reductions, noting  that there is a benefit  to increase some                                                                   
numbers  to accommodate  for change over  time, but  however,                                                                   
that was not the majority vote.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Berkowitz offered to  walk through  the House                                                                   
and Senate  versions  of the bills.   He  mentioned areas  of                                                                   
concern.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
   ·    An increase from $100 to $250 dollars of the annual                                                                     
        amount paid before it is reported  regarding who made                                                                   
        the contribution.   That language  begins on  Page 3,                                                                   
        Sections 2 & 3, and if someone is  given $250 dollars                                                                   
        a year, the number must be reported.   Currently, the                                                                   
        limit is  $100; a  jump to  $250 dollars  would be  a                                                                   
        significant contribution.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Miles  countered   that  in  the  proposed   version,  a                                                                   
candidate  or group would  be reporting  all contributors  by                                                                   
name and  address and  amount of that  contribution.   If the                                                                   
contributor gives  more than $250 dollars, that  person would                                                                   
also be  identified by  occupation and employer  information.                                                                   
Representative  Berkowitz responded  that  would address  his                                                                   
concern.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Berkowitz pointed  out an additional worrisome                                                                   
area:                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
   ·    Sections 8 & 9, increased contribution limits from                                                                      
        $500 to  $1,000 and  from $5,000  to $10,000.   Those                                                                   
        types of increases  will advantage  an incumbent  and                                                                   
        would stack the  deck against  people wanting  to get                                                                   
        into politics.  He  stated that the lower  limits are                                                                   
        preferable.   The  proposed  change  provides  for  a                                                                   
        laundry machine of "soft money".                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Miles   advised  that  the  Commission's   concern  with                                                                   
doubling the  limit was inflationary.   They were  looking at                                                                   
how much $500 dollars could buy  in 1996 and how much it buys                                                                   
in 2003.   They considered  it was timely  for the  limits to                                                                   
increase.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Berkowitz  questioned if  there  had been  an                                                                   
increased  number of  $500 dollar contributions.   Mr.  Miles                                                                   
replied that there  had not been a study done.   Before 1996,                                                                   
contributions  amounted  to $1,000  dollars  and after  1996,                                                                   
$500 dollars.   There are  more contributors giving  now than                                                                   
were in 1996.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch interjected  that both bills contain                                                                   
good  ideas   especially  regarding   the  advisory   opinion                                                                   
portion.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Berkowitz  acknowledged  that  is  good  that                                                                   
there are more small contributors  than there had been in the                                                                   
past, which indicates  that more people are  participating in                                                                   
the process.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Berkowitz  stated  that  Section  11  was  of                                                                   
concern regarding  to the amount of contribution  that can be                                                                   
made in  a calendar year.   Ms. Miles explained that  the way                                                                   
in which they  had been administered, the resident  limit was                                                                   
per calendar year.  When the language  was being drafted, the                                                                   
attorneys  felt that  without the  clarification, they  could                                                                   
become lifetime limits.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Berkowitz pointed  out that  was also  in the                                                                   
House version.   He added that in the House  version, Section                                                                   
19  speaks to  the amount  of time  that someone  could be  a                                                                   
lobbyist and is not contained in the Senate version.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Berkowitz recommended  keeping the  limits as                                                                   
they currently are.   He MOVED to delete Sections  8, 9 & 10,                                                                   
which would  leave the campaign  contribution limits  as they                                                                   
are today.  Co-Chair Williams OBJECTED.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR:      Moses, Whitaker, Berkowitz, Hawker                                                                               
OPPOSED:       Stoltze, Chenault, Meyer, Harris, Williams                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Foster and Representative  Kerttula  were not                                                                   
present for the vote.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION FAILED (4-5).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Harris  MOVED to report HCS  CS SB 119 (FIN)  out of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal  note.  There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HCS CS SB  119 (FIN) was  reported out of Committee  with "no                                                                   
recommendations"  and with fiscal  note #5 by  the Department                                                                   
of Administration.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 4:59 P.M.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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